Your whole family will love this creamy and cheesy gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe that is quick and easy to prepare on busy nights.
Instant Pot Mac n Cheese has to be one of the easiest recipes that is both simple to cook and full of cheesy goodness. In fact since making macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot, we no longer cook this tasty pasta dish any other way! There’s no need.
This Macaroni and cheese dish can be made with regular pasta or Gluten Free pasta and the recipe comes out perfect every time! With just a few ingredients you’ll be loving this Smoked Gouda mac n cheese recipe too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Diet-Friendly: This gluten-free recipe ensures everyone can enjoy this comfort food classic.
- Instant Pot Efficiency: Saves time and effort, making this dish a quick, easy meal solution.
- Creamy and Delicious: Despite being gluten-free, it’s packed with rich, cheesy goodness that’s irresistible.
Easy Mac N Cheese for the Whole Family
When you’re looking for a simple and easy recipe that the whole family will enjoy then mac n cheese is a great option. Most kids will love this easy mac n cheese recipe. It’s kid friendly and of course, Gluten free when using your gluten free pasta. you can even mix this up by adding some frozen veg to the dish.
Fussy eaters will love this recipe and it’s a doozy for the whole family
Ingredients for the Best Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Elbow Macaroni Pasta (Gluten-Free, if required): Serves as the base of the dish, providing a classic macaroni shape and texture while accommodating dietary restrictions for those who need to avoid gluten.
- Water: Essential for cooking the pasta in the Instant Pot, ensuring it becomes tender and perfectly cooked.
- Butter: Adds richness and a creamy flavor to the mac and cheese, creating a luscious and indulgent sauce.
- Salt: Enhances the overall taste of the dish, bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients and adding a savory element.
- Ground Mustard: Introduces a subtle tang and depth of flavor to the mac and cheese, complementing the richness of the cheese sauce.
- Smoked Paprika: Imparts a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, elevating the taste profile of the mac and cheese with its unique and aromatic notes.
- Evaporated Milk: Creates a creamy and velvety texture for the cheese sauce, enhancing the overall richness and consistency of the dish.
- Smoked Gouda Cheese, Shredded: Adds a deliciously smoky and slightly nutty flavor to the mac and cheese, creating a depth of taste that complements the other ingredients.
- Monterey Jack Pre-Shredded Cheese: Contributes a mild and creamy flavor to the dish, melting beautifully into the cheese sauce and adding a smooth and creamy texture.
- White Cheddar, Shredded (Optional): Provides an additional layer of sharpness and richness to the mac and cheese, intensifying its cheesy flavor if desired.
How to Cook Macaroni and Cheese in the Instant Pot
Place the macaroni, water, butter, ground dry mustard, and smoked paprika into your Instant pot. Stir well and season with salt.
Cover the Instant pot and set the valve to “sealing.”
Program the Instant Pot using the “manual function” or “pressure cook” function for 4 minutes.
When the cooking cycle is completed, perform a quick release of the pressure. Carefully removing the lid once the steam has completely released.
Cheese Sauce for Macaroni and Cheese
To make the best Instant pot Mac n Cheese, you’ll want to add the cheese and milk whilst the macaroni is still really hot. You don’t need to make a separate cheese sauce, in fact by adding the ingredients to the instant pot whilst the macaroni is still hot, you can make the cheesy, gooey macaroni the family loves. This also keeps the cheese sauce gluten free as there is no need to add flour or thickeners which are no good for anyone with celiac requirements.
Adding the Cheese and Milk to Cooked Macaroni
Stir in the evaporated canned milk, smoke gouda, and monterey jack. If using, also add the white cheddar. Stir until the cheeses are melted. The sauce will thicken as it rests.
Adding Milk and Cheese Whilst the Macaroni Is Hot
It’s important to add the evaporated milk whilst the macaroni is still hot. If you add cold milk, it will make the cheese become hard and lumpy when cooking under pressure. It will also result in a less flavorful dish that everyone will enjoy!
