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Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese (4 Minute!)

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This Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese with ground beef (or turkey!) is a quick, 4-minute dinner packed with tender meat, macaroni and, of course, melty, delicious cheese. Frankly, it’s a weeknight dream packed with Mexican-inspired flavors the whole family will love!

Closeup view of Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.

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With no chopping or extra prep you’re going to love this Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese recipe. Simple, straightforward… and yummy!

When your days are crazy and the nights are full with homework, household chores, family activities… or just when you’re tired and need a cooking break, this is a simple go-to solution.

And the ingredients? Mostly pantry ingredients you likely have on hand. It’s simple, but delicious. Because honestly, who doesn’t love tacos and mac and cheese?

In the pressure cooker or Instant Pot? It’s a quick and easy cleanup dinner that has you off to the next thing. Even if that is taking a break on the couch!

Side view of a bowl of Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese with fixings in the background.

Ingredients

Gather these pantry staple ingredients you likely already have on hand! 

  • Ground beef or ground turkey
  • Taco Seasoning (store bought or make your own with 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 1/2 tsp cumin)
  • Elbow macaroni
  • Chicken or beef broth 
  • Salsa
  • Spinach Leaves (This isn’t strictly necessary but I always add greens when I can)
  • Milk
  • Mexican Shredded Cheese

Steps in Making Instant Pot Mac

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this Pressure Cooker Taco Mac and Cheese gluten free?

Yes! Just sub in gluten free noodles.

What toppings would you recommend?

I usually serve this Mac and Cheese topped with more shredded cheese and sometimes a spoonful of sour cream, but more salsa, some guacamole or some crumbled queso fresco would also work really well here.

Top view of a bowl of Taco Mac and Cheese topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.

Some more Instant Pot recipes you might enjoy!

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Closeup view of Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.

Instant Pot Taco Mac and Cheese

This Instant Pot Chili Mac and Cheese is an easy pasta dish and family favorite dinner. A blend of lean ground beef, macaroni, chili beans, tomatoes, and spices. And, of course, melting cheddar cheese. An easy dinner to table meal in around 15 minutes, give or take a few.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth or beef
  • 12 oz dry macaroni 1 box
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. Once hot, cook the ground meat until there is no traces of pink. Drain off any cooking juices.
  • Stir in the taco seasoning or 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 1/2 tsp cumin along with salt. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and scrape the bottom to remove any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Add the uncooked macaroni and top with salsa, but do not stir in. Press the pasta down so that it is submerged in the liquid. Attach the Instant Pot lid and turn the valve to sealing.
  • Select the manual or Pressure Cook setting and cook for 3 minutes. Once cooked, naturally release the pressure for 4 minutes before quickly releasing any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and switch to the saute function. Add the spinach and stir the macaroni to blend. Then stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted and cooked through. Add additional milk if desired.

Notes

TOPPING IDEAS:

  • chopped cilantro or parsley
  • diced tomato
  • sour cream
  • red chili flakes
  • avocado

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 823mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Instant Pot
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: one pot taco mac and cheese, pressure cooker macaroni and cheese, taco macaroni and cheese

4 Comments

    1. Hi Melissa– I’m always thinking about dishes that are too spicy as well. I try to aim for middle ground to satisfy both camps. Thank you for trying the recipe!

  1. I just made this tonight and it was really good! I got the dreaded “burn” notice on my instant so I had to release the pressure early. However, I think that was a good thing because my noodles were done. I added a shredded broccoli slaw blend to the ground meat as I cooked it to throw in a few extra veggies and I cut the cheese probably by half. If the family wanted more cheese, they sprinkled it on top. I would certainly make this again!

    1. Love your adaptations on this easy recipe! Thanks for trying it and letting us know how it worked for you :).

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