Creamy, cheesy noodles, bacon and ranch seasoning combine for this delicious dish. Cooked in the Instant Pot, this is a one pot meal that is on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Macaroni and cheese is always a hit.
This version is cooked in the instant pot for a one-pot meal. It is also ready in about 30 minutes making it perfect for busy weeknights.
It is creamy and cheesy and the bacon and ranch seasoning give it a little extra flavour. (And who doesn’t love bacon?)
Use any combination of cheese you like, but just be sure you use freshly shredded for the best flavour and texture.
Why this recipe works
- This recipe uses simple, easy to find ingredients.
- It is ready in less than 30 minutes.
- It is cooked in one pot for easy clean up.
- It is a family friendly meal that the kids will love.
For the full list of ingredients see the printable recipe at the bottom of this post.
Pasta – I chose Cavatappi when I made this recipe, which is a spiral shaped macaroni noodle. You can use traditional elbow macaroni, medium shells or any other small pasta.
Bacon – The recipe calls for pre-cooked bacon. I like the extra thick bacon from the butcher, but use whatever your favourite is.
Cheese – I like to use two types of cheese, aged cheddar and Monterey Jack, but you can use almost any cheese you like. The most important factor is that you use freshly shredded and not pre-packaged shredded which contains fillers and anti-clumping agents that will make your mac & cheese grainy and lumpy.
Ranch seasoning – You can make your own ranch seasoning, or use store bought. Store bought will be a bit saltier, so just be aware of that.
One – Add the pasta, water and two tablespoons of the butter to the pot. Close the lid, set the pot to seal and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
Two – When the timer is complete, turn the valve to quick release the pressure. Give the noodles a quick stir and add the rest of the butter, sour cream, milk, half the cheese and the seasoning. Stir to combine.
Three – Add the remaining cheese and stir until it is fully melted. You can add a bit more milk if needed to make it creamier.
Four – Stir in the cooked bacon and serve.
Pro Tip – Adding the cheese a little at a time will help it melt more evenly and prevent clumping.
The cook time for this Mac and cheese is only 4 minutes. However, it is important to remember that when you are using a pressure cooker the timer does not start until the pot comes to full pressure.
How long your pot takes to come to pressure will depend on a few factors. Some of these factors are:
- Size of the pressure cooker
- How full the pot is
- How hot the contents of the pot are before you set the timer
- The make and model of the instant pot or pressure cooker
I use a 6qt Instant Pot Duo and start with cold water. Generally it takes about 12 minutes for my pot to reach pressure and begin the cook process.
After the timer is complete you need to release the pressure before you can open the lid. This is a quick release recipe so it should only take a couple of minutes before the pin drops and it is safe to open.
In total, allow about 30 minutes to make this recipe from start to finish.
The last time I made this I was eating it right out of the pot, I had to stop myself and finally serve some in a bowl like a normal person would.
When we make this bacon Mac & cheese we usually eat it on its own. However if you want to serve it with something else a simple salad is a great choice.
This also makes a great side dish for something like BBQ chicken or baked ham.
I don’t think there is any wrong way to serve this delicious, creamy dish.
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. The sauce will thicken up when it cools. To help make it creamy again you can add a couple tablespoons of milk or cream when you re-heat.
Yes you can. Chop the bacon and set the instant pot to sauté. Add the bacon and cook until it is your desired doneness, then remove from the pot, drain the fat and follow the recipe as written.
Instant Pot Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 1 Pound macaroni noodles
- 4 Cups water
- 4 tablespoon butter divided
- ½ Cup Milk
- ½ Cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoon ranch dressing mix
- 3 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 Cup cooked crumbled bacon (8-10 Slices)
- ¼ Cup sliced green onions optional
- 1. Add the noodles, water and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the instant pot.
- 2. Close the lid, turn the valve to seal and set the pressure to high for 4 mintues.
- 3. When the timer is complete, turn the valve to release the pressure. When the pin has dropped, carefully remove the lid.
- 4. With the pot on Keep Warm, give the noodles a quick stir and then add the milk, sour cream, remaining butter, ranch seasoning and half of the cheese to the pot. Stir until well combined and cheese is melted then stir in the remaining cheese.
- 5. Add the bacon and continue to stir until the sauce is smooth. Add more milk as needed until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- 6. Serve immediatly garnished with chopped green onion and additional crumbled bacon, if desired.