Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is a quick, simplified version of a beloved classic. Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious!

A bowl full of creamy Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.

It finally feels like fall, which means it’s time to break out the Instant Pot and make some comfort food! This macaroni and cheese is a favorite of ours. Why? Because it only takes a few minutes to prep, EVERYTHING is done in the Instant Pot, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

This recipe is for all of the moms out there. It’s doable… on a weeknight. You can serve it on the side of just about anything. I’d suggest these Instant Pot BBQ chicken sliders, Crispy Cornflake Chicken Tenders, or these Homemade Honey Corn Dogs. It’s so good you’ll want to eat bowl after bowl of it too! Kid and parent approved. 😊

A spoonful of delicious Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.

Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you. It’s mostly spices. I think good macaroni and cheese requires more than just noodles, butter, milk and cheese. It needs flavor! I’ve amped up the flavor by replacing part of the water with chicken broth and adding seasonings like dried mustard, garlic, paprika and a hint of cayenne. Nothing detectable (this is not spicy mac and cheese)!

A bowl of seasonings for the Instant Pot macaroni and cheese recipe.

Now as far as the noodles go I stuck with the classic elbows. However, any short noodle will do. I’m also a fan of mini shells or gemelli (twists). My kids think these cute little dinos are pretty cool too. They need about a minute less in the Instant Pot due to their delicate nature.

A measuring cup of dried elbow noodles for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.

To make the Instant Pot macaroni and cheese, you’ll add the pasta (a full pound) to the pot, along with broth, water, seasonings, and butter. The macaroni takes 5 minutes on high pressure to cook. THAT’S IT! While the pasta is cooking you can grate the cheese and measure out the milk.

The Instant Pot macaroni and cheese ready to be served.

Let the pressure release manually. Do not let it release naturally. Simply switch the valve as soon as the Instant Pot beeps and let it come down. It takes about 5 minutes.

A close up of creamy, cheesy Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.

The Instant Pot should be on the “KEEP WARM” setting. Pour in the milk and sprinkle in the cheese as you stir. Keep stirring until all the cheese has melted, then let the macaroni sit for 5 minutes. This will allow it to thicken.

A bowl full of classic macaroni and cheese made in the Instant Pot.

Serve the macaroni immediately and watch it disappear. Seriously! We served it to our kids, went into the kitchen to grab the rest of their dinner and when we returned it was gone. Poof! ✨

This Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is bound to be a family favorite. It’s creamy, cheesy and full of flavor. Best of all, it’s practically effortless! 🙌


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Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is a quick, simplified version of a beloved classic. Creamy, cheesy and absolutely delicious!


  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 2 1/4 c. grated colby jack cheese
  • 1 c. grated havarti cheese (mozzarella works too)
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese


  1. Add noodles, chicken broth, water, butter, salt, mustard, garlic, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the Instant Pot. Stir then close the lid.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on MANUAL mode with high pressure selected for 5 minutes. Once cooked, allow for the pressure to release manually by switching the valve to venting (this usually takes about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove the lid and stir in the milk and blend of cheeses (keep Instant Pot on KEEP WARM setting). Continue stirring until the cheese has fully melted. Let the macaroni sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Did you make this recipe? Share it on Instagram and tag it #LMSbakes. I love to see your creations!