Instant Pot Simple Mac and Cheese is one of those “feed and army for under 10 bucks” meal and there is no big mystery to recipes for Mac and Cheese in an electric pressure cooker. The ratio of 1 pound of pasta to 1 pound of cheese is pretty standard, but this is where you can make it your own. Maybe 12 ounces of cheese suits your taste better, there is no hard and fast rule. More cheese if you like it cheesier or less cheese if you prefer. You will see dry ground mustard in many recipes out there and there is a good reason why dry ground mustard should not be optional. Mustard really helps with rich fatty dishes like this, don’t omit this important ingredient. Cream, whole milk even 2% or evaporated milk is important to make the cheese more creamier. If you want visit the cardiologist sooner in life, skip the evaporated milk or low fat milks and use heavy cream.
You can add chopped onions or bacon; there are a number of things you can do to jazz up your Instant Pot Simple Mac and Cheese. So use this as a guide, but when it comes to cheese and items to add – make it your own. I will make one suggestion, straight mild cheddar cheese will get very stringy and it clings to everything, it needs to be cut with a Jack to clam down the cheddar or another option is to just go straight to Colby.
1. Take one pound of Large Elbow Macaroni and 4 cups water and combine in your Instant Pot.
2. Add two tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.
3. Stir the ingredients well so the Macaroni noddles are not clumped together. Do not add the cheese, dry ground mustard or evaporated milk at this time.
4, Put the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to Pressure Cook, High Pressure 3 mins. Yes 3 mins, I have cooked the noodles at 4 mins and they are too soft.
5. Here is the tricky part after the 3 minutes are up, the pressure needs to be released by a Controlled Quick Release. Do not try to use a Natural Pressure Release unless you want very mushy noodles. To successfully execute a controlled Quick Pressure Release, open the vent partially which will require you to push the release button down partially on the Instant Pot Ultra. Generally a full quick release takes approximately 2 minutes and a controlled release will take approximately 4 minutes. The reason to go through all this trouble on the controlled release is so you can avoid the white volcano. The white volcano is when the white pasta water erupts through the vent, making an entertaining mess of your kitchen. However in step #2 above adding the oil to the water helps keep the water in the pot from foaming up too much and lessening your chances at generating a white volcano or at the very least your white volcano will be a bit more tame.
6. Once the pressure is released and the pin has dropped, open the lid and give the noodles a quick stir with a large spoon. Now add the cheese. It is better if the cheese is grated it will melt much quicker. Add a handful at a time stirring it in until it is all melted in with the noodles.
7. Start slowly pouring in the evaporated milk (one can) and when you have got half a can of the milk in the pot then add a tablespoon of dry ground mustard. Then add the remaining evaporated milk.
8. Transfer the Mac and Cheese to a large baking pan and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs or panko and toss this under your broiler for approximately 5 mins.
This is great as a side dish for a party or potluck. It is a quick meal to feed the kids after one of those days where it seems you could never get out of the car. It’s a big recipe and we always have left overs in my house. Just remember to make it your own, try different cheeses and different toppings.