Last updated on August 24th, 2021
What’s better than Instant pot mac and cheese? How about Instant pot macaroni and FIVE cheeses? I tend to get a little carried away with cheeses sometimes (all the time) and this dish is no exception.
This mac & cheese recipe has Gruyere, cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda. Also Mozzarella. The good stuff. You can of course – swap any of these out with the cheese of your choice, but do you really want to? Top this dish off with a bit of a crispy spicy crust and you’re set.
Tips & Tricks for making the best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- elbow macaroni
- evaporated milk
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- cheddar cheese
- Gruyere cheese
- Gouda cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- fresh parmesan cheese (not powdered)
- plain panko bread crumbs
- fresh Italian parsley
One of my firmest beliefs is that you can’t ever have too much cheese in any one dish, although I may have pushed the boundary in this one. Feel free to lighten up or cut back if you feel the need to…
The most time consuming and / or challenging part of this recipe is shredding all of this cheese by hand. Sure, you can buy it all pre-shredded but where’s the fun in that? To be fair, the Gruyere and Gouda I cut into smaller pieces by hand using a sharp knife.
With the exception of the crispy topping ingredients (the panko, paprika and Italian parsley) everything gets dumped into the instant pot and mixed well. Really well. I use a wooden spoon. It’s not a precise science or anything, it’s just what works for me to dig deep and move the cheese…
Moved cheese (see figure below). Mooo-ved cheeses?
Under pressure the Mac & Cheese(s) will take about 4 minutes but allowing for natural release will add 15 minutes to that time, bringing us to 19 minutes.
During that cooking window, we can work on that crispy topping on the stovetop.
If you want this to be a strictly one-pot-Instant-Pot-meal you can totally skip this step and go right to the eating part, but this kicks the flavor up a notch!.
Heat up your skillet or saucepan and melt the butter.
Pour in the panko breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are deep golden brown. For an extra-extra kick here, you can swap out plain panko breadcrumbs for the spicier “Italian Seasoning” or “Parmesan” varieties.
Remove the finished panko breadcrumbs from the heat and add the paprika; give it one last stir.
Serve up your Mac & Cheese, it’s time to eat!
For best results, store your Mac & Cheese in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave, if desired.