Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese could not be easier! Made with pasta, butter, half and half, and your favorite cheeses, this simple recipe comes together in no time.

Our whole family loves macaroni and cheese, and once I discovered I could make it in the pressure cooker, it was a game changer. There are plenty of ways to change this recipe up with different types of cheese, so we never get bored. It’s the ultimate comfort food! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

mac and cheese ingredients


  • Macaroni– Be sure to use elbow macaroni or another short tubular pasta with a similar cooking time. This recipe has not been tested with gluten free noodles, and their cooking time may vary.
  • Butter– A little butter helps create a super rich and creamy sauce so don’t skip on the butter! If needed, you could substitute cream cheese instead.
  • Half and half– Half and half will give you the creamiest results, but you could substitute evaporated milk if desired.
  • Cheese– I recommend using a combination of mozzarella and cheddar. Use a block of cheese and shred it on a box grater it rather than using pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-caking agents that can make it clump. So for a super smooth sauce, shred your cheese.

The Best Cheeses for Macaroni and Cheese

For this recipe, I used a combination of cheddar and mozzarella but you could use all cheddar, if you prefer. I also added a little Parmesan for additional saltiness but this is optional. I do recommend using shredded mozzarella or buying a block of mozzarella and shredding it at home, rather than fresh mozzarella since fresh mozzarella doesn’t melt as well in this sauce.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. To reheat, microwave on 50% power, stirring every minute. If the macaroni is dry, add a splash of milk and a sprinkle of additional cheese on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of Instant Pot do you have? I have the 6qt Instant Pot Duo. But this recipe should work in other brands and sizes of pressure cookers.
  • Can I freeze leftovers? I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers. Luckily this recipe is very quick and easy to make!
  • Can I add other ingredients? Sure! You could add a little garlic powder for additional flavor or top it with hot sauce if you like it a little spicy! You could also add cooked broccoli to make broccoli macaroni and cheese.
  • What should I serve with macaroni and cheese? In our house, we eat it as a main dish, but you could also enjoy it as a side dish with your favorite protein, like grilled chicken or hamburgers.

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instant pot mac and cheese

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This 5 Ingredient Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese could not be easier! Made with pasta, butter, half and half, and your favorite cheeses, this simple recipe comes together in no time.


  • 1 lb uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup cubed or shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated parmesan (optional)


  1. Place uncooked pasta in an Instant Pot.
  2. Add 4 cups of water, butter, salt, and pepper.
  3. Close the lid and pressure valve. Select the PRESSURE COOK button on HIGH PRESSURE and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Once the pressure-cooking cycle is over, do a quick release.
  5. Open the lid and select the CANCEL button.
  6. Add half and half, shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Stir until sauce is thickened.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Time to Pressurize: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

One Comment

  1. i made a lot of mac and cheese recipes! but I think this one is the easiest one (IP) ! def gonna try it next!

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