You can make Macaroni and Cheese in a pressure cooker. I will show you how you can make flavorful macaroni and cheese in your Instant Pot.
I love my Instant Pot, if you are unfamiliar with these, they are an incredible pressure cooker and more. It serves as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, it makes yogurt, and much more. I have displaced many of my small kitchen appliances with this amazing appliance. It helped me to move out a couple of steamers, a rice cooker, and a slow cooker.
You might want to wonder why would you wish to prepare macaroni and cheese in a pressure cooker. When you cook it this way, the pasta can be infused with a lot of flavors. In this recipe, the pasta is cooked with a bit of hot sauce, and some dry mustard powder. This gives the pasta a lot of flavors.
For the cheeses, I am using two different types of cheese, a good Cheddar cheese, and some Monterey Jack cheese. I like this combination. The Cheddar provides a lovely color, and flavor. The Monterey Jack cheese gives this dish a nice melt that you are certain to enjoy.
For the hot sauce, you can use whatever you like. Tobasco, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, both work well. I think this is an important ingredient for this recipe. You need a little bit of heat to make macaroni and cheese work well. The heat gives the dish some depth.
Frequently asked questions about making macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot
What type of pasta should I use? – please use only plain semolina style of pasta. Do not use gluten-free, high-protein, or other types of pasta. They won’t work well.
Can I make boxed macaroni and cheese in the instant pot? – Yes. You should add about 1 1/2 cups of water, and the milk listed on the box of macaroni and cheese. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes, perform a natural release and then stir in the butter and the cheese package.
When I perform a quick release a milky liquid sputters out of the vent, what should I do? – Wait about 4 to 5 minutes, and then perform the release again.
Love recipes for your Instant Pot? Check out these recipes.
You can make creamy macaroni and cheese in your Instant Pot.
1 pound pasta (note all boxes are not 1 pound, also you need to use regular pasta, gluten free, and other pasta will not work)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
4 cups water
1 cup of milk or half and half
1 pound cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
Place the following in the instant pot, the pasta, water, dry mustard, and hot sauce. Pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Perform a quick release on the pasta. If the Instant Pot sputters out a milky liquid, wait 4 to 5 minutes before performing the quick release.
If the pasta needs to be drained, drain the pasta and place the pasta back into the pot.
Stir in butter, cheese, hot sauce, and milk and allow the cheese it to melt. Serve promptly.
User only semolina pasta. Pasta that are whole-wheat, bean-based, low carb pasta, do not work well.
Should the InstantPot sputter when you perform the quick release, open the pot more slowly, and consider placing a thick towel over the release
Four Cheese Manicotti is a wonderful dish to make for company, or even to make ahead, and reheat for later. Cheese and meat fill large manicotti shells. Enjoy this classic Italian dish anytime.
Some dishes just ooze comfort, and one of them is homemade four cheese manicotti. This recipe is perfect for a weekend, or a special dinner with family. What makes this recipe unique is a flavorful sauce that is slow cooked to perfection before this classic dish is baked in the oven.
Flavorful Sauce Is The Key
What makes a really good pasta dish? It is the sauce. This sauce will need to simmer slowly on the stove. While it does the flavors will marry, and you will have some of the best cheese manicotti you have ever tasted. This recipe is unique as addition to tomatoes, you will also add dry Sherry and vodka to the sauce. The sauce is so good you will want to make the sauce again and again.
Cheese Manicotti Filling
What makes this cheese manicotti so special is the variety of cheese in this dish. Parmesan, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Italian Blend cheese all make a wonderfully balanced dish that is not to be forgotten.
Variations on this recipe
In addition to stuffing the shells full of cheese, you could swap out half of the Italian blend cheese for Fontina. You may also want to consider spicing up the sauce with a small touch of red pepper flakes if you like your sauce spicy.
Make Ahead and Reheat Later
Want to make this ahead of time, and thaw out later? Simply make the manicotti, wrap the pan with plenty of foil and plastic wrap. When you are ready to heat it up, it will take about 1 hour at 350 degrees for you to enjoy.
Want more Italian Inspired recipes? Check out these can’t miss recipes
A cheesy and meaty hearty pasta dish perfect anytime.
