A not-so-long time ago in a kitchen not-so-far-away, Chef Eric posted his homemade mac n cheese recipe. It was well-received but we got a few requests for how to make it in the instant pot. Okay, maybe a lot more than just a few. Here, by request is Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, using Chef Eric’s recipe as closely as possible. Looking for a more grown-up version? Make this Guinness Beer Cheese and use that as the cheese sauce!
This recipe still takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. It’s one pot, your pressure cooker. I used an instant pot, so your results may vary if you use a different brand pressure cooker. But here’s the trick, you just have to add your milk and butter after you cook the pasta. That’s it. The rest is the same as before.
We don’t drain the noodles after cooking, so you do not get a colander dirty, either! You will only get your pressure cooker dirty and a knife or cheese grater.
Chef Eric made a super tasty panko bread crumble for his mac and cheese. I’m low carb so I opted out and just added chives to my own bowl. If you want to make that bread crumb topping, here’s that recipe.
- 8oz Macaroni Noodles (I recommend large elbows, they pressure cook better.)
- 4oz Deli American Cheese
- 8oz Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbsp butter
Let The Cooking Begin!
Add your pasta and water to the pressure cooker. I added a pinch of salt and stirred the noodles for a second just to get them settled into the water. Set the cooker to High Pressure for 8 minutes.
Cut The Cheese
I used the 8 minutes while the pasta was cooking to cut the blocks of cheese down to small squares. If you grate your cheese, it will be easier to melt and combine it later, but I hate grating cheese, so I cut mine small. I cubed mine pretty small, but I wish I’d cut them even smaller. If you grated your cheese, this will be way easier, but I didn’t want to grate mine.
Once the pasta is done, quick-release the pressure and stir the noodles. Mine were a bit stuck together, but if you add the butter and gently break them apart, it’s all good. The pasta is very nearly done if you used large elbows. This is good because we are going to add a bit more heat so they will cook a tad more and we don’t want them to become mush. Once the butter is melted, turn the pressure cooker to saute on LOW.
Get Ready to Work Out!
Now we get to stir. Pour in your milk and grab your spoon or spurtle. Now add your cubed cheese. I started with the American because it will melt a little faster since it’s a softer cheese. Once that was in and melted, I added the sharp cheddar. Remember, do NOT stop stirring. If you stop stirring your pasta IS GOING to burn to the bottom of the pressure cooker bowl. Even on low, the saute function is crazy hot. On that same token, while stirring remember to use a potholder or mitt because the bowl wants to rotate, but it’s too hot to hold with your bare hand. If you can still see dark splotches of cheese, you’re not done stirring.
You can use whatever cheese you prefer. American from a deli, plus sharp cheddar will be closer to what you are expecting if you want this to be as close to the same flavor as the boxed stuff.
That’s it! You’ve got Instant Pot Mac and Cheese! Don’t forget the half tsp of Dijon Mustard if you’re making this Chef Eric Style. That’s the secret ingredient that takes this recipe up a notch. It will NOT make your mac taste mustardy… I promise. But it does add that little something that will make people ask you for your recipe. And then you can send them to us! =D
Instant Pot Mac N’ Cheese
- Pressure Cooker
- Cutting board or Cheese Grater
- Measuring Cups
- 8 oz Large Macaroni Noodles
- 4 oz Deli American Cheese
- 8 oz Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 2 cups Water
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
- Chives / Green Onions
Panko Bread Crumbs Topping
- Add water and macaroni noodles to the instant pot or pressure cooker. Secure the lid, set the pot to high pressure, and the timer to 8 min.
- After the time is up, Quick-release the pressure and carefully remove the lid. Add butter and gently break apart any stuck together noodles.
- Set cooker to saute on low. Add milk and American cheese. Stir until melted.
- Stir in dijon mustard.
- Add Extra sharp cheddar to the mix, and stir until melted.
- Serve with chives, or bread crumb topping, or your favorite topping.
Chef Eric’s Bread Crumb Topping:
Melt 1tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
Add breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
Stir frequently and toast the breadcrumb mixture till golden brown.
Top Macaroni and Cheese with toasted bread crumb mix, and enjoy.
Looking for more beginner-friendly recipes? Click here!
More Comfort Foods Check out our Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup or our Instant Pot Baked Potatoes.
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