Instant Pot Mac and Cheese (gluten-free)


This is the easiest mac and cheese you’ll ever make. It’s cheesy, gluten-free, and takes just minutes to cook in an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese by Ashley of

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

I realize that mac and cheese isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but homemade mac and cheese sure beats the kind that comes out of a box. And sometimes, the fact is that you just want a bowl of warm, cheesy pasta. I’ll be honest, this (gluten-free) mac and cheese has saved me on more than one occasion. It’s the perfect thing to make when your fridge is near empty and you have a toddler and husband who have made it clear that they need food ASAP. I can have this on the table in just 4 minutes – not bad, huh. That’s right, 4 minutes and lunch/dinner is served. While the noodles cook, I just shred some cheese and throw together a side salad. Easy.

Mac and cheese isn’t anything fancy but I think that’s the beauty of it. It’s a simple, no fuss meal that also happens to be tasty and picky kid/husband approved. The funny thing is that currently, my husband is pickier than my toddler… anyone else in the same boat?

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese by Ashley of

I know mac and cheese is super easy to make on the stovetop but it’s even easier and faster to make mac and cheese in an Instant Pot.

How to Make Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese in an Instant Pot?

I’ve been experimenting with different types of gluten-free noodles but so far gluten-free Barilla elbow macaroni is the only one that has worked out well for me. I tried black bean pasta and brown rice quinoa pasta but both of those turned to mush and I’ve also tried Banza chickpea flour pasta which turned out okay but still needs some testing.

I’ll update the recipe card with a list of brands that work out well for me and also ones that don’t. In the meantime, trust me and use gluten-free Barilla elbow macaroni. If you do try another brand – please leave a comment to let me know what worked for you!

“I’ve made this several times using both Barilla elbow and penne. Penne needs a little more cook time. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe and is me easy go to anytime!”

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese by Ashley of

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese by Ashley of

Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

4.98 from 38 reviews
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  • 2 cups elbow macaroni or gluten-free elbow macaroni I use this brand
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of turmeric optional for color
  • 1 ½ cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or unsweetened coconut cream
  • black pepper garnish


  • Add the macaroni, water, butter, salt and turmeric to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure as soon as the time is up, then immediately stir in the cheese and heavy cream.
  • Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and serve.


  • If using turmeric, only use a pinch! Too much will make the pasta bitter.
  • Make sure to quick release pressure as soon as the time is up. If you wait too long, the noodles will overcook.
  • If gluten-free, I recommend using Barilla gluten-free elbow macaroni
  • Please let me know if you try another brand of gluten-free pasta and if it works for you
Gluten-free Brands that work (will update this as I try more brands or brands that my readers recommend): Barilla gluten-free elbow macaroni, Jovial elbow pasta, Garofalo gluten-free penne pasta
Brands that do not work: Trader Joe’s Brown Rice and Quinoa Pasta; Trader Joe’s Black Bean Pasta
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Instant Pot Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese by Ashley of

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Cynthia says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times using both Barilla elbow and penne. Penne needs a little more cook time. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe and is me easy go to anytime!

  2. Mike says

    How many cups of dry pasta would I need to feed 16 people? Do I triple the recipe? I have an 8 quart Instant pot.

  3. Alicia says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I tweaked it for myself being dairy-free as well. When using plant based cheese I feel it’s 100% necessary to add a half teaspoon of yellow mustard if you like your Mac & Cheese to have a little sharpness. Here are the brands I used:

    2 cups Aldi LiveGFree brown rice & quinoa Fusilli
    1 cup Kroger Simple Truth Plant Based Cheddar shreds
    1/2 cup Kroger Simple Truth Plant Based Mozzerella shreds
    Country Crock Butter

    The noodles were softer than intended but still delicious. I’ll just make sure to do 3 min instead next time and we’ll see how it goes! Thanks!!

  4. Michele says

    I’m new to gluten free cooking as some in our church group can’t or doesn’t eat gluten. I will be trying this with Barilla’s chickpea rotini so I’m hoping it turns out ok. Curious though how many servings do you get out of the 2 c of pasta? My box is 8 oz and will bulk up when cooked so I feel pretty confident it will feed the 6-8 people that usually make it for the group. Thanks so much!

  5. Abby says

    I used Ronzini brand Rotini style noodle. And noodle consistency is fine at 4 min! I find this brand to be much firmer/closer to wheat noodles so I was pretty sure it’d hold up and it did!

    I like my Mac & cheese on the drier side so I ended up not adding the cream. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Sandy says

    5 stars
    I was diagnosed with Celiac disease about a year ago and have missed a good macaroni and cheese. This was so good! I think next time I might add a minute to it because I like my pasta softer. I was also thinking about cooking some chicken with buffalo sauce first. I love buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. Thanks for the recipe!!!

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