Mac and cheese is one 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. 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 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 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 cook time accordingly. You’ll want to cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the directions suggest.
Can I Use Shells?
Yes—this recipe easily accommodates different types of pasta like shells.
Choose a short pasta variety with a similar cook time as elbow macaroni for best results.
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 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!
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 Mac and Cheese, Please!
We have several different variations of pressure cooker macaroni and cheese on the website, including mac and cheese with garden veggies and hamburger mac and cheese. Be sure to browse them all to find your favorites!
- 16 oz elbow macaroni
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ricotta cheese shredded
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 sprig parsley or basil finely chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pecorino Romano grated
- 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 and parsley or basil.
- Garnish with Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.