Try this easy Mac and Cheese Recipe designed for a pressure cooker.
This super easy Mac and cheese recipe so creamy and rich people will think you worked for hours to create this favorite side dish. Only you will know this took one pot and less than 15 minutes to prepare. That’s the beauty of using a pressure cooker. It’s a bit faster and it cooks everything in one pot, and I’m all about minimizing the dirty dishes.
We’ve been working really hard all this month (and last!) with our Magic Scarf Project. We’ve learned so many new techniques and terms, and finally we are able to put it all into practice with the free pattern I shared with you a few weeks back.
So, I thought today’s post would be a good time to share a recipe with you. After all that hard work, it would be nice to kick up your feet and enjoy a little comfort food. #amiright?
And plus, is it just me or does this winter seem especially brutal?
We all need a little extra love and comfort right now. And that’s where today’s recipe comes in. But first I have an introduction to make. Readers, meet the new love of my life.
Um yeah. It’s delicious. I started with the recipe from Blue Jean Chef and made some of my own modifications. That modified recipe is what I’m sharing today. It turned out creamier, and who couldn’t use more comforting, creamier food right now?
But first, let me show you the cute as a button little dishes I picked up at Pier One to style this photo shoot. Oh my gosh! SO CUTE!
They look like mini versions of that super fancy Le Creuset cookware. I don’t currently own any Le Creuset, but someday I do hope to own a cook pot or two from them. For now, these minis will have to do. I actually wound up using them to serve the Mac and Cheese in real life because, they are just too cute not to use!
And while we are on the topic of cute, let me show you the cheese serving set I have. This was a gift to me back in the 1970s from one of my mom’s best friends at Christmas. So you may wonder why a little girl would get a cheese serving set as a Christmas gift.
It’s because we all used to have something called a “Hope Chest.” In the Hope Chest we collected homemaking things for our first apartment.
Stuff like cute kitchen towels, and silverware, and sets of drinking glasses and plates. The kinds of things you need when you are going to set up your first house.
This cheese serving set was gifted to me by my mom’s good friend, Fern, for that Hope Chest. I don’t think people do this anymore, and that’s kind of a shame. Sadly I had to let the actual cedar chest go in our last move. We just didn’t have space for it in this cottage, and it was easier for me to give up stuff than to ask mom to give up any more of her things. Sometimes you have to consider other people first, and so I no longer have my Hope Chest.
I think about my Aunt Fern (back in the day, we called grownups who were close to the family Aunt and Uncle. I don’t think people do that anymore) every time I look at this little set, which spends most of its life in a display cabinet. So it was so fun to get it out, and use it in this photo session. I think whenever I do something with cheese, I’m going to have it be a part of the photography session. I haven’t used it in probably 25 years, so it was nice to have a reason to take it out of the cabinet where the most attention it gets is it’s annual dusting during the spring clean.
But let’s get to that recipe, shall we?
Here’s what you’ll need. It looks like a lot, but remember, it’s all going into the one pot of the pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook your macaroni as usual and then mix in the cheese and milk parts after it’s all cooked. Return it to the original pasta pan.
I’ve made this a couple of times, and the Velveeta gives a creaminess you just are not going to get from any other cheese. The dollop of cream cheese adds to that. I switched out heavy cream for half and half, because the Velveeta adds so much creaminess, the full fat cream was over kill. If you want to learn how I incorporated the stock, you’ll have to download the recipe!
This makes a fairly huge portion of Mac and Cheese, and you’ll be delighted to know it freezes really well! When you are ready to take some out, take the frozen portion out the night ahead and let it defrost in the fridge. When you reheat it in the pan, add some of the stock to reconstitute it and to keep it from sticking while it heats up. The stock will incorporate into the leftovers and they will taste just like a yummy fresh batch.
As a side note, we don’t own a microwave. We haven’t had one in over 10 years. Except for when we had one installed in the house in the mountains when we knew we wanted to sell it. Having a microwave over the stove is pretty common and we wanted that to help sell the house. But we don’t have one here. I really don’t miss it.
This creamy macaroni and cheese recipe is designed to be made in a pressure cooker. It cooks fast and all in one pot. You can still make it the usual way by boiling and draining pasta and then then returning it all to the pot to mix in the cheese and dairy products.
- 2 tbs butter
- 16 oz Pasta (shells or elbow)
- 2 1/2 cups Veggie Stock
- 1/2 to 1 cup Milk or Half and Half (add to your liking. Start with 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups Velveeta Cheese (grated)
- 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated)
- 2 oz. Cream Cheese
- Preheat the pressure cooker using the saute setting.
- Add the butter and stir in the dry pasta to coat.
- Pour in the veggie stock and lock the lid into place.
- Pressure cook on high for 2/3s the cook time stated on the pasta package.
- When cook time is complete, reduce the pressure using the quick release method. Carefully remove the lid.
- Immediately add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Replace the lid and allow mixture to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir.
- If mixture is too thick for your taste, add more stock 1/4 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some fresh chopped parsley to garnish.
Notice I used the stock to cook the pasta as opposed to water. I thought it gave a heartier favor that using plain water. You can dupe water or any kind of stock you prefer. I just happen to use veggie stock for everything. The 365 Brand stock has the lowest salt, but you can use whatever you prefer. However, stocks have widely ranging amounts of sodium, and I found it important to monitor that ingredient before deciding on my stock.
To cook on the stovetop, cook the pasta as directed. After draining, return it to the original pot and add in the other ingredients. You really can’t cook the pasta in stock this way, so boil it in water as normal.