instant pot macaroni and cheese featured

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Home » Recipes » Course » Side Dish » Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is perfect for a last minute kid friendly meal that takes literally five minutes to prepare.

Unexpected company or kids home from school any minute, this will come to the rescue time and again. The kids all love it and you get to skip the packet of artificial from the boxed varieties.

instant pot macaroni and cheese presentation

Macaroni and cheese from a box was one of the first meals I learned to make as a kid. I loved it because it was so easy and always hit the spot.

At the time I felt it couldn’t be simpler.

Enter Instant Pot.

Now it’s even easier to make. Basically, all you do is pour in a few ingredients, push a button to start the pressure cooking and let the Instant Pot work its magic. When the cook cycle is complete, remove the lid, add milk and cheese and stir.

Content in this Post

Ingredients Used in Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

instant pot macaroni and cheese ingredients mise en place
  • Elbow macaroni — Elbow macaroni is typical, but you can try small shells or other small pasta shapes for a variation.
  • Chicken broth — We use chicken broth from a carton for convenience.
  • Marbled cheddar cheese — Or regular cheddar cheese, shredded. You can shred the cheese meanwhile the Instant Pot is cooking.
  • Butter — We use salted butter for our mac and cheese. If you use unsalted you can add a little more salt to the recipe, to taste.
  • Milk — 3.25% homogenized milk makes an extra creamy sauce.
  • Hot sauce — optional, we use Frank’s red hot, just a shake or two provides a flavor boost without overpowering the dish. I like to stir it into the water in the Instant Pot before cooking to make sure it is well dispersed.
  • Salt — Himalayan salt, ground. If you are using salted butter there will already be salt in this dish from that as well as the chicken broth, you might want to skip the extra salt or you can taste it and add if you like.

Save or Share this Recipe

on your favorite platforms

Equipment Needed for Macaroni and Cheese

For this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese recipe, we use a 6 quart Instant Pot. You could also make this in a 3 quart. If you plan to double the recipe, then be sure to use a 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot.

What to Serve With Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Serve Macaroni and Cheese with steamed broccoli, chopped veggies, or salad to round out the meal. For a meat dish that goes well with mac and cheese, try chicken nuggets or Instant Pot ribs.

Other Favorite Kid Friendly Meals

Some tried and true recipes that kids love:

You can find these and more in our Kid Friendly Recipes Section. Check out our best five star kid meals for picky eaters!

Time Saving Tips for Large Family Cooking

In our family, we love to cook meals with plenty of flavor, but for every spicy dish we make, there’s at least one other mild dish for the kids.

Instant Pots make it easier for us to cook for both children and adults.

If you have a large family and don’t always like to eat mild food, and also need to save time, check out our article about the Benefits of Owning Two Instant Pots.

We like to cook one mild Instant Pot recipe that you can find in our Kid Friendly section, and of course, a second spicier Instant Pot recipe you can find in our Instant Pot Recipes section.

This has worked very well for us and may be a good solution for you if you need ways to get food on the table quickly, while satisfying the whole family.

While the two Instant Pots are working their magic, you can manually prepare salads and chop veggies, and use the stove top or oven in addition, to round out the meals, if necessary.

Storage Tips

Leftover macaroni and cheese can be stored in the refrigerator and is best consumed within a day or two.

My kids much prefer it at the time it’s made and two cups of dry macaroni make enough for about four or five kid sized servings. If your kids are older or have larger appetites, you may need to double the recipe. I purposely make just enough so as to avoid having to refrigerate, since they like it fresh.

It can be reheated in the microwave, but will be drier than when it was first made. I like to stir in a teaspoon or so of milk and butter into each bowl of mac and cheese after reheating to make it creamy again.

I don’t believe it would be a good dish to freeze but have never tried it.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate it!

No ratings yet
Leave a comment below
Share this recipe on Pinterest Yummly Facebook

instant pot macaroni and cheese recipe

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Susan & Björn
Simple, wholesome ingredients and a super quick preparation make this creamy macaroni and cheese hard to beat. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli and chopped veggies to round out the meal.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Canadian
Calories 598 kcal
Fiber 2 g
Carbohydrates 58 g


1 Instant Pot 6 Quart


  • 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • ¼ Cup Butter, salted
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, Himalayan
  • ½ teaspoon Hot Sauce, Frank's red hot
  • 1.5 Cup Marble Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Cup Milk, 3.25% homogenized


  • Place elbow macaroni into the instant pot.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 1
  • Pour in chicken broth.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 2
  • Add salt, butter and hot sauce.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 3
  • Fasten lid securely and set to High pressure for 5 minutes. While the Instant Pot is cooking, you can shred the cheese.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 4
  • Once complete, let natural release pressure for 2 minutes.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 5
  • Open the lid. Add milk and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well to combine.
    instant pot macaroni and cheese step 8


Calories: 598kcal Carbohydrates: 58g Fiber: 2g Net Carbohydrates: 56g Protein: 24g Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 17g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 81mg Sodium: 751mg Potassium: 391mg Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 891IU Calcium: 403mg Iron: 1mg


The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

All Spiced Out logo and text
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating