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.
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
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.
In the unlikely event of any leftovers, store in the fridge within two hours of cooking, and consume within 3 days.
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
Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese
- 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!
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.
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