Macaroni and Cheese
By :Coco Morante
Print Recipe
This is a creamy, cheesy, classic mac ‘n’ cheese! The macaroni cooks in vegetable or chicken broth, and there’s no straining or draining required. For a change of pace, switch out the Cheddar cheese for Fontina, Gruyère, or smoked Gouda.
Votes: 174
Rating: 4.36
Rate this recipe!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Rice & Pastas
Duration less than 15 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Cheese, Chicken Broth, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
8 servings
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese shredded, 3 cups tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded, about 2 ounces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Rice & Pastas
Duration less than 15 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook
Main Ingredient Cheese, Chicken Broth, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
8 servings
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese shredded, 3 cups tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded, about 2 ounces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Votes: 174
Rating: 4.36
Rate this recipe!
  1. Combine the macaroni, broth, and butter in the Instant Pot.
  2. Secure the lid and set the Steam Release to Sealing. Select the Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes at high pressure.  Perform a quick release by moving the Steam Release to Venting.
  3. Open the pot and stir in the cheeses, sour cream, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken, then stir again and serve. 
Recipe Notes


  1. If you like, finish the macaroni and cheese under the broiler for a crispy topping.
  2. Transfer to a 3-quart flameproof baking dish, sprinkle evenly with 1 cup panko bread crumbs, and then broil for just a few minutes, until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
151 replies
  1. Kasper1042
    Kasper1042 says:

    Supe quick and easy, made without the sour cream, mustard and cayenne peoper though. Also added mozzarella cheese too!

  2. Ohbobobo
    Ohbobobo says:

    Quick and easy. Super cheesy- will use less next time and will omit the mustard completely. Otherwise this is a keeper!

  3. Bekkahm
    Bekkahm says:

    Made this today and my husband said “you could just keep eating that until you get sick!” Definitely a hit here!

  4. Ashuul
    Ashuul says:

    Amazing. Didnt think mustard would fit but you barely notice its there. On a scale of one to 10, I’d make this again!

  5. JM
    JM says:

    This was pretty good! Very easy to make. I did use the panko, was slightly dry, but reheated the next day in the microwave it was great!

  6. DJ83
    DJ83 says:

    Not bad. Love how creamy it is. I may cut back on the mustard next time. But great recipe if you are in a hurry. Took no time at all.

  7. Khalko
    Khalko says:

    This is a great recipe as it is, or you could easily modify to your own. I sauted onions first thrn followed the rest of the recipe exactly.

  8. ChristineDickau
    ChristineDickau says:

    For some reason it had a burnt taste to it , dont know what i did wrong ?? But otherwise it was delicious

  9. cklayum
    cklayum says:

    Made with modifications: used rigatoni pasta, left out sour cream, mustard & cayenne. Used only 2 c shedded cheese: cheddar & mozarella. Also used 1/2 c heavy cream. Very good!

  10. Cate756
    Cate756 says:

    Fantastic!!! I exchanged the cheddar for 14 oz of smoked gouda, added 3/4 cup of parm cheese, used dijon mustard instead of yellow mustard, and added 2 cups of frozen diced ham in the first step. It was oozy-cheesy deliciousness!

  11. Upnorthheather
    Upnorthheather says:

    Halted the recipe and shortened cooking time to 5 minutes for my 3 quart Pot. Yummy!! Unbelievably easy… not sure I’ll ever buy “the blue box” again.

  12. Calestra
    Calestra says:

    Really good and super easy. I subbed mustard powder for actual mustard and added a splash of sherry.
    I cut it in half and it cooked just fine on 6 minutes.

  13. says:

    The mac and cheese was a tasty morsle in my mouth. The cheese and the cayenne pepper blended together as if two nations who had been warring for centuries finally made peace. The sour cream was their treaty and the mustard was their banner. 10/10 would recommend.

  14. ClarMitchell
    ClarMitchell says:

    First recipe I attempted with my instant pot! Absolutely delicious! The pasta came out perfectly tender and the sauce was very flavourful. Will make again.

  15. Dhan825
    Dhan825 says:

    Make this quite often. Any pointers on how long to cook if I am doubling the amount of pasta.

  16. Aleahball
    Aleahball says:

    Turned out amazing. The little kick at the end is great not to much and yet not enough for kids to notice.

