Instant Pot Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe - Food Fanatic

Instant Pot Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe

    8 Servings


  • 1 pound Pasta Shells, (16 ounce box - large size shell)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 8 ounces White Cheddar Cheese, freshly shredded, about 2 rounded cups
  • 4 ounces White American Cheese, 4-6 slices
  • 1 cup Milk, skim, low fat or whole
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Black Pepper, optional
  • dash Hot Sauce, optional


  1. Place the pasta, 4 cups water, salt, and butter in the Instant Pot. Give it a quick stir. Secure the top and seal the valve. Use the pressure setting and set the clock to 4 minutes. The Pot will take about ten minutes to pressurize before the clock starts counting down. 
  2. When the 4 minutes is up, use the quick release valve to release the steam. Protect your hands with a potholder or silicone gloves and turn the valve. If the pasta water starts to spurt, close the valve, wait about 15 seconds, and continue to turn the valve in brief intervals until the spurting stops. Let all of the steam release until the float valve descends and it is safe to remove the lid. 
  3. If there is a significant amount of water in the pot, drain the water by gently pouring the water off into the sink. You needn’t drain every last drop. Keep a colander in the sink just in case any pasta falls from the pot. 
  4. Stir in the cheeses and milk. Stir in the mustard. If you drained the pasta, you may also add another tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt, to taste. Add pepper and hot sauce if you like. You may put the Instant Pot in warming mode to help melt the cheese.


Instant pot panera mac and cheese photo