Simple yet flavorful Instant Pot 3 Cheese Spinach Mac & Cheese is a kid-friendly recipe that comes together in less than 20 minutes and makes a wonderful after school meal. All you need is a handful of ingredients, and an incredibly delicious dish is ready that is loved by all.
Before I begin, let’s talk about mac and cheese, first. What vision do you get when you think of macaroni and cheese? Pasta that is rich, super creamy, cheesy and just melts in your mouth… right?
Today, I am sharing my family favorite Instant Pot 3 cheese Mac and cheese recipe that is packed with cheesy goodness. And this recipe gets better and nutritious with the addition of fresh spinach leaves. Now, who can say no to that!
It’s every kid’s dream and is fully loaded with deliciousness. Even the picky eaters will devour it without a fuss.
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE FOR THIS RECIPE?
I prefer to cook my macaroni with a blend of melting cheeses…. specifically a 3 cheese blend made up of mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and smoked provolone. The smoky provolone adds a light hint of smoke that perfectly complements the tangier and deep flavors of sharp cheddar.
But if you are not a huge lover of provolone, swap it out with other cheeses like Gruyère or Fontina that will melt well and provide the same consistency and texture. Or you can double the quantity of mozzarella. Mozzarella can be used interchangeably with Provolone.
I have experimented a dozen times with different cheeses and mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and smoked provolone gives my mac & cheese the best texture and the right consistency.
Watch the recipe video below!
HOW TO MAKE 3 CHEESE SPINACH MAC & CHEESE?
Let’s get started on a quick recipe for mac & cheese made directly in the instant pot. No boiling required or extra dishes to wash. Simply dump-n-go and everything cooks right in the Instant Pot– even pasta!
Melt butter in the instant pot, add macaroni with some salt, sriracha, pepper and vegetable stock. Seal the pot and cook for 5 minutes on High Pressure. Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a QPR ( quick pressure release) and carefully remove the lid. Add the cream, cheese, and mix. Do the taste test and adjust the seasonings. Like it spicy, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of sriracha. Add spinach and mix to combine. Serve immediately.
A small tip – Once you are done cooking your mac and cheese, remove the pot from the base to prevent the mac & cheese from overcooking.
Give this Instant Pot 3 Cheese Spinach Mac a try, and I am sure you will love it because it’s-
- buttery and
- the ultimate comfort food.
MORE OPTIONS TO MAKE this Instant Pot 3 Cheese Spinach Mac & Cheese more IRRESISTIBLE!
This mac and cheese is the most versatile dish. Feel free to sneak in some veggies for added nutrition. Some tested and tried options are –
- bell peppers
- zucchini or the
- a protein of your choice.
Likewise, you can try different kinds of pasta like – cavatappi, penne, Fusilli or Rotini pasta. Every time I make mac & cheese, I try different combinations of veggies and pasta, and my kids eat it happily.
How to store leftovers?
Transfer the cooled macaroni to a bowl and secure the lid. Store it in your fridge. Next day, (depending on the quantity) warm some milk in a pan, add the leftovers to that pan and reheat until it starts bubbling and becomes thick. For example, 1 cup of leftover macaroni will require 3 tablespoons of milk.
I hope you like this recipe and it becomes your family favorite too! Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
Instant Pot 3 Cheese Spinach Mac & Cheese
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 16 oz Uncooked Macaroni Pasta
- 1.25 teaspoon Salt
- 1.5 teaspoon Sriracha sauce – adjust according to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon Coarsely crushed Black Pepper
- 3.5 cups Vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup Heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 2.5 cups Part-skim 3-cheese Blend (mozzarella, sharp cheddar and smoked provolone blend)
- 2 cups Finely chopped Spinach leaves
- Put Instant Pot onto Saute mode. Add butter to the bowl.
- Add macaroni.
- Add salt, pepper and sriracha sauce.
- Pour in water /vegetable stock. Please do not add more than 3.5 cups.
- Give it a good mix. Close the lid and seal the Instant Pot. Turn ‘OFF’ the saute mode and pressure cook the macaroni on ‘Manual/pressure cook mode’ for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes when the Instant Pot beeps do the QPR ( Quick Release pressure) and turn the Instant Pot ‘Off’ completely. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid. There will very little stock left at the bottom.
- Turn on the Instant Pot in Saute mode – ‘Low-pressure setting’. Pour in cream, milk and sour cream. Mac and Cheese will be a little soupy at this point. No worries, keep stirring.
- Add cheese and give it a good mix. Keep stirring continuously after the cream, sour cream and cheese is added to the macaroni. Initially, it will look like a clump of cheese. Just hang on and keep stirring until the cheese starts to melt (appx. 2-3 minutes). Soon it will become thick and coat the macaroni well. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Add chopped spinach and mix.
- Do the taste test and adjust the seasonings. Remove the pot from the base to prevent the mac & cheese from overcooking.
- Serve immediately.
My Mac and Cheese came out soupy? No worries. Give it a few minutes of stirring on saute mode and it will be absorbed deliciously. Can I Freeze mac & Cheese? Unfortunately, the answer is no. I tried it once, but it looked very unappetizing. I felt that the freshness and creamy consistency is missing. But why freeze when you can cook fresh mac & cheese in less than 20 minutes? 🙂 Can I make this over a cooktop? Absolutely!
You can make this recipe on a cooktop too.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided below is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. Please refer to a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionists if you have any health issues.
Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1065mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1625IU | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 1.2mg