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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
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5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This creamy, smoky, flavorful Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe turns all of the creamy, mouthwatering goodness of traditional baked mac and cheese into a quick weeknight dinner.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Cardamom & Coconut


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 12 oz evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz American or monterey jack cheese
  • 4 oz smoked cheddar cheese


  • Add the water to the instant pot stainless steel pan, then add the butter, macaroni, cream cheese, salt, mustard, and cayenne in that order. Do not stir. Lock the lid in place and close the pressure release valve.
  • Press the “Pressure Cook” button until it shows “Normal” to pressure cook on high and then click on the +/- buttons until you’re at 6 minutes.
  • When done, turn off the Instant Pot and quick release the pressure. Remove the lid carefully, allowing the steam to escape away from you.  The macaroni will likely be stuck together and slightly underdone - this is completely normal.
  • Press the “Sauté” button until it’s on “More” to sauté on high. Add in the can of evaporated milk and mix together all of the ingredients until the milk has thickened a bit and the macaroni is the right consistency, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and stir in the Parmesan cheese, American cheese, and smoked cheddar in about 5 batches until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Note: You can substitute other cheeses, just get to 8-10 oz of cheese in total. Other combinations I’ve tried is 4 oz sharp cheddar with 6 oz Monterey jack and 6 oz sharp cheddar with 4 oz smoked Gouda.