This macaroni and cheese recipe combines the best of pressure cooker mac and cheese with air fryer macaroni and cheese by making either an Instant Pot Duo Crisp mac and cheese or a Ninja Foodi version. Yes, the recipe will work for either pressure cooker and air fryer combo and is a really tasty baked macaroni and cheese made all in one pot! It also will work well for anyone with a Mealthy CrispLid.
Don’t have a Duo crisp or Ninja Foodi? No worries, you can still make this in your Instant Pot and bake it in the oven or in your Instant Vortex, Omni, or other air fryer.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp or Ninja Foodi Mac and Cheese
My initial infatuation with the Instant Pot Duo crisp came from wanting to make baked pastas all in one pot. So, I immediately made several when I got it. I first made Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pizza Bake and then this Instant Pot Duo Crisp macaroni and cheese followed shortly after.
The recipe is nice and creamy for the macaroni and cheese part and nice and crispy on top. I love it!
Making pasta in the Duo Crisp
As with any Instant Pot pasta, there area few tips to follow to assure the best results.
First, avoid having your pasta sit o the bottom of the pot. Ideally pour your liquid in and then pour the pasta in and press it into the liquid instead of stirring. In this recipe, which does not use a ton of liquid, it is hard to avoid. But no worries, it should come out fine. I had no problems getting burn notices with this recipe.
Second, normally pasta is cooked for half the time listed on the package minus one minute. In my case, that came to 4 minutes, but check your macaroni or pasta box to make sure, as different brands may vary.
Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
This baked macaroni and cheese is super simple to make. The ingredients are pretty basic and you very well might have them all in the house at any given time.
The topping is made with melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers.
Put your liquid ingredients and butter into the pot. You can use water instead of chicken broth, but I think broth gives the mac and cheese much better flavor. Also, do not substitute milk for the heavy cream. Cream can hold up under pressure, while milk does not fare so well and will curdle.
Pour the pasta in and pressure cook on high pressure for four minutes or as adjusted if your pasta directs a different time. You do not have to use macaroni for this recipe. You can use a different pasta if you like.
Quick release the pressure and stir in the cheeses. I used a mix of cheddar, pepper jack, Parmesan, and Mexican style blend. You can mix and match as you like. Stir in 2 cups of cheese and reserve a cup to go on top.
Stir until the cheese melts. Then add a cup of cheese to the top followed by a Ritz cracker topping made of crushed crackers and belted butter.
You can also use bread crumbs or french fried onion strings instead if you prefer.
Put the Crisp Lid on and air fry at 400 for 5 minutes. Check on it at around 4 minutes to make sure it isn’t getting too browned. Five minutes was perfect for mine.
If using an air fryer or your oven, transfer the pasta to a pan and bake it at 425 until it browns or air fry at 400.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Additions
You can also add various items to your Mac and Cheese to make it more interesting. For example, you could try adding:
- Left over rotisserie chicken (try my Instant Pot Duo Whole Chicken)
- Left over pot roast (See the complete guide to Instant Pot Pot Roast)
- Canned tuna
- Frozen vegetables (add when cooking the noodles)
Serving Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Combo Mac and Cheese
And there you have it! Super easy creamy baked macaroni and cheese that is made in one pot and ready super fast with the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, Ninja Foodi, or Mealthy CrispLid!
Your family will love it!
More Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese
- How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot
- Round up of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipes
- 2 1/2 c Macaroni
- 2 c Chicken stock
- 1 1/4 c Heavy cream
- 8 T butter
- 2 2/3 cups shredded cheese such as sharp cheddar, pepper jack, or Mexican blend
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 Sleeve Ritz crackers
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the chicken stock, 4 T of butter, and heavy cream to the pot
- Pour in the macaroni,
- Pressure cook on high pressure for four minutes or half the time on the pasta box minus one minute.
- Crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers and combine with 4 T melted butter
- Quick release the pressure
- Stir in 2 cups of cheese until it melts
- Top with one 2/3 cups cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan, followed by the Ritz cracker mix
- Put on the air fry or crisp lid and air fry at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until browned.
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Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Ninja OP401 Foodi 8-Quart Pressure, Steamer, Air Fryer All-in-One Multi-Cooker, Black/Gray
Mealthy CrispLid for Pressure Cooker - Turns your Pressure Cooker into an Air Fryer - Air fry, Crisp or Broil fits 6 & 8 Q Pot Basket, Trivet, Silicone Mat, Tongs plus Instant access Free Recipe App
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675 Total Fat: 56g Saturated Fat: 34g Trans Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 161mg Sodium: 765mg Carbohydrates: 22g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 22g
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