With just 8 ingredients, this is the easiest and cheesiest Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe you will ever make!
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is made entirely in the pressure cooker and there is no roux involved, making the cheese sauce so easy to make!
Instant Pot mac and cheese is a go-to of ours for a variety of reasons. It’s a quick weeknight meal and it frees up space in the oven on holidays.
Pressure cook the noodles in broth and a little hot sauce for 4 minutes. Then, quick release and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and heavy cream — no roux needed!
“OH MY GAH!!!!!!! This was sooooooo good!! Super easy to make and the taste was bomb! I wanted to eat the entire pot! Thank you for this!” -Heidi
What You Need for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- salted butter – what is mac and cheese without a little buttah?
- garlic – I dare you to double the garlic.
- hot sauce – trust us. A little hot sauce goes a long way, but the vinegar does wonders to bring out the flavors.
- broth – feel free to use chicken, vegetable, or beef broth for this recipe. Whatever you do, don’t sub it for water.
- macaroni noodles – this calls for an entire 16-oz. bod of macaroni noodles. Oops.
- heavy cream – heavy cream really helps the sauce get extra creamy and decadent.
- sharp cheddar cheese – you need 3 whole cups of shredded cheddar cheese!
Feel free to use whatever kind of shredded “cheddar” cheese you want, or even use 2 or 3 kids! Here are some more ideas:
- Monterrey Jack
- Mexican Cheddar
- White Cheddar
Other soft shredded cheeses such as mozzarella, swiss, and gouda would be delicious too!
#1 Tip Cheddar Cheese Tip for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
When possible we always recommend shredding your own block cheese. The reason is that pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives.
Let mac and cheese cool completely. Then, store in an airtight container in the fridge for around 3-5 days.
When you are ready to reheat, add a little broth to your mac and cheese as it will likely solidify into one mass. You can reheat it in the microwave for around 90 seconds, or on the stovetop. Either way, a little broth will help it get nice and creamy again.
Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese?
Unfortunately, we do not recommend freezing Mac and Cheese. Dairy and noodles don’t do the greatest when frozen and re-thawed. Mac is best eaten as fresh and possible.
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe really does make for the best side. Here are a few main meal suggestions for you to serve your mac with!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
- 4 cups broth any kind
- 16 oz. macaroni noodles
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Turn the Instant Pot’s sauté feature and add the butter to the pot. When the butter is melted, add the garlic. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the sauté feature and then add the noodles, broth, and hot sauce to the pot and stir everything together.
- Cover the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes
- Quick-release the pressure and uncover the pot.
- It is very important that you do this next part immediately while the noodles are steaming hot. Stir the noodles and then immediately add the cheddar cheese, heavy cream, and salt.
- Stir everything together with a spoon until all the cheese is melted and hot (this might take a minute or so).
- Give your Instant Pot Mac and Cheese a taste test and add salt and hot sauce, to taste.