  17. LisaBradyQVC
    LisaBradyQVC says:

    This was my first recipe in the Instant Pot. So, having cooked and managed restaurants for years I can never just make a recipe as is. I followed everything except I did not add all the ingredients. This was so easy and so fast and so delicious… i could not believe it!! HA! Quite honestly, the best Mac and Cheese I ever had!! Love my Instant Pot!!!

  18. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Keep in mind pasta does expand. You may wish to cut the recipe in half but use the same amount of time to cook.

  19. Sanjnapatyal
    Sanjnapatyal says:

    Hi all, I don’t like Parmesan cheese is there something else i can use in its place ?
    Thank you !

  20. Wierdcobra
    Wierdcobra says:

    Made this as my first recipe after I pressure cooked some potatoes that I’m cooling to make cream of potato soup. I followed this except I left out the mustard and the Cayanne pepper (hubby hates mustard and I didn’t feel like anything spicy at the moment) but I added a pinch of salt and pepper when mixing all the ingredients. This was my three best Mac and cheese. I think next time I’ll just use one of the 8 ounce bags of shredded cheese instead of using a full 12 ounces (a bag and a half).

  21. Lconnors
    Lconnors says:

    It was very good. Do you know if I made it abead of time, how it would reheat the next day? Dont want it to dry out when I reheat it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  22. Nif
    Nif says:

    Easy to make and worked great even without the sour cream. I highly recommend the breadcrumbs, cooked in a bit of butter. We’ll make it again!

  23. Fotobug4
    Fotobug4 says:

    Noodles werent done in 6 minutes and didnt notice until I out the remaining ingredients in the pot. So I did another manuel for 6 more minutes and they were done and delicious.

  24. Palmers83
    Palmers83 says:

    Absolutely delish! I’m not a big fan of mustard, so there was a little concern, was still good. We added Club cracker crumbs and baked it for a few.

  25. emaxon
    emaxon says:

    This was excellent! I was worried the pasta would over cook and be mushy but it was the exact right amount of time. I used medium cheddar cheese instead if sharp and it was perfect! Also, I used 1 tsp of chicken base per cup of water instead of chicken broth. Worked very well! This is my new go-to recipe for mac & cheese.

  26. morganwalpole
    morganwalpole says:

    I had to add more liquid to the noodles when it was done and recook for a bit longer. I added more liquid the second time i made it and it was great! Very good recipe.

  27. OstieMama
    OstieMama says:

    Wow! This is delicious. The noodles were cooked perfectly. Just enough liquid left in the pot to make a creamy, tasty sauce when the rest of the ingredients are added. The whole family loved it!

  28. Tam8261
    Tam8261 says:

    Only the second dish I’ve made in my Instant Pot, and it was an instant hit! I paired it with leftover pulled pork (also made in the Instant Pot earlier in the week). I skipped the sour cream and used 1/4c heavy cream instead. Also skipped the seasoning and used extra sharp cheddar and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.

  29. HonestAbeX1
    HonestAbeX1 says:

    Forgot to mention that I replaced sour cream with half&half cream and I also left out the mustard and pepper.

  30. Kalabarge
    Kalabarge says:

    Very easy, tasty and filling! Cooked perfectly. Didn’t dry out like baked mac and cheese sometimes can, even when I added the panko and used the broiler. I used lower sodium vegetable broth and light sour cream. Husband even had seconds! A hit!

  31. Dyager
    Dyager says:

    I made this per recipe but when I make it again I will cut down the sour cream. It was good but too much sour cream.

  32. 85dave
    85dave says:

    I made this serving for 4. Make sure you cover the pasta in liquid otherwise it’ll come out hard and dry like my first attempt. Otherwise it’s a quick easy meal.

  33. John601999
    John601999 says:

    I’ve made this today followed the recipe has listed this is the second thing that I’ve made in my new Insta pot ultra 8 snd it turned out perfect will definitely make it again thank you cocoa!

  34. Susie W
    Susie W says:

    I made this Macaroni & Cheese recipe a few days ago and we loved it. Hubby said it was the best he has ever had and doesn’t want me to make it any other way! lol Just my 2nd attempt with my Instant Pot, I’m a newbie. I used Colby Jack cheese and did not use mustard. And I did not put it in the oven but might try that the next time.

  35. Bex77
    Bex77 says:

    This is awsome! And so easy. I did change a couple of ingredients. I halved the paramigiano and added the same in measurement of gruyere. Also added cooked pancetta. Definately finish off with breadcrumbs under broil or grill for UK.

