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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Instant Pot Recipe

Can you make boxed or Kraft mac and cheese in the Instant Pot? Yep! This Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Instant Pot recipe makes Instant Pot mac and cheese easy!  If you prefer to make mac and cheese the old fashioned way, see our Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe

How to make instant pot kraft boxed mac and cheese

How to Make Instant Pot Boxed Mac and Cheese

instant pot boxed mac and cheese

There are a couple of key tips to making boxed macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot:

  1. Use a good quality product.  I trust the old standard Kraft, so my recipe is specifically for Kraft mac and cheese in the Instant Pot. Your experience with other brands may vary.
  2. Don’t skimp on the water. I have seen people report using just one cup of water for one box of mac and cheese. I also have seen reports of people getting burn notices with that amount. I used 1.5 cups. The mac and cheese will thicken after you stir the cheese in, so don’t worry it it seems like there is excess liquid before that step.     
  3. After several experiments, I found that 4 minutes pressure and 3 minutes of natural release made the best macaroni and cheese.
  4. Put the butter in with the water. This helps avoid sticking.  See the recipe for details on the amount.

By the way, the history of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, aka Kraft Dinner, is kind of interesting.  

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the Instant Pot

So, making my mac and cheese was super easy. This is truly a five ingredient Instant Pot Mac and cheese Recipe.   

I simply dumped the water in the pot, added 4 Tablespoons of butter, and dumped in the mac and cheese. Do not stir the pasta in, it is better if it isn’t all sitting on the bottom of the pot.  Sure most of it will be, but stirring almost assures that all of it is there with the potential to stick.

butter in instant pot

By using 1.5 cups of water, this recipe will be the same for any pot size as it meets the minimum required for any size. 

boxed macaroni and cheese instant pot

Pressure cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes and give a three minute natural release, then quick release.  Do not be shocked if it looks like it has too much liquid as seen in the above photo. Go ahead and stir in 1/4 cup of milk and the contents of the Kraft cheese packet. Mix well and let it still on keep warm for a minute or two and it will thicken up.

Note: previously this recipe used 1/2 cup milk, but changed to 1/4 to match the current box instructions. I tested it with 1/4 cup and all was good! 

kraft macaroni and cheese instant pot

So there you go! Super easy Instant Pot Kraft macaroni and cheese!  

kraft mac and cheese instant pot

kraft macaroni and cheese instant pot

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the Instant Pot

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Add water and butter to the Instant Pot
  2. Pour in the macaroni, reserving the cheese packet, do not stir
  3. Pressure cook on manual high pressure for four minutes
  4. Natural release for three minutes followed by quick release
  5. Stir in the milk and contents of the cheese packet
  6. Mix well and let sit on keep warm setting for 1-2 minutes until the mixture thickens
  7. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 613mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g

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boxed kraft macaroni and cheese instant pot

 

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Ian

Saturday 9th of April 2022

Excellent recipe - thank you! Though I too am starting to think stirring would be a better idea. I've made this without a hitch five times (one time exactly as directed and four times doubling the recipe), but tonight when I opened the Foodi (I have a Ninja Foodi) the macaroni that had been sitting on top of a mound of butter (Country Crock, to be more exact) was somehow still elevated above the rest (and the water) and looked as if it hadn't cooked at all. I finished the process, hoping for the best (and that I wouldn't lose any teeth crunching down on still-hard pasta), and I was lucky - that pasta didn't look cooked but it was almost as soft as the rest - but the less-cooked pasta was a little bit noticeable. I've also never had any of the noodles stick to the bottom of the pan - maybe the Foodi has a more awesome non-stick coating than the Instant Pot? Don't know. At any rate, I think I'm going to stir it from now on to make sure all the pasta's below the waterline before I start it cooking.

Regardless, it's a fantastic recipe that's changed my Kraft-mac-and-cheese-cooking life, and I'm grateful.

Holly

Saturday 5th of March 2022

Thank you for this recipe. Its the only way I've made mac n cheese for the past 2 years. I'm in an RV and love that I'm using less water, and don't have to drain and waste any, plus I don't have to use propane for stove cooking. I always double the recipe (but use half the butter) and its always perfect.

Stacey Lee Russo

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

If I am tripling the recipe should i also triple the cook time?

Just got my insta pot and not real confident using it yet

Carleen

Thursday 10th of February 2022

Hi! No, the cook time remains the same. The pot just might take a bit longer to get to pressure is all. If you feel that the pasta is too firm when it is finished, just go ahead and stick the lid back on on warm (not pressure cook) for a minute or two and that will finish it off.

Tim

Monday 21st of June 2021

I added several slices of crumbled up cooked bacon to the two box recipe. Not as good as I thought it would be. The Mac and cheese is nice and creamy, next time I will add the bacon to the cooked product instead of adding to the pot before cooking.

Carleen

Tuesday 22nd of June 2021

Yes, definitely add bacon after cooking. That way the bacon stays crispy.

Karen

Thursday 11th of March 2021

This was great. I this to 1 3/4 cup of water and 5 sliced hot dogs to the recipe. It was great.

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