Quick and easy one-pot meal you can make in only 12 minutes.
Delicious kid-friendly recipe you can get easily using your Instant Pot!
If you want to get fancy, There are many upgrade options for this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe.
Table of Contents
- Recipe Video
- How to upgrade the recipe
- Can I add beef?
- Can it be Made Vegan?
- Can it be Made Gluten-Free?
- Which type of pasta to use?
- What Does Pecorino Romano Taste Like?
- How Can I Add a Breadcrumb Topping?
- How Do I Make Sure it Doesn’t Turn Out Mushy?
- How to make
- Side Dishes
- More pasta, Please!
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
How to upgrade the recipe
For this recipe we are using Instant Pot ricotta, cheddar and Pecorino Romano cheese. Feel free to add any other cheese you like.
You can also add spinach and pine nuts or any other vegetable you like (or want your kids to like…)
Check out this Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe for inspiration.
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!
Can I add beef?
Yes. You can add leftover cooked ground beef for extra protein.
You can also check this Instant Pot Hamburger Mac and Cheese recipe.
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
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.
I love serving this mac and cheese recipe with country style 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 steamed vegetables for a complete one-pot meal!
Need more ideas? Check out What To Serve With Mac And Cheese for 15 delicious sides.
More pasta, Please!
We have several different variations of pressure cooker one-pot meals with pasta. Here are some options:
Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese
All the Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ricotta cheese shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 spring parsley finely chopped
- ½ 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 🙂
Instant Pot-entially Addictive Mac and Cheese
20 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mac and Cheese”
I doubled the cheeses it seemed to work out better for my cheese loving husband
Ha that is great! Extra cheesy mac and cheese ◡̈ Glad you and your husband enjoyed the recipe and made it your own.
Corrie, would you mind adding how much each dish serves to your recipes?
I used to serve 11 now I serve 2 so portion sizes would be a help
The recipes do say how many servings they make. This recipe serves 6, but you can use the up/down arrows to adjust the recipe for a smaller or larger batch as needed. Hope that helps!
Been wanting to make mac and cheese and going to try this tonight. And going to add a mix of pork sausage that I've already cooked the night before. Can't wait to try it with this. And maybe a can of rotel tomotoes. I'll let you know how it comes out. 🙂 Love your recipes!! Even if they end up being the inspiration for others as well LOL .
I made this with Banza gluten free chickpea elbow pasta and it came out great, I just reduced the cooking time to 4 minutes. Some GF pastas don't hold up to pressure cooking but this one does. I also like their Cavatappi and Penne in Instant Pot recipes. This recipe makes a really good mac and cheese and it's so easy! The ricotta makes it so creamy and rich.
Thank you Donna, I really appreciate your comment. I hope this is helpful to all those who wish to use gluten free pasta in the Instant Pot.
This looks delish, and thank you for sharing with us. Sometimes people are so fast to point out what they think are mistakes, they forget to be appreciative of all the work you do for us. I personally love all your recipes and am very grateful that you done all the hard work for us. Keep upthe good work.
Thank you, I appreciate your kind words, and I'm glad you love the recipes 🙂
I agree, great job!
Thank you 🙂 Enjoy the recipes!
If adding the tomatoes and hamburger meat , when do I do that in the cooking process
Cook the hamburger meat first, then add the tomatoes with the pasta and water.
Riccotta cheese cannot be shredded it comes in a 16 or 32 ox tub.
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.
How much cheddar cheese do you use, Corrie?
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!
The recipe does say to use a pound of macaroni.
16 ounces = 1 pound
Recipe calls for a pound of pasta and no time in the oven. Maybe you are commenting on another recipe?