Mac and cheese are some of the most popular dishes around the world.
It’s easy to make and kid-friendly, which makes it a great & filling dinner for the whole family.
There are many upgrade options for this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe.
For this recipe we are using ricotta, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese, but you can feel free to add more.
You can make it using spinach and pine nuts or any other vegetable you like (or want your children to like…)
I like to add fully cooked leftover ground beef and tomatoes.
With a couple of additions, this recipe can be made into a complete well-balanced meal. I love that it’s so adaptable and great for cleaning out the fridge!
Mac and Cheese Recipe Video
Can it be Made Vegan?
This recipe is vegetarian-friendly, but with three different kinds of cheese that are so important to the taste and texture of the recipe, this recipe cannot easily be made vegan.
Can it be Made Gluten-Free?
While macaroni typically contains wheat gluten, you can use gluten-free pasta to make this recipe.
If you use gluten-free pasta, look at the box instructions and alter the cooking time accordingly. You’ll want to cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the directions suggest.
Which type of pasta to use?
For this recipe I recommend using elbow macaroni or pipe rigate like I did in the Instant Pot Pizza Pasta recipe.
Feel free to choose a short pasta variety with a similar cook time.
What Does Pecorino Romano Taste Like?
Pecorino Romano is an aged hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk that is very similar to Parmesan in terms of taste and texture.
Use finely grated pecorino wherever you would use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It makes an excellent topping for any pasta dish, including this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
How Can I Add a Breadcrumb Topping?
To add an easy breadcrumb topping, simply combine ½ cup breadcrumbs with 1-2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet and toast until golden brown.
Alternatively, you can bake the mac and cheese after it’s done. Transfer to an oven-safe vessel, top with breadcrumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the top is beginning to crisp.
How Do I Make Sure it Doesn’t Turn Out Mushy?
Mushy mac and cheese is a direct result of overcooked noodles. This recipe cooks the noodles for 2 minutes less than the packaging suggests for the ultimate final texture.
Also, be sure to use the quick pressure release for this recipe to avoid overcooking the macaroni!
How to make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
First of all, get an Instant Pot and gather all the ingredients.
Shred the cheese if needed.
Add oil, pasta, salt and 4 cups of water to cover the pasta.
Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.. When cooking time ends, do a quick pressure release.
Remove the lid and stir in ricotta and cheddar cheese.
Add parsley as well and stir well.
Garnish with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.
Or you could eat it all on its own—it’s filling enough as is, or mix in protein and vegetables for a complete one-pot meal!
More pasta, Please!
We have several different variations of pressure cooker one-pot meals with pasta. Here are some options:
- 16 oz pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ricotta cheese shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 spring parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pecorino Romano grated
- Add oil, pasta, salt and 4 cups of water to cover the pasta.
- Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.
- When cooking time is complete, do a quick pressure release.
- Remove the lid and stir in pepper, ricotta and cheddar cheese.
- Stir in parsley.
- Garnish with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve 🙂