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Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese Recipe is an easy way to make Kraft macaroni and cheese or any boxed mac and cheese in your pressure cooker. This easy recipe takes just a few minutes and is quicker than the stove top method.

bowl of instant pot kraft mac and cheese on the table

Yes, you can make boxed mac and cheese in the Instant Pot or any electric pressure cooker, really. It’s super easy and definitely a kid friendly Instant Pot recipe!

I grew up with the blue box of Kraft Mac and Cheese, and it’s perfect when you need a quick meal. Since we’re home more now, I picked up some boxed mac and cheese to make for the kids’ lunches. They love the stuff!

And, if you’re wondering why anyone would want to make boxed mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, I’ll tell you. Easy clean-up and no stirring! No lifting a heavy pot of water either!

If you’re looking for a homemade macaroni and cheese recipe in the Instant Pot try my Creamy Mac and Cheese or Kielbasa Mac and Cheese or Instant Pot creamy mac and cheese with ham or Instant Pot Buffalo chicken mac and cheese .

blue box Kraft macaroni and cheese, butter, milk and water

Ingredients

You only need 3 ingredients plus water for this boxed mac and cheese Instant Pot recipe. They should be easy to find in your grocery store.

  • Kraft Mac and Cheese — Blue box
  • Water — to cook the pasta and build pressure in the electric pressure cooker
  • Butter — for creamy Instant Pot mac
  • Milk — just enough milk to thin out the cheese sauce. Whole milk or 2 percent milk work best.

Optional — I spray the inner pot with cooking spray before adding the dry macaroni. This helps prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

First spray the bottom of the inner pot with non stick spray. Then, add the dry pasta to the pot.

For this recipe, I used 2 boxes Kraft Mac and Cheese so that we’d have some leftovers. I’ve even made 3 boxes without a problem.

Next, add water, and place the lid on the pressure cooker.

2 boxes kraft mac and cheese in instant pot with water

Cook Time

Cook the boxed mac and cheese for 4 minutes on high pressure or manual high pressure. This is the same cooking time for 1, 2 or 3 boxes.

Do a quick release or gradual pressure release when 4 minutes are up. A natural release takes too long for pasta.

mix cheese packet with butter and macaroni in instant pot

After pressure cooking, stir the macaroni with a wooden spoon or silicone spoon. It might be a little sticky, but it loosens up as you stir it. If it seems like there’s too much water, don’t worry. The macaroni absorbs the extra water as it cools.

Then, add the cheese powder and butter. Stir the mac and cheese until it’s all well combined.

Add enough milk for the sauce to get creamy. This is a personal preference at my house, but it is about 1/2 cup of milk.

boxed mac and cheese in instant pot

The sauce thickens up as it cools down, so I like to transfer it to a large serving bowl.

You can also just let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Instant Pot kraft mac and cheese in white serving bowl

How to Store

Store leftover Instant Pot macaroni in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It should keep for up to 4 days.

Recipe Variations

Basic mac and cheese is awesome on its own, but you can make it even better!

To make Instant Pot Kraft mac and cheese with hot dogs, add some sliced cooked hot dogs after pressure cooking. I make hot dogs in my air fryer, or microwave, slice them up and toss them into the cooked mac and cheese before serving.

If you like cheesier macaroni and cheese, stir in shredded cheese before serving. We like Colby Jack cheese or sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese.

Want to spice things up? Add some Buffalo sauce or your favorite hot sauce! Even basic spices like black pepper, kosher salt and garlic powder add flavor.

For extra creamy mac, use heavy cream instead of milk

bowl of kraft mac and cheese with hot dogs

FAQ

How much water do I use for 2 boxes of macaroni?

After testing the recipe with different amounts of water, I found that 3 cups of water is perfect for 2 boxes of macaroni. If you like your mac and cheese with thinner sauce, you can add 3 1/2 cups of water.

How much water for 3 boxes mac and cheese in Instant Pot?

Use 4 cups water for 3 boxes of mac and cheese in the Instant Pot.

How do you make boxed mac and cheese less liquidy?

