Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Mac and Cheese

This is SO MUCH BETTER than any mac and cheese I’ve ever had, but with zero fake ingredients or packets of mystery powder. Rich, flavorful and hearty, you’ll never want to stop eating it! It’s just one more reason to love your Instant Pot (get yours here:

Learn the Instant Pot and how to cook our favorite recipes in the new Instant Pot Master Class. [learn more]

And the best part? It can be cooked in one pot and is on the table in less than 30 minutes. As much as I love my baked mac and cheese, you just can’t beat the speed and the easy cleanup of this recipe. This dish is kid-friendly and does double duty as a vegetarian main course or delicious side. And leftovers make for a rich and flavorful lunch the next day.

Pro Tipt: Do NOT drain the water from the pasta before adding the milk and cheeses. It will look watery at first, but as the milk and cheeses incorporate it will get thick and creamy!

Do you like super-stringy cheese? Use provolone instead of the Monterey jack. Want to amp up the protein with whole wheat pasta? Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly: Take the cooking time on the pasta package, divide it by two and round up to the next whole minute.

BETTER than any mac and cheese I’ve ever had, but with zero fake ingredients!


  • 4 cups water, warmed
  • 1 lb box pasta shells, rotini or other short pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to garnish


  1. Combine the water, pasta, butter, minced garlic, garlic powder and cayenne in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  2. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 4 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, quick-release the pressure. If pasta is not completely cooked, use the SAUTE function and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add evaporated milk and cheeses, one at a time, stirring between each until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  5. Salt to taste.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.