Kid-friendly Instant Pot cheesy chicken mac and cheese made with cubed chicken and cavatappi pasta in the pressure cooker.
Kid-Friendly Instant Pot Meal
This made all in one pot cheesy mac n cheese is cooked along with cubed chicken breasts. In a little over 10 minutes, this cheesy chicken mac n cheese meal is ready for your family to eat.
Using the Instant Pot to make meals from the family is not only convenient but it also easy to clean up after dinner! It's easy enough to dump the ingredients into the Instant Pot to make this meal and just add the shredded cheese and the milk and cornstarch slurry at the end.
Making Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken Mac and Cheese
Making this Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken Mac and Cheese only takes two steps and takes less than 10 minutes!
I use cavatappi noodles because my kids love the shape and texture. You can use elbow macaroni if you can't find the cavatappi noddles or just prefer elbows. The cooking time for these types of pasta is the same so they're easy to substitute one for the other.
Usually, you add 4 cups of water or broth for every 6 ounces of pasta that you add to the pot. Chicken releases quite a bit of juice when cooking so for this recipe only 3 cups of broth is used. After releasing pressure, a cornstarch slurry will still be needed to thicken the sauce up for the mac n cheese.
Instant Pot Pasta Success
Generally, for pasta recipes in the Instant Pot 1 cup of liquid (broth or water) is added to 6 oz of pasta. Here are some other tips to successfully make pasta in your Instant Pot.
- Submerge the pasta completely underwater
- Stagger the pasta pieces so that they don’t stick together (especially helpful for spaghetti noodles)
- Pressure cook the pasta for half the time it takes on the stovetop minus 1 minute
*Pasta will not soften up in the Instant Pot if it is not submerged in water or covered with a liquid substance.
RELATED: Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings
- 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb Cavatappi noodles, or elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- parsley, garnish
- Parmesan cheese, garnish
- salt and pepper
- Dice the onion and add it to the Instant Pot.
- Add in the butter, cayenne, paprika, and dry mustard.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add to the Instant Pot.
- Layer the pasta on top of the other ingredients.
- Pour in the chicken broth and gently submerge the pasta under the broth.
- Close the lid and set to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes.
- After pressure cooking, carefully and slowly release pressure by opening and closing the vent until all the pressure is released. (Do this slowly to prevent liquid from spewing from the vent.)
- Remove the lid, set to SAUTE, and add in the cheddar cheese.
- Mix together the milk and corn starch and add to the pasta.
- Stir and allow the sauce to thicken.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 669mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 30g
Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.
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Dana is an experienced recipe creator who crafts easy and delicious recipes for all levels of home cooks.
Her recipes range from classic comfort foods to healthy and nutritious meals, and she is always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to bring flavor and variety to the table.