Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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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.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta

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.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta

Shred the cheese if needed.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta

Add oil, pasta, salt and 4 cups of water to cover the pasta.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta

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.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta

Add parsley as well and stir well.

Garnish with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.

Side Dishes

I love serving this mac and cheese recipe with baby back ribs or pulled pork sandwiches. For special occasions, you could even serve it with lobster!

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:

Hamburger mac and cheese

Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese

Instant Pot Taco Pasta

Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli

Instant Pot Pizza Pasta

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: elbow macaroni, mac and cheese, Mac and Cheese Made with Ricotta, pecorino Romano, ricotta cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  • 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 🙂

Instant Pot Mac And Cheese

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This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

8 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  1. Made this tonight, though I never find the baked varieties worth the trouble, so skipped that part. Great kid approved cheese sauce! It was super saucy for us though, and next time I’ll use a pound of pasta (1 star deduction). When doing any mac n cheese always remember to undercook the pasta by 1-2 min for perfect noodle texture at serving. Yum!

    1. Ricotta salata is a firmer form of ricotta that can be shredded. But if you are buying tubs of traditional ricotta, you are correct and can just mix that right in.

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