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I heard on the street that mac and cheese can be made in the pressure cooker or instapot. That sounded a little counter-intuitive to me, and I’m a skeptic to boot. BUT I was being open-minded and decided, while on 10 days of babysitting duty for my 10, 7 and 3-year-old grandkids, to try this. HUGE HUGE HIT, huge huge amount of mac and cheese produced without powdered cheese or a box, and huge huge huge oohs and ahhhhs from the kids.
This takes less than 10 minutes stove to table, and I am here to tell you it is so good. We ate like starving animals the first time through, and the kids had enough leftovers for lunches at school and after-school snacks. In other words, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
You are golden if you own either an instapot or a pressure cooker. If not, borrow a friend or neighbor’s pot. I’m a pressure cooker owner and I’m not about to buy another kitchen workhorse, so the directions here are for a pressure cooker. If you are an instapot owner 1) Good for you and B) you’ll have to adapt the directions for the instapot. I suspect it will take longer to come to full pressure is all.
Easy Peasy Mac & Cheesy
Serves 8-10 at least
- 1 pound dry elbow macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbsp salted butter
- 12 oz can of evaporated milk
- ¼ cup water
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I was lazy and got the pre-shredded kind. Each package had 2 cups worth so I used 1 ½ packages and saved the rest to melt on toast)
Place the dry macaroni, 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt in a pressure cooker. Stir together and lock the lid, bring to full pressure and set a timer to cook it for exactly 4 minutes.
After the four minutes are up, use the quick (manual) release. I always wear hot mitts when I do this and I keep a towel wrapped around the valve so the stuff that bubbles out doesn’t make a huge mess or burn my hands.
Unlock and remove the lid away from you so the steam doesn’t come rushing out at you. The noodles will be cooked and the water absorbed. WOO HOO.
Stir in the butter, the evaporated milk and the quarter cup of water. Then add the grated cheddar cheese a half cup at a time so it melts entirely. Stir together, add pepper and serve hot. Leftovers can be dumped in a buttered casserole dish, refrigerated and eaten for up to three days later. We reheat each serving briefly in the microwave oven, but I have to say my grandboys took this to school and ate it at room temperature.
You could add either some drained tuna fish or flaked salmon or diced cooked broccoli at the end. Me? I just love straight up mac and cheese every once in a while, particularly when it is dead simple to make.
Our daughter, the mother of these three little angels we babysat, tried this when I made it yet again last night She was blown away by how cheesy, I mean easy, it is.