If you haven't started making pasta in your Instant Pot, start with this Instant Pot mac and cheese with ham. Whether you are using leftover ham or buy ham just for this recipe, this is a quick and easy complete meal your kids will not fight with you about. After all, who doesn't love a good ooey-gooey mac and cheese?
Instant Pot mac and cheese with ham is a quick dinner recipe using three kinds of cheese and leftover ham that is done in under 15-minutes and all cooked in the Instant Pot. This recipe easily can just be a regular Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe with the omission of the ham. Either way, it is my go-to way of making homemade mac and cheese.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients
The constant churn of feeding a teenage boy can make me feel all I am doing is constantly cooking. I am always looking for quick and filling recipes to make when the bottomless pit cannot be satisfied. This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham is just one of those quick and easy dinner ideas or snacks I need to be able to make on a minute's notice.
The base ingredients for this recipe are the same as my standard Instant Pot pasta recipe.
- Pasta - In our house, macaroni is the only shape for macaroni and cheese. But in a pinch we use shells or even bow-ties.
- Butter - 100% real butter is the only way to go.
- Chicken Broth - The way chicken broth is used in my house is via Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken and water.
I am still obsessed with my Instant Pot 8-quart Ultra which is the one I used for this recipe. Along with the butter, Better than Bouillon, and water to cook the pasta, I used a combination of the following to make the mac and cheese:
- Cheese - Mozzarella, Cheddar Jack, or Colby Jack is my go-to shredded cheese for this recipe. But if I am being really honest, sometimes I just use Velveeta. Velveeta makes the best mac and cheese. No need to be hating on Velveeta.
- Evaporated Milk - I don't know why, but evaporated milk adds a dimension of flavor regular milk doesn't have. However, I will use regular milk or a combination of half and a half and milk in this recipe.
- Diced Ham - You can totally leave the ham out of this Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe, but we like to have meat in our meals.
Begin by putting a pound of pasta in the Instant Pot with four cups of water, two tablespoons of butter, and a tablespoon of Better than Bouillon. Cook on high pressure for four minutes and then do quick release of the Instant Pot. Then add the evaporated milk and cheeses along with the ham to the pot.
Stir to combine the cheese and the milk with the pasta. Keep the Instant Pot on warm to help aid in the melting of the cheeses. It won't take long for the cheese to melt and blend into a flavorful mac and cheese.
Season with salt and pepper and you are ready to eat mac and cheese with ham. The leftovers reheat perfectly for snacks the next day if there are any leftovers.
Quick Dinner Ideas
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Ham
- 1 pound macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon, roasted chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces evaporated milk, 1 can
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups cheddar jack cheese
- ½ pound cubed ham
- In the Instant Pot, combine the macaroni, water, butter, and Better than Bouillon. Set the Instant Pot to four minutes on high pressure and lock on the lid. Start the Instant Pot.
- When the Instant Pot is done cooking, quick release the Instant Pot. Keep the pot on warm.
- Add the evaporated milk, cheeses, and ham to the Instant Pot. Stir the cheeses to melt and combine with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve immediately.
Shared on Weekend Potluck.