5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

4.67 from 3 votes

Easy, healthy stove top mac and cheese that tastes just like you remember!

This easy, instant pot mac and cheese is a recipe that the whole family will love.

There’s a time and place for mac and cheese. Actually, there are many times and many places for many kinds of mac and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is a pretty diverse genre, ranging from gourmet options like truffle and lobster macs to mom’s homemade baked mac and cheese. But sometimes, you just need a throwback to the childhood staple that is instant stove-top mac and cheese. This 5-ingredient instant pot mac and cheese recipe will take you back to a simpler time when all you had to worry about was whether or not the babysitter would let you have seconds.

Not Just For Kids

I have spent my entire adult life waiting in fear for the day I grow out of mac and cheese. Growing up, mac and cheese seemed like one of very few things kids had an undisputed monopoly on. Inexplicably, adults didn’t seem to have any interest in the stuff, and that was fine by me. Mac and cheese was pure gold, and it was strictly kids only.

I fully expected to grow up and one day stop liking mac and cheese the same way I expected to grow up and acquire a taste for wine and the boring TV shows my parents seemed to like.

Some of those things have happened, but I remain a devoted mac and cheese lover to this day. While I’ve started to grow into some of my parents’ other boring adult tastes and aversions (cake for breakfast, for example, is starting to lose its charm) I simply can’t imagine a day where I don’t love mac and cheese. Frankly, the older I get, the more absurd it seems to me that my parents have managed to go this long without it.

Maybe I just don’t have a very refined palette, but I am a proud mac and cheese loving adult. As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of people in this world: those who love mac and cheese, and liars.

And I don’t even just mean special, adult-sanctioned “gourmet” mac and cheese. Sure, I love the stuff in all its forms, from lobster mac to mac and cheese pizza. But at the end of the day, I’m still as happy with a big old bowl of instant stove top mac and cheese today as I was at five years old. Some things never change.

Lighten up!

Then again, some things do change. Among them? My metabolism.

I may still love most of my childhood favorites, but they don’t all fit into my current healthy lifestyle and eating goals.

Fortunately, miracles like this instant pot mac and cheese exist to fill the void. This easy, 5-ingredient instant pot mac and cheese recipe is a lightened up, healthier version of the childhood classic I never stopped craving.

I truly believe that sometimes, you just need a bowl of mac and cheese. When those cravings strike, indulge your inner child with this healthy (not too) grown-up version of that irreplaceable childhood favorite.

4.67 from 3 votes

5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is no longer just for kids with this super tasty and healthier version.
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 0.5 cup
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound whole-wheat macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese fat-free, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard


  • Combine the water and macaroni noodles in the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the pot and seal ensure the vent in closed.
  • Set the Instant Pot mode to Manual with High Pressure. Set the Instant Pot timer to 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the steam release naturally, about 10 minutes.
  • Once the steam is released, remove the lid and stir in the remaining ingredients, stir well until cheese is melted. It's ok if there is a little bit of water left in the pot. If there is a large amount of water drain off the excess before adding the remaining ingredients.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 415mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13
Keywords Budget-Friendly, High Protein, Instant Pot, Kid-Friendly, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

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Chef Nichole

Nichole has a culinary degree from Great Lakes Culinary Institute and has worked in the culinary industry for 10 years. She also has the knowledge to write recipes using the most nutritious, fresh, and balanced ingredients. Nichole enjoys creating healthy and tasty recipes anyone can prepare, no matter their cooking skill level.

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