This Loaded Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with bacon is such a delicious comfort food recipe! It’s similar to a loaded baked potato, but the flavor is even better.
One of the first recipes I started playing with when I got my Instant Pot was homemade mac and cheese. My kids love this dish, and I loved the idea of cooking the whole thing in one pot.
A year and a half later, I’ve gotten this recipe just right. Sauteing the bacon in the Instant Pot before cooking the macaroni allows the bacon flavor to infuse itself into each little noodle. This flavor base is complemented by the easy cheese sauce, which melts right into the warm noodles after they cook. This recipe is so simple, you don’t even have to drain the pasta water.
Any type of macaroni will work in this recipe. For a true real food version, you can use whole wheat elbow noodles. My family doesn’t love whole wheat pasta, so I like to use a good quality white pasta for this recipe. You could also use gluten-free noodles if you’re avoiding gluten.
The finishing touch to this recipe is the right amount of salt. Depending on the saltiness of your cheese, you may need an additional half teaspoon or more of salt. Keep in mind that the bacon adds saltiness to the finished dish as well.
Here’s a video showing the simple process of making this loaded Instant Pot macaroni and cheese with bacon:
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 lb macaroni (whole wheat or regular)
- 4 cups water
- 4 tbs butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 8 oz grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1/2 lb broccoli florets
- Cook chopped bacon in the Instant Pot on Medium Saute until brown, stirring constantly. Remove the bacon along with all but 1 tablespoon of the grease. Set bacon aside, and refrigerate extra bacon grease for use another time. (Alternately, you can cook the bacon in the oven at 350 degrees while the macaroni is cooking in the Instant Pot, and chop it after cooking.)
- Add the macaroni and water to the pot. Cook on manual for 4 minutes. Do a careful quick release of the pressure.
- Add the butter to the warm noodles in the pot, and stir until melted.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, mustard powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Pour the mixture into the Instant Pot and stir to combine. (The hot noodles will cook the egg mixture.) Stir in the grated cheese until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, top with chopped bacon, scallions, and steamed broccoli bits.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Price Breakdown
This recipe costs a total of $6.78 to make, or $.57 per one cup serving. Try this loaded Instant Pot mac and cheese for an easy, kid-friendly dinner that’s healthier than the boxed version.
Here are some other ideas of easy Instant Pot dinners for a busy night.