Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – This macaroni and cheese is every family’s favorite comfort food pasta recipe made easy in the Instant Pot!  You can have creamy, mouthwatering, homemade mac and cheese for dinner in about 10 minutes!

Instant pot mac and cheese is ready in 10 minutes

Have I mentioned lately that I’m kind of in love with my Instant Pot? Although, I do love our classic Baked Mac and Cheese too!  If you have been following me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve documented my daily trials and errors using the thing.  I was so skeptical of even getting one in the first place, and now, it’s pretty much all I want to use for cooking at all!  It takes a lot of the in-between steps out of making simple recipes.  Like this mac and cheese, the pasta cooks in just enough liquid, with no need to drain!  If you’re looking for more amazing Instant Pot dinners definitely try out this Instant Pot Jambalaya it’s out of this world!!

Macaroni and cheese made in the instant pot

My family absolutely LOVED this macaroni and cheese.  Well, I did too.  The flavor was absolutely perfect and it was super creamy, just like a good mac should be.

I made this recipe in my 8 quart Instant Pot, and it will definitely work just fine if you have a 6 quart as well.  It makes a whole lot by the way.  Yay for leftovers!

There was enough for my family of four to eat this as a main dish with a side salad for supper.  Then, my kids took some for lunch in their thermos to school the next day.  Even after that we had enough left to use up as a side dish later in the week!

Instant pot mac and cheese recipe

How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese:

  • For the best flavor, I recommend using chicken broth as your cooking liquid.  I used low sodium chicken broth.  If you don’t have low sodium, leave out the extra addition of salt, then salt as needed when serving.
  • Use seasoning!  I add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce to this before cooking.  Don’t worry, the hot sauce does not make this spicy at all.  It just adds an additional layer of flavor that’s amazing.
  • Use a combination of cheeses for the best taste.  I use a mixture of sharp cheddar, mozzarella.  When you add the cheese, make sure to stir continuously so that it all melts in really well and you aren’t left with clumps.
  • Don’t use canned milk.  I used regular 2% milk, and I recommend that or whole milk for best results.  Most of the recipes I saw for Instant Pot mac and cheese used evaporated milk which I am not a fan of at all.

Instant pot mac and cheese



4.96 from 1462 votes

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese - This macaroni and cheese is every family's favorite comfort food pasta recipe made easy in the Instant Pot!  You can have creamy, mouthwatering, homemade mac and cheese for dinner in about 10 minutes!
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 10 minutes
Servings 8



  • Add the uncooked macaroni, chicken broth, butter, hot sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to the Instant Pot. 
  • Place the lid on the pot and set to sealing.  Cook on manual function, high pressure for 5 minutes.  Then, do a quick release.
  • Add the milk, then the cheese to the pot in 3-4 handfuls, stirring in between each addition until smooth and creamy. Season as necessary to taste.


NOTE ABOUT MEASURING:  This recipe calls for one, 16 ounce box of dried elbow macaroni.  If you are measuring from a large bag, this is equal to 4 cups dry measure.  The 16 ounces is also equal to 453 grams.
NOTE:  Some people say that they find this "stringy" Mozzarella is a stringy cheese, if you don't like that texture, use a different cheese, or all cheddar.  Also, keep in mind that you MUST add the cheese in 3-4 handfuls, stirring between each addition, don't add all of the cheese at once.
NOTE:  The cheeses listed in the recipe have produced the best flavor that I have found.  Feel free to use your family's favorite cheese combination.
NOTE:  For the milk, start with 1/2 cup and add up to one cup if you find it needs to be thinned out a little bit more.


Serving: 1Cup, Calories: 206kcal, Protein: 13g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 966mg, Potassium: 145mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 519IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 351mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!

Looking for other great Instant Pot recipes?  Try these:


Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. I found when I made this, some of the noodles weren’t fully cooked. Should I add more liquid initially, or cook for longer? Any tips?

  2. 5 stars
    My husband was unsatisfied with a baked mac recipe we’d been using, so we gave this a try- HUGE difference! So creamy, cheesy, and it’s even easier to make and uses less pots and pans than our previous recipe. Plus it takes half the time! Do yourself a favor and make this dish.

  3. 5 stars
    I very, VERY rarely write recipe reviews. but I absolutely HAD to leave one here. Oh my heavens, this was amazing! I was looking for a fast and easy “fix it and forget it” lunch for my husband and myself, and this hit the nail on the head. Smelled incredible cooking, and then… Cheesy goodness meets tender-but-not-overcooked macaroni, what more can one want? Oh yeah, a couple pinches of freshly chopped parsley or green onion… Or not! We used shells, and this recipe would work great no matter what pasta shapes you’ve got on hand!

    Tip for those who’ve had theirs come out a little watery: when you first open the InstantPot after cooking, stir briskly to wake up those starches in the pasta water, and then continue to stir briskly when adding the milk. It’s also super important to completely incorporate each handful of cheese before adding the next handful.

    Stay salty, Nichole, and thanks for the recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Been making this for a while and it’s always a hit. I use shells because my kids like them better. I make the chicken broth with better than bouillon chicken paste and omit the salt. Heats well the next day too.