Macaroni and Cheese in the Pressure Cooker and an America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway


Today I’m featuring a super quick and easy macaroni and cheese recipe from a much anticipated new cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen that was just released last week, Pressure Cooker Perfection.

I’m a fan of American’s Test Kitchen and was excited when they sent me an advance copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection to review. The book is well designed. The layout is great, with a big, beautiful color picture of the finished dish for each recipe, something that’s often missing from other ATK cookbooks.

The cookbook focuses on good basic pressure cooker recipes, and they include lots of tips to make hearty family meals in less time. They start with a Pressure Cooker 101 section, and have several charts showing average cooking times for many commonly cooked ingredients.

The cookbook also focuses on encouraging those considering buying a pressure cooker to make the leap, with a buying guide and lists

5 reasons to use a pressure cooker:

Food cooks quickly. Stew is ready in minutes not hours.
Flavors are supercharged. Your won’t believe how good the chicken stock tastes
Modern models are safe. No pea soup on the ceiling. We promise.
One-pot meals are easy. You can even cook pasta and sauce together.
Keep you kitchen cool. No need to heat the oven for hours.

I like Test Kitchen recipes because they’re well tested and they work. I have read other reviews of this cookbook that indicate the timing of some of the recipes is off, but the timing for this macaroni and cheese recipe was perfect and I look forward to trying many recipes from this cookbook.


I doubled the recipe to feed my crowd, and adapted it for the electric pressure cooker. ATK preferred stovetop pressure cookers in their buying guide, but they do admit that electrics have a big advantage – you can set them and walk away, which for me outweighs any of the disadvantages. I sprinkled the top of my “shells and cheese” with some crisp bacon. That’s definitely optional, but everything’s better with bacon.

American’s Test Kitchen has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Pressure Cooking Perfection to one lucky Pressure Cooking Today reader. Details on how you can enter are at the bottom of this post. Good luck!

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 8 Servings

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni or shells
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


  1. Mix macaroni, water, salt, mustard, and cayenne together in pressure cooker pot. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure, 5 minutes cook time and press start*. When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker, and do a quick pressure release. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
  2. Stir in evaporated milk. Select browning and simmer until sauce has thickened and pasta is tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn of pressure cooker, stir in cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, a handful at a time, until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. (It is important to do it a handful at a time so the cheese doesn't clump together.)
  3. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.


Adapted from Pressure Cooker Perfection

*Pressure Cooker Perfection recommends that instead of relying on the cooker's built-in timer to keep track of the pressurized cooking time, use your own and start the countdown as soon as the pot comes to pressure. I've haven't had a problem using the built in timer, but if you do, you might want to give this method a try.

Here’s How To Enter the Sweepstakes Giveaway:

If you would like to win a copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, March 27th at noon, MST.

For extra entries:

Leave a separate comment for each entry. The giveaway is only open to residents of the US. Be sure your email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection to review, but all opinions expressed are always my own.

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  1. says

    I would LOVE to win the book! I just got a pressure cooker last year, but I haven’t used it much. I’m sure I’d use it more once I gather some recipes to try from your blog. Can’t wait!

  2. Linda S. says

    I’ve been intimidated by my mom’s old pressure cooker, but think I’m ready to try one of the newer models, with the help of the ATK cookbook.

  3. Robin C. says

    Would love to win the ATK book I trust them implicitly and thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Carmen says

    I never would have thought of making mac and cheese in my pressure cooker! Thanks so much

  5. says

    Your site has inspired my cooking and because of it I have been touting the benefits of pressure cooking to my family and friends. From lamb stew to pork chops to chicken, my repertoire has increased tremendously. I will be putting a review of this recipe (Mac & Cheese) on my site ( And would love to be considered for the American Test Kitchen’s giveaway. Thanks for all the recipes!

  6. says

    I have always been a HUGE fan of ATK and Cook’s illustrated both. For my birthday 3/31 I have on my birthday list the 8 quart stove top preesure cooker highly recommended by Cook’s. If I do not get my cooker for my B-day I will be buying one the day after. LOL. I have been cooking in pressure canner but really would like to work out of something smaller. This cookbook would be fantastic to win, it would be a great B-day present to go along with my soon to be new cooker!

  7. Linda W. says

    I use my electric pressure cooker almost weekly for simple and delicious meals. So glad