  36. Ultra Cool
    Ultra Cool says:

    Our first Instant Pot meal couldnt have been easier or faster. We added salt and pepper, plus used the normal cayenne amount but 1/2 of everything else. We’ll mix up the cheeses next time, but it was excellent using sharp cheddar and parmesan! Very creamy. My wife would have liked one more minute on the pasta, but I thought it was about perfect.

  37. NicoleT10619
    NicoleT10619 says:

    So I made this using some ziti and cavateli and instead of macaroni because I had it on hand. The sauce didnt thicken and was very runny. Wondering if this due to the pasta type?

  38. Melissa18
    Melissa18 says:

    Made this tonight! Was delicious 🙂

    I changed the cook time to 4 min and it turned out perfect (used catelli macaroni). I also subbed a couple ounces of the cheddar for mozarella, and added a splash of franks.

  39. Beegone
    Beegone says:

    Came out good, I wouldn’t use mustard at all next time though. Mustard with sharp cheese just made it extra tangy. Other than that it was good.

  40. lindaluh
    lindaluh says:

    Made this tonight. Made to recipe, except for the sour cream. I used greek yogurt instead. Was very tasty, but could have used a little more liquid. No moisture left at the 6 min.

  41. Tbarger86
    Tbarger86 says:

    Unfortunately my family didn’t approve 🙁 and I even have a 15 year old boy that will eat just about anything. I think you have to really like mustard to enjoy this recipe.

  42. Ben
    Ben says:

    Such an easy recipe… and delicious!! I thought there was too much liquid when I opened it after the 6min cook, but then stirred up the macaroni and added other ingredients… BOOM, all was good. I used French’s spicy brown mustard instead of yellow and hot sauce instead of cayenne pepper. Will definitely be making again and trying different cheeses.

  43. AMorrow11
    AMorrow11 says:

    Really good first meal in the pot! Mimicked the boxed Mac&Cheese, definitely change the seasoning if mustard isnt for you. I tried dry mustard instead which gave a subtle tang and chipotle pepper for a bit of earth/spice

  44. CMPerretta
    CMPerretta says:

    We just purchased the Instant Pot and this was the first thing i made. Followed the recipe as written and it was awesome. We will be making the again:) can’t wait!

  45. ccshodges
    ccshodges says:

    I used 2cups chedder & 1 cup mozerrela. I liked it. My 8yr old boys liked it at first, but then said they didn’t care for the cheese. They are also becoming picky again lol. So next time ill just make it with cheddar.

  46. Emmeyc
    Emmeyc says:

    Excellent easy recipe!
    I added a pound of cooked salad shrimp to the pot after the mac and cheese is made.
    Super easy if you buy precooked package at the grocery store.

    With or without shrimp the recipe is comfort food to the max.

  47. Shawn Wells
    Shawn Wells says:

    My little wife loved your recipe. She got 2nd’s. If you don’t mind for us men that are analytical by nature. Please put bread crumbs in “list”. Maybe as an option. That way we can buy it. And follow the instructions. As a husband and father, that would have made my Sunday meal more perfect.

  48. gersonde
    gersonde says:

    Super easy and good. Instead of 12 oz sharp cheddar, i like to use 8 oz mild cheddar/mozzerlla combo along with the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

  49. merwestcott
    merwestcott says:

    Used slightly less grated cheese, and parmesan. My family felt it was a little rich, otherwise very good.

  50. Wolf7986
    Wolf7986 says:

    Great meal I find it best to get all other ingredients together befor you start noodles . so noodles stay warm once noodles are done you can add every thing quick. mac and cheese will still be hot when surviving. and dont cook longer cheese will stick to bottom very hard to clean pot

  51. Jfrye95
    Jfrye95 says:

    So good. Made this tonight for dinner. I cut the recipe in half since there’s only 3 of us. Perfect portion. If you use the app, it’ll give you directions on how to make it for different serving sizes while changing the proportions. I may never make macaroni & cheese any other way! You have to let it sit for five or minutes to let it thicken up.

  52. Caroline W
    Caroline W says:

    Super yummy and very, very creamy. Closer to a soup, but still prefect! I will most definitely make this recipe often! Super easy too!…bonus points!!

  53. Mobbmxer
    Mobbmxer says:

    Amazing recipe. If you want to knock the socks off of everyones mac n cheese, definitly make it as in the recipe and put in oven with bread crumbs. Littly know fact, the mustard and cayenne pepper in the recipe is to trick your pallet into not being over stuffed by the cheese. It works and is a known secret in top chefs.

