Instant Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese cooks up perfect & tender in under 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Best of all, so easy to customize & loaded with 2 cheeses!
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With back to school season in full swing, it’s the return of classic comfort foods. And what could be more comforting than a big pot of mac and cheese to greet you after a long day of work or school?
My kids loves a good macaroni and cheese. We’ll usually rotate between this Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese, this easy Stove Top Mac & Cheese and once fall rolls around, this delicious Pumpkin Mac & Cheese becomes a regular favorite around here.
By now you guys know I am a big fan of using my Instant Pot. It is such a lifesaver, especially once the busy school year starts.
This Instant Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese comes together in about 30 minutes from start to finish and is super simple to customize.
Mac and cheese works great for busy weeknights and making it in the Instant Pot is perfect for those days when you don’t want to fuss over a hot stove.
And if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, you can easily swap out the pumpkin for another tasty fall ingredient like Instant Pot Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese.
HOW TO MAKE MACARONI AND CHEESE IN THE INSTANT POT:
- Start by adding the pasta, seasonings and water to your Instant Pot. For this recipe, I used elbow macaroni but feel free to use Cavatappi or small shells if you prefer.
- Close and seal the lid and turn the valve to SEALING.
- Cook on Manual / High Pressure for 3 minutes. Do a quick pressure release by using a long wooden spoon to push the valve to VENTING until all of the steam releases.
- Carefully remove the lid and stir in the evaporated milk along with the pumpkin. Press the SAUTE (high) and cook until sauce has thickened and macaroni is fully tender, about 3-8 minutes. Turn off and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted. Add the Monterey Jack cheese and keep stirring until melted and the sauce is smooth. Adjust with salt, pepper and mustard to taste.
- Serve hot with chopped parsley, toasted panko crumbs (optional) and your favorite sides.
WHAT TYPE OF CHEESE MAKES THE BEST MACARONI AND CHEESE?
The best cheese for macaroni and cheese definitely depends on your taste-buds. My family prefers stronger cheeses and we like sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack plus a super creamy cheese like Provolone. Feel free to switch things up with:
- Mild Cheddar
- Cream Cheese
- Colby Jack
CAN I MAKE THIS MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH GLUTEN FREE PASTA?
I haven’t tested out this particular Instant Pot Mac & Cheese recipe using gluten free pasta but I have used this brand in the past for other Instant Pot pasta recipes and it holds up really well when cooked in the pressure cooker.
I will report back if I’ve had a chance to test it out for Mac & Cheese and would also love to hear if you’ve tried any brands you love that work as well.
CAN I COOK THIS PUMPKIN MACARONI AND CHEESE IN THE OVEN?
Absolutely. If you prefer a more classic baked macaroni and cheese, feel free to transfer the pasta into an oven safe casserole dish and broil until the topping is browned.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE AN INSTANT POT? CAN I STILL MAKE THIS PUMPKIN MACARONI AND CHEESE ON THE STOVE?
Yes, head over to this Stovetop Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese for the recipe.
More pasta recipes you might like:
Instant Pot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese cooks up perfect & tender in under 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Best of all, so easy & loaded with 2 cheeses!
- 1 lb dry (uncooked) elbow macaroni or cavatappi pasta
- 3 cups water
- sea salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup toasted Panko crumbs optional for topping
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Add pasta, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and water in the Instant pot. Make sure the pasta is covered with enough liquid - push down or add more water as needed.
- Cover with lid and turn the valve to SEALING.
- Press the PRESSURE COOK (or MANUAL) button and cook on high for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, do a quick release by pushing the valve to VENTING using a long wooden spoon. Pasta should be al dente.
- Stir in the evaporated milk and pumpkin and turn to SAUTE. Cook until the sauce has thickened and the macaroni is fully tender, about 3-8 minutes. Turn off then stir in cheddar until fully melted then add the Monterey Jack. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth.
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, and toasted Panko crumbs if desired.