I love my pressure cooker and use it all the time. The moment I got it, I began using it to make stews, soups, pulled pork and so much more. One thing I never cooked in the pressure cooker was pasta. Then over the course of a month or two, I had a number of friends tell me how they loved using their pressure cooker to cook pasta. At first, I thought that seemed silly and an odd use for a pressure cooker. Eventually, I gave it a try and discovered how the pressure cooker is a great way to make some pasta dishes!
Classic homemade macaroni and cheese is a perfect dish to make in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. The recipe uses just a handful of ingredients and is both simple and quick to make. This a very cheesy version and exactly the decadent type of mac and cheese that my family loves. It is an ideal side dish for ribs, fried chicken, burgers and so much more!
I already have a couple recipes on my website for mac and cheese, but they are prepared using a more traditional method and not with a pressure cooker. If you are interested in a classic version of mac and cheese, check out these links.
Classic Homemade Mac and Cheese – This macaroni and cheese is baked with the classic bread crumb topping.
Mac n Cheese Ramekins – These awesome little portion sized macaroni and cheese are served in ramekins.
Making mac and cheese in a pressure cooker is very easy and once you make it this way, you may never go back to the more traditional method. There are only a few steps in the instructions and most of the time the pressure cooker is doing the work and you can go on to do other things.
I use a 1 pound (450g) bag of dry macaroni. The water needed for one pound of dry pasta is 4 cups. This amount of water is just enough to make the perfect tender pasta and not leave any water left over. It should all get absorbed by the noodles.
I also put 3 tablespoons of butter in the pot with the dry macaroni and water. I find that the butter helps the noodles not stick to the pot or each other. Before cooking, make sure that all the noodles are covered in the water.
Close the pressure cooker lid and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
Once the pressure cooker cooks for the 4 minutes, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then I turn the valve to vent which releases the remaining pressure.
The pasta should be perfectly tender. Use a spoon to stir the macaroni noodles, ensuring that they are not sticking together.
Do not waste anytime stirring in the remaining ingredients. The macaroni will be very hot and they will melt the grated cheese. I find the cream cheese really helps the sauce be super creamy. I didn’t use it the first few times I made this dish, but now I find it is an essential ingredient.
Keep stirring the macaroni to help the cheese sauce be nice and creamy as well as ensuring that the noodles are coated in the cheese.
This mac and cheese is super cheesy and very gooey, so it is best served right away. Every time I make this, I cannot get over how quick it is to prepare and it is basically impossible to mess up.
Normally, I spoon this pressure cooker mac and cheese right from the pot and onto everyones plate. This can also be spread into a baking dish, topped with bread crumbs and baked in the oven. Either way will result in a delicious side dish.
Here are some other great pressure cooker recipes!
- Bean Soup with Bacon
- Pressure Cooker Pot Roast
- Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs
- Pulled Chicken Pressure Cooker
- Red Beans and Rice Pressure Cooker Recipe
- Split Pea Soup Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound dry macaroni (450 grams)
- 4 cups water
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup cream cheese cut into small cubes
- Add dry macaroni, water and butter to pressure cooker pot. Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set the pressure cooker on high for 4 minutes
- Once the pressure cooker has cooked for the 4 minutes and beeped, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then turn the valve to vent to release the remaining pressure.
- Remove the pressure cooker lid and stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy.