Quick and Easy Mac and Cheese

This is truly a one-pot mac and cheese recipe that couldn't be easier. Be sure to measure the water because that is part of the recipe - no draining required.

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Quick and Easy Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 6 m
  • Total Time: 16 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound macaroni
  • cups water
  • ½ cup cream
  • cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped


  1. Pre-heat the pressure cooker using the BROWN setting for a few minutes.
  2. Add the oil and stir in the dry macaroni to coat. Pour in the 2½ cups of water and lock the lid in place.
  3. Pressure cook on HIGH for 6 minutes.
  4. Reduce the pressure with QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid.
  5. Immediately, without draining away the water, add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
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Comments (19)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Sally. Check out my article on converting recipes for pressure cookers of different sizes. That might help you out. The trick to converting pressure cooker recipes is to always make sure you have enough liquid. If cutting the recipe down results in too little liquid, you can keep the sauce ingredients the same and cook less meat. You’ll have extra sauce, but I could think of worse outcomes. 😉

  1. Hi Meredith,

    Just a quick question. Am planning to make your mac and cheese- when you say to add cream, do you mean heavy cream or half and half?

    1. I would add heavy cream but you could add either! Half-and-half will make it a little lighter – not a bad thing.

    1. Sorry you had trouble, Cindy. It could have been the pressure cooker you were using – different cookers have different psi levels for their HIGH setting. If your cooker has a PSI of 12 or below, you might want to add a minute to the cooking time. Be sure to give the pasta a good stir before putting the lid on and then another good stir as soon as you lift the lid.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made it a few times. Love it! I switch out the cream for low fat milk and still love it!

  3. Hi, I was wondering if I could cut this recipe in half. And if not what’s the best way to reheat the left overs? Love your recipes and have several of your cookbooks!

    1. Hi Denise. You can definitely cut this recipe in half – you’ll still be left with 1¼ cups of water which is more than enough to create the steam needed in the cooker. The only challenge would be if you have a very large cooker. You do want the liquid to easily cover the bottom of the cooker and rise up around the pasta. If your cooker is too large, then the pasta will be sitting above the water. It might make more sense to make a full batch and re-heat. You can re-heat these leftovers in the microwave, or you could add a little more cream and re-heat gently in a skillet.

    1. I’d recommend whatever cheese you really like. It will carry most of the flavor of this dish, so if you like the cheese, you’ll like the mac and cheese!

  4. 5 stars
    Should the macaroni be blistered or do you just let it heat up some in the oil? I did make this and everyone liked it. There were a few harder noodles, but they softened up the next day. It was super easy and creamy!

    1. Hi Terry. There’s no need to blister the macaroni – just get it coated and warm – but it’s not a big deal if they do blister. Glad it worked out for you.

    1. There is not a stovetop version of this recipe but you can cook the pasta according to the package directions and reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta water. Drain the water and do not rinse the pasta. Immediately after draining, return the hot pasta to the warm pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until melted and creamy, if need be, add a little of the starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce.

    1. Yikes! Sorry you didn’t like it, Linda. I hope you remembered NOT to drain away the water from the pasta, since that is part of what makes up the sauce.

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