Are you a fan of creamy and flavorful mac and cheese? Look no further than your electric pressure cooker with this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe that will satisfy your cravings in just a few simple steps. Forget the boxed stuff, you can have a delicious homemade mac and cheese dish in no time.
Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that's beloved by many. While there are many ways to make this dish, using an Instant Pot can make the process even quicker and easier.
- Why I Love This Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
- Ingredients Needed to Make Mac & Cheese in a Pressure Cooker
- How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Isn't Boxed Macaroni and Cheese Just as Easy to Make?
- What type of cheese works best for mac and cheese?
- Other Ingredients You Can Add to Macaroni and Cheese
- Can you make instant pot macaroni with Velveeta cheese?
- What Sides to Serve with Mac and Cheese?
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Did you make this Instant Pot Mac & Cheese?
Why I Love This Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
I LOVE Mac and Cheese. With the help of your trusty pressure cooker, you can have delicious, homemade mac and cheese on the table in just a few minutes. Plus, making macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot can be a fun and family-friendly activity, especially if you get creative with different types of cheese or add some tasty mix-ins.
In this post, we'll share everything you need to know about making macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot, including some helpful tips and tricks to make sure your dish turns out perfectly every time.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mac & Cheese in a Pressure Cooker
- Pasta - You can use the classic elbow macaroni commonly used in mac and cheese dishes or penne as I did for a simple twist. I use whole wheat pasta for faster cooking but you can also use regular pasta.
- Salt - Salt is used to enhance the flavor of the dish and bring out the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
- Butter - Butter adds richness and creaminess to the cheese sauce. You can use salted or unsalted but if you use salted, omit the added salt.
- Flour - Flour is used to thicken the cheese sauce and create a smooth and creamy texture.
- Milk - Milk is used to create the base of the cheese sauce and add creaminess to the dish.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese - Cheddar cheese is a popular cheese that is used in mac and cheese dishes and also a cheese most people have in their fridge regularly so you can make this recipe in a pinch.
- Ground Mustard Powder - Mustard powder is made from ground mustard seeds and is used to add a tangy and slightly spicy flavor to the cheese sauce.
- Garlic Powder - Garlic powder is used to add a savory and slightly pungent flavor to the dish.
How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Place the pasta, butter, salt, and water into the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure and cook for four minutes.
After the four minutes are complete, carefully quick-release the steam. Add in the milk, cheese, ground mustard powder, and garlic powder while stirring constantly until well combined.
Isn't Boxed Macaroni and Cheese Just as Easy to Make?
It's true, the boxed stovetop version we all grew up with is quick and easy. But, if you are making it from scratch you get to control the ingredients.
No preservative powdered cheese packet or creamy bright orange cheese. Controlling the ingredients also means controlling the taste like salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.
What type of cheese works best for mac and cheese?
The type of cheese that works best for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is a cheese that melts well and has a good flavor. Cheddar cheese is a popular choice because it has a mild, creamy flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in the dish.
However, you can also use other types of cheeses, such as gouda or gruyere, depending on your preference. It's also best to use freshly grated cheese, rather than pre-shredded cheese, as it will melt more evenly and create a smoother sauce.
Other Ingredients You Can Add to Macaroni and Cheese
- Vegetables: Adding vegetables such as broccoli, peas, or spinach can add nutrition and flavor to your mac and cheese dish. Simply steam or roast the vegetables separately and then mix them into the cheese sauce before serving.
- Meat: If you're looking to add some protein to your mac and cheese dish, consider adding cooked and shredded chicken, diced ham, or crispy bacon. You can also use ground beef or turkey to make a meaty mac and cheese casserole.
- Breadcrumbs: Adding breadcrumbs to the top of your mac and cheese dish can add a crispy and crunchy texture. Simply mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top of the cheese sauce before baking in the oven.
- Hot sauce: If you like a little heat, consider adding hot sauce or sriracha to your mac and cheese. This can add a spicy kick and a tangy flavor to the dish.
- Pesto: Adding pesto to your mac and cheese can add a fresh and vibrant flavor. Simply mix pesto into the cheese sauce before serving.
- Wine: For a more sophisticated flavor, consider adding a splash of white wine to the cheese sauce. This can add a tangy and complex flavor to the dish.
- Paprika: Paprika will add a smoky and slightly sweet flavor to the cheese sauce.
Can you make instant pot macaroni with Velveeta cheese?
Yes, you can definitely make Instant Pot mac and cheese with Velveeta cheese. Velveeta is a processed cheese product that melts smoothly and has a creamy texture, which makes it a popular choice for mac and cheese recipes.
Note that Velveeta cheese is quite salty, so you may not need to add any extra salt to the recipe. You can adjust the amount of milk to achieve your desired consistency - more milk will make the sauce thinner, while less milk will make it thicker and creamier.
What Sides to Serve with Mac and Cheese?
Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. The key is to choose a side that provides some variety in texture and flavor to balance out the richness of the mac and cheese. Here are some popular sides that pair well with mac and cheese:
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, or sweet potatoes are all delicious and healthy side dishes that go well with mac and cheese.
- Green salad: A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can help cut through the richness of the mac and cheese and provide a refreshing contrast.
- Grilled or roasted meats: Grilled chicken, pork chops, or steak can add some protein and texture to the meal.
- Garlic bread or breadsticks: A warm and garlicky bread can be the perfect accompaniment to mac and cheese.
- Coleslaw: A creamy and tangy coleslaw can complement the flavors of mac and cheese nicely and provide some extra crunch.
- Baked beans: Baked beans are a classic side dish for mac and cheese and can provide a nice contrast of textures and flavors.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 box whole wheat pasta (16 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups water
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite melty cheese)
- ½ cup milk, room temp
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- fresh or dried oregano or sage for garnish
- italian breadcrumbs (optional topping)
- Place the pasta, butter, salt, and water into Instant Pot and stir together. Lock the lid in place and ensure the steam vent is closed. Set to Manual Pressure Cook High for 4 minutes.
- After the four minutes, quick-release the steam. Always be careful and follow instructions from the manual.
- Once the steam has released and the pin has dropped, open the lid and stir the pasta. Add the milk and cheese and continue stirring until fully melted.
How to add more flavor
- Add the mustard and fresh ground pepper (or whatever ingredients you are adding) and combine it with the cheesy pasta. Then place it in an oven-safe dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs and fresh herbs on top. Place the dish in the oven under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until it is nice and brown on top. Allow it to cool and enjoy!
- Always read the instruction manual that came with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and follow all safety guidelines.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you make this Instant Pot Mac & Cheese?
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