Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

Smooth and creamy this easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Velveeta has a marvelous cheesy sauce. 

A mixture of velveeta, sharp cheddar cheese and evaporated milk make this the best creamy macaroni and cheese!

Plate of delicious mac and cheese made in the Instant pot

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy our Velveeta Shells and Cheese on the stove top and Chicken Alfredo Penne Casserole.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe with Velveeta Recipe

Just like a box of Velveeta shells and cheese this homemade version is cheaper and easier to make big batches at home. We love that the leftovers reheat well and make a great side dish for so many meals like Pulled Pork Sliders or Chicken, Bacon Ranch Sliders.

Fuss free, this side dish recipe made in the Instant Pot is also known as “liquid gold”. It’s easy to make without a stove and no draining is necessary. Pressure cook the pasta, release the pressure and then stir in the remaining ingredients for a fast and easy meal.

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The residual heat from pressure cooking the pasta easily melts cubes of smooth Velveeta cheese.

While elbow macaroni works well in this recipe, we love how shells help scoop up all of the cheesy goodness! This recipe reminds us of the mac and cheese from Cinderella’s Royal Table at Disney!

Wooden spoon in pot full of creamy and cheesy mac and cheese

This recipe is adapted from our Farmhouse Crock Pot Mac and Cheese that is super popular on Pinterest!  And here’s a version to make in a roaster – Mac and Cheese for a Crowd.

Mac and Cheese Variations

There are so many more kid-friendly options. Instant Pot Sausage and Pasta where the Kielbasa or Little Smokies are browned before making the pasta and stirred back in with the cheese.

Broccoli can be cooked along with the pasta and then cheese stirred in. Leftover cooked chicken is another great mix-in

How to Make Pasta in the Instant Pot

One cup of pasta cooks in one cup of chicken broth in 5 – 7 minutes and no draining is necessary.

When you put pasta in broth and bring to a boil using the saute setting before pressurizing pasta cooks under high pressure in 5 minutes.

When the lid is sealed immediately and set to pressure cook it will take 6 to 7 minutes of pressure cooking to get tender pasta.

Plate of the best instant pot mac and cheese in front of a pressure cooker

Ingredients Needed to Make Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese:

  • Small shells or other smaller pasta
  • Chicken broth
  • Butter
  • Evaporated milk
  • Velveeta cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and onion flakes add more flavor and are optional. My kids prefer to leave omit all of these seasonings.

How Much Mac & Cheese Does This Make?

One cup of uncooked pasta once cooked and mixed with the other ingredients creates about two cups of mac and cheese.

Can This Recipe Be Doubled?

This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled as long as the pot isn’t more than half full. This will allow room to stir in the remaining ingredients in a hot environment.

Instant Pot Sausage and Pasta 

Cut precooked smoked sausage or Kielbasa into slices or chunks. Turn pot to sautee setting and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once oil is hot add sausage and turn until brown.

If using raw sausage cook until no more pink remains.

Once meat is done set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

Add chicken broth to the pan, then add pasta and follow the recipe. Once pasta is cooked, add cooked or browned meat and cheese into the pot and stir well.

Why Make Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot?

  • Can make a bigger batch much easier!
  • Can make a double, triple or quadruple batch of mac and cheese for a crowd in an 8 quart instant pot
  • No flour roux is necessary to make this delicious side dish
  • Cheaper to make a big batch of homemade
  • Chicken broth replaces the need for water during cooking
  • No need to drain, so can be great when camping, remodeling a kitchen, or other times when kitchen appliances and sink space are limited

Recipe Tips & Tricks:

  • I’ve made this recipe with the same cheese sauce any where from 2 cups of pasta and broth to 3 cups of pasta and broth – adjust the amount of macaroni to make it more or less cheesy
  • Chicken broth adds more flavor than water alone
  • Cooking time varies with different pressure cookers, so cook pasta and broth, then taste test a piece of pasta for doneness before adding remaining ingredients
  • This recipe is designed for smaller pieces of pasta like shells, elbows or other small noodles
  • I always like to use a combination of cheese as the contrasting flavors makes mac and cheese so much better, you substitute the cheddar cheese for another type if desired
  • Purchasing a block of cheese and shredding it yourself will help it to melt and do the famous “cheese pull” better than pre-shredded cheese which has an anti-caking agent on it
  • Cut Velveeta into 1 1/2 to 2″ cubes so they’ll melt easier than a larger block 
  • Avoid pressure cooking dairy products as they will curdle, allow remaining heat in the pot to warm them up and melt them
  • This recipe works well in any size of pressure cooker, a 4 quart works for a smaller batch, I typically use a 6 or 8 quart appliance so that I can make bigger batches – just don’t fill pot over half full with pasta and broth.

Step By Step Instructions:

1. Measure out small shells and pour into Instant Pot. Add chicken broth. Set to saute and bring to a boil.

Pasta in chicken broth in pressure cooker

2. Seal lid and set to high pressure for 5 minutes.

Using quick release on Instant Pot for cooking pasta

3. Once cooking time is over turn the valve to perform a quick release.

Cooked shells in chicken broth in Insta Pot

4. Add cubed processed cheese, cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, butter, kosher salt, pepper and onion flakes if desired.

Velveeta cheese, cheddar cheese, evaporated milk and butter being stirred into cooked shell pasta in Instant Pot

5. Stir with a long handled spoon until cheese is melted. If cheese is not melting easily, put the lid back on the pot for a minute or two and then stir again. Cheese should melt easily by this point.

Cheese sauce is typically very creamy at this point, almost like the Panera Bread Mac and Cheese, only with yellow cheese. The sauce will set up and become a bit more firm over the longer the pasta sits and cools down.

Stirring velveeta cheese, cheddar cheese and evaporated milk into instant pot cooked macaroni

More Great Instant Pot Recipes:

Instant Pot Sauerkraut and Sausage is a great way to cook a classic with a great beer flavor.

Pressure Cooker Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, Apples & Bacon features lots of colors and flavors.

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs is such a tender way to make ribs. Add BBQ sauce for an amazing meal!

Serving spoon in Velveeta shells and cheese made in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Velveeta

Servings 12 servings
Author: Jennifer
Smooth and creamy this easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Velveeta is served in a marvelous cheesy sauce.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Pressurizing and release time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 cups shells uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper optional
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion flakes optional


  • Add pasta and broth into the Instant Pot; use the saute setting to get broth boiling. Then lock the lid into place and choose high pressure. Pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  • When the timer sounds, use the quick release, then carefully remove the lid. Stir the pasta and test for desired doneness. Most or all of the broth should be absorbed, so there's no need to drain.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pot and stir with a long handled spoon until cheese is melted. If cheese doesn't melt easily replace the lid for a minute or two and stir again.



Calories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 10gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 762mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 466IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 257mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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