Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy and rich with a velvety smooth sauce! 


  • ▢16 oz dried elbow pasta
  • ▢2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ▢2 cups water
  • ▢2 Tbsp butter
  • ▢1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
  • ▢1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • ▢1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ▢1/4 tsp black pepper
  • ▢1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • ▢1/4 tsp dried mustard powder
  • ▢1/4 tsp onion powder
  • ▢2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (mild, medium, or sharp – use personal favorite)
  • ▢1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • ▢1/2 – 1 cup heavy cream


  • Add the dried pasta, chicken broth, water, butter, hot sauce, salt, garlic powder, pepper, smoked paprika, dried mustard, and onion powder to the liner of an Instant Pot.  Use a wooden spoon to gently press down to make sure all pasta is submerged in the liquid. Don’t stir.
  • Secure Instant Pot lid, making sure the valve is set to “sealing”. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and use the +/- buttons to set the timer for 4 minutes.
  • Once the timer beeps, let out the pressure by carefully moving the valve to “venting” to perform a quick release. Be aware, this recipe is starchy, and can sputter quite a bit when venting. I usually place a folded paper towel loosely over the vent to prevent any kitchen messes.
  • When the pin drops, remove lid and set aside. Turn the Instant Pot OFF to avoid overcooking your pasta. There will be some water left in your pot – don’t drain it. This helps create the smooth, cheesy sauce.
  • Add heavy cream and stir. Add in cheeses, a handful or so at a time, stirring after each addition. Keep stirring until they have completely melted into a creamy sauce. 
  • As a side note, this mac and cheese does thicken as it sits, so if it seems on the thin side – just let it sit for a minute or so, and it will thicken up. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.