Do you ever get sick of doing dishes? I mean seriously – the cooking process has so many steps, and I truly mostly enjoy just the actual cooking. Lucky for me, my husband is a champion dishwasher and generally takes on that chore. But I’m still sensitive to the number of dirty dishes that I create, which is why I’m always trying to create recipes with minimal dishes. And todays’s recipe fits that bill perfectly: Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

A recipe for Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese


Instant Pot Mac & Cheese: An Easy Recipe with Minimal Cleanup

So to be totally honest, my family loves them some homemade mac. You know, the kind where you boil the noodles, make the cheese sauce and then bake. But at that point we have a kitchen-full of dirty dishes, which kinda makes me nutty. Read: no one wants a nutty woman. Right? Right.

This is not the case with the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. We’re talking one dish, dump some ingredients, turn on the pot, and wait until it’s done. Add some more, and you’re good to go with warm, creamy mac and cheese. And just one dirty dish to boot. Mom win! I know this recipe is going to make it into your normal rotation, but before we get to that, I have just a few notes for you:

Some notes on the recipe:

  • Gluten free noodles won’t work. I tried them twice, and they turned mushy. Yes it’s edible, but not pretty.
  • When releasing pressure, if it starts spurting pasta-y water, simply lock the pressure again, wait 3-4 minutes and try again.
  • Feel free to add extra mustard powder or even some hot sauce when adding cheese if you like a little kick to your mac and cheese.
  • Bacon is totally optional, but my family totally loves it when I add it. You could also fold in peas, chunks of ham or chicken, etc. Get creative!
  • Wait – you still don’t have an Instant Pot? You know I recommend it for all busy families, or anyone who wants one appliance that can saute, slow cook, make yogurt, make rice, beans and soooo much more. If you don’t have one, check them out here; there’s  a reason that over 17,000 people have positive comments on them on Amazon!
  • Want to make this meal even easier? Then make it a freezer meal with the help of Once a Month Meals! Freezer cooking is a great way to plan ahead and save time. It helps get real food on the table quickly and easily, with just a little prep. Try it out!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
4 mins
Release pressure/cool
10 mins
Total Time
9 mins
Creamy, delicious mac and cheese made in the Instant Pot.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot, pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 444.45 kcal
Author: Kiran Dodeja Smith
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb. 16 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 2 TBSP. butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • Cooked bacon pieces optional
  1. Add water, pasta, salt and mustard to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
  2. Lock the lid and push the Manual button; adjust timing to 4 minutes. When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure. See above notes - if it's spewing murky water, lock it again and wait 3-4 minutes. When pressure is released, remove the lid.
  3. Add butter and heavy cream and stir to combine. Add cheese and mix. Gently fold in bacon if using.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 444.45 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 16.98g26%
Saturated Fat 9.79g61%
Cholesterol 53.11mg18%
Sodium 1060.75mg46%
Potassium 198.35mg6%
Carbohydrates 57.91g19%
Sugar 0.42g0%
Protein 19.67g39%
Vitamin A 514.77IU10%
Calcium 230.22mg23%
Iron 2.94mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Other Mac & Cheese Recipes for everyone!

The Easiest Vegan Mac & Cheese

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese Bites


Who else despises dishes as much as I do? Do you do them yourself or are you lucky enough like I am to get help?



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