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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It’s full of creamy cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, bits of crunchy bacon, and spicy jalapenos. The best part about Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is that this dish is ready in about 15 minutes!
We finally did it! We decided to purchase an Instant Pot, and macaroni and cheese was the first recipe I made when I was learning how to use it.
That’s why I wanted to share my version of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with bacon and jalapenos as our first Instant Pot recipe.
Mac and cheese is one of those foods that I can’t get enough of.
This one might just be my favorite. The noodles are perfectly cooked, there are so many varieties of cheese that can be used, and adding bacon is always a good idea.
Give it a try and this mac and cheese might become your favorite, too! If mac and cheese isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll like our Instant Pot Penne alla Vodka or Instant Pot Supreme Pizza Pasta instead.
How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese:
This recipe is so easy to make, and it only takes minutes to come together. Start off by placing the noodles, butter, salt, pepper, ground mustard, red pepper flakes, and water into the Instant Pot.
Close the lid, making sure that the valve is in the sealed position. Set the cooker on manual pressure high for 4 minutes.
Every pressure cooker is a bit different, so some take a little longer than others to come to full pressure. After the 4 minutes are up, do a quick release by opening the valve.
Next, remove the lid. There may be a bit of water in the bottom of the pot, and that’s okay.
Add the cheese and evaporated milk, and stir until the macaroni and cheese is smooth and creamy.
Toss in the bacon and jalapenos next, and mix well so there’s a little bit of spicy crunch in each bite.
The Instant Pot has a neat function that allows the food to stay warm, so, if you like, choose that option while adding the cheese and evaporated milk.
That will help the cheese melt easier and maintain a nice temperature for serving.
Tips for making Instant Pot Mac and Cheese:
- For this recipe, I used gluten-free elbow noodles. However, regular elbow noodles also work great!
- This macaroni and cheese would be great with Monterey Jack, pepper jack, or even Gouda. Soft cheeses will add a stretchy texture to the finished dish. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheeses!
- I’ve found that using cheese off the block works better than pre-shredded cheese. Add it a little at a time, and stir until it’s completely melted before adding more.
- Feel free to omit the bacon and jalapenos. This mac and cheese tastes great with or without those.
- Throw in some veggies! My son loves vegetables with mac and cheese. Add anything from fresh to frozen. If using frozen veggies, add them along with the noodles and water. If using fresh, raw vegetables, throw them in with the cheese and evaporated milk. Broccoli, peas, and carrots are some great options.
- Wondering why we use evaporated milk? Evaporated milk gives this dish a creamy, rich texture and flavor without the need for a roux. It provides an even consistency throughout the mac and cheese without graininess or a broken sauce. Whole milk can be used as a substitute. However, the taste, texture, and consistency will change.
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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 Ounces Elbow Noodles
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper (or to taste)
- 8 Ounces Yellow Cheddar (shredded)
- 8 Ounces White Cheddar (shredded)
- 4 Ounces Parmesan (shredded)
- 4 Strips Cooked Bacon (crumbled)
- 1/4 Cup Pickled Jalapenos (chopped)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Add noodles, butter, water, ground mustard, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot. Close lid and cook and manual, high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Open valve for quick release. Remove lid.
- Add the cheeses and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and until cheeses are melted.
- Add the bacon and jalapenos and stir to combine.
- Garnish with additional bacon and jalapenos if desired.
- Serve immediately.
- Store any remaining mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.