Nothing Says Love Like This Gooey Mac and Cheese

If you are wondering what is the most wonderful, romantic thing you can make for your Valentine’s Day dinner or lunch this year….look no further, my friends. This year all you are going to need is your Instant Pot and lots and LOTS of cheese. Warm, gooey mac and cheese with all sorts of flavor coming from 3 different kinds of cheese, as well as a teaspoon of this secret ingredient that gives it the zip you are looking for.

My oldest daughter just turned 10 years old and she has turned into quite the little party planner. This makes my momma heart very proud because I am the same way! I love to make birthdays a big deal around here and she was so adorable this year and planned the whole fun day herself. When I was growing up, we were so thankful that my mom would make our favorite dish for dinner that night and my grandma would always make us her famous cherry chip cake with marshmallow creme frosting--it couldn’t have been better! Somehow, it’s gotten to the point where my kids are requesting their favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with special cake requests. The nerve! :) It is a lot of work--but nothing gives you energy like making a memorable and special day for the ones you love the most! I just can’t say no to those cuties on their big day.

She requested waffles for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch and In ‘N Out Burger for dinner. I knew she wanted things as easy for me as possible and she just meant a crappy box of mac and cheese for lunch, but I had to do right by my baby girl! She wasn’t getting a box of Kraft this time! It was time for the good stuff. The best mac and cheese in the world! And may I just say that while mac and cheese leftovers are often not thought of as the most re-heatable or desirable item, these really hold up beautifully well and taste great when reheated.

This is a fantastic recipe from The Salty Marshmallow Blog and is so simple! You just dump a few ingredients in your Instant Pot and add your different cheeses and a little milk after it has done the pressure cooking until you reach your desired gooey-ness and you are all set. My favorite sneaky ingredient that she puts in this is 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, which she claims doesn’t make it hot at all--just gives it a nice depth of flavor. I didn’t have Tabasco sauce on hand so I used a teaspoon of my trusty Cholula hot sauce and it was perfect! She’s right--it wasn’t spicy at all and my kids who don’t like spicy food couldn’t tell at all.

Right after school that day, Daddy came home from work early and we surprised her and grabbed a picnic basket, big blanket and headed to the park for a gorgeous birthday picnic lunch. 

I thought about bringing the mac and cheese in a Tupperware container of some sort, but instead I straight up hauled my whole Instant Pot to the park and camped out at the top of the hill ha! It was great! It kept it warm and wasn’t that big of a deal to lug it around :)

**Yes, you saw that right. Your eyes do not deceive you--one of my children, she who shall not be named, is a four year-old child who does not like mac and cheese! Can you believe it?! We even tried getting the Paw Patrol mac and cheese and even that didn’t do the trick!! She would rather have a fig bar and some beef jerky--who is this kid??

This is a family favorite recipe of ours and a really easy recipe for me to make! To me it sounds like my dream kind of cozy, Valentine’s date night-in with some gooey mac and cheese and my cute date snuggled up on the couch watching a British period drama “chick flick”  together. Of course some sort of chocolate cake is a given for dessert, right? Give this recipe a try and hopefully it will become a family favorite of yours too!

The BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese - This macaroni and cheese is every family's favorite comfort food pasta recipe made easy in the Instant Pot! You can have creamy, mouthwatering, homemade mac and cheese for dinner in about 10 minutes! Author: Nichole Recipe Type: American Total Time: 10 minutes

Prep time:
Cook time:
Serving size: 8
Calories per serving: 451

16 ounces Uncooked Elbow macaroni
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Hot Pepper sauces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 - 1 cup milk

Add the uncooked macaroni, chicken broth, butter, hot sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to the Instant Pot.

Place the lid on the pot and set to sealing. Cook on manual function, high pressure for 5 minutes. Then, do a quick release.

Add the milk, then the cheese to the pot in 3-4 handfuls, stirring in between each addition until smooth and creamy. Season as necessary to taste.


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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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