A creamy side dish, this Instant Pot Velveeta Mac and Cheese is a family favorite! Easy to make and ready in about 10 minutes, perfect option for a quick weeknight meal!
Kids and adults will both love this cheesy pasta!
Some of the text in this post has been updated but the delicious recipe remains the same.
Typically, I serve this creamy mac and cheese as a side dish to chicken, pork or steak but if you'd rather use it as an entrée, simply double the recipe (see FAQ for more info).
I know, some of you may balk at the use of Velveeta and that's okay. Maybe it isn't for you, but I have to say, Velveeta does result in the creamiest mac and cheese. Give it a try before you judge.
If you absolutely cannot get on board with Velveeta then perhaps head over and check out my other Instant Pot Mac & Cheese, which uses cheddar and parmesan.
- Pasta - elbow macaroni, small shells or other small shaped pasta
- Salt & Pepper
Melt butter in the instant pot, using the sauté function. Add water, salt & pepper and then the pasta.
Do not stir the pasta but gently push it with a spoon to make sure it is all in the water. Stirring may cause the pasta to settle and burn to the bottom.
Once the timer beeps, release the pressure (quick-release).
Now you can stir in the milk and the cheese. The residual heat should be enough to melt the cheese but if not, you can turn it back to sauté for a minute.
Taste for salt and pepper and add if necessary.
Velveeta Mac and Cheese makes a great side dish to many things including these dishes:
New to the Instant Pot? Check out this article on Parade.com for 8 Ground Beef Instant Pot Recipes for easy meal ideas!
Salt and pepper are the go to but if you want even more flavor, try adding garlic powder.
To double the recipe, simply double all ingredients. Cook time and instructions remain the same.
Sure enough, whenever I post an Instant Pot recipe on social media, I get the question "Why bother with the Instant Pot for simple mac and cheese".
So, before you ask me that, here are the reasons I prefer to make my Velveeta Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot.
- Easy Clean Up - The instant pot liner can go in the dishwasher.
- Kids - This is an easy recipe that my kids can help with. For whatever reason, they seem less intimidated by the Instant Pot than they do with the stove top flames.
- Heat - No heating up the house on a hot day
Not sure which Instant Pot to get? I have this one which I purchased on Amazon. It has been great so far and I highly recommend it. If you have a large family, perhaps up to an 8 qt.
Printable Recipe Card
Instant Pot Velveeta Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni or other small pasta shape
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt I always use kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 ounce velveeta cheese cubed
- ⅓ cup milk more to achieve desired consistency
- Place butter in Instant Pot.Set Instant Pot to saute and allow butter to melt. Turn off saute mode. Add water, salt, pepper and pasta.
- Cover and lock lid in place and make sure the vent is set to sealed. Set timer to 6 minutes high pressure cooking.
- When timer is up, carefully switch to venting and allow pressure to release.
- The Instant Pot should now have switched to "keep warm" mode, leave it on "keep warm" and stir in cubed cheese and ⅓ C milk. Add more milk in small quantities if desired, depending on how you prefer the consistency.
- Adjust for salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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I have a question. Do you think it would be ok if I used Velveeta Cheese Sauce that’s prepackaged & already “melted”?
I have not tested the recipe with that ingredient so I can’t say for sure. I would imagine it would be okay and my guess would be to cut back on the milk...?
I am trying it tonight. Using the velveeta liquid cheese that comes with the “shells and cheese” and I will add no milk. Unless I believe it is too thick.
I'd love to know how it worked out?
Followed this recipe exactly and got soup. I finished it off on the stove to reduce the liquid down. I did a quick release. Is that where I went wrong?
The recipe calls for a quick release. This recipe has been reviewed several times on pinterest and I haven't heard of it being too soupy, I'm perplexed. Let's get some more information to find out why:
What type of milk did you use (1%, 2% etc)
What shape of pasta did you use (elbow, shells etc)
Did you use brand name Velveeta block cheese or something similar?
Linda Meisch says
When I opened the pot, the elbow macaroni was floating in water already. I used a 3 qt Instant Pot. I added 2% milk and Velveeta. I had hoped it would thicken up, but it didn't. I dumped it in a pot and heated in on the stove to reduce the liquid.
One last question - did you do 8 oz pasta by weight or by volume?
Linda Meisch says
I divided the 16 oz box of elbows exactly in half.
Todd Pritchard says
Some pressure cookers will automatically set themselves on low pressure for foods such as rice and grains. You have to make sure it's on high pressure. I had to use the "Beans/Chili" button on mine.
Interesting. I actually never use the pre-set buttons but rather manually set time and pressure. This could have beeen the original posters issue
Merle Sander says
This may sound ignorant, but I got to ask. Do you or do you not drain the elbows before you add the cheese?
I ask as I have just followed your recipe and I didn't see anywhere you mentioning draining the noodles. So now I have a cheesy elbow noodle soup.