  54. Melissalynnfunk
    Melissalynnfunk says:

    It turned out well the second time I made it however this time I took out most of the excess broth after it was done cooking and would use half as much sour cream next time! I also did 5 min cooking time instead of 6.

  55. BeezyFamily
    BeezyFamily says:

    Tried this recipe although I am bias towards another Mac & Chrese recipe that I make from scratch and this one was unimpressive. However, my husband said that it was “pretty good coming from the instant pot.” I do have to comment that the consitency is good for a Mac & Cheese once completed though. Will try others.

  56. Sk.garber
    Sk.garber says:

    Easy! I used a box of medium shells instead of the elbows. Came out perfect, creamy. I add a tsp of worchestshire sauce instead of cayenne pepper. I have made it a couple times and always comes out perfect. I have added ham the last two times.

  57. Amynutrition79
    Amynutrition79 says:

    Easy and pretty good. Mine was not runny at all. Will omit or use just tiny amount of mustard next time. Altered smell too much. Maybe a bit less cheese too.

  58. rraeskip97
    rraeskip97 says:

    When adding in the cheese, I also added a small can of diced green chilis and crumbled, cooked bacon. Transferred to baking dish, added the recommended Panko crumbs and broiled for 5 min. Absolutely delicious!!

  59. stormy618
    stormy618 says:

    Love this recipe! I added two diced Roma tomatoes and 1/2 a diced sweet yellow onion. Would taste just as good with a little less of the cheddar cheese. Might substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream next time just to cut down on extra calories. I don’t know why people complain about the amount of mustard. I did not even notice the mustard to be honest. But this was yummy and super easy!

  60. Minna Drake
    Minna Drake says:

    It’s a hit!
    Thank you!
    Even my picky about mac’n’cheese adult son approved on your take on mac’n’cheese.
    And the cayenne pepper is a nice addition.

  61. dlafond
    dlafond says:

    Made this recipe for supper. The taste was good but way too runny. So I decided to bake it for 40 minutes, which allowed me to remove some of the excess liquid. Turned out really good.

  62. amlxox
    amlxox says:

    I made this half expecting it to be still “soupy” per many of the other comments, but it came out perfectly once I added in the cheese and sour cream. I cooked it for the 6min as requested and with gluten free rice pasta also. It was amazing! I have a new favourite. I didn’t add mustard or cayenne but added corn and tomatoes to my bowl. I also ended up not adding all 3 cups of cheese because I could tell how rich it was going to be when dumping. Added about 2 cups.

  63. Maria Petrick
    Maria Petrick says:

    I made this Tonight. It was tasty but the cheese stuck to the bottom of the pot leaving a mess to clean ul Not a goid idea to mske this mac and chese in the Ip

  64. Sheryl Skory
    Sheryl Skory says:

    Perfect. Used only 1 tsp of mustard and added 1/8 tsp onion powder. Put into casserole topped with buttered Panko crumbs and under the broiler until golden brown. Will be making this again for sure!

  65. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Maria Petrick,

    Did you add the cheese after pressure cooking? Make sure to stir in the cheese slowly to ensure it is properly mixed in.

  66. dburyska
    dburyska says:

    I was a little skeptical on this recipe but once it was made, wow. I finished it off in the oven with some italian breadcrumbs and turned out great. Be careful with the mustard. I reduced it by half as it can over take the whole dish.

  67. Cynner
    Cynner says:

    Used Scoobi-doo noodles – whole bag.
    Very tasty!! Great for freezing in containers and having for a quick meal at later dates or taking for lunch.

  68. Evee1
    Evee1 says:

    Made this tonight…it was great! It was our first time to make a meal in the Instant Pot. We had some trouble with setting the timer but once we figured it out it was great! Will definitly make again!

  69. Eclark_06
    Eclark_06 says:

    It was easy to make and I really liked the consistency.
    I found that the chicken stock overpowered. If I make it again I will just use water with the butter and salt.

  70. ElenaP
    ElenaP says:

    This was good but I’d use less mustard next time. I added some evaparated milk because the noodles soaked up all the broth. When done in the IP I put it in a pan, topped with cheese and put it under the broiler.

  71. RASimpson76
    RASimpson76 says:

    I used whole wheat elbow macaroni.
    Only thing i would change would be adding the cayenne pepper with the broth to let it cook and spread the spiciness throughout.

    Otherwise…thank you for this awesome recipe.

  72. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Dhan825,

    You would have to add more liquid, the amount depends on the additional pasta. To make it easier, our app automatically adjusts ingredient amounts if serving size is increased or decreased.

