Creamy, spicy and so delicious! This Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is packed with flavor and quick and easy to make!
One of the most popular recipes here on my website of all time is my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. And since I get a lot of requests about converting recipes to the Instant Pot, I knew it was time for a remake on this one. Homemade Mac and Cheese that you can make in your Instant Pot is an amazing thing and when you are ready to spice it up a bit, Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese needs to be on the menu. Families love mac and cheese and the cook of the family will love saving time by using the pressure cooker!
Can you make pasta in an Instant Pot?
I’m the first to admit, I was a little resistant to the Instant Pot when the craze first began. But I got so many requests and questions about converting slow cooker recipes or differences between using the slow cooker and pressure cooker that I finally caved and bought one.
I tested out many recipes and many types of recipes but one quickly became my favorite…. pasta. Making pasta in the Instant Pot is genius! It takes out all the extra boiling water steps and simplifies the whole deal!
How long do you cook pasta in the Instant Pot?
The general rule for making pasta in the Instant Pot is to cut the cooking time in half of the boiling time and to use high pressure.
How do I make mac and cheese creamy?
For this recipe there are a couple of tricks I use to get creamy and cheesy mac and cheese.
- don’t add the dairy until the end, that way it won’t separate or overcook
- use fresh grated cheese instead of store bought, which has an anti caking coating on it that keeps it from melting as well
- use evaporated milk for a rich, creaminess
This recipe is a quick one to make, because the cook time is only 6 minutes. Using chopped up chicken instead of cooking whole and and making shredded chicken saves time and since there isn’t a ton of liquid we can do a quick release of the pressure.
If you don’t want your mac and cheese as spicy, you can certainly adjust the amount of buffalo wing sauce you use.
A perfect side for this meal is a tossed green salad topped with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
What’s the best cheese to use for mac and cheese?
It totally depends on the recipe, for some you want to go mild and some you want to go bold.
For this recipe, with the spicy sauce, I wanted a mix somewhere in between, so I went with half sharp cheddar cheese and half mild cheddar cheese for extra creaminess. Play around with what you like, and most of all, enjoy!
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 8 oz shell pasta
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 8 oz shredded cheese (see notes)
- Cut chicken breasts into tiny bite sized pieces and add to Instant Pot along with broth, buffalo sauce, seasonings and pasta
- Cover and seal and set to high pressure for 6 minutes
- Allow 5 minute natural pressure release and then quick release remaining pressure
- Turn pot to sauté and stir in milk and cheese and let simmer for a few minutes until melted and smooth
- Serve immediately
Click here for the slow cooker version of this recipe.
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