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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham is an extra creamy pasta recipe made in the pressure cooker with leftover ham and 3 kinds of cheese. This quick and easy one dish dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes, and it’s definitely kid approved!

instant pot mac and cheese with ham in white ramekins

This pressure cooker mac and cheese recipe is perfect for using up leftover ham. If you have cooked ham in your fridge, this easy, cheesy dinner is for you!

My family is crazy about mac and cheese. Seriously, my son and the Hubs could practically live on the stuff, and my other kids love it too. Personally, I never was a huge fan of macaroni and cheese until I started making pasta in the Instant Pot.

You guys, Instant Pot mac and cheese is a total game changer. It’s so easy, and it turns out perfect every single time. Since I make mac and cheese in the pressure cooker so often, I felt the need to change up the recipe a little bit, and the result was this amazing creamy Instant Pot mac and cheese with ham.

mac and cheese with butter and water in instant pot

I just took my basic pressure cooker mac and cheese recipe and added a little leftover ham from Easter. I don’t know about you, but we have a lot of ham in the fridge right now. If you don’t have leftover ham, any thick deli ham would work, as well.

So basically, you make your macaroni in the Instant Pot, and when it’s done, you throw in some ham.

instant pot mac and cheese with ham on spoon

You can warm the ham up first if you want, but the cooked pasta is hot enough to do the trick. Just stir the ham into the macaroni, and then add the cream and the cheese.

I don’t use mustard in my usual mac and cheese recipe, but I felt like mustard would be perfect with the ham. It’s almost like a hot ham and cheese sandwich with a little mustard for extra flavor!

instant pot mac and cheese with ham in white dishes

If  you’re totally opposed to mustard, you can leave it out. But, it really does go well with the ham, and it’s only a teaspoon, so try it first — k?

My little man loves mustard, but the Hubs does not. Still, even he thought it was fine here.

instant pot mac and cheese with ham in fork

Recipe for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham

5 from 9 votes

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham

By: Dee
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham is made in the pressure cooker with macaroni pasta, leftover ham and 3 kinds of cheese. It's a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love, and it's ready in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 16-ounce box elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter cut into even pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups cooked diced ham
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
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  • Add the macaroni, water, butter, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper to the Instant Pot
  • Turn valve to sealing position, and hit PRESSURE COOK for 4 minutes
  • Allow pot to come to pressure, and after 4 minutes cook time, do a gradual quick release, hit CANCEL, and carefully open lid when pin drops
  • Gently stir the macaroni, then stir in the ham, and stir in the cream
  • Gradually, stir in the cheeses, about 1 cup at a time, and mix well so that it all blends together
  • Stir in the Dijon mustard, and serve immediately


Recipe was made in an 8-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker using Barilla brand pasta and shredded block cheese (not packaged)


Calories: 390kcal

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

Additional Info

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

Can you use any cheese in this recipe?

You can use your favorite cheese here, but I think a combination works better.

Can this recipe be cut in half?

Yes! Just halve the ingredients, but the cook time for the pasta remains the same.

Tips for Making Perfect Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

  1. Grate your own cheese for the best texture. It melts easier, too.
  2. Use heavy cream or evaporated milk instead of milk for creamier texture
  3. Cut butter into pieces
  4. Do a gradual quick release so liquid doesn’t spray everywhere
  5. Stir cheese in gradually and allow to melt before adding more
  6. Add ham after the pasta cooks

My family is crazy about this easy Instant Pot mac and cheese with ham. My kids and the Hubs all had seconds! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Happy Cooking,

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Recipe Rating


  1. Annah says:

    Not sure what happened but we had macaroni soup. Way too much water! Boiled/sauteed it after which just resulted in complete mess on the bottom of the instant pot.

    1. Dee says:

      You need 4 cups of water for 1 pound of pasta in the Instant Pot. I have been making this recipe for years with great results. Maybe the measurements were off?

  2. Sandy says:

    This recipe turned out so good, and it was so easy and fast! Love a one pot meal. We made this with our leftover Christmas ham, and it was just different enough that people were not cringing at the thought of having ham for the third time. Thank you so much for sharing!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      So happy you liked the recipe, Sandy. My family is the same way about leftovers. 🙂

  3. Fran says:

    I am making this for Christmas Eve dinner. When I found this recipe several years ago it became my go to mac and cheese. It’s easy and delicious every time. Never a disappointment. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, Fran! I’m glad you like it!

  4. Tom says:

    Finally, a Mac & Cheese recipe the kids like more than Annie’s! Worked well for me: though I discovered it benefits from double the garlic & pepper, and adding mustard powder with the garlic. Nice job!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks so much, Tom! I”m glad you liked it!

  5. Chris says:

    So quick and easy. I followed recipe as is, including mustard, may have been the best Mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten. Could not believe how easy it was too!! Will definitely make it again, my family loved it.5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      I’m so glad you liked the mac and cheese, Chris. Thanks!