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November 7, 2023

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

It’s easier—and way better—than box mac and cheese. It’s our rich, creamy, homemade Instant Pot mac and cheese!


Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl sprinkled with pepper with a spoon and linen.

Looking For Great More Instant Pot Recipes?

A Truly Instant Recipe For Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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 the craving strikes. Just how fast is it? Grab a bowl, because this mac and cheese is ready in about TEN MINUTES. Dinner can be just this instant mac and cheese, or you can add Perfectly Roasted Broccoli or Pesto Green Beans to the mix.

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

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 noodles

  • Salt

  • Heavy cream, it’s the only way

  • Parmesan, for a little umami balance to the creaminess of cheddar cheese

  • Cheddar cheese

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

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 10 minutes. But it is! Because it’s the future, apparently. And a future in which homemade mac and cheese is ready in 10 minutes is our kind of future.

  1. Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot. The pasta, water, and salt go into the Instant Pot.

  2. Lock the lid and pressure cook for 4 minutes.

  3. Quick release the steam so the macaroni noodles don’t overcook.

  4. Add the cheese + cream. Open the lid and stir in the cheeses and heavy cream.

  5. Eat up! It’s really that easy.

Instant pot mac and cheese with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and heavy cream

How to Store Leftovers + Tips

  • Leftovers are good in the fridge for 3-4 days. We don’t recommend freezing leftovers.

  • What Is the Secret to Creamy Macaroni and Cheese? Heavy cream. That’s it.

  • Our main recommendation is to buy an Instant Pot. If you’re still on the fence, here’s the 20 Best Instant Pot Recipes to help change your mind.

Instant pot mac and cheese with cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and heavy cream being stirred with a wooden spoon
Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl

More Instant Pot Basics From The Modern Proper

Instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl with a spoon

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  4 min
  • Calories: 385


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar

Optional Toppings

  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Peas or other cooked veggies
  • Sriracha


  1. In an Instant Pot, combine the macaroni, 4 cups water, and salt. Secure the lid, close the vent valve, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Manually release the steam to prevent the noodles from overcooking. A very small amount of water should remain in the pot; drain if needed.

  2. Add the cream, Parmesan, and cheddar. Stir to combine until the cheese is melted. Add pepper, peas and sriracha if using. To serve, scoop into individual bowls.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories385
  • Protein15 g
  • Carbohydrates26 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol82 mg
  • sodium529 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sean

    Hi there,

    Can I throw some meat in there? Like pancetta? What would you recommend and in what quantity? Thanks.

    Sure, just make sure to cook the meat separately and toss after the mac and cheese is finished. Any meat you typically like in mac and cheese will go great.

  • Susan

    How does one make this Mac N Cheese without an Instapot?

    This is a specific instant pot recipe. We also hav ea baked mac and cheese or a stovetop mac and cheese (more simple like this one) if you'd like to look either of those up. Hope you enjoy Susan.

  • Madison

    What are the equipment's that are needed?

    Measuring cups/spoons, an instant pot and something to stir with. Hope you enjoy Madison!

  • Ashish

    Will using sharp cheddar cheese be okay? What style cheddar cheese did the recipe originally intend?

    We used medium but sharp should be just fine! Hope you enjoy Ashish!

  • sam

    how many servings is this recipe

    6. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jennifer

    I make this for my children a lot and they love it, this will be one of the family recipes we pass down to them.

    Thanks Jennifer, that is so special to hear. we are glad your family loves it!

  • Andrea

    Soooo easy and tasty! I added a bit of garlic powder and ground pepper. What a great dinner option now that the weather is cooler.

    Thanks Andrea, we are so happy you loved it!

  • K

    I teach an after school cooking class for middle school students and had to run this session 3 times because your Instant Pot Mac and Cheese was so popular. Great recipe.

    YAY! That is so fun to hear our recipe was used in your class and that they all loved it. Thanks K A!

  • Slava

    I have never cooked anything besides an omlette, nevermind used a pressure cooker. Followed this recipe, made great mac and cheese, and my parents loved it. Very happy with it.

    Thanks Slava, happy you loved it! Great job making something new!

  • Ashley

    The macaroni and cheese I made from your recipe I followed was delicious! I made this for a friend and they enjoyed it very much!

    Thanks Ashley, so happy you all enjoyed it!