Are you craving some creamy, cheesy mac and cheese but don’t want to spend hours slaving over the stove? Look no further than the Instant Pot! With this handy appliance, you can have a delicious and satisfying mac and cheese dinner in no time. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about making the perfect Instant Pot mac and cheese.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese: The Basics
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s go over some basic information about making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot.
What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. It’s a versatile appliance that can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.
Why Make Mac and Cheese in an Instant Pot?
Making mac and cheese in an Instant Pot is quick and easy. The pressure cooking function cuts down on cook time, and the Instant Pot keeps everything warm until you’re ready to serve. Plus, there’s only one pot to clean up!
What Ingredients Do You Need for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese?
To make Instant Pot mac and cheese, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Elbow macaroni
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Ground mustard
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get cooking!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
Here’s the recipe for delicious Instant Pot mac and cheese:
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp paprika
- Add the macaroni, water, and salt to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and set the valve to “sealing.”
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Remove the macaroni from the Instant Pot and set it aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot to “saute” mode and add the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the shredded cheddar cheese, ground mustard, and paprika, and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Add the cooked macaroni back to the Instant Pot and stir until the macaroni is coated in the cheese sauce.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Tips for Making Perfect Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Here are some tips to keep in mind when making mac and cheese in your Instant Pot:
Use the Right Amount of Water
It’s important to use the right amount of water when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. Too much water can make the pasta mushy, while too little can make it undercooked. For this recipe, 4 cups of water is the perfect amount.
Don’t Overcook the Pasta
Since the Instant Pot cooks pasta so quickly, it’s important to keep an eye on the cook time. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and unappetizing. Four minutes on high pressure is perfect for elbow macaroni.
Use a Good Quality Cheese
The cheese is the star of this dish, so it’s important to use a good quality cheese. Shredding your own cheese is a great way to ensure that it melts smoothly and has the best flavor.
Add Some Spice
While this recipe calls for ground mustard and paprika, feel free to experiment with different spices to suit your taste. Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika are all great options.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Variations
Once you’ve mastered the basic Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe, try these variations to mix things up:
Bacon Mac and Cheese
Add cooked bacon to the mac and cheese before serving for a delicious twist on the classic recipe.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Add shredded cooked chicken and buffalo sauce to the mac and cheese for a spicy kick.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Add cooked lobster meat to the mac and cheese for a luxurious and indulgent meal.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Add steamed broccoli to the mac and cheese for a healthier and more nutritious version of the dish.
FAQs about Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Can I use a different type of pasta? Yes, you can use a different type of pasta, but the cook time may vary. Be sure to adjust the cook time accordingly.
- Can I use a different type of cheese? Yes, you can use a different type of cheese, but again, the flavor and texture may be different. Stick to a good quality cheese that melts well.
- Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it in the Instant Pot on the “saute” setting.
- Can I double this recipe? Yes, you can double this recipe, but you may need to adjust the cook time and liquid ratio.
- Can I freeze Instant Pot mac and cheese? While you can freeze mac and cheese, the texture may be a bit grainy when reheated. It’s best to enjoy this dish fresh.
- How long will Instant Pot mac and cheese last in the fridge? Instant Pot mac and cheese will last for up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.
- Can I add vegetables to the Instant Pot mac and cheese? Yes, you can add vegetables such as peas, carrots, or spinach to the mac and cheese for a healthier meal. Just add them in after releasing the pressure and stir them in.
- Can I make this recipe without milk? Yes, you can make this recipe without milk by using water or chicken broth instead. However, keep in mind that the mac and cheese may not be as creamy.
- Can I use non-dairy cheese for this recipe? Yes, you can use non-dairy cheese for this recipe if you have a dairy intolerance or prefer a vegan option. However, the flavor and texture may be different, so be sure to choose a good quality non-dairy cheese that melts well.
- Can I add meat to the Instant Pot mac and cheese? Yes, you can add cooked meat such as chicken, ground beef, or sausage to the mac and cheese for a heartier meal. Just add it in after releasing the pressure and stir it in.
- Can I use low-fat cheese for this recipe? Yes, you can use low-fat cheese for this recipe to reduce the calorie and fat content. However, keep in mind that the mac and cheese may not be as rich and creamy.
- Can I use gluten-free pasta for this recipe? Yes, you can use gluten-free pasta for this recipe if you have a gluten intolerance or prefer a gluten-free option. However, the cook time and liquid ratio may need to be adjusted, so be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
Making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to satisfy your comfort food cravings. With this recipe and tips, you’ll be able to make delicious mac and cheese every time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and variations to keep things interesting. Enjoy your Instant Pot mac and cheese!