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Top view of a pot of instant pot macaroni and cheese in a cast iron pot with a wooden spoon

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

This easy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese cooks up perfectly creamy and tender in under 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. No boiling or layering is required, and the Instant Pot takes care of all the hard work. Gluten-free and can easily be made grain-free, dairy-free and vegan with just a few simple swaps.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 387 kcal
Author Kelly


  • 1 lb uncooked dry Gluten-Free Cavatappi pasta , Gluten-Free Cellentani is also a good choice. Elbow macaroni is not ideal for this recipe, but if it's your only option, adjust the liquid depending on how hot your slow cooker runs. For a grain-free option, we love these ones from Jovial. Use regular Cavatappi pasta or Cellentani if not gluten-free or grain-free.
  • sea salt and pepper to taste I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , use vegan butter for dairy-free. We like Miyokos
  • 2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk (plus more as needed if the mixture is too thick). Sub with unsweetened creamy plant-based milk for dairy-free. We like Malk Organics.
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded , plus extra ½ cup reserved for topping. Use vegan cheddar for dairy-free. We like Violife Cheddar.
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded , Use vegan cheddar for dairy-free. We like Violife Mozzarella.
  • 1/2 cup Toasted gluten-free panko crumbs OR crushed pork rinds or grain-free bread crumbs, for topping
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish optional


  1. Add pasta, salt, pepper, mustard, garlic powder, 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 butter and evaporated milk and turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE (high) mode. 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. Add shredded Monterey Jack and keep stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth.

    Top view of ingredients in the Instant Pot to make Macaroni and cheese
  2. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, and toasted Panko crumbs if desired.
    Top view of macaroni and cheese in an Instant Pot with gluten free panko crumbs and parsley

Recipe Notes

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Cooled macaroni and cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat it on low, either over the stove or in the Instant Pot using the Sauté function. Add more milk as needed for a creamier consistency.

How to Freeze

If you want to freeze your mac and cheese, we recommend doing so with individual portions. Place each one in a freezer-safe container or airtight bag. Reheat them as needed after thawing them out in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 18g36%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.