The best way to get creamy boxed mac and cheese without a ton of liquid is to stir in the butter and cheese packet with the macaroni first. Then, add just enough milk to make it creamy or to your desired consistency.

close up of Instant Pot boxed mac and cheese in a white bowl

Cooking Tips

Never add milk and cheese during pressure cooking, as they will curdle. Add milk and the cheese packet and any extra cheese after pressure cooking.

Non stick spray helps prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot.

Always do a quick release with box mac and cheese.

Give the macaroni a good stir after pressure cooking. This will help pasta absorb any remaining water and prevent the elbow macaroni noodles from sticking.

5 from 17 votes

Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese

By: Dee
Instant Pot Kraft Mac and Cheese Recipe is an easy way to make Kraft macaroni and cheese or any boxed mac and cheese in your pressure cooker. This easy recipe takes just a few minutes and is quicker than the stove top method.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Pressure time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients  

  • 2 7.25 ounce boxes Kraft Mac and Cheese
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups cold water
  • ½ cup milk add gradually and use enough to reach desired consistency
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Instructions 

  • Spray inner pot with non stick cooking spray
  • Pour the macaroni into the Instant Pot, and add water
  • Place lid on pot, make sure valve is on sealing position, and pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure
  • Pot will take a few minutes to pressurize, then will count down and cook for 4 minutes. When pot beeps, do a quick release or gradual quick release to minimize liquid spraying out
  • When pin drops, carefully remove lid, stir macaroni, and stir in butter and cheese powder until smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in enough milk to reach desired consistency

Notes

Recipe was tested in both the 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pot pressure cookers and can be made in either without changing anything.
To make 1 box, use 1.5 cups water and use amounts of butter and milk recommended on package. For 3 boxes Kraft mac and cheese, use 4 cups of water and increase the other ingredients.
For extra creamy mac and cheese, substitute heavy cream for the milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 109mg, Potassium: 21mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Calcium: 21mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy this Kraft mac n cheese recipe as much as my family does. It’s a kid’s ultimate comfort food around here! It’s a also a great option for making mac and cheese if you don’t have a stove!

If you do try this easy recipe, please leave a star rating and/or comment.

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bowl of kraft mac and cheese in front of instant pot

Recipe first published in 2020 and updated in 2023.

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. Betsy says:

    Only way I cook the blue box now!5 stars

  2. Jim says:

    Love this dish! I’ve been using it with the Cheetos Cheesy Jalapeno mac and cheese. Chopped us some hotdogs and add them with the noodles. A quick delicious meal.5 stars

  3. Scott says:

    I made this as a side dish tonight. My goodness it was so good! I’ll never use the stovetop for this again. I only had skim milk on hand so I used half and half instead. Only needed about a tablespoon. Eight tablespoons of butter seemed like a lot but that is what I added. I don’t know enough about cooking yet to deviate from a proven recipe.
    I liked the idea from one of the reviews about adding broccoli. I will also try cutting up hotdogs and browning them in a skillet to add along with the cheese packets.5 stars

  4. Aaron says:

    Made this tonight for dinner and Im hooked! Will definitely not make it any other way now! I didnt even have to use any milk! I did add some shredded cheese and I think that gave it the creaminess the milk would have. Next time I am going to try steaming some broccoli in with it and see how that goes šŸ™‚5 stars

  5. Robin Abernethy says:

    I will never make Kraft Mac & Cheese any other way from now on. This was So good. Have my boyfriend’s son & fiance over from Finland and his son asked for Kraft Mac & Cheese with dinner. Dinner was running late and as I was pulling out a pot to boil water, I looked at my Instant Pot and thought “someone has to have figured this out in the IP” and did a quick Google search and found you! You got dinner on the table so much faster! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I made this for lunch today — so much easier in the IP!

  6. Juan Duthreze says:

    Very good food, I made this and it was much easier and made more than with boiling a pot of water!5 stars

  7. Natalie says:

    This was sooo good! I was looking for a way for DH to make himself a quick snack if I’m not home. The instruction were very easy and the mac and cheese was better than I’ve made on the stove.
    Thank You!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Natalie. Glad you liked it!