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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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Monday 2nd of January 2023

This turned out great!! Thank you for the recipe! I followed the directions as listed. Afterwards I added a can of chili (no beans) and warmed it up for a few on the slow cook setting.


Thursday 24th of March 2022

How would it turn out if you put all ingredients in the pot all at the same time? Has anyone tried that?

Cindy G

Sunday 31st of October 2021

Hello. This is my first time commenting on here and I have to say that I was skeptical at first but after reading all the comments, I gambled and made this with two boxes in my IP DUO6qt. Here's what I did: Macaroni from 2boxes of regular Kraft mac n cheese (set aside packets), 4cups water (enough to cover the macaroni), 2tblsp melted butter, stirred well, 4min on high. When it was done, I did QPR, stirred macaroni to loosen it up, added 4 tbslp butter (cut into 4 pcs so it would melt faster), 1/4cup 2% milk, both cheese packets, stirred well to mix all ingredients. I'm at 2,800ft elevation so I thought 4min would be fine. This came out past al dente on the verge of being overcooked so next time I'll probably do 3min instead of the 4min. Overall, this was still a very good and tasty recipe.


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.

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