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Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Kraft mac and cheese is insanely quick and easy to make. With just a 4 minute cook time, you will have have dinner on the table in next to no time.

A forkful of mac and cheese in front of an Instant Pot
Instant Pot Kraft mac and cheese

Pressure cooker mac n cheese is one of my favorite ‘I can’t be bothered to cook’ dinners (another is this air fryer frozen pizza). I also have a great recipe for 1 pot homemade mac and cheese if you prefer a more traditional version. 

Cooking macaroni cheese in a pressure cooker means minimal prep and cook time, and is very low effort (no straining required). The perfect comfort food. 

My favorite brand to use is Kraft blue box, but other brands of boxed macaroni like Annie’s, Trader Joe’s, or Velveeta mac and cheese will also work.  

Scroll down for the macaroni cheese Instant Pot recipe card, or read on for detailed instructions. 

Cooking boxed macaroni cheese in an Instant Pot

Steps to cook boxed macaroni cheese in an Instant Pot
How to cook boxed mac and cheese in an Instant Pot

1 – Add butter to the instant pot first, and use it to grease the bottom of the pan. This will help to prevent the macaroni from sticking as it cooks. You can use margarine as per packet instructions, but I think butter adds more flavor (especially since this recipe skips the milk). 

2 – Then add in two cups of water, and gently pour the Kraft macaroni on top. Spread out the macaroni noodles so they are all covered by the water, but do not stir it. 

3 – Place lid on and ensure the valve is in the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Use quick release and open the instant pot – don’t leave it to release naturally as this will lead to overcooked macaroni. 

4 – Add in the contents of the cheese packet and some shredded cheese to make the cheese sauce. Adding extra cheese is optional, but really improves the flavor (sharp cheddar cheese is best!).

Stir until well combined. You can add a splash of milk or water if the sauce becomes too dry.

A spoonful of mac and cheese cooked in an Instant Pot
Perfect Instant Pot mac and cheese

In the unlikely event of any leftovers, store in the fridge within two hours of cooking, and consume within 3 days. 

Serving ideas

Try some of these simple ways to dress up boxed macaroni cheese:

  • Stir in chopped cooked ham
  • Sprinkle paprika over the top
  • Cover with breadcrumbs and Parmesan on an oven-proof dish, and brown under the broiler for 5 minutes
  • Add chopped hot dogs
A forkful of mac and cheese in front of an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese

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How to cook boxed macaroni cheese in an Instant Pot
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time9 minutes
Serves3 servings


  • 1 box original Kraft mac and cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup shredded cheese


  • Add butter and use to grease the bottom of the Instant Pot bowl (use a spatula to 'wipe' it all over the bottom of the bowl). 
  • Pour water into the bowl. 
  • Add dry pasta and gently spread it out so it is covered by the water. 
  • When the pressure cooking process has completed, carefully release pressure by turning the valve to ‘venting’.  
  • Leave the Instant Pot on keep warm while you add the cheese sauce ingredients. 
  • Sprinkle cheese powder and the shredded cheese onto the cooked macaroni. Stir to combine until the sauce reaches the desired thickness. 
  • Press cancel to end the keep warm process.  
  • Serve immediately, and enjoy!
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Serving: 1  Calories: 390kcal  Carbohydrates: 36g  Protein: 11g  Fat: 23g  Saturated Fat: 9g  Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g  Trans Fat: 2g  Cholesterol: 34mg  Sodium: 645mg  Fiber: 2g  Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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