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Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (Chick fil A)

This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a copycat for Chick-fil-A’s macaroni and cheese that is made with Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

This delicious copycat recipe can be eaten right out of the Instant Pot or can be transferred to a casserole dish to give a nice crunch to the top of your macaroni and cheese.

Instant Pot Pasta

Making pasta in a pressure cooker is simple and easy. To make elbow macaroni, it only takes 4 cups of water or broth with 16 oz of elbow pasta.

Two bowls of Instant Pot Chick Fil A copycat macaroni and cheese

When it comes to the quick release of pressure, it’s important to slowly and intermittently release the pressure. This prevents the vent to spew and foam, however, if it does begin to spew liquid, stop releasing pressure and wait a few seconds. Once a few seconds have passed, go ahead and continue releasing pressure.

For this recipe, there is a small amount of water left in the pot after pressure cooking, no worries and no need to drain. Stir the pasta in the pot and add in the macaroni and cheese ingredients.

Top view of a bowl of mac and cheese in a white-rimmed bowl with handles.

Macaroni and Cheese

The key to creating creamy and smooth macaroni and cheese is to avoid using the shredded variety. Shredded cheeses have starches in them to prevent the cheese from sticking together in the packages.

Stick to block or sliced cheese when making homemade macaroni and cheese if you want your mac and cheese to be creamy.

RELATED: Instant Pot Irish Mac and Cheese

Ingredients in Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Dry elbow pasta
  • Salt
  • Sliced American cheese
  • Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
  • Colby Jack cheese, cubed
  • Heavy cream
  • Water
A closeup of a serving spoon full of mac and cheese.

How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot is so incredibly easy.

Add the pasta and water- Add the dry elbow pasta to the inner liner and pour the water over the top of the pasta. Make sure that the pasta is fully submerged.

Pressure cook the pasta- Close the lid and vent and pressure cook for 4 minutes.

Release the pressure- Carefully and intermittently release the pressure from the pot. *Refer to your pressure cooker’s manual for how to safely perform its functions.

Stir in the remaining ingredients- There may be a little bit of water left in the pot. This is okay! The extra water will help the cheese melt and become smooth thanks to the starch left over in the water.

Stir in the sliced and cubed cheeses as well as the heavy cream and salt. Stir until the cheeses are all melted and the mixture is smooth.

Broil the pasta- If desired, place the mac and cheese in an oven-safe dish and broil for about 3 minutes to give the mac and cheese a nice crust.

Copycat Instant Pot Recipes

It’s possible to make restaurant favorites at home using a pressure cooker. This copycat Chick-fil-A Instant Pot macaroni and cheese has all the wonderful flavors that you find in the famous chain’s recipe. With flavors of Parmesan, Romano, and American cheeses, this recipe is a great comparison.

The only differences are between the restaurant and this recipe are that you can make enough to feed the entire family and it’s quick and easy to make from home!

Soups are perfect to make using a pressure cooker and this Olive Garden copycat for Minestrone Soup comes together in a matter of minutes!

A personal favorite of mine from Olive Garden is Chicken and Gnocchi Soup. This instant pot version is not only quick to make but it tastes just like the original version – maybe even better!

Another tasty copycat recipe you can make in the Instant Pot is this Panda Express Orange Chicken.

Outback Steakhouse’s Potato Soup is a restaurant favorite and it’s possible to make that same delicious soup at home using this recipe.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Spinach and Cheese Ravioli Skillet

A fork of cheesy mac and cheese with a red and white napkin in background.
Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (Chick fil A Copycat)

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (Chick fil A Copycat)

This creamy and cheesy copycat for Chick fil A's macaroni and cheese is made in the Instant Pot with Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz elbow pasta
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 8 oz american cheese, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
  • 4 oz Colby Jack cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour the pasta into the instant pot and add in the water. Make sure to submerge the pasta.
  2. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 4 minutes.
  3. After the 4 minutes is up, carefully and intermittently release the pressure.
  4. If there is a small amount of water left in the pot after pressure cooking, it's okay.
  5. Stir the pasta.
  6. Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the salt, heavy cream, and cheeses.
  7. Stir until the cheeses are melted.
  8. If desired, place the macaroni and cheese in the oven on the broil setting for about 3 minutes.


STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions on the box.
  2. Drain and add back to the pot.
  3. Set the stovetop to medium-low and add the salt, heavy cream, and cheeses.
  4. Stir and allow to melt.
  5. If desired, place the macaroni and cheese in the oven on the broil setting for about 3 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 1331mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 20g

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?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Erik Estrada

Saturday 25th of December 2021

If I wanted to double this batch how long should I cook it for?

Dana

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Pressure cook time stays the same :)

Kristin G.

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

For me this was WAY too salty with 1/2 tbsp of salt. I'll likely try again without that much salt added.

Rebecca

Saturday 31st of July 2021

This was very good but we found it to be a little rich for a main dish. As a side, it would be great! I'll definitely make it again. I did add a little Lawrey's seasoned salt at the end for a little more flavor.

Liz

Tuesday 27th of July 2021

Love that this recipe can be made in the Instant Pot! What a time saver!

Leslie

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Sliced american cheese…like the kind that comes individually packaged per slice?

Dana

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

You can use that kind or the kind you get sliced at the deli. Both work well!

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