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This easy Instant Pot hamburger mac and cheese is total comfort food that’s ready in only 30 minutes! No draining of the macaroni is needed, and it’s all made right in your electric pressure cooker.

Try my Baked Mac and Cheese or Three Cheese Mac and Cheese Gnocchi next for another super comforting dish.

earthenware bowl of Instant Pot hamburger mac and cheese

This beefy mac and cheese is one of those one pot meals that you’ll have on repeat if you like this sorta thing. 😉 This is a slightly more grown-up version of Hamburger Helper, but I can pretty much guarantee that any mac ‘n cheese lover out there will want seconds.

beef macaroni and cheese inside Instant Pot being stirred with wooden cooking spoon

This recipe is for the real cheese lovers out there. I used sharp cheddar as the primary cheese in here, and Gouda adds an extra layer of flavor and melty goodness.

My simple spice blend of smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder works in harmony with the Worcestershire sauce to make this dish a little more flavorful than just plain mac and cheese, but it’s certainly not overpowering. These additions make the ground beef taste more interesting, and, as a result, your taste buds will be very happy.

bowl of electric pressure cooker hamburger macaroni and cheese with fork

How to make Instant Pot macaroni and cheese with ground beef

This beef macaroni and cheese recipe is cooked right in your Instant Pot, no draining required. Sauté the ground beef with the spice blend until browned and the liquid is reduced. Add in the macaroni and water. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grate your cheeses. Once the cooking time is up, do a manual pressure release. Stir in the cheeses and enjoy!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this can be made on the stove as well. I put a few tips in the recipe card on how to do it.

beef macaroni and cheese inside an Instant Pot with a spoonful on a wooden cooking spoon

This cheeseburger macaroni recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, rainy days, winter nights, summer days, or anything in between.

Maybe not when you’re trying to fit into a teeny tiny swimsuit, though. 😛

More ground beef recipes you’ll love:

bowl of Instant Pot beef mac and cheese with a cloth napkin

I hope you’ll give this beef ‘n mac recipe a try!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.

This easy Instant Pot hamburger mac and cheese is total comfort food that's ready in only 30 minutes! No draining of the macaroni is needed, and it's all made right in your electric pressure cooker. This beefy macaroni and cheese is perfect for large families and weeknight meals. You'll love the simple Tex-Mex spice blend that flavors the meat. 
4.34 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Hamburger Mac and Cheese

This easy Instant Pot hamburger mac and cheese is total comfort food that's ready in only 30 minutes! No draining of the macaroni is needed, and it's all made right in your electric pressure cooker. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Inactive time: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound uncooked macaroni elbows
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups grated Gouda (or Havarti or Provolone or other melty white cheese)


  • Sauté the beef along with the garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, ground cumin, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in your Instant Pot for 5-7 minutes. Stir and break the beef up with your spoon as you go along. Most of the liquid should be evaporated before you move onto the next step. 
  • Add the macaroni and water to the Instant Pot. Give it a good stir. Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes (it'll take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure). 
  • Meanwhile, grate your cheeses. 
  • Once the countdown has finished, do a quick pressure release. 
  • Stir in the cheeses (a large wooden spoon works well for this). I like to stir in about a third of the cheese at a time until it's nice and creamy, and then repeat until all the cheese has been used. 
  • Season with extra salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately. 


  • Stove top cooking tips: You can make this on the stove too. I suggest browning the beef in a large pot and cooking the macaroni as normal. Once the macaroni is cooked, drain it and then add it to the pot with the beef. Stir in the cheeses as directed. 
  • I use this 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 979kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 63g, Fat: 52g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 212mg, Sodium: 1626mg, Potassium: 626mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1367IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 1119mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.34 from 6 votes

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  1. Stephen says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a couple times. Usually I also go to the comments to see what changes others have made to see if I want to incorporate them. My changes I can suggest that I’ve made is after adding in all the liquid and macaroni (I usually use shells), add in some oregano (about a tsp) and basil (another tsp) these add a bit of complexity to the dish that is very welcome and delicious.

    1. Natasha says:

      Glad you enjoyed this one! Love the additions!

  2. Sharleen says:

    Can this be frozen?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! You could try if you have some leftovers, but typically I don’t find creamy/cheesy sauces freeze all that well (texture goes weird/can separate/etc.), so I don’t usually do that myself. Also, cooked pasta tends to get puffy when you reheat it (it soaks up any liquid).

  3. Annette says:

    2 stars
    I didn’t care for it. I added in some milk because it was too sticky, but that didn’t even help. Bland flavor.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. Did you add the teaspoon of salt?

  4. Natasha in Dallas says:

    Hi! What greens did you garnish with? Parsley?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! Yes, mostly to make the photos pop a bit. It’s definitely not necessary, but I like the freshness it adds to pretty much any dish. 🙂

      1. Natasha in Dallas says:

        5 stars
        Thanks! Turned out great – no shortage of flavor!

        1. Natasha says: