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Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef is an easy pressure cooker dinner recipe made with ground beef, cheddar cheese and pasta in a creamy barbecue sauce.
instant pot bbq macaroni and beef with cheddar cheese in white bowls

This one pot BBQ macaroni and beef is one of those easy Instant Pot ground beef recipes that’s absolutely perfect for busy days. You just have to brown the hamburger meat, but then you just throw everything else into the pressure cooker and let it cook dinner for you! Well, kind of, but you get what I mean!

Barbecue macaroni and beef is a variation of Instant Pot creamy shells and beef, which is one of the most popular Instant Pot recipes on the blog. Actually it’s the most popular recipe on the blog, and it’s also one of my family’s favorite easy ground beef recipes!

Anyway, I already have a stove top version of this recipe — One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef — on the blog. It’s a favorite with the kiddos because they love anything with barbecue sauce!

But when I decided to make this dinner in the pressure cooker, I couldn’t find shell pasta in the store. Seriously. So, I used macaroni instead of shells, but everything else is pretty much the same. I did end up adding a little extra seasoning for the Instant Pot recipe because I think you need some additional flavor when you use the pressure cooker.

How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef

This cheesy BBQ macaroni and beef is like a homemade Hamburger Helper with barbecue sauce. It’s super easy, budget friendly, and it even has corn, so it’s definitely a one dish dinner!

You start off by browning the ground beef in the Instant Pot. Then, you add the water, pasta, frozen corn and BBQ sauce. Don’t stir the barbecue sauce in with the rest of the ingredients, since you don’t want it to burn. Just leave it on top, and mix it in after the pressure cooking is done.

instant pot bbq macaroni and beef in pressure cooker;

After that, you stir in shredded cheddar cheese and cream. The cream gives the beefy mac a creamier texture, but you can leave it out if you want. You can also add some extra BBQ sauce at this point.

instant pot bbq macaroni and beef on spoon

I like to serve barbecue beefy mac with extra cheese on the side. I also usually put out extra barbecue sauce, as well. This way, the cheese lovers are happy, and the BBQ sauce lovers are too!

Oh, you can use your favorite BBQ sauce here — whatever you like best!

instant pot bbq macaroni and beef with cheddar cheese and corn in dish

Looking for more easy Instant Pot ground beef recipes?


Recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef

5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef

By: Dee
Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef is an easy pressure cooker dinner recipe made with ground beef, cheddar cheese, pasta and corn in a creamy barbecue sauce. It's ready in about 30 minutes and kid approved!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 14


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 16-ounce box uncooked macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
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  • Hit SAUTE on Instant Pot, and when it reads hot, add olive oil and ground beef
  • Break beef up with spatula, season with sea salt, minced onions, garlic powder and pepper, and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently so that beef doesn't stick to pot
  • Hit CANCEL, then add macaroni, and pour water over and around macaroni
  • Add frozen corn on top of macaroni, then add BBQ sauce over macaroni, but DO NOT stir
  • Cover with lid, turn vent to sealing position, and hit PRESSURE COOK for 4 minutes
  • After 4 minutes cooking time, when pot beeps, do a quick release or gradual quick release, and carefully remove lid when pin drops
  • Stir in cream and gradually add cheddar cheese, and mix well. Serve immediately, and add more cheese and extra BBQ sauce, if desired


Recipe was made in an 8-quart Instant Pot electric pressure cooker


Calories: 350kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
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Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef

I hope you enjoy this easy Instant Pot BBQ Macaroni and Beef dinner as much as we do!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Jennifer says:

    Made this as written in a 6 quart instant pot and it was perfect. So good!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks so much, Jennifer. So glad you liked it!

  2. Michelle says:

    Looks like a great easy recipe! I’m always on the lookout for anything that simplifies dinnertime!

  3. Lauren @ Hall Nesting says:

    I know what I want for dinner tonight

  4. Catalina says:

    BBQ macaroni and beef! Sounds great!

  5. Abeer says:

    This looks such a perfect family meal! Yum!

  6. Demeter says:

    Such a great family friendly dinner! So easy with an Instant Pot.

    1. Dee says:

      It’s super easy when you use the Instant Pot!

  7. Sabrina says:

    I love using the instant pot! What a great, simple recipe for me to use in it!

  8. I Heart Naptime says:

    Yum!! My family would LOVE this!

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks! My family absolutely loved this dinner!

  9. Dorothy at Shockinglydelish says:

    I haven’t attempted many pasta dishes in the IP yet. This looks like the perfect way to start!

    1. Dee says:

      We love pasta in the Instant Pot — so easy! 🙂