Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

I bought a pressure cooker several months ago. I’ve been slowly learning to really make use of it and recently I decided to make more of an effort to try some new things.

I’ve got a post planned soon with some general info and ideas on using a pressure cooker, but first I wanted to share this recipe for Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese


Of all the different mac and cheese recipes I’ve tried, this one is the winner.  It’s creamy, cheesy and homemade.  And it’s faster than the other methods.  I think it’s even faster than my other mac and cheese.  You know, the one with the processed cheese product, which I do love, but isn’t very healthy.

I love that this recipe is homemade, but doesn’t require you to make the sauce separately from the macaroni.  It’s fewer dishes to wash and easier prep.  

I adapted this recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen magazine.  First, I doubled the recipe.  The original only served 4 people.  We did have a lot left over after I doubled it, and I wondered if it would get eaten.  Sometimes, my kids don’t like the macaroni very well when it’s leftover.  But this one held up great in the fridge.  We finished it all for lunches and teenage boy midnight snacks.

I also swapped out the can of evaporated milk, in favor of a combination milk and half & half.  I always have those ingredients on hand, but I don’t always have cans of evaporated milk in the pantry.

Pressure cooker mac and cheese

If you’ve got a pressure cooker in your cabinet, get it out and try this recipe.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 8 servings


  • 16 oz macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. Stir macaroni, water, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper together in the pressure cooker.
  2. Lock the lid and select high pressure.
  3. Once the pressure button pops up, indicating full pressure, set a timer (not the one on the cooker) for 4 minutes.
  4. Use a quick pressure release when the 4 minutes are up.
  5. Remove lid and stir in the milk and half & half.
  6. Turn on the "browning" setting and cook 1-3 minutes until thick, stirring often.
  7. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to allow it to melt into the macaroni.
  8. Season with pepper and serve.
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  1. Personally I think it is unnecessary to use the pressure cooker for something you can cook in the stove in 10 min.

    • “Once the pressure button pops up, indicating full pressure, set a timer for 4 minutes” Usually it takes 5 minutes to full pressure, plus cooking time 4 min plus 3 min time for browning and cheese and salt-pepper = 12 to 15 min just cooking plus all the extra time, putting the lid, waiting for pressure to release (even with quick pressure release you have to wait some) Thank you for the recipe but is not a keeper for me,

  2. I have a regular stove top pressure cooker. is the time the same? I don’t have a brown cycle, what would you do?

  3. Tiffany,
    THANKS so much for this recipe!!! I too am thinking of purchasing a pressure cooker to help me at lunch time when I have daycare kiddos running around and not much time to fix lunch!!! I am so looking forward to your future posts about your experiences with yours! What size did you get? Happy Friday :-).

  4. I have leftovers of this delicious mac and cheese and am going to combine it with the chicken and torilla soup recipe (leaving out the corn because of the noodles). I think it will be good…I’ll let you know how it turns out :)

    • Great idea! Let me know how it works

    • Well, I forgot about leaving out the corn in the chicken tortilla soup (like I had planned) but combining a scoop of the mac and cheese (I used American and Monterey Jack for the cheeses) in the bowl and scooping some of the chicken tortilla soup over the top was a real treat and was totally delish! Good to know…make mac and cheese one day and use leftovers (if there are any) in the chicken tortilla soup the next. Thank you for all the yumminess!!!!


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