Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese recipe takes just 18 minutes from start to finish, dirties only one pot, and tastes creamy and delicious! Plus, it’s made with all real food ingredients.

Instant Pot with macaroni and cheese

It was 5:30 p.m. and my kids were starving. I was finishing up a work project and hadn’t even given dinner a thought when I began hearing the low-grade whines from the next room. “I’m hunnngrrrreeee!”

The Instant Pot to the rescue. I happened to have some whole wheat pasta in the pantry, along with the other few ingredients in this recipe. Within 2 minutes I had dumped everything in and locked the lid. It took about 10 minutes to come to pressure, 2 minutes to cook, and another 2 minutes to release the pressure. I ended by stirring in the milk and cheese for another 2 minutes. Voila! An 18 minute recipe from start to finish!!!

mac and cheese in the instant pot

This Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese is a perfect, no fuss weeknight meal and makes enough to serve an army. Serve it with some steamed broccoli and apple slices, and you’re golden.

mac and cheese in the instant pot

mac and cheese in the instant pot

Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Rachel from Thriving Home
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


This Mac and Cheese recipe takes just minutes to pull together, dirties only one pot, and tastes creamy and delicious!


  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 34 cups shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese (or your favorite shredded kind)


  1. Add pasta, butter, mustard, salt, pepper, and water to the pot and stir.
  2. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for half the pasta cooking time on the package, minus 1 minute. (So, if the directions say 6 minutes: Half is 3 minutes, minus 1 minute, means you’ll cook it for 2 minutes total.)
  3. Use a quick release of the pressure when cooking time is through. Be sure to cover the spout with a dish towel to minimize splatters.
  4. Stir in the milk and half and half. Then, slowly stir in the cheese 1 handful at a time. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts, if needed. Enjoy!

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  1. Kelly says

    I made a version of this, and it was so good! I used broth instead of water, dijon instead of regular mustard, omitted salt, and added a can of diced green chiles with the pasta water. I used sharp cheddar (half white, half yellow), grated romano, and added maybe 6oz of leftover marscapone at the end. Then I sprinkled aleppo pepper on it to serve. Creamy, spicy and interesting mac and cheese. Cheers!

    • Rachel says

      Yum! Your changes sound delicious. Thanks for sharing, Kelly.

  2. Katrina Kim says

    This was so delicious, simple, and fast. My kids just loved it. I am embarrassed to say I probably had at least 4 servings myself!

    • Rachel says

      That’s great to hear! Thanks for the feedback, Katrina.

    • Cyra-Lea Drummond says

      I made this, and it was delicious! Definitely will add to our family favorites 👍

      • Rachel says

        That’s so great to hear! Thanks for sharing, Cyra-Lea.