Introducing your new go-to easy weeknight recipe: Creamy Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese! Macaroni and cheese is so easy to cook in the pressure cooker that you won’t want to make the boxed stuff again! This creamy recipe is a delicious basic pressure cooker mac and cheese with bacon. Feel free to use this Instant Pot mac and cheese with bacon as a starting point for a customized mac and cheese using different cheeses and add-ins. I developed this recipe as part of the Allrecipes Allstars Tastemakers program. Rate, review, and photograph my recipe for Creamy Instant Pot® Bacon Macaroni and Cheese on Allrecipes here, see the full Creamy Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe along with some of my cooking and ingredient tips below, or Jump to Recipe directly.
For more easy Instant Pot recipes like this, you’ll love my cookbook, Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Beginners! Get your copy now (available in both paperback and digital formats), and check out some sneak peek recipes from the cookbook and my other Instant Pot recipes here.
How to make Instant Pot mac and cheese with bacon
To make this Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese, start by combining water, dry elbow macaroni (shells will work as well), salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper in a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot), stirring until well combined. Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, and select high pressure with the timer set for 6 minutes. FYI, it will take 10 to 11 minutes for the pot to reach pressure before the cooking time begins.
After the pressure cooking time ends, release the pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer’s instructions, then unlock and remove the lid. The noodles should have soaked up most of the liquid. Now it’s time to make it nice and cheesy!
For the next step you’ll stir in milk, shredded Cheddar and Gouda cheeses gradually, alternating between a little of the milk and a handful of cheese at a time.
Ingredient tip: You can modify this recipe with different cheese combinations. I have found the combination of Cheddar cheese with a semi-soft or soft white cheese like Gouda to be pretty tried-and-true. You can experiment by substituting Smoked Gouda, Monterey Jack, Gruyere, Havarti, or Muenster for the Gouda.
Stir until the cheeses are melted.
The next step for this Instant Pot mac and cheese with bacon is to stir in the… you guessed it… bacon! The recipe calls for half a cup of cooked, crumbled bacon, but you know what? Just measure that with your heart.
Ingredient Shortcut: Use pre-cooked crumbled real bacon bits to save time (the good soft ones in the baggy, not the dehydrated dry bacon bits in the bottle).
This Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese is best served warm and fresh.
Here’s the Creamy Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe! Enjoy!
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
- 4 cups water
- 1 16-ounce package dry elbow macaroni
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
- Stir together the macaroni noodles, water, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper together in the inner pot of a multi-function electric pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot).
- Close and lock the pressure cooker lid, make sure the pressure/steam release switch is set to sealing, and set the cooking time to 6 minutes at high/normal pressure. It will take 10 to 11 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before the cooking time begins. After the pressure cooking time ends release the pressure using the manufacturer’s quick release method.
- Open the lid and gradually stir in the milk and cheeses, alternating between a little of the milk and a handful of cheese at a time, and stir until the cheeses are melted. Stir in the crumbled bacon and serve.
That was amazing. I needed an easy dish for a pot luck lunch at work.
I changed a couple things for my taste. Added 1/2 cup plain yogurt, almost 3 cups of milk, 1/2 stick butter. Used 1 cup Monterey Jack & 3 cups mild cheddar. I used about 2 lbs noodles, garlic&o noon powder 2 teaspoons salt.
Ramona Cruz-Peters says
I’m so glad this worked out so well for your pot luck! Thanks for sharing how your modifications worked as well. I consider this to be a good basic recipe so there’s lots of room for customization with your favorite cheeses, etc.