Make this dreamy & creamy Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese. Imagine a spoonful of tender macaroni immersed in a smooth, gooey, & rich cheddar cheese sauce.
If you’ve never tried a classic Macaroni and Cheese made from scratch, you’re seriously missing out.
Save the blue box for emergencies and make this dreamy Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese.
Say YES to this kid-friendly classic comfort food!
You’ll Enjoy Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese Because:
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Creamy, smooth mac and cheese packed with rich umami deliciousness
Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese is Great for:
- After-school snack, lunch, easy one pot meal…
- Side dish for holiday dinners, gatherings, entertaining guests…
- Big batch for birthday parties, potlucks…
- Comfort food = anytime, any day 😉
Let’s start cooking!
Tools for Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese
Grate the Cheese
14 oz (397g) sharp cheddar
6 oz (170g) mild cheddar or American cheese
I know this is a lot of cheese – just treat it as a mini workout.
The glorious cheese will be worth it. I promise 😉
Pressure Cook the Elbow Macaroni
16 oz (454g) elbow macaroni
4 cups (1L) cold water
A pinch of kosher salt
Add the elbow macaroni, water, kosher salt in the pressure cooker.
Pressure Cooking Time: High Pressure for 4 minutes
Release Method: Gradual Quick Release
*Note: Have a towel handy – there’s a slight chance that a tiny amount of foam will come out with the steam.
Mix Wet Ingredients
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
12 oz (355 ml) evaporated milk
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the ground mustard, Sriracha, and evaporated milk. Mix well.
*Note: Take this step while the macaroni is pressure cooking.
Make the Mac & Cheese
4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter
Wet ingredients (from Step 2)
Grated cheese (from Preparation Step)
Keep heat on low or medium low (Tatung Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: use Keep Warm function).
Place unsalted butter in the pressure cooked macaroni.
Mix well with a Silicone Spatula and let the butter melt.
Pour in the wet ingredients and mix well.
Add grated cheese (1/3 portion at a time) and stir constantly until the cheese fully melt.
*Note: If the Mac and Cheese is too runny, turn the heat to medium to reduce it down.
- Tatung Pressure Cooker: Click cancel and click on meat.
- Instant Pot: Use Sauté Less function – Click cancel, Sauté and Adjust button twice
Taste & Season
Ground black pepper
You will likely need a couple pinches of kosher salt to brighten the dish.
For best tasting experience, eat immediately!
Or the smooth & creamy cheese will cool and harden as it sits in room temperature.
Cooking Tips for Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese
1. How to Avoid Graininess in Macaroni and Cheese?
- Freshly Grated Cheese: Use freshly grated cheese instead of pre-shredded cheese. Yes, it’ll be more work – but it’ll be worth it 🙂 Pre-shredded cheese contains cellulose powder that doesn’t break down nor allows smooth melting.
- American Cheese: Replace mild cheddar with American cheese. American cheese acts as an emulsifier to ensure a smooth finish.
- Low Heat: Use low heat to melt the cheese, as high temperature may cause lumps in the cheese sauce.
2. Which Hot Sauce to Use?
- Sriracha Sauce – thicker consistency, more sweet & spicy
- Frank’s Hot Sauce – thinner consistency, tastes sour & not sweet at all
3. How to Reheat Leftover Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese?
- Place macaroni and cheese in a cold pan, pour in some milk and reheat over low heat.
- Stir constantly with a silicone spatula. Then, enjoy the yumminess all over again!
4. Is it Hot Enough to Cook the Eggs?
Egg pasteurization starts at 140°F and keeping them at that temperature for three and a half minutes will kill any bacteria. The full pot of Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese should be between 158°F – 170°F and the eggs will be fully cooked and pasteurized in it! 🙂
Watch: How To Make Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese Video
Can’t see the cooking video? Watch it here.
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Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Party Food, Pasta, One Pot Meals, Side Dish, Easy
Serving: 4 - 6
- 16 ounces (454g) elbow macaroni
- 4 cups (1L) cold running water
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter
- 14 ounces (397g) sharp cheddar, freshly grated
- 6 ounces (170g) mild cheddar or American cheese, freshly grated
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
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- Pressure Cook the Elbow Macaroni: Add 1 lb elbow macaroni, 4 cups water, and a pinch of kosher salt in pressure cooker. Close the lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes. Then, gradual quick release. There is a slight chance that a tiny amount of foam will come out with the steam. Have a towel handy. Open lid.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: While the macaroni is pressure cooking, in a medium mixing bowl, beat 2 large eggs and mix in 1 tsp ground mustard, 1 tsp Sriracha, and 355ml evaporated milk. Mix well.
- Make the Mac & Cheese: Keep heat on low or medium low (Tatung Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: use keep warm function). Place 4 tbsp unsalted butter in the pressure cooked macaroni. Mix well with a silicone spatula and let the butter melt.
Pour in the wet ingredients and mix well. Add grated cheese (1/3 portion at a time) and stir constantly until the cheese fully melt.
If the mac and cheese is too runny, turn the heat to medium (Tatung Pressure Cooker: Click cancel and click on meat. Instant Pot: Use Sauté Less function - Click cancel, Sauté and Adjust button twice) to reduce it down.
- Taste & Season: Taste and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper (likely need a couple pinches of kosher salt to brighten the dish).
- Serve: Mac and Cheese needs to be served piping hot, so serve immediately!
This recipe is inspired by the Macaroni and Cheese Recipe from the cookbook – The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT. His work & dedication to food truly inspires us.
Upgrade your Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese with this Loaded Instant Pot Mac and Cheese!