Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

Read more »

Have new recipes emailed to you.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Homemade Mac and cheese has never been creamier or easier! Instant Pot Mac and Cheese will be your new favorite way to get your cheesy on. 

In the little over a year that I have had my Instant Pot, I have tried many different recipes. When I first started using it, I just used it to make brown rice. It takes a lot less time to make brown rice in the Instant Pot than on the stove. I also love to make hard boiled eggs , Risotto is crazy easy and Instant Pot Potatoes are a favorite side dish.

A spoonful of macaroni and cheese in with a light blue bowl.

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of posts from people making macaroni and cheese in the pressure cooker so I decided to give it a go. And friends, I am not looking back.

Macaroni and Cheese in a light blue bowl.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is SO creamy and so incredibly easy to make.


To make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese you need less than 10 ingredients (not counting water and salt and pepper) and about 15 minutes.

Elbow Macaroni: It’s traditional in mac and cheese but you can also use shells!

Evaporated Milk: Evaporated milk has had half of the water removed. It is creamier than regular milk making it fab for use in mac and cheese.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese has more of a cheddar flavor that medium cheddar so it won’t get lost in the cheese sauce.

Mozzarella Cheese: Helps give this mac and cheese it’s gooey cheesiness.

Fontina Cheese: Another great melty cheese, fontina is a great addition to macaroni and cheese. If you cannot find it you can substitute other mild, melty cheeses like provolone, gruyere or gouda.

3 cheeses on a red plate

Butter: Makes this mac and cheese just a bit creamier and richer.

Ground Mustard Powder: In addition to adding flavor, mustard also works as an emulsifier and helps make the sauce creamier.

Paprika: Adds a smoky flavor and color.

Granulated Garlic: Just a hint of garlic flavor! You can also substitute garlic powder.

How Do You Make it:

Step by Step Photos for how to make instant pot mac and cheese. Photo 1 cooking pasta in instant pot. Photo 2: Instant Pot on Photo 3: cooked macaroni Photo 4: Cheese on macaroni in instant pot

When I usually make macaroni and cheese, I make a roux with butter and flour then slowly whisk in milk. Finally I stir in the cheese until it melts. And, don’t get me wrong, macaroni and cheese this way is fabulous too. But it takes a bit more time. With Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, you cook the pasta in the Instant Pot then stir in evaporated milk, 3 different cheeses and seasonings. Then BAM! The creamiest mac and cheese you’ve ever had.

A spoonful of macaroni and cheese in the instant pot.

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? I’ve got you covered!

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Ribs 

Pressure Cooker Potatoes 

Instant Pot Chili

Kalua Pork in the Instant Pot

If you love this Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, you’ll love these other variations!

Stove-Top Mac and Cheese 

Roasted Garlic and Thyme Mac n’ Cheese

Loaded Mac and Cheese from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2018. It was updated with new step by step photos, tips, a video and nutrition facts in 2020.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Serves 6 - 8 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 22 reviews


  • 16 ounces dried elbow noodles
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • salt and pepper



Place dry elbow noodles and water in the instant pot (or other pressure cooker). Cook on high for 4 minutes. Do a manual release. There shouldn't be excess water but if there is a bit you can strain it.


Stir in evaporated milk. Add butter in, if using, and stir until melted.


Stir in sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella and fontina until melted. Stir in mustard, paprika and granulated garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 644 , Total Fat: 29.3g , Saturated Fat: 17.5g , Cholesterol: 92mg , Sodium: 528mg , Carbohydrates: 62.5g , Fiber: 2.9g , Sugar: 9g , Protein: 30.1g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    May 17, 2021 at 8:37 am

    I’ll be making this tonight for my husband. I don’t have mozzarella on hand, so I’m hoping he won’t notice that I replace that for cream cheese! Thank you for the EASY recipe!

    • Reply
      May 17, 2021 at 10:46 am

      You’re welcome! I bet the cream cheese will make it even creamier. I’d love to hear how it goes!

  • Reply
    Stickman Hook
    April 27, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Great recipe! I love making homemade mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    Victoria Kane
    September 16, 2020 at 12:39 am

    Awesome recipe thank you very much.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    YUM! This is the creamiest mac & cheese ever!!!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 11:45 am

    OMG! I love how creamy these mac and cheese is! A must try recipe!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 9:44 am

    This looks so good! I love making homemade mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 9:29 am

    One of the most requested dinner at my house!! This was a huge hit!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Perfect use of my instant pot, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    May 28, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Mac and cheese is always a hit in our home; looking forward to giving this a try! Looks too good to pass up!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Mac and cheese perfection right here and I love the IP version, thanks!

  • Reply
    Joanne Whitehead
    May 19, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    I’m going to make this. It sounds better than a recipe I already have.Thanks.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  • Reply
    Trouble Tank 2
    March 28, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Try to cook thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Love your blog please add more recipes.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Thank you very much for the fantastic recipe.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Looks really amazing thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2019 at 4:58 am

    You’re great, pasta with sauce looks great, I love pasta.

  • Reply
    baby shower ideas
    March 19, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    delicious pot mac and cheese recipe! i want this! thanks

  • Reply
    run 3 unblocked
    March 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    This sounds looks good!!! Homemade cheese and mac is the best!

  • Reply
    stephen curry wallpaper
    March 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    wow so yummy! i can’t wait to try this recipe, looks delicious, thanks

  • Reply
    run 3
    June 21, 2018 at 7:33 am

    yum I like your recipe! I will try this recipe soon Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Cathy @ Lemon Tree Dwelling
    February 1, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    This looks AWESOME! Love all the different kinds of cheese!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 10:53 am

    This is so easy to make! A perfect weeknight meal!

  • Reply
    Jacque Hastert
    February 1, 2018 at 2:23 am

    I can’t express enough how amazingly delicious this looks.

  • Reply
    Katerina @ diethood .com
    February 1, 2018 at 1:57 am

    This sounds sooo good!!! Homemade mac and cheese is the best!!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I just started making mac and cheese in the IP, and I’m never going back. Yours looks so good!

  • Reply
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    January 31, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    I am new to the Instant Pot game. I haven’t tried much pasta. This looks like the perfect place to start!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    This looks so good! Homemade mac and cheese is the best!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    My boys are going to love this! So cheesy!!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.