As I mentioned in my last post, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my 6qt Instant Pot (IP). This was a spontaneous item that I bought when times were hard at home – one income, limited kitchen space, long hours…and I had heard so much about this pressure cooker that was just shy of saving the world!
But seriously, I recall that Walmart had a sale on this where I scooped it up for less than $50 between the sale and some coupon codes (thank you, RetailMeNot). I figured that this was my present to myself and if it could help me make even one home cooked meal a week, it was worth it. Low and behold, this has become so significant that I was gifted the new 8qt version where I can even make homemade yogurt!
This week, I was asked for my IP Mac & Cheese recipe by a friend of mine that now has an IP of her own and since there are 1379247395 different versions online, I figured why not add just one more – mine!
- 1 Box or Bag of Elbow Macaroni or Shells (do not use rice or lentil alternatives)
- 4 Cups of No Salt (Low Salt is okay) Chicken Broth (or Stock)
- 1 Cup Almond Milk (can use low-fat regular milk)
- 3 Cups of Shredded Cheese – I use mozzarella, Colby jack, and a hint of white Vermont cheddar
- 1/4 Cup Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Himalayan Pink salt
- 1-2 tbsp of smoked paprika (optional)
Throw in the macaroni, chicken broth, and salt into the Instant Pot. Set on 4 minutes (manual or pressure cook). Do not be alarmed that as your pasta pressurizes, or at the end of the 4 minutes, you may see splatter through the steam release…this is okay and can be cleaned afterward (this is due to the starch in your pasta).
After 4 minutes, manually release the pressure (in other words, quick release). You will notice a little bit of liquid still left with the now cooked pasta – that’s good!
Set your IP to “Sauté” mode. This will help melt the cheese but make sure to mix often.
Add half a cup of milk. Stir. Add the onion powder and shredded cheese – 1 cup at a time; add the second half-a-cup of milk. Stir. Add more milk as needed to ensure a creamy but not watery consistency.
Once the cheese is melted and creamy, turn off “Sauté” or it will burn your food!
Add the smoked paprika, if desired. This gives the mac & cheese a little kick without being over-powering and gives a nice color richness to the dish.
Comment below if you are going to try this and how it turns out for you! Do you add anything extra? Do you have a version that you would like me to try? Do you have a tried and true stovetop recipe that you use?