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Creamy macaroni and cheese shells in clay bowl with chopped fresh parsley on top.
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5 from 3 votes

Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is easier than easy! Rich and creamy with your favorite combination of cheeses to make dinner a simple, comforting meal for the whole family. Only about 5 minutes to prep and minimal effort required. The kids will love it even more than Kraft and Velveeta!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Lorie Yarro


  • 4 c broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 lb shell pasta
  • ½ - 1 c milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 ½ c cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 c Monterey jack cheese shredded
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Sprinkle of bread crumbs (optional)


  • Pour pasta, broth, and salt into Instant Pot/Pressure cooker pot. Cut butter into small cubes and place on top.
  • Set pressure release on pressure cooker to sealing, close lid and lock and set to pressure cook for 5 minutes. 
  • When 5 minutes is up, do a quick release and allow all the pressure to release. When complete, open and add cheese, milk, garlic, pepper, paprika and stir well until cheese is melted. Add more milk for a creamier sauce.
  • Serve immediately and add a sprinkle of bread crumbs if desired! Store leftovers in refrigerator for 3-4 days. When re-heating, add a bit of milk to get it back to the creaminess as thought it was freshly made.


  • Be aware: butter sometimes spurts out when releasing the pressure. I have had two readers over the years have this happen before so wanted to warn you. If you are nervous that this will happen, stir the butter into the dry pasta and tuck it under the pasta to help stop this. I have made this mac and cheese about 50 times at least and I had this happen slightly once. Keep a towel handy!
  • Many pasta shapes should work for this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. I have used regular shell pasta and whole wheat. Elbow macaroni, rotini, penne, and so much more. I have not tested with a gluten free pasta to date.
  • You can use water instead of broth if needed. I think the broth adds more flavor and richness but if you decide to use water that will work just fine.
  • Adjust the milk to make your mac and cheese more or less saucy. Not everyone loves a super saucy macaroni and cheese. That is fine. Start with ½ cup of milk and then add more as desired for a creamier, saucier texture.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 1mg