Making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot is such an easy dinner–and adding diced ham rounds out the meal!
Dinner is taken care of with this easy recipe for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese with ham!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Macaroni and cheese is probably one of the most family-friendly dishes around, and for good reason–who can resist pasta and cheese?
It’s sometimes nice to take a departure from the boxed variety and enjoy the real stuff–especially when you can easily adapt it to become a hearty and tasty meal.
Did you know you can cook pasta in the Instant Pot? It’s pretty much my go-to way to avoid having boiling starchy water bubble over onto the stove top.
You can easily set it and forget it!
I’ve made lots of macaroni dishes this way, including Instant Pot cheeseburger macaroni, Instant Pot chili mac, Instant Pot macaroni salad, and Instant Pot pumpkin macaroni and cheese–which is why I know you’re going to love this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese with ham!
An Easy One Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s a simple one-pot meal, so not only is the prep easy, but the clean-up is, too.
This is a tasty way to use up leftover ham to round out the meal–plus it’s cheesy goodness all the way!
It’s like a ham and cheese pasta bake, only it’s made in the pressure cooker!
How to Make Ham and Cheese Macaroni in the Instant Pot
It’s really easy to make this classic dish. Just a few ingredients transform into a tasty meal in your Instant Pot.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Uncooked elbow macaroni
- Diced ham
- Shredded Swiss cheese
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Salt and pepper
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Saute. First, you’ll add the butter and onions to the insert pot of an Instant pot. Using the Saute function, cook the onions until soft, then add the garlic.
Add pasta, water, and ham. Next, you’ll add the pasta, water, and ham to the insert pot. Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position.
Pressure cook. Select a cook time of 4 minutes at high pressure, followed by a natural release for 5 minutes, then a quick release of remaining pressure.
Make it cheesy. Add in the sour cream, Swiss cheese, and some of the cheddar cheese.
Stir until it’s nice and melted. Don’t worry if it looks a little soupy at first–the sauce will thicken as it cools and the pasta absorbs more liquid.
Then, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top.
Close the lid again, and let that top layer of cheese melt for a couple of minutes.
Remove the lid and let it stand for a bit to thicken up before serving. Enjoy!
Notes and Adaptations:
- Feel free to use different cheese if desired. Colby Jack, white cheddar, and Gruyere are all good choices.
- I prefer to shred my own cheese, as I find it tends to melt better that way. But you can use bagged pre-shredded cheese if short on time.
- If you don’t have sour cream on hand, you could use Greek yogurt or stir in a bit of heavy cream or evaporated milk.
- Feel free to add some frozen peas if you’d like–these can be added along with the sour cream and cheese.
- You can use a different pasta besides macaroni if needed–penne, rotini, or bowtie would all work great. The general rule of thumb is to take the cook time on the box, divide it in half, and subtract one to get the amount of time to cook it.
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 16-ounce box uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 cups diced ham
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add butter and onion to the insert pot of the Instant Pot. Using the Saute function, cook until the onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and press Cancel to turn off the Saute mode. Stir the garlic and allow it to heat for a minute.
- Add the macaroni, water, and ham to the insert pot.
- Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a cook time of 4 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cook time is complete, allow a 5 minute natural release followed by a quick release of remaining pressure.
- Add in the sour cream, Swiss cheese, and 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and creamy.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top of the pasta and place the lid on the Instant Pot for a few minutes, allowing the cheese to melt. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 456Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 684mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
Photos courtesy of Tabitha Philen; recipe slightly adapted from Tabitha Philen.