Smoked cheddar mac & cheese
Smoked cheddar mac & cheese. (Photo: DARREN KEMPER)

Instant Pot Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Smoked cheddar mac & cheese
Beth Lipton

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Recipe originally published on Clean Eating.

Cook Time
8 min


  • 3 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni (dry)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. organic unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • ¾ cup grated smoked cheddar



1. Place a large freezer bag inside a 6½-inch-diameter bowl. (Note: Make sure the bowl fits inside the Instant Pot insert.) To bag, add macaroni, 1 cup water, sharp cheddar, Parmesan, carrot, cream, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper; massage to mix. Seal and freeze. Once mixture is frozen, remove bowl.

To Instant Pot

2. When ready to eat, add 1½ cups water and butter to Instant Pot. Add frozen pasta mixture. Lock lid; set release valve to Seal. Press Pressure Cook/Manual and set timer to 4 minutes. When cooking is finished, leave vent in seal position and allow pressure to release naturally. When metal pin in lid falls and all pressure is released, unlock lid.

3. Whisk together milk and tapioca starch and slowly stir into pot. Stir in smoked cheddar. If a crispy top is desired, transfer to an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and place under the broiler on high for 5 minutes.