Instant Pot Sausage Mac and Cheese

I shared my intense love of the Instant Pot with you a few weeks ago and since then I’ve left you hanging with recipes! Well, no more. I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite recipes that are adapted to or made for the Instant Pot with you in the next few weeks.

First up, what is an Instant Pot? Well, it’s a pressure cooker, but it’s so much more. It can pressure cook your meals, saute meats or vegetables, make yogurt, make the best dang hard boiled eggs you’ve ever had in your life… I could go on and on. Read my post HERE where I talk about how it took me a long time to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon and how once I did, I was hooked!

Need an Instant Pot? I’ve got you covered.

Instant Pot LUX60 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Muti-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer: This is the Instant Pot that I own. It’s plenty big enough for my family, but I have friends (and my mom) who have the 8qt and they love the extra room for big roasts, soups, ribs, boston butts, etc.

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer: This is the bigger Instant Pot. There isn’t a HUGE price difference so if I had to do it all over again, I would probably buy the 8 quart.

Now on to the recipe! The very first thing I ever cooked in my Instant Pot was Macaroni and Cheese. I shared how I was super intimidated of the Instant Pot at first, and I asked my Instagram friends for advice on what I should cook first. My friend Sarah sent me this recipe, and it was amazing.

Dads Cook Dinner: Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

I mean, you could make it exactly as it’s listed in the link, but I wanted to try and make it into a one pot meal. Adding sausage to the recipe and switching up a few ingredients gives it a little extra protein and a much needed calorie boost for Cooper (don’t worry, you can skinny it down some if you want).

Instant Pot Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Butterball Turkey Sausage (not an affiliate link, but so you know what to look for)
  • 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or 1 teaspoon hot sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk OR 8 oz milk OR 8 oz heavy cream
  • 16 oz extra sharp cheddar
  • 6 oz parmesean cheese

Directions:

Cut up your sausage and add to the Instant Pot. Hit the SAUTE button. The inner bowl will begin to heat and you can brown your sausage on both sides.

While your sausage is browning, add your Dijon mustard, Sriracha, and salt to a measuring cup filled with 4 cups water. Whisk together ingredients. If you do not have Dijon mustard, you can use regular, but I’m telling you that the Dijon mustard does something amazing to this macaroni and cheese. I use Sriracha but you can use another hot sauce (I’ve successfully used Frank’s before because that was what I had on hand!).

Pour into the Instant Pot and add your elbow macaroni and butter.

Lock the top into place and hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Make sure the pressure valve is turned to “Sealed”. Hit the “Manual” button and adjust the time to 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will briefly show 4 and then will turn to On.

It will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure. Once it does, you will hear a beep and the timer will turn to 4 and begin to count down. Once the cycle is complete, do a Quick Release – this means turn the valve to the right and the pressure will release. Keep your hands and face away from the valve until no more air is being released. Once this is complete, you can open the lid.

Note: you will not be able to open the lid unless the pressure had been released. It is a safety feature of the Instant Pot.

While the Instant Pot is coming to pressure and cooking, I get my cheese ready. I like to get blocks of cheese and shred them myself. Yes, it’s extra work, but somehow it just tastes better. This is two 8 oz blocks of extra sharp cheddar. You will see in a picture below that I didn’t end up using all of this cheese. I probably used a block and a half, but the actual recipe I adapted this from calls for 16 oz of cheese. It’s up to you how cheesy you would like for this to be! You will also need 12 oz evaporated milk and 6 oz Parmesan cheese.

Note: I switch out the evaporated milk for whatever I have on hand. I’ve used whole milk and cream before. If I know Cooper didn’t have a great calorie day (we struggle with his weight), I will make this with all the cheese and heavy cream. It’s something I know he will eat and the calories are good for him. However, once I made this and Jason said “oh my gosh, this is amazing, what did you do different?” and I realized I never even added milk. Apparently I used 5 cups of water instead of 4, and I just mixed in the cheese. It still tasted amazing, and Jason actually prefers me to omit the milk now.

This is what it looks like after you’ve removed the lid. All of the water has been absorbed and the pasta is cooked perfectly. Now add in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and the milk. Mix together and pop the lid back on. The Instant Pot goes into warming mode once you’ve completed the timed cycle – let it stay on warming mode. Walk away for a few minutes, clean up, and when you come back the cheese will be melted.

This is what it looks like after the cheese has melted! I’m telling you, this is a HUGE hit at my house. It’s the one thing I can make that I know every single person will eat and love. Is it perfectly healthy? Eh, no. But we don’t make it every single week.

I like to serve this with a salad – arugula is our favorite, and it’s the easiest salad ever. I just use arugula, Parmesan cheese, a little pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. The acid of the lemon and the natural peppery taste of the arugula help to balance out the intense creaminess of the macaroni and cheese.

If you try this, please let me know what you think!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase the products. Thank you for supporting Tickled Peach!

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