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10 Minute Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese: Easiest Comfort Food Ever

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Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is simply the easiest comfort food… ever. And delicious? Oh, my, goodness. It’s creamy, cheese, and so incredibly tasty. It’s everything you love about Mac and Cheese… in 10 minutes or less.

Side view of Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese on a white plate

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Macaroni and Cheese is a perennial favorite. And I can’t tell you how much I love our Baked Mac and Cheese. It’s a comfort food treat that never falls far from family requests. The crunchy top and homey charm is nearly perfect.

Then there are days when you NEED homey comfort food… and you NEED it to be quick. And simple. And easy, ooey-gooey, mouthwateringly delicious.

That would be this… Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese. If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, this is an incredibly easy recipe to begin with.

And the reward is oh-so-delicious!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Not only is the quickest mac and cheese recipe you can make, it also requires only a handful of ingredients. The measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what you need:

  • Uncooked pasta: (I prefer elbow macaroni)
  • Seasoning: salt and garlic powder (if you’re not a fan of garlic powder, this can be eliminated.
  • Milk: Your choice of dairy or non-dairy
  • Butter: For creaminess
  • Cheese: You can use a variety of cheese combinations. My favorite is shredded sharp cheddar with Parmesan. Use a smooth melting cheese like cheddar, gouda, gruyere, Monterrey jack, Italian cheese mix, etc.
  • Fresh Herbs: Completely optional but if you have access to fresh herbs like parsley or thyme, it’s always delicious.

How to Make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This easy recipe will have you making macaroni and cheese more often! Here’s how to make it:

  • Add dry pasta and seasoning to the Instant Pot insert. Cover with 4 cups of water.
  • Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Then instant release the pressure.
  • Switch to the sauté setting and add butter, shredded cheese, and milk. Stir until creamy.

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Top side view of Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese with fresh thyme

Side view of a bowl of Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

10 Minute Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is simply the easiest comfort food... ever. And delicious? Oh, my, goodness. It's creamy, cheese, and so incredibly tasty. It's everything you love about Mac and Cheese... in 10 minutes or less.


  • One pound uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni, shells)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese (* see note)


  1. Combine the uncooked pasta, 4 cups water, salt and garlic powder in a pressure cooker/ Instant Pot (affiliate link). Follow the manufacturer's guide for locking the lid and set to "sealing".
  2. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Then follow the guide for quick release, unlock and remove the lid.
  3. Stir in the milk and butter (begin with 1/2 cup of milk then add up to one cup to achieve desired creaminess). Then add the shredded cheese, stirring constantly until completely melted. Season to taste and serve hot garnished with fresh herbs (like parsley) if desired.


Cheese: My favorite cheese in this dish is 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. However, any smooth melting cheese is incredibly delicious. Ideas would be cheddar, gouda, gruyere (which I LOVE), Monterrey jack, etc.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

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      1. Hi Tonya – You do not need to drain the pasta. If there is any residual moisture, it is absorbed while adding the cheese, butter and milk. I’ve not found it to be starchy at all!

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