This instant pot mac and queso is truly life-changing! You will never make mac and cheese on the stovetop ever again. I made this in the instant pot from start to finish with minimal cleanup. This mouthwatering mac and queso is made with cavatappi pasta and homemade queso. Super easy to make and your friends and family will be begging you for seconds!
- Cavatappi Pasta – You may use any short pasta shape you have on hand.
- Heavy Cream – Do not replace with whole milk.
- Granulated Garlic
- Chili Powder – Although this just adds a bit of flavor not too much heat, you may simply omit it.
- Rotel Tomatoes – Use pico de gallo or fresh onions and tomatoes instead if you don’t have rotel tomatoes. Use one cup of fresh onions and tomatoes or one cup of pico de gallo.
- Cream Cheese – I highly recommend adding cream cheese to this recipe. It will add tons of flavor, creaminess, and will help thicken the sauce.
- Cheddar Cheese – Feel free to use any kind of shredded cheese you have on hand. Other great alternatives are gouda, Monterrey Jack, and Colby Jack cheese.
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Although I highly recommend only using the instant pot for this you may certainly cook the pasta on the stovetop.
- To make this ahead of time, prepare the queso first and keep it warm in the instant pot until you’re ready to serve. Add the cooked pasta to the queso a couple of minutes before serving.
- Add some canned green chilies or jalapenos if you like it spicy.
If you enjoyed this delicious instant pot mac and queso then you will also enjoy this instant pot rasta pasta. This instant pot queso dip is another hit! You can also find other delicious recipes and cooking tutorial videos on Youtube and Facebook.
Instant Pot Mac and Queso
This creamy and delicious mac and queso is made in the instant pot from start to finish! Made with just a handful of ingredients.
- Instant Pot
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 4 1/4 cups water separated
- 10 ounce canned rotel tomatoes
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- salt to taste
- Add the cavatappi pasta, 4 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp salt to the instant pot. Close the lid and seal the valve.
- Press the "pressure cook" function and cook for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes are up, do a quick release and open the lid.
- Drain the pasta and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the instant pot and press the "saute" function. Add the rotel tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and granulated garlic. Stir for 20 seconds.
- Add the water and cream cheese but do not stir. Close the lid and press the "pressure cook" function. Cook for 1 minute.
- Once the minute is up do a quick release and open the lid. Add the heavy cream, 2 cups of cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Add a pinch of salt.
- Press the "saute" function and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently. Cook until the queso is nice and thick.
- Once the sauce is thick, add the pasta and stir until well combined. Add the remaining cheddar cheese on top.
- Press the "saute function" and close the lid. Cook for 40 seconds or until the cheese on top melts. Add salt and pepper if needed, and enjoy warm!
- Time does not include the amount of time it takes for the instant pot to come to pressure.
- Do not stir the cream cheese until after it's cooked.
- Press the saute function and let the sauce cook until thickened to your liking while stirring frequently.
- Please read the instant pot manual before using it.
Calories: 757kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 525mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1907IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 475mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedbyjulie or tag #cookedbyjulie!
This was delicious, flavorful, and easy, probably the best homemade macaroni I’ve ever had. I don’t think I stirred enough while the queso was cooking and I did end up with quite a bit of burn residue, so be careful about that.