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Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken Mac N Cheese

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.

Instant Pot cheesy chicken mac and cheese made with spiral noodles and garnished with parlsey.

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.

A bowl of mac and cheese with chicken diced in a gray bowl.

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

Cheesy mac and cheese with chicken garnished with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken Mac n Cheese

Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken Mac n Cheese

Kid-friendly cheesy mac n cheese made with cubed chicken and cavatappi pasta.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb Cavatappi noodles, or elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • parsley, garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, garnish
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion and add it to the Instant Pot.
  2. Add in the butter, cayenne, paprika, and dry mustard.
  3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add to the Instant Pot.
  4. Layer the pasta on top of the other ingredients.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and gently submerge the pasta under the broth.
  6. Close the lid and set to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes.
  7. 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.)
  8. Remove the lid, set to SAUTE, and add in the cheddar cheese.
  9. Mix together the milk and corn starch and add to the pasta.
  10. Stir and allow the sauce to thicken.
  11. Serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Kid-friendly cheesy mac n cheese made with cubed chicken breasts and cavatappi pasta in the Instant Pot in less than 15 minutes. #kidfriendlymeals #kidfriendlydinner #macncheese #macandcheese #cheesy #dinnerideas #easydinner #instantpotpasta #instantpotchicken #instantpot #pressurecookerpasta
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Kayla

Thursday 15th of July 2021

Can this work in a rice cooker? If so, what settings do I use?

Amber

Sunday 4th of July 2021

I just made this recipe in the Instant Pot and it was so easy to do. This is only my second time using the IP and I will be using it more. I had a little taste test at the end obviously and it was delicious!

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