Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

The Best Instant Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe

As fall weather hits, comfort food recipes are a must. Warm, rich flavors that make your stomach and soul happy. Sign us up!

Comfort food recipes are even better when you can use a one-and-done appliance to make them. Yep, we’re talking Instant Pot. Instant Pot pressure cookers are a major kitchen hack. Slow-cooked flavor in less time than a slow cooker. And one pot means less clean up, a definite win-win! It’s also a game-changer when it comes to cooking up some creamy, homemade mac and cheese. More on this in a minute!

We’re all about the Instant Pot this month as we celebrate National Family Meals Month! During the month of September, we’re challenging fellow parents in Illinois to commit to eating more meals together as a family. With school back in session and all the activities underway, sitting down together at the table for a meal can be a challenge. So, we’re bringing you some farmer-favorite recipes to make this commitment easy and delicious!

Illinois dairy farmer Lorilee Shultz is a big fan of the Instant Pot and uses it to make the ultimate comfort food: macaroni and cheese.

Lorilee’s family LOVES macaroni and cheese — very fitting for a dairy farm family! While the boxed variety will do in a pinch, she prefers a homemade version. But just like other busy families, after a long night in the barn, she’s not super excited about crafting the perfect roux for the cheese sauce, worrying about over boiling the pasta or getting out a colander for yet another dish to wash. Thankfully, she has a homemade Instant Pot version that’s ready in about the same time as the box!

This recipe is super versatile and customizable. You can use any combination of cheeses you might have on hand. Going for extra creamy? Use muenster or brick. Like it with a kick? Add pepperjack! Want it fancy? Use gruyere or add some parmesan. This is also a great way to get kids involved — ask them what combinations they want to try and do some experimenting!

Lorilee likes to shred her own cheese, but you definitely don’t have to. The goal is to keep it simple, so if you have a half bag of shredded taco cheese, some leftover mozzarella from last week’s lasagna, or a little fresh parmesan, this is a great way to use it up.

This recipe also makes a lot, so you can eat it as the main course one night and use it for leftovers or as a side dish later in the week. It reheats well in the microwave, or you could add a little milk, throw on some breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter in a baking dish, and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees until it’s hot and bubbly. The result: delicious baked mac and cheese.

This recipe goes great with a bag of frozen vegetables (Lorilee recommends broccoli in steamable bags!). You can also serve it with some leftover pulled pork or chicken BBQ.

The Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese


  • 1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
  • 1 carton (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheese of your choice (recommend using at least two different varieties)
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Add the first seven ingredients to the Instant Pot and put the lid on.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes (you can set the delay start function if desired).
  3. When completed, do a quick release.
  4. Add cheese, a cup at a time, alternating with the milk; stir after each addition until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Family Meals Inspired by Family Farmers

Did you know that 96% of the farms in Illinois are family-owned and operated? So, it’s no surprise that family mealtimes are a long-held, cherished tradition for Illinois farm families. So, we’re going all in on National Family Meals Month. Every week in September we’re running an IFF Mealtime Box Sweepstakes on social, plus we’ll be sharing more easy-to-make recipes so you can join the challenge, too! Check out these other farmer favorites: make-and-freeze BBQ meatballs, easy pork stir-fry, and country style slow cooker BBQ pork ribs.

Learn more about National Family Meals Month and follow us on social!