Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Have you tried making mac and cheese in a pressure cooker? It’s a must try recipe for days when you don’t have much time for lunch and are feeling like a big bowl of comfort food. I’ve tinkered with this recipe a few times now to get it exactly as I like it- smooth, rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce with a subtle hint of nutmeg. Now I’m hooked, especially since the whole dish comes together in under 30 minutes. Btw, if you haven’t invested in a pressure cooker yet, I’d look into it. My instant pot replaced my steamer, rice cooker, and crock pot all at once (= more kitchen counter space!).

A few ingredients to point out here. First is the milk. I’ve tried this recipe with whole milk, half and half, and a combo of both (and went to the gym a LOT). Nothing provided the same amount of creaminess as a can of evaporated milk. Be sure and get the unsweetened kind and not the low-fat version. Next is the addition of 2 eggs. Might sound strange to add eggs into mac and cheese, but they really thicken and bind up the sauce to give you the consistency you want. And lastly is the cheese. You’re going to give your arms a work out grating 20 ounces of cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with cellulose to prevent it from clumping. This tends to dry out the cheese and, in my opinion, doesn’t make for a creamy a mac and cheese. I used my favorite, mild cheddar, but use your favorite combo. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on what varieties make the best mac and cheese.

This macaroni heats up really well the next day. I like to add just the tiniest splash of milk to the bowl before microwaving to keep it from drying out.

     

Add 16 ounces (1 pound) of elbow macaroni, 4 cups of cold water and a pinch of salt into your instant pot pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Use a dish towel to quick release the steam, as some water and foam may escape. Open the lid.

While the macaroni is cooking, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk (unsweetened), mustard and nutmeg. The nutmeg is optional, but I love the subtle nutty flavor is adds to this dish.

     

Keep the macaroni on the keep warm setting and stir in the butter. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined.

     

Now, we’re using a lot of cheese here. 20 ounces of cheddar. If you want to mix it up, try a variety of mild and sharp, American, or even white cheddar. I’d also recommend shredding the cheese yourself for the freshest flavor possible. I simply added some slices of block cheese into my food processor to have it grated for me. Add about 1/3 of the cheese into the macaroni at a time, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon until the cheese has melted. If your cheese isn’t quite melting and you feel like you need more heat, turn the instant pot to the saute less function. Just be sure to keep stirring to prevent any burning and/or clumping.

Taste to adjust for salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Instant Pot macaroni and cheese makes a great kid friendly, one-pot meal that's ready in under 30 minutes. The addition of evaporated milk, egg, freshly grated cheese and nutmeg give this macaroni a rich, creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Instant Pot macaroni and cheese makes a great kid friendly, one-pot meal that's ready in under 30 minutes. The addition of evaporated milk, egg, freshly grated cheese and nutmeg give this macaroni a rich, creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1, 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 20 ounces cheddar cheese grated
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add 16 ounces of elbow macaroni, 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt into an instant pot pressure cooker. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Use a dish towel to quick release the steam, as some water and foam may escape. Open the lid.
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, mustard and nutmeg in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Keep the macaroni on a low heat setting, or use the keep warm function. Use a spatula to stir in the butter until combined.
  4. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix well. Add in the grated cheddar cheese, 1/3 at a time, and stir until the cheese has melted. Turn on the saute less function for extra heat if needed.
  5. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

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