/Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

If you need a quick weeknight dinner, this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is healthy and kid-friendly. It’s perfect comfort food for busy nights! 
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

I was asked to participate in the Cabot Cheese campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time.

Great news: You are 15 minutes away from a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and there’s no cheese powder mix involved!

Back to school season calls for recipes like this–ones that come together in a handful of minutes and are comforting to big people and little people after a long day. I’ve paired bowlfuls of this with a green salad for dinner. I’ve also made it as a side dish to a larger meal. Either way, it’s been a crowd pleaser.

Instant Pot Mac and CheeseHow to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

First, pulse a slice of whole grain bread in the food processor to make the breadcrumb topping. Then switch to the shredding blade and shred the whole block of Cabot cheese with the push of a button. (Thank you, handy kitchen machines!) If you don’t have a food processor, see the recipe notes below.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Add the dry pasta, water, seasonings, and butter to the bowl of the Instant Pot and give it a quick stir.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the lever on the lid is turned to SEALING. Set on MANUAL for 4 minutes.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
While it’s cooking, toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet, along with melted butter, until browned and crisp.

As soon as the four minutes are done, immediately turn off the Instant Pot and carefully release the pressure (I place a towel or pot holder over my hand when I switch the lever to VENTING).

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

When the silver float valve has dropped, carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot, add the milk and shredded cheese, and stir well until combined.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken up, then serve, topping with sprinkled breadcrumbs if you want a crunchy topping.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

A few notes about this recipe:

  • I prefer using a block of cheese for homemade mac, but feel free to save time and use pre-shredded cheese. Cabot shredded cheese comes in many varieties, including Sharp and Seriously Sharp. All of Cabot’s cheddar cheeses are naturally lactose-free (and gluten-free).
  • If you don’t have a food processor, shred the cheese by hand with a grater. For the breadcrumbs, tear a piece of bread into pieces, place in a plastic baggie, and crush with a rolling pin into crumbs.
  • After testing this recipe many times, I settled on using a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and white macaroni noodles. I love the extra fiber and whole grains in whole wheat pasta. My family prefers the flavor of white noodles in mac and cheese. So we compromised. But if you’d prefer to use all whole wheat or all white noodles, both will work.
  • Be sure to stay close to your Instant Pot while this cooks. If you’re not paying attention and the Instant Pot continue to cook the noodles beyond four minutes, they will turn to mush and everyone will be sad.

About Cabot Cheese

Whether you already use Cabot products or have just seen it when grocery shopping, you may not know this: Cabot is a co-operative, owned and operated by 1,000 family farms throughout New England and New York–and 100 percent of their profits go back to the farmers. I love that. In addition to cheese, they also make Greek yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, butter, and whey protein. So look for them at the store next time!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

If you need a quick weeknight dinner, this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is healthy and kid-friendly. It’s perfect comfort food for busy nights! 

Ingredients

  • 1
    slice
    whole grain bread
  • 1
    cup
    whole wheat elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1
    cup
    enriched elbow macaroni pasta
  • 2
    cups
    water
  • 2
    tablespoons
    butter
    divided
  • 1/4
    teaspoon
    nutmeg
  • 3/4
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 1
    8-ounce block
    Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2
    tablespoons
    2% milk
  • 1
    tablespoon
    fresh chopped parsley
    optional

Instructions

  1. Tear slice in half and pulse bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Place in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Switch to the shredding attachment on the food processor and shred the cheese (you can also do this by hand if you prefer). Set aside. 

  3. Place both kinds of macaroni, water, one tablespoon butter, nutmeg, and salt in the Instant Pot and give it a stir. Place the lid on Instant Pot, and be sure lever is set to “sealing”. Set on Manual for four minutes. 

  4.  While Instant Pot is going, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat, then add bread crumbs, stirring frequently until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.  

  5. When the four minutes of cook time are up, turn Instant Pot off and release the pressure by carefully moving lever to “venting” (always keep hands and face away from the steam as it’s releasing). When all of the pressure is released and the silver float valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid. Stir in the cheese and milk, stirring vigorously until fully incorporated and the cheese is completely melted. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly.

  6. Portion macaroni and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with bread crumb topping and fresh parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Amount Per Serving

Calories 328
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 17g
26%

Sodium 351mg
15%

Potassium 71mg
2%

Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%

Dietary Fiber 2g
8%

Sugars 2g

Protein 15g
30%

Vitamin A
4%

Vitamin C
1%

Calcium
2%

Iron
8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese