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How to make Instant Pot Boxed Mac N Cheese

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What to know how to make Instant Pot boxed mac and cheese? This is crazy simple to do, and with just a 4 minute cook time, you can have your favorite macaroni and cheese to serve up your family. No straining required for this recipe. 

The instant pot has really opened up my cooking options. I don’t usually make a lot of boxed foods but I know some people need to so they can stretch the budget. I have used boxed mac n cheese many times when my kids were small. Now I will show you how to make Instant Pot Boxed Mac N Cheese.

How to Make Boxed Mac N Cheese


Instant Pot Boxed Mac and Cheese

I also have tried Boxed Instant Pot Hamburger Helper, Au Gratin Potatoes.  It is also simple to make homemade Mac n Cheese in the Instant Pot. Here are the simple instructions on How To Make Instant Pot Boxed Mac N Cheese.

How Much Water Do You Need for Boxed Instant Pot Mac and Cheese 

I found that one cup of water worked great for this recipe. You don’t have to add a ton of water, drain pasta, then mix in the rest. With the one cup it is perfect to stir in the cheese packet and enjoy. Which is so handy, and will save you a step compared to the stovetop. 

I am all about simplifying my life, and this recipe has done that. 


Boxed Mac N Cheese

Do You Natural Release Or Quick Release Instant Pot 

For this particular boxed mac and cheese recipe, you will want to do a quick release. If you did a natural release your noodles would become mushy and overcooked. So make sure once that timer goes off, quick release to prevent your noodles from overcooking. 

Does This Work For Liquid Cheese Macaroni And Cheese 

If you bought a box of mac and cheese that has liquid cheese, you would then need to drain off any excess water once you are done cooking. Then stir in your liquid cheese. If you don’t drain off the excess water it would leave the recipe rather runny. 

Ways to Dress Up Boxed Mac and Cheese 

  • Add in hot dogs, great for little kids. Just slice thin and mix in. 
  • Slice up little smokies for a fun protein twist. 
  • Can of tuna and peas for a cheesy tuna dish. 
  • Sprinkle with a season salt for added flavor 

You can really dress up this mac and cheese to be a main dish or opt for something simple to dress it up for a side dish. Either way, it is a fantastic way to make the boxed mac and cheese you love in a new way.

How to Make Boxed Mac N Cheese

How to Store Leftover Mac and Cheese 

Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Then reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove when you are wanting another serving. 

Give this Instant Pot boxed mac and cheese a try the next time you get a craving. Let me know how you like it! 


How to Make Boxed Mac N Cheese

How to make Instant Pot Boxed Mac N Cheese

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes

How to make Instant Pot Boxed Mac N Cheese


  • Box of mac n Cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbs butter


  1. Add butter, water, and pasta.
  2. Place on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  3. Do a Quick Release.
  4. Stir in milk and cheese packet.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 558mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g

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Tuesday 14th of September 2021

Thank you for posting this! I just made a box in my Instant Pot Duo Mini and it worked perfectly. I also admire your patience in answering the ridiculous questions other readers posted, my goodness!


Sunday 4th of July 2021

Just wanted to say thanks for this. Money has been tight since the pandemics started last spring, but right now it's extremely tight. The grocery boxes I would receive for several months last year pretty much always came with boxed macaroni and cheese, and while I'm not the biggest fan, I kept them in my pantry, just in case. The time has now come to start eating some of it. Will definitely try a few things to dress it up.

Steve W.

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Found the recipe is good but needed to add water. 1 cup per box wasn't enough as the noodles didn't cook all the way and I received a burn notice. 1-1/4 cup water did the trick though.

Eric Chaffey

Monday 15th of February 2021

I’ve done this twice and I modified it the second time. It seemed like 4 minutes didn’t get my noodles done, but then it occurred to me altitude might be a factor. I live at 4500’ elevation. I did it for 5 minutes and did one minute of natural release before doing the quick and it came out perfectly. I love this way of doing mac and cheese since I don’t have the right size pot to do it on the stove.


Friday 8th of January 2021

Also tried this and the noodles were still crunchy . Also starchy ! I had to pressure cook mine for another minute , wash them and then re add the butter and milk . If I were to try again I would cook in a little over a cup of water with vegetable oil for 5 minutes on high with a 1 minute natural release , rinse the noodles and then put the pot on sauté and add my butter , milk , cheese (and I like to add a teaspoon of parmesan, a squeeze of ketchup and a 1/8 of a cup of shredded cheese )

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