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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.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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  1. We found that it was kind of bland for us (we like lots of flavor) I doubled the spices and it was a bit better but not a home run for us

    1. Hmm that’s too bad! Sorry to hear that! Not sure if you’ll see my response, but I am curious how much salt you added. For something like this it needs quite a bit of salt due to the amount of pasta. I think I will update the recipe to list a salt quantity. I usually don’t do that, but I think in this case it may be a good idea.

  2. I just got the 3-quart Instant Pot. Do I need to halve the recipe? I noticed that Rachel doubled hers in the 6-quart and it worked, so I’m thinking the smaller one could handle the recipe.

    What do you think?

    1. I think based on that logic it may work. Just don’t go over the max fill line or else you may have a big clean-up on your hands. 😛 Let me know how it goes!

    2. My husband and I honestly did not think it had much flavor. It is a great filler meal with vegis on the side. I am going to freeze the remainder and have it another time.

  3. This was so easy my 16 yr old son made it for dinner. He was excited about how tasty it was. We all liked it.

  4. Hello Natasha. I just purchased an Instant Pot and your Mac and Cheese recipe will be my first. What is storage recommendation (Refrigerator/Freezer?)
    Thank you

    1. Hi! It’s definitely better refrigerated than frozen, I’d say. It doesn’t reheat as well when frozen as other dishes. Enjoy your new IP and let me know how this recipe goes!

    1. Hi Cindy! I haven’t tested it, but I did include my thoughts in the notes section of the recipe card. Let me know how it goes!

  5. This recipe is definitely a family favorite! I make it, my mother makes it, my grandmother makes it (well, we make it at her house as she’s afraid of the manual release) – basically, everyone LOVES it! We’ve switched it up a little with smoked Gouda and also using buffalo instead of ground beef.

    Thank you for making this recipe and many other delicious ones I’ve tried from your website!!!

  6. Hello Natasha, thinking of trying to this one sometime this week. Just wondering if a regular pressure pot cooker will be okay to use? I’ve noticed that you use the electric ones and I’m not really sure about the regular pressure pot cooker. Thank you and you’re blog is outstanding.

    Paul from Houston,TX

    1. Hi Paul! Hmmm… I confess I really don’t have any experience with a normal pressure cooker. I hopped on the electric bandwagon and have never actually used a standard one haha. Can a regular pressure cooker brown the meat? That concerns me… maybe do that in a normal pan on the stove first? I’m definitely curious if this would work in a regular pressure cooker, though. The timing to cook the pasta does make my red flags go up a little too… but let me know if you try it. I’m so glad you like my blog! 🙂

    1. Hi Rachel! Hmmm it’s really hard to say without testing it, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. Do you have a 6 quart Instant Pot or a bigger one? I don’t think tripling it will fit in the 6 quart. Doubling perhaps would, just make sure you don’t go over the fill line. I would keep the timing the same but double the water if you’re doubling the pasta. Do let me know how it goes!

      1. 5 stars
        HI! I doubled the recipe in my 6qt and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe. It was perfect for a big crowd:)

          1. Hi Jenn, we can see if Rachel answers, but generally time should not be doubled on Instant Pot recipes. It’ll take longer to get up to pressure, and that compensates for any extra ingredients.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Natasha,

    Love this recipe, great as I live alone and lasts me a few days, I did add some juice from a jar of Gherkins (think you call them pickles), gives it a bit more burger taste (try it, you wont regret), Anyway thank you for your wonderful emails and brilliant site, A merry Christmas to you and all your family, Howard in Wales, UK : )

    1. Oooh adding the pickle juice is a great idea!! Thanks for the sweet comment, Howard! I wish you a wonderful Christmas too. 🙂