Are There Any Variations of This Recipe?
You can modify this recipe by using any pasta or cheese that you prefer. You can also combine different types of cheeses to make your own unique blend.
What Are Some Tips for Making the Best Mac and Cheese?
Mac and cheese should always be creamy and thick, so make sure to let the pasta sit in the sauce for a few minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools off. You can also stir in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream before serving if the mac and cheese is not creamy enough.
Macaroni Cheese Cooking Tip
Do not overfill the pot with pasta. I recommend only using 16 Oz of macaroni for this recipe, if you use more than this it will likely result in a mushy pasta as it will be overcrowded and the extra liquid will cause the pasta to release too much starch.
How Do I Store Leftover Macaroni and Cheese?
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze this dish for up to two months. To reheat leftover mac and cheese, you can either microwave it or cook it in a pan until bubbly.
Check out this article on easy gluten free Instant Pot recipes if you want to further explore the world of gluten free recipes.
Did you enjoy this Instant Pot Macaroni Cheese Recipe? You may also love the following posts:
- Easy Instant Pot Meatballs
- Instant Pot Boneless Ham
- Instant Pot Low Carb Recipes
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Frequently Asked Question
What Is Smoked Gouda?
Gouda is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. Smoked Gouda has a aromatic, sweet, creamy and nutty flavor. The deep flavor of Gouda makes it perfect for cooking and adding to dishes such as macaroni and cheese along with other cheesy recipes such as Broccoli and Cheese Soup or this French Onion Soup.
Smoked Gouda makes this meal flavorsome, however if you have another favorite type of cheese, simply switch the smoked gouda cheese for your preference and this best macaroni dish will still come out delicious!
What Is the Best Gluten Free Pasta to Use?
Wondering which is the best gluten free pasta for Macaroni Cheese?
For this recipe I used gluten free elbow pasta, however you can substitute the pasta for a different type if desired. It is best to choose a gluten free pasta that can cook well in boiling water to achieve the best results.
When choosing gluten free pasta to make the best macaroni and cheese I recommend one of the following brands:
Rummo Italian Pasta Gluten Free Elbows
Barilla Gluten Free Elbows.
Any of these gluten free varieties will work well. Whether you use a different brand or stick to the one I recommend, this tasty macaroni and cheese recipe will come out perfectly every time!
What Is Quick Release?
Quick release means to simply release the pressure and allow the steam to vent immediately. There is no waiting. Once the steam is released the instant pot will beep and the locking mechanism will unlock so the lid can be removed.
How Can I Spice up the Mac and Cheese?
You can spice it up by using hot sauce or different cheeses. Just be careful to not go too crazy with the hot sauce.
What Is the Best Salt to Use?
Sea salt or kosher salt are two great ways to season your homemade mac and cheese. They tend to have large, crunchy flakes that add a burst of flavor when added during the cooking process. If you don’t want to use either one of these salts, you can also try using garlic powder, onion powder or black pepper for an extra boost of flavor.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment for This Recipe?
An Instant Pot is the only special equipment you need to make this recipe.
- 1 (16 ounces) box macaroni pasta - Gluten Free Option If Required
- 4 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (5 ounces) can of evaporated milk
- 16 ounces smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack
- 8 ounces white cheddar, shredded, optional
- Into the pot of an electric pressure cooker, place the macaroni, water, butter, salt, ground mustard, and smoked paprika. Stir to distribute the seasonings.
- Cover the electric pressure cooker and set the valve to “sealing.”
- Program the pressure cooker using the “manual” or “pressure cook” function for 4 minutes. When the cooking cycle is completed, perform a quick release of the pressure. Carefully remove the lid.
- Stir in the evaporated milk, smoked gouda, and Monterey jack. If using, also add the white cheddar. Stir until the cheeses are melted. The sauce will thicken as it rests.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 670Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 1518mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 38g