Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot mac and cheese is so easy! Made with regular milk (not evaporated!), this quick mac and cheese recipe features a blend of cheeses for the ultimate in comfort food.

Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Inactive Time 15 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 521 kcal
Author Alyssa


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 16-oz box small shell pasta, uncooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Add butter to the Instant Pot and press the "Saute" button. Add grated onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

  2. Add salt, pepper, ground mustard, dry shells, and water to the Instant Pot. Stir everything up. Press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button to shut off the Saute function, then press the "Manual" button. Using the "+" or "-" buttons, adjust time to 4 minutes of cook time.

  3. Once the cook time is over, carefully do a quick pressure release (see note) and give everything a stir to combine. Pour in the milk and about half of the shredded cheeses. Press the "Saute" button and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted and some of the liquid is further absorbed.

  4. Shut off of the Instant Pot and stir in the rest of the cheese. If the mixture is still more liquid-y than you'd prefer, keep stirring until it thickens to your liking.

Recipe Notes

Use an oven mitt to carefully perform the quick pressure release as you don't want to burn yourself when the steam is released.


Inactive recipe time includes an estimate of about 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.


To simplify the ingredients, you can use a full cup of either smoked gouda or sharp cheddar in place of the 1/2 cup of both.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 521 Calories from Fat 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19.8g 30%
Saturated Fat 12.3g 62%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 950mg 40%
Potassium 62mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 61.4g 20%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g 12%
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 25.5g 51%
Calcium 34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.