Friday, June 19, 2020

Instant Pot (3 Cheese) Macaroni & Cheese

Simple Ooey-gooey 3 cheese macaroni and cheese made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. 
Instant Pots seem to be all the craze right now. For me, I don't usually jump on the new kitchen gadget bandwagon, but I have to say the Instant Pot is my new best friend. I never understood all the hype - until I tried cooking with it. After I got over the initial intimidation the instant pot has changed the way I think about cooking. 

I'm a pretty basic girl and love my slow cooker, so I didn't think there wasn't a need to upgrade. I also felt that the price was a bit high, so I really couldn't justify the purchase. I thought in the end, it's only going to collect dust in the back of my pantry. You see I feel that appliances have to earn their right to counter space in my kitchen and purchasing an instant pot just wasn't an appliance that I felt I would use. 

Fast forward to Mother Day and guess what I got my from husband and daughter!!!!!  You guessed it a 6 Qt Instant Pot Duo SV. When I opened the box let me tell you I had all the feels going on!!!!!!  Excitement and intimidation all in one with all those buttons looking back at me. 

After watching several videos of how to set up my instant pot, I took the plunge and made a recipe. It was only for rice, but ..... baby steps my friends just baby steps. I went from rice in 5 minutes (with a 10 minute natural release) to creamy steel cut oats in 4 minutes (with  a 20 minute natural release). I couldn't believe it!!!!! The rice tasted just like what you get in a Chinese restaurant. Once I got over the pressure release issue, I was well on my way to making so many different recipes. 

For me the only comparison I can think of is........ it was the same feeling I got after finally switching over from an Android to an iPhone (mind blowing). Today's recipe for 3 Cheese Macaroni & Cheese was the first big girl recipe I made in the Instant pot. Like I said I'm not one for owning a ton of Kitchen Gadgets, but I am in love with this thing.  

Mac and cheese has to be my favorite Instant Pot recipe. It's so simple to make and so creamy. I highly recommend using chicken broth versus water in this recipe. I feel that the chicken broth gives the pasta such a great flavor. This recipe makes a large amount, so you'll end up with plenty of leftovers which reheat nicely. You can also easily cut this recipe in half to make a smaller amount. All I can say is that I really do understand the whole Instant Pot following now!!!! Be on the lookout for more yummy Instant Pot recipes in the near future. Let's get started and make some simple mac and cheese.       

To start, plug in the Instant pot to power it on. Add 4 cups chicken broth, butter, salt, garlic powder and the dry elbow macaroni. Give it a good stir and make sure all the noodles are covered with broth. Close and lock the the lid and set the steam release valve to the "sealing" position. 

Press the manual or pressure cook button and use the + to set the time to 6 minutes using high pressure. The instant pot will stay in the on position until the pot comes to pressure. 

Once the instant pot comes to pressure the 6 minute timer will be visible and the float valve or pin will be in the up position (meaning the pot is pressurized) and the timer will begin counting. 

When the cooking cycle ends move the sealing valve to the "venting" position to do a "Quick Release" of pressure" I use a wooden spoon to move the valve. 

Once all the pressure is released and the "float valve or pin" has dropped down you can open the instant pot. Turn the instant pot off by hitting the cancel button. 

Give the noodles a quick stir (there will be a bit of liquid in the bottom of the pot).  

Add half of the cheese and give it a good stir. 

Add the milk and the remaining cheese and stir until creamy and blended. 

Place the lid back on the instant pot, turn the vent to "sealing" and press the "keep warm" button. Let the mac and cheese sit for a few minutes, then turn off the pot and open the lid. 

Serve immediately. 


Instant Pot (3 Cheese) Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients
4 - cups low sodium chicken broth 
3 - tablespoons butter
1/2 - teaspoon salt
1/4 - teaspoon garlic powder
1 - 16 ounce box uncooked elbow macaroni
1 - cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese  
2 - cups shredded Sharp cheddar cheese or use Kraft 3 Cheese Crumbles 
3/4 - cup whole or 2% milk (I prefer whole)

Instructions
Plug in the Instant pot to power it on. The display show off, but it is on until you set the cooking buttons. 

Add 4 cups chicken broth, butter, salt, garlic powder and the dry elbow macaroni. Give it a good stir and make sure all the noodles are covered with broth. 

Close and lock the the lid and turn the steam release valve to the "sealing" position. 

Press the manual or pressure cook button and use the + to set the time to 6 minutes using high pressure.

The instant pot will display "on" until the pot comes to pressure (this takes about 5-6 minutes). 

When the pot comes to full pressure the 6 minute timer will be visible and the float valve or pin will be in the up position and the timer will begin counting (this means the pot is at full pressure - do not open the instant pot). 

When the cooking cycle ends move the sealing valve to the "venting" position to do a "Quick Release" of pressure" I use a wooden spoon to move the valve. 

When all the pressure is released and the "float valve or pin" has dropped down it is now safe to open the instant pot. Turn the instant pot off by hitting the cancel button. 

Give the noodles a quick stir. Add half of the cheese and give it stir, add the milk and the remaining cheese and stir until creamy and blended. 

Place the lid back on the instant pot, turn the vent to "sealing" and press the "keep warm" button. Let the mac and cheese sit for a few minutes, then turn off the pot and open the lid. 

Give the macaroni and cheese a good stir and serve immediately. 

Cook's Note:  This macaroni and cheese is creamy, dreamy and reheats wonderfully. Always remember to add any dairy products after the food has finished cooking or it will curdle.  





I also wanted to note that I found these resources helpful for anyone who owns or is thinking about purchasing an Instant Pot. There is an Official Instant Pot App available in the app store for iPhones or iPads that has over 1000 recipes with a recipe save feature. I found this app very useful with a lot of recipes that I liked which I could easily save on the app. 

You can also pop over to Easy Instant Recipes and print out a Free 4 page Instant Pot cheat sheet for (meats, grains and beans, vegetables and fruits). This set is perfect to staple together to keep on hand in your kitchen or placed on the side of your refrigerator with a magnet.  







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2 comments:

Rebecca said... #

Is it 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
OR
1-8 oz pkg of 3 cheese crumbles and 1 cup of Monterrey Jack

The way the cheese part of the recipe was written confused me a bit.

Thank you. It looks delicious!
Rebecca

Tina Butler said... #

You can use regular sharp cheddar cheese or the kraft 3 cheese crumbles. Plus the monterey jack cheese.