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broccoli cheddar mac and cheese
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4.83 from 23 votes

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Soup meets mac n cheese in this Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese recipe! Incredibly flavorful cheddar cheese and paprika sauce is made right in the Instant Pot with elbow macaroni and hidden carrots and broccoli. A true 1 pot, 25 minute kid-friendly dinner for soup and mac and cheese lovers everywhere!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot recipe, kid-friendly
Servings: 6
Calories: 812kcal
Author: Kristina

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 bouillon cubes + 2 cups water)
  • 3 cups water
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups evaporated milk (1, 12oz can)
  • 2 cups extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Grate and chop the carrot into small pieces. Chop the broccoli into ½ inch pieces, and dice the onion and garlic cloves.
  • Add butter, onion, garlic, carrot, and broccoli to the Instant Pot. Saute for 4 minutes. When done sauteing, add 1 cup of the water and deglaze the pot to remove any stuck pieces.
  • Add the broth, 2 cups of remaining water, macaroni, paprika, salt and pepper. Set to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure when finished.
  • Set to saute for 2 minutes and add the milk and evaporated milk, stirring often. When done turn off the Instant Pot and transfer the inner pot to a heat-proof surface. Wait 2 minutes, then add the cheeses 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Notes

*All of my recipes are tested in a 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot. But because of the amount of water used, this recipe should also work in a 10 quart pot.
This meal is best served the same day, as the longer it sits, the more the sauce is absorbed. To create more sauce, add 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon paprika to the pasta as needed. 
Always turn off the IP, remove the inner pot from the outer pot and wait a few minutes before adding the cheese. If you add the cheese to the pot when it's too hot, it will turn stringy instead of melt.
Milk: I use evaporated milk and whole milk for extra creaminess. You can use reduced fat or low fat milk too, without compromising the taste. But don't skip the evaporated milk.
This recipe has not been tested with a milk-alternative, such as almond or oat milk

Nutrition

Serving: 12oz | Calories: 812kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1247mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3226IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 850mg | Iron: 2mg