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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Calories: 539
Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl with pepper and a spoon

What’s easier—and way better—than instant mac and cheese? Rich, creamy, homemade Instant Pot mac and cheese!

Our Very Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

When a mac and cheese craving hits, it usually hits hard and fast. Like, we *need* that first creamy, piping hot, savory macaroni and cheese bite ASAP. Thank goodness for the Instant Pot, because that handy pressure cooking tool, plus our super easy Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe equals perfect mac and cheese just about anytime your little heart—our ours, or your kids’—might desire. Just how fast is it? Grab a bowl, because this mac and cheese is ready in FIVE MINUTES.

dried pasta, parmesan, heavy cream, shredded cheddar cheese and salt for instant pot mac and cheese

What Is the Secret to Creamy Macaroni and Cheese?

The “secret”—if you can call it that—is simple. Make your Instant Pot mac and cheese with heavy cream! We know, we know. Heavy cream!? What is this, Thanksgiving? But here’s the thing. If you’re making macaroni and cheese, it’s pure, unadulterated, 100% soul-soothing comfort food you’re after. And creamy, cheesy mac and cheese is best when you make it with good old fashioned heavy cream. There’s just no substitute! Splurge! You won’t regret it.

cooked macaroni noodles in an instant pot
cooked macaroni noodles in an instant pot with shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan

5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese? You Betcha.

Using an Instant Pot means that this mac is ready quick, and relying on a few basic ingredients means it’s easy, too. Here’s everything you’ll need to whip up a batch of our super cheesy macaroni:

  • Macaroni
  • Salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan
  • Cheddar cheese
homemade macaroni and cheese cooked in an instant pot

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese in the Instant Pot

We’re still having a hard time believing this recipe is actually ready in about three minutes. But it IS! Because it’s the future, apparently. And a future in which homemade mac and cheese is ready in three minutes is our kind of future.

  1. The pasta, water, and salt go into the Instant Pot.
  2. Lock the lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Quick release the steam so the macaroni noodles don’t overcook.
  4. Open the lid and stir in the cheeses and heavy cream.
  5. Eat up!
Instant pot mac and cheese with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, heavy cream stared with a wooden spoon
Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl

Tools You’ll Need

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Instant Pot makes dinner not just fast, but the fastest. In other words, it is a weeknight BFF. Here are our favorite Instant Pot recipes right now:

Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl with a spoon

Mac and Cheese For Dinner!

If you make it, they will come. Especially when the “it” is mac and cheese that’s as rich and creamy as this one is. If you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Calories: 539


  • 1 lb Macaroni
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¾ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 cup Grated parmesan
  • 2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Toppings

  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Peas or other veggies
  • Sriracha


  1. Place the pasta, water, and salt into the base of your Instant Pot. Give it a stir. Lock the lid and cook noodles for 3 minutes using the pressure cook or manual function. Quick release the steam so your noodles don’t overcook.
  2. Once there is no more pressure left, open the lid and mix in the cheeses and heavy cream. Stir until combined and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 539
  • Protein 24 g
  • Carbohydrates 57 g
  • Total Fat 22 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Cholesterol 70 mg
  • sodium 858 mg
  • Added Sugars 2 g

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Scotty S.

    cooking for one, can you just half each ingredient ?

    We'd recommend following the recipe as-written, and just having a really delicious lunch of leftovers the next day!

  • Nicole S

    Do you drain any excess water before adding cream and cheeses?

    No, you need that water to get the sauce to stick to the noodles!

  • Carrie Lynn Ehlers

    If I want to double the recipe would I double time time in the insta pot?

    Doubling recipes for the Instant Pot can be surprisingly tricky! Because the pressure cooking requires a particular amount of liquid and a certain amount of space in the pot to work, we're hesitant to offer guidance on this because we have only tested this recipe as written. Sorry we can't be more helpful on this one!

  • Nina

    I will never make another Mac n cheese recipe again. We make this at least once a month and it's done in a blink.

    Amazing, Nina! Thanks for letting us know. Love that it is a Go-To for you!

  • Tami

    I love the ease of this recipe. It was a little too stringy for our liking. Kids didn’t eat it. I’m going to try adding some additional cream when I reheat and see if that helps thin the stringy-ness. I’ll add some of the more traditional Mac n cheese ingredients next time as well (ground mustard, paprika) and use less cheddar. Will try again because it’s fast and easy. Just needs some tweaks for our preferences.

    Love hearing when someone makes it their own! There are lots of opinions out there on what makes the "best" mac and cheese. :-)

  • Jadeque Douglas

    So yummy!! I used an extra sharp white cheddar. I sautéed some chicken breast chunks in some pancetta, added that with some crushed red pepper flakes. It was so good. So easy, unlike most instant pot recipes.

    wow! That sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kathy Melhorn

    I added bacon, jalapeños, with a little of the juice and topped it with some French fried onions. Super delicious!

    Happy to hear you enjoyed it!

  • Claire Harley Ruhland

    Made this tonight. So easy and so delicious. My husband said it was the best mac and cheese he's had in a LONG time.

    Yippee! So glad to hear!