  73. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Randy,

    At this time we only know the calorie information, if the recipe contributer has provided it. What you can do is use a calorie counter and input the ingredients seperatly to calculate the total amount for this recipe.

  74. OhioBucksFan71
    OhioBucksFan71 says:

    We love it! Just made for the 2nd time. This time I used Bowtie pasta. Came out just as good. Its pretty “soupy” at first, but sets up nicely. I’m how well it would hold on the keep warm setting. Has anyone tried that?

  75. Drea
    Drea says:

    Easy peasy and fast! Didn’t have a problem with mustard like others. It added subtle flavor, nothing excessive. Maybe people measured wrong or used mustard powder? Did think it needed some salt. Used 8oz sharp cheddar and 4oz mozzarella instead otherwise followed recipe true to form. Will make again for sure.

  76. Ltexasr
    Ltexasr says:

    I made this last night. The recipe was easy to follow and it tasted great. My husband also loved it!

  77. rogerjacki
    rogerjacki says:

    I made this last night, and have a question. It cooked well and tasted great, but the cheese was very stringy rather than creamy. I tried saute for a few minutes thinking it would get creamier to no avail. Any thoughts???

  78. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Make sure to take out the last ingredients from the fridge while cooking to warm up a little. If the milk and cheese are cold it will not blend well.

  79. Diercks
    Diercks says:

    Love this. Easy and delicious – though we had to limit the amount of mustard as it was too strong the first time we made it.

  80. hayleytoews
    hayleytoews says:

    My first Instant Pot recipe! I had to make a few substitutions so the lack of strong flavour was probably my fault. Either my broiler isn’t working or regular breadcrumbs might have been an option. I’ll definitely try to customize it next time!

  81. Lindalayne
    Lindalayne says:

    Delicious! This is my 4th time making this recipe. I’ve tried others, but this one always ends up winning in flavor, texture, and nutrition using the broth. This time I got a little crazy and tried making it more hearty by sauteeing a lb of ground beef, a large diced sweet onion, 1 tbls minced garlic, 2 tsps garlic powder and 2 tsps onion powder, and 1 tsp salt before adding the butter, quart of broth and noodles. Wow! I also mixed pastas to get a full lb., adding in whole wheat penne. Yum!

  82. barey10
    barey10 says:

    My kids and I absolutely love this recipe! I was skeptical about the sour cream but it was really good.

  83. Chrispita
    Chrispita says:

    Husband approved! So much easier than standing over the stove stirring the butter, milk & flour… No mustard in ours since hubby doesn’t like it. This is definitely the cheesiest! Will make again for sure.

  84. RDJepson
    RDJepson says:

    A fine mac-n-cheese, but not yummy enough for me to say that I’ve finally found the ultimate mac-n-cheese recipe that I’ve been looking for all my life. My quest is still on. Really easy though and I guess that’s worth something.

  85. RDJepson
    RDJepson says:

    A fine mac-n- cheese, but not yummy enough to cause me to end my quest for the ultimate mac-n-cheese recipe. It was nearly effortless though (for anyone who feels that that’s important).

  86. arbrotzel
    arbrotzel says:

    I really liked this. Next time I might omit the mustard and play around with different cheeses. For those concerned about texture, I think it is better if you grate the cheese yourself rather than buying pre-shredded.

  87. Kathy D.
    Kathy D. says:

    A must make. Made this and my teen boys, LOVED IT!! No leftovers to go bad in the frig. They asked for a double batch the second time so they could have it for lunch the next day. I did add extra cheeses like shredded gouda that i bought on accident. Was great! A bit extra red pepper for a kick was good too.

  88. mrsv
    mrsv says:

    Yummy!!! First ever use of IP, deffo do this again. Really cheesy!
    I thought it would be a bit stodgy as wasn’t saucy but it didn’t need to be, was so tasty.

  89. Msconnolly2
    Msconnolly2 says:

    Delicious!! My 10 year old said it was the best mac and cheese he’s had…and I’ve made a scatch recipe that he also enjoyed. This tops that. I used shells instead of elbows and cut the mustard to 1/2 tsp. Didn’t have cayenne and so I used same amount of chili powder. Used Ital bread crumbs (didn’t have panko) and broiled til golden. Will make this again!!

  90. agporter
    agporter says:

    This is my go to every time. Always turns out perfect. Once in a while I add about a half cup of smoked cheddar, it gives it amazing flavor!

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