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Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheese make for the tastiest and best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese you have ever tasted!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 743kcal
Author Ang Paris

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow pasta
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups extra-sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk OR 10-ounces light cream/whole milk
  • salt and pepper to preference

Instructions

  • Stir the pasta and water or broth together in the inner pot along with the butter and seasonings.
  • Secure the lid and set to sealing, and use the Manual mode for 4 minutes.
  • When the cooking time has ended, let the pot Natural Pressure Release for ONE minute. This one minute is important to make sure the starch from the pasta has enough time to settle down a little bit (vs spewing out of the steam valve, a huge and dangerous mess).
  • Cover the steam valve with a clean damp cloth then carefully release the pressure.
  • Remove the lid and stir well.
  • Mix in the cheese a little at a time and the evaporated milk. The sauce will thicken as it sits for a few minutes.
  • Taste and adjust your seasonings as needed.

Notes

TIP: Use freshly grated cheese instead of pre-shredded in a bag. The bags tend to contain a starch or anti-clumping additive. This changes how shredded cheese will melt and the creamy consistency in your mac and cheese.
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese
My trick is to add about 1 tablespoon of whole milk or light cream for every cup of pasta. You can reheat it in the microwave, but I prefer the stovetop on medium-low heat where you can keep an eye on it.
Recipe Variations
• Add 2 cups of steamed veggies such as broccoli florets after the mac and cheese is done cooking.
• Cook, drain and crumble 8 slices of bacon and sprinkle over the top.
• Stir in rotisserie or leftover chicken for added protein.
• Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and add 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs. Cook until toasted and sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
• Stir in diced ham and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 743kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1046IU | Calcium: 671mg | Iron: 2mg