30 ounces tomato puree
15 ounces crushed tomatoes
15 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup red wine cooking sherry
1/2 cup vodka
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 standard manicotti (cooked per directions on package)
15 ounces Ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups finely shredded Italian cheese blend
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
2 pounds ground beef
In large saucepan or stockpot, mix tomato puree, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Add chopped garlic, chopped onion, Italian seasoning, Tabasco Sauce, cooking sherry, vodka, and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
Allow sauce to cook for approximately 1 hour and then taste. If desired, add some or all of the sugar (sugar reduces the “tang” of the tomatoes). Continue cooking sauce on low heat for several more hours (ideally and for a richer blend of the seasonings, sauce should be refrigerated overnight and cooked for an additional 2-3 hours the following day for optimal flavor).
Thoroughly cook ground beef and drain (rinse with water if necessary to remove all grease). Return to pan and season with a few shakes each of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove and add meat to sauce. Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain and allow to cool, separately, on wax paper. In a separate mixing bowl, blend Ricotta cheese, egg, grated parmesan and the shredded Italian cheese blend until thoroughly mixed. Using the butter knife, begin to stuff the manicotti shells with cheese mixture until all is used. In a large baking pan (a lasagna pan is best), spread a layer of sauce that completely covers the bottom of the pan.
Align the stuffed manicotti shells in the pan atop the sauce. Use remaining sauce to completely cover the pasta. Use as much or as little as desired of the mozzarella shredded cheese to cover. Bake in a 350-degree oven until cheese bubbles and begins to turn a golden brown. Remove, cool, and serve.
Cheddars New Orleans Pasta is a favorite Cajun-style pasta dish. It is so easy to make, and you can put together this dish at home. It’s the perfect way to feed a large gathering.
If you have never been to Cheddar’s their restaurant is amazing. They do scratch cooking, and their food is such a great value. It’s the perfect place to go out with a gathering of friends, or even to take the whole family. Their menu is diverse, you can find something for everyone at Cheddars.
One of the most-loved dishes is the Cheddars New Orleans Pasta. This pasta dish is a medley of flavors, shrimp, chicken, smoked sausage, peppers, onions and penne pasta tossed in homemade Cajun Alfredo sauce. This complex tasting dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner, as it can really feed a crowd of people. You may even want to pair this pasta dish with garlic bread for the restaurant experience.
This recipe features a spicy homemade Alfredo sauce, and it has sausage, chicken, shrimp, and an assortment of fresh vegetables. You could modify the recipe by omitting shrimp and simply add additional sausage or chicken. If you didn’t want to make the Alfredo sauce from scratch you could use a jar of Alfredo sauce. It’s completely up to you.
This dish reheats well the second day so it is perfect to bring to lunch if you desire.
Love Cheddar’s? Check out these other Cheddar’s Copycat Recipe
All sorts of goodness come together in this one-pot pasta dish. Alfredo sauce, shrimp, chicken, smoked sausage, and more.
4 ounces butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 tablespoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
8 ounces chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup Italian dressing
8 ounces smoked sausage sliced
8 ounces shrimp (medium sized) peeled and deveined
1 sliced green bell pepper
1 white onion, sliced
16 ounces penne pasta
1 1/2 cup salsa
Marinate chicken for about 1 hour in the Italian dressing. Discard the marinade after the marination has completed.
Cook pasta according to box directions
In a large pot heat butter, when the butter melts add the flour. Stir and cook for about 1 minute or until the roux begins to smell nutty. Add cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, and salsa. Stir to combine, and once the sauce thickens simmer until the sauce is needed.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken for 5 to 7 minutes, or until done. Remove chicken. Add sliced sausage and sear. Wipe out skillet Sprinkle Tony Chassare seasoning on shrimp. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook shrimp just until pink. Remove shrimp. Add oil if necessary, saute onion and green bell pepper and saute until the vegetables are tender.
To assemble, combine pasta, meats, cooked vegetables with the sauce. Serve immediately.
The Old Spaghetti Factory Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese has the benefit of tasting completely decadent and being so easy to prepare. You can recreate this classic dish at home.
Who doesn’t just love a dish that has a few simple easy to find ingredients in it, and it still tastes amazing? Browned butter, if you have never made it tastes so good. Browned butter has an amazing flavor. It has an intense nutty flavor. Cooked pasta and browned butter is hard to resist. If you have never been to the Old Spaghetti Factory you are missing out on a real nice treat. This dish has to be one of my favorites. I love this meatless option.