I do not drain as just about all the water is gone when the lid comes off. Let me ask, did you measure your pasta by weight or volume? That could make the difference.
This recipe was awesome it was actually the first time using my instant pot and it turned out great. Only thing was something was my error and that was i added a little to much salt. I also added garlic powder and evaporated milk instead of milk. I also double the recipe and it still turned out great.
Jolene Hoover says
I doubled the recipe for my 8 qt. IP. Plus 4 more oz.. velveeta, more milk and 1/2 c. bagged/shredded Monterey jack/Colby cheese that needed to be used. I had no problem with anything. I just prefer our mac and cheese to be saucey. I liked it. My daughter said Grandma would like it. And she was a home economics teacher who cooked almost everything from scratch !
How long did you cook it for with doubling the recipe?
Cook time remains the same even with doubling the ingredients - enjoy
Kayla McBeth says
I'm brand new to the instant pot world , my question is can I double this recipe for a 6qt? I'm waiting for it to arrive and gathering recipes in the meantime but so far all I'm finding in regards to pasta is only 8oz and I usually make 16oz and now I'm wondering if I should have ordered larger than 6qt.
I have a 6qt and have had great luck in doubling (Taco Pasta doubles perfectly) recipes (cook time the same). I have not doubled this particular recipe yet as we use it as a side dish and 8 oz works for my family. I would imagine it would work out great.
Diane Britt says
What butter do you recommend?
The butter I use mostly is by Cabot Creamery.
This is amazing! Second time making it perfect each time. Definitely our new go to for Mac N Cheese! I added a tsp of garlic powder, onion powder and 1/2 tsp of paprika used chicken broth instead of H2O. So glad I found U! Going to make it basic N try sneaking it in on my picky son who loves KFC's! Can't wait
I’m planning to make this recipe this week and I wanted to add some hamburger meat to it. Is this something I should cook separately and then add after I’ve completed the full recipe or is there a way I can also cook the meat in the instant pot??
I haven’t prepared this recipe with hamburger but you might be interested in my IP cheeseburger Mac recipe https://foodyschmoodyblog.com/instant-pot-cheeseburger-mac/
September Lynn says
I have made "cheese burger mac n' cheese" a bunch of times and I would recommend to cook the hamburger in the instant pot and instead of draining the grease from the hamburger just use a little less butter. It will add a more beefy taste to the mac n' cheese. Most of the time I also add frozen veggies and sometimes mushrooms to the recipe if you do this I would suggest reducing the amount of water. If you cook 8 oz. of pasta use 8 oz. of frozen veggies and reduce the amount of water in the instant pot by at least 1/4 of a cup, If you use 16 oz. of pasta use 16 oz. of frozen veggies and reduce the water by 2/3 of a cup and if you add fresh or canned mushrooms add them when you put the cheese in and let it rest a little while, the fresh mushrooms will cook from the from the heat of the warming setting and will have a nice texture and if you use canned they won't get all rubbery
Sandy Lamb says
I just got through making this and I must tell you that I followed the instructions exactly and it was PERFECT! The best mac and cheese that I've ever made and the best part was I could grill the hamburger steaks while I was cooking the macaroni! The IP kept it warm until the steaks got done and it just took a minute to add the Velveeta and a splash of milk!
I have found a new go-to Macaroni and cheese recipe!!
I can't wait for my Grandkids to find out that it didn't come from a box! ( For this Yankee living in Tennessee, that's a pretty big feat!) 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe!
Thank you so much for your review! So happy you enjoyed it!
Tried this recipe. I had to scoop out most of the water after I cooked the pasta. Would have been way to soupy. Came out good when I did tnat
This is surprising to me. What kind of pasta did you use? Also, did you measure your pasta by weight or volume? That could be the problem.
I made it ahead of time because I’m using my instant pot to make ribs. How do you recommend reheating?
When I have re-heated leftovers the next day I typically put it in a pan on the stove with a small splash of milk and continuously stir it over medium-low heat.
Brenda Chasse says
Can this be put in the freezer?
I have not tested this so I can't say for sure.
My grandkids and husband loved this! Will be making again! Super easy.
This was great! I doubled the recipe but only used 3 cups of water. It was perfect.
I often double it too because the kids (and me) always want leftovers!
Cathy Ann Rowbottom says
Just what I was looking for! Quick, easy, creamy goodness. I'm so glad I found you. You can dress it up or down but it's perfect as is. We do a Mac n Cheese bar with bacon, meatballs, jalapeños, hot dogs, olives and even pickles. Great recipe!
so glad you found this recipe! I now have to make this at least once a week because my kids are still obsessed even after all this time! Luckily, it goes great with just about anything. For an easy way to make it an entree, toss some rotisserie chicken in there and a little broccoli and call it a day!