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Copy Cat Panera Mac N Cheese In the Instant Pot

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Move over boxed mac n cheese and hello Panera mac n cheese! Copy Cat Panera Mac N Cheese In the Instant Pot is so rich and decadent, you will want to savor every single bite. You can make this Panera mac n cheese in only 4 minutes using your Instant Pot. I mean it truly can’t get any easier, and the flavor factor is off the charts. Panera’s mac n cheese is by far one of my most favored items on their menu. I am a sucker for pasta and when you add loads of cheese, it has to be good! 


What sets this mac n cheese apart from the rest is the variety of ingredients it adds such a unique flavor that really draws you in. This is velvety, cheesy, and so very creamy, it is absolutely delectable. This recipe you use some hot sauce and Dijon mustard, bare with me here. These two ingredients really give this copycat Panera mac n cheese that unforgettable flavor that you will dream about. At first, I thought how is hot sauce and mustard going to taste good in mac n cheese, but it just works. 

My Instant Pot Chicken Cordon Blue Is one of my favorite cheesy dishes.


The sharp cheese and the American cheese are two kinds of cheese I love to cook with because they melt so well, it will give you a really nice and smooth texture that is so creamy. Best of all they are two kinds of cheese that you can buy pretty much anywhere. I have made some mac n cheese recipes that I had to go to three different stores to find the specific cheeses it called for. This recipe is so simple and uses basic ingredients that you might already have on hand in your pantry and fridge. 

I can’t even tell you how many times I have made this recipe, it is so amazing and tastes exactly like Panera’s mac n cheese! It gets requested to be added to the menu often, and I can’t say no because it is hard to resist. Plus the leftovers of this are amazing, the ingredients really blend together even more for a more bold and rich flavor. I hope you and your family enjoy this comforting copycat mac n cheese recipe. 

UPDATE: Make sure your broth covers the Pasta. you might need 3 cups just enough to cover the pasta. 

Instant pot Copy Cat panera-mac-n-cheese

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂 Also see how to make Boxed Mac N Cheese right in the Instant Pot!

Panera copy cat Instant pot mac n cheese

Copy Cat Panera Mac N Cheese In the Instant Pot

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This copycat mac n cheese in the Instant Pot is so rich and decadent, you will want to savor every single bite.


  • 16 oz pasta I used elbow
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz sharp cheese
  • 8 oz American cheese
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbs butter


  1. Place pasta in your Instant Pot with chicken broth and butter.
  2. Set pot to manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  3. Do a quick release.
  4. Place your Instant Pot on saute.
  5. Stir in milk, mustard, and hot sauce
  6. Stir in cheese and stir until melted about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 733mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

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Tonya Turbville

Saturday 28th of March 2020

I probably had to increase the chicken broth /water to about 6 cups rather than 2 because 2 is just not enough. I used 8 oz. shredded Velveeta Shreds and 8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese. Everything else was the same. Delicious! Probably my favorite IP mac & cheese (and I've tried a few).

Jocelyn T Segal

Monday 1st of July 2019

Carla have you used gluten free pasta b4 in the instant pot? Not sure if i should use the same time as per this recipe. I appreciate your help! Form a fellow nurse :)

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