I have noticed a lot of other copycat recipes online miss their specific cheese mix. They use Mizithra cheese, but they miss the Romano cheese that the Old Spaghetti Factory adds. The Old Spaghetti Factory actually sells this cheese blend in many grocery stores. If you don’t have a Sprouts near you, I can tell you how I make my own cheese blend. Mizithra cheese is a greek cheese. So you may have to go to your grocery store’s deli department. If you can’t get your hands on some Mizithra cheese you can substitute a good quality Parmesan cheese. It won’t be a copycat, but it will be quite good.
If you are new to browning butter, it isn’t difficult at all. If you can clarify butter you can make browned butter. You will place the butter into a saucepan and warm it on medium heat, it will begin to froth, and you will use a spoon to spoon off the butter fats on the top of the butter. Then you will continue to cook the butter until it begins to brown. Once it turns the shade of a caramel you will have browned butter.
Old Spaghetti Factory Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese
Make Old Spaghetti Factory Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese at home with this copycat recipe.
16 ounces pasta
1 cup butter
1/2 cup mizithra cheese (grated)
1/2 cup Romano cheese (grated)
1 tablespoon parsley (minced)
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Do not rinse.
While the pasta is cooking brown the butter by placing into a saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. Remove the foam with a spoon. Cook the butter until it browns.
To prepare the pasta, pour pasta into a bowl. Pour the browned butter over the pasta, and then add the two kinds of cheese. Toss pasta until it is well coated. Serve immediately. This dish does not reheat well.
Do you love one-pot meals? I have one for you, it’s the Instant Pot Italian Sausage Pasta.
An electronic pressure cooker is a great way to put a hearty meal on the table in no time. Sometimes we are all hard pressed thanks to work to put together a quick meal. Your Instant Pot is a great way to speed up dinner. This Instant Pot Italian Sausage and Sauce recipe is a great way to quickly put together a large inexpensive meal on the table quickly.
This recipe contains 1 pound of Italian sausage, it is cooked along with the pasta and the sauce, so it makes for a great one-pot meal. When Italian sausage cooks inside of pasta sauce it adds so much flavor. You can use an inexpensive sauce if you like, as the Italian sausage will do the work in flavoring up the sauce. We will begin by browning the sausage in the cooker, and then removing the sausage, slicing it up, and then we will add the sauce, some additional water, and then the pasta.
You may not realize it, but you can cook pasta in Instant Pot. We will cook this dish for 8 minutes on the manual setting, the directions are the same for the 6 and the 8-quart models. We will add some additional water to the sauce so the pasta has enough water to cook properly. I personally like to use Barilla pasta, but I have also used the Fido Vermicelli brand noodles for this recipe as well. I have had great luck with both types of pasta. You may want to experiment with your favorite type of pasta.
Instant Pot Pasta Trouble Shooting
If when you are performing a quick release on the Instant Pot, and the sprays out a milky liquid, stop the quick release and let the pot reduce pressure naturally.
Make sure you use 2 cups of liquid for every 4 ounces of pasta
You may want to add oil to decrease foaming
Quick release carefully if you have any foaming stop the quick release, and allow the Instant Pot to come down to pressure normally
You can make a flavorful one-pot meal in your instant pot!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage links
48 ounces pasta sauce
2 cups water
1 pound pasta
Heat your Instant Pot on saute. When the pot is warmed, add olive oil. Saute sausage until it is about 50% done. Remove sausage, slice into links. Wipe out excess oil from the Instant Pot with a paper towel. Add sausage back to the Instant Pot. Add pasta sauce to the Instant Pot.
Rinse the jars of pasta sauce with the water and pour the water into the Instant Pot. If using spaghetti break in half and add to the Instant Pot. Cook on manual high for 8 minutes. Perform a quick release. Serve immediately. Makes 6 to 8 servings. This recipe was written for a 2-quart pressure cooker. if your pressure cooker is larger there are no adjustments needed to this recipe.
My Instant Pot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It makes amazing risotto. It makes effortless risotto. You can make this creamy Instant Pot Parmesan Risotto in classic rice dish quickly.
So first off let me say this isn’t a sponsored post, it is my love of this cooking appliance. I have had an Instant Pot for about 5 years now. I love this. I use mine weekly. The last thing I made in mine was yogurt. I will write that recipe up later, but right now, let’s talk about amazing risotto.
This risotto recipe is very easy to make. Traditional risotto is time-consuming. You have to stand over the pot and stir continually. This recipe, you will prep your ingredients, actively stir everything together for a couple of minutes, then put the lid on, and in about 15 minutes you will have risotto.
