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Easy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese with Beef

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Satisfy your comfort food cravings with this hearty Instant Pot Macaroni And Cheese With Beef recipe. Perfect for busy weeknights or cozy dinners at home, this dish combines tender ground beef with creamy, cheesy pasta for a deliciously satisfying meal. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, it’s a family-friendly favorite that never fails to please. 

Instant Pot Mac And Cheese With Beef

Macaroni and Cheese with Beef

When you think of comfort food, macaroni and cheese with cheddar cheese and beef is a perfect dish. It’s easy to make, everyone loves it, and simple to customize. The fact that you can make this in the Instant Pot just elevates it to a great option for your weekly meal plan.

What Goes in Beefy Macaroni and Cheese?

My version of this recipe includes basic ingredients. Feel free to customize to your own preferences of flavor.

  • Lean Ground Beef: Adds a hearty, savory component to the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef, turning it into a complete meal.
  • Green Bell Pepper & Yellow Onion: Bring a fresh crunch and a hint of sweetness, balancing out the rich flavors.
  • Dry Elbow Macaroni Pasta: Elbow macaroni noodles perfectly holds onto the creamy sauce.
  • Water: Essential for cooking the noodles in the Instant Pot, ensuring they are perfectly tender.
  • Onion Powder, Dry Mustard & Pepper: Add depth and warmth to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor profile of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef.
  • Butter: Gives the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef a rich, velvety texture and a hint of indulgent flavor.
  • Cream Cheese: Adds a tangy note and contributes to a luxuriously creamy sauce.
  • Milk: Helps create the smooth, creamy base for your cheese sauce.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Melts into the sauce, giving the Instant Pot macaroni and cheese with beef its classic, tangy, cheesy flavor.
ingredients for macaroni and cheese with beef on cutting board

How to Make Macaroni and Cheese with Beef in the Instant Pot

Begin by cooking the meat and vegetables. You will do this on the Instant Pot saute mode. Add the onions, bell pepper, and ground beef to the pot and cook, stirring regularly, until the meat is browned and cooked through.

Drain off any excess grease and return the meat and veggies to the inner pot for your next steps.

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To the meat and veggies, add the pasta, water, spices, and butter. Stir together and make sure that the noodles are covered in liquid.

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Close the instant pot lid and turn the pressure valve to seal. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.

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Allow for a quick pressure release after the cooking time is up.

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Once the pressure is released, stir the mixture and make sure the pasta is tender. Add in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir the macaroni and cheese with beef mixture until the cheese is melted. Then add the milk, a bit at a time, until it is the desired consistency. Taste and season if needed to taste.

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Ways To Make Cheeseburger Mac Unique

If you don’t have all of the ingredients or just want to make it a bit different, you can easily customize this to your favorite flavors. Below are a few things that are perfect for using in this recipe to give it a fresh flavor.

  • Replace water with chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, bone broth, or even tomato bouillon.
  • Experiment with different cheeses like gruyere, Swiss, Colby, or pepper jack.
  • Swap out vegetables or add additional into the mix such as mushrooms. This macaroni and cheese with beef can be customized with squash, carrots, tomatoes, or even jalapeno if you want heat!
  • Use Italian sausage, ground chicken, ground chicken, ground turkey, ground bison, or even ground pork

Tips for Storing and Reheating Macaroni and Cheese

  • Storage: Maintain the freshness and flavor of your Gourmet Mac and Cheese, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Seal the container tightly to prevent odors. Refrigerate promptly after eating to prolong freshness.
  • Freezing: Freeze Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef in airtight containers or bags to prevent freezer burn. Label with the date; it stays good for up to three months.
  • Reheating: Thaw frozen Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef in the fridge overnight. Reheat in a heated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 20-25 mins. Alternatively, microwave in short intervals, stirring for even heating. Enjoy the rich, creamy flavors.

Pair This Recipe With These Sides

  • Garlic Parmesan Broccoli: Toss broccoli with olive oil, minced garlic, and Parmesan, then cook in the Air Fryer.
  • Bacon Brussels Sprouts: Crisp Brussels sprouts in bacon fat, then sprinkle with crispy bacon bits for a savory crunch.
  • Lemon Garlic Asparagus Spears: Sauté asparagus in garlic and lemon zest until vibrant and tender, adding a zesty touch to your meal.
  • Grilled Chicken: Grilled chicken breast or thighs make for a protein-rich addition that complements the beef in the mac and cheese.
instant pot beef Mac and cheese

Make Gourmet Mac and Cheese in Your Instant Pot

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Savor the creamy goodness of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef - a hearty, flavorful twist on a classic favorite.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cups dry elbow noodles
  • 3 ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. First, in saute mode, cook the onions, bell pepper, add ground beef and cook until it has browned.
  2. Then, drain the grease.
  3. Next, return the browned meat and vegetables to the inner pot.
  4. When the meat is finished, you will combine the next 6 ingredients on top of the ground beef mixture in the inner pot. Before you close the lid, make sure the noodles are all submerged in liquid.
  5. Close the instant pot lid and turn the pressure valve to seal. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  6. Allow for a quick pressure release after the cooking time is up.
  7. Then add in the remaining ingredients, stirring in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese to melt with the pasta. Simultaneously, add the milk a little at a time.
  8. Your Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef is all set! Serve it warm and enjoy!


  • Flavorful Base: Incorporate chicken broth or beef broth as a savory base for cooking the pasta in your Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Beef to enhance the overall taste.
  • Get Creative with Cheeses: Experiment with different cheese blends or add a touch of smoked paprika for a unique twist.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g

Did you make this recipe?

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How Do I Prevent the Cheese Sauce From Becoming Too Thick in the Instant Pot?

When making macaroni and cheese with beef, adding a bit of extra broth or milk can do the trick so it isn’t too thick.

Is It Possible to Make This Recipe Vegetarian by Omitting the Beef?

Yes, you can skip the beef and still enjoy a delicious mac and cheese dish.

Can I Use Any Type of Pasta for This Recipe?

It’s best to use macaroni or elbow pasta for optimal results.

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