This recipe has 1 semi-unique ingredient. You can use arborio rice, or you can use medium grain rice. Medium grain isn’t the most common rice sold at your average grocery store, but it is sold there, read the label. You will need either arborio or medium grain. I have not made this recipe for a long grain rice. Have long grain rice? (Try my rice pilaf.) Please do not use long grain rice. Either arborio or medium grain rice prepares rice with a lot of starch which makes the dish creamy.
For this recipe, I use vermouth in the recipe. You can use white wine (I would use something dry, not sweet, like a chardonnay). Julia child often substituted Vermouth for white wine. Vermouth is dry, and since it is fortified it won’t oxidize like white wine. I always keep a bottle on hand for cooking. You can find it where wine is sold. It will be near other fortified wines, so look where the sherry or marsala wine is sold.
I also use shallots in this recipe, you can use chopped white onion of you can’t find shallots. It’s up to you.
Place the Instant Pot on saute, add butter, when the butter has melted add shallots. Saute the shallots until they have become translucent. Add garlic and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add rice, stir until the rice is coated with the melted butter. Cook rice for about 1 minute. Add half of the vermouth. Stir the vermouth in, it will be absorbed into the rice. When the vermouth has been absorbed add the remaining Vermouth and chicken broth. Add 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese and salt, stir in the cheese and salt into the liquid.
Place the lid on the pressure cooker.
Cook for 8 minutes on high, you can set this manually. After the rice has finished cooking you can either allow it to release naturally, or you can manually release the pressure. Before serving add the remaining cheese.
The Olive Garden Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo is a recipe that so many of you have requested that I would do, so I knew this had to be a delicious recipe to try to recreate.
If you love steak and alfredo sauce, this may be the perfect last meal for you. This method includes a perfectly seared steak served with the famous Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce. This recipe also includes a touch of fresh spinach and just a hint of rich gorgonzola cheese that you will love.
When I first tried this in the Olive Garden, I was blown away with the complexity of the dish, but we are adding just a couple of extra ingredients to make this dish taste amazing. Gorgonzola is a type of blue cheese. It is stronger than your everyday blue cheese. So you can use blue cheese with this recipe if you desire. Gorgonzola cheese can be found in most grocery stores. If you cannot find gorgonzola, you can use blue cheese.
One of the things I like most about recreating a recipe at home is I get to make choices when I cook. For the steak, I used a ribeye cut when I prepared this delightful dish. I cooked my steak as a whole, then cut it into large pieces when placed it on the pasta. The Olive Garden cuts their steak first and then cooks it. I like my steak rarer so by cooking the steak as a whole; I feel I can get more of a rare portion of the steak. You can cook the steak as you desire, and best of all you can use the cut of steak you like the most.
I used fresh spinach in this dish, I simply rinsed it, and tossed it into the pasta raw allowing the residual heat of the pasta, and Alfredo sauce does the cooking. After I placed the steak pieces onto my pasta with sauce I added some gorgonzola and placed it under the broiler in my oven. I heated this just until the gorgonzola cheese began to melt and brown.
I hope you enjoy this classic Olive Garden dish at home. I also have many other Olive Garden Favorites that you won’t want to miss.
Are you ever looking for an easy meal to prepare that your whole family can take part in and enjoy? I have a dish that is for you. It is my Prego Pasta Sauce Pizza Bowl.
The video in this recipe was sponsored by Prego Pasta Sauce.
I love a recipe when you can have the whole family help you put it together. It is fun to create a whole bar of food and let people assemble their dinner the way they want to. My Prego Pasta Sauce Pizza Bowl is exactly that, a meal for pizza lovers.
It can be challenging if you want to make a whole pizza, but it takes no time at all to boil some pasta. For this recipe, you will just cook up your favorite type of pasta, and enjoy it with Prego Pasta Sauce. You can also assemble your favorite pizza toppings. For my house, that is pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese, chopped onions, sliced olives, and cooked sausage.
To make a pizza bowl use a bowl, that is oven-proof. Add pasta, top with Prego Pasta sauce, and then add your favorite toppings. You will then pop this under the broiler and broil for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese just begins to melt and brown.
So not try one of these simple to make Pizza Pasta Bowls, your whole family can enjoy putting them together, and then sitting down enjoying a meal.
1 16 ounce box pasta (macaroni, rigatoni, or your favorite shape)
1 jars Prego Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked Italian sausage
4 to 6 ounces pepperoni
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat pasta sauce in a pot until it is warmed through over medium heat. Drain pasta and place pasta in small oven-proof bowls. Top with Prego Pasta Sauce, and then add your favorite pizza toppings. Add cheese last. Place bowls under the broiler and broil for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.
Do you love a great one pot meal? I know I do, I love having just one pot to clean up. This is a great meal to use leftover pasta and links of sausage.
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of one skillet dinners. Going home after work, I am not always inspired to cook up a full meal. I can put together a one skillet meal with great ease. When I first learned to cook I was a massive fan of Hamburger Helper, nowadays I prefer to cook from scratch when I can. This way I can use what I have on hand, season it the way I want, and leave ingredients out that I don’t want.
I always have jars of pasta sauce on hand. I find a jar of pasta sauce to be very versatile. You can make spaghetti, a homemade pizza, or use it in a skillet dinner. I love the Italian sausage at Costco. It is lean, well seasoned, and cooks up beautifully. For this recipe, you can cook the Italian sausage in the same skillet the final dish will be prepared in.
For this recipe you can use any type of pasta you would like, I have made this with leftover lasagna noodles, or even some other type of pasta. I often keep a container it that has a variety of pasta. So often when I make pasta I have little bits left over and I just toss them into one container. This way I can use them up and I always end up with a dish of pasta that has crazy pieces of pasta in it.
Brown sausage in a skillet unit it is cooked through. Slice sausage into bite sized pieces. Saute the onions and red bell pepper in the skillet. If your skillet is dry add additional oil add about two teaspoons of olive oil to saute the vegetables. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent. Stir in cooked pasta, add pasta sauce and add Italian seasoning blend. Stir in Italian sausage. Top with cheese.
If you skillet is oven proof you can pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes and let the cheese brown. You can garnish the top with chopped basil or chopped parsley.
So you love pasta meaty pasta meals? I know I do. I want to serve a meal that includes everyone. With Barilla Pasta® and Aidelles ® chicken sausage, I can do just that.
During the week, I am always looking for easy meals I can put together. I love to invite a few friends over for dinner during the week and a meal of Aidelles ® chicken sausage and Barilla ® is the perfect dish to serve up. I have a gluten free meal thanks to the pasta. Thanks to the sausage I have a sausage that contains no nitrites, no added hormones, and the sausage is hand-crafted with real, hand-picked ingredients made in small batches.
On my way home I can stop quickly at Target and pick up the ingredients for this meal. My Target has a full sized grocery store so I can get the Aidelles® sausage and Barilla® pasta. For this meal, I also picked up a red onion and a dash of bell pepper. So with a quick dash in and out I can go home and prepare a hearty dinner.
I love that the Aidells® Sausage cooks up in about 8 to 10 minutes. I like to slice my Aidells® Sausage in rounds. This way everyone can get bites of this delicious sausage in every bite. You can embrace your inner foodie with this simple meal.
To make this meal, it isn’t difficult at all. You will simply saute a small red onion, one bell pepper, and a couple of cloves of garlic together. First, set the pasta to boil. Remove the vegetables after you saute them and then wipe out the pan with a paper towel and cook up the sausage in rounds. I grab a big bowl and pour the cooked pasta in there along with the vegetables and the cooked sausage. I make a quick creamy pesto sauce and drizzle it all over the pasta, and dinner is ready.
Looking for more great light recipes? Be sure to try some of these.
Gluten-free chicken sausage and pesto pasta is an easy one-pot dinner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 bell pepper sliced into matchsticks
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box Barilla® Gluten FREE Penne Pasta
16 ounces Aidelles® chicken sausage, sliced into rounds
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
Cook pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside.
Using a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat add olive oil and sliced red onions and bell peppers. Saute and for a couple of minutes, then add a couple of cloves of garlic to the pan. When the onions and peppers have softened, remove from skillet and place on a plate. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
Saute the sausage round for about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn sausage over halfway through. The sausage should be lightly browned. While the sausage is cooking combine the prepared pesto and heavy cream in a small pot over low heat. Stir until the pesto and the heavy cream are combined. In a large bowl combine the cooked pasta, the cooked vegetables, and the browned sausage rounds. Drizzle the heated pesto sauce and stir until the pasta is completely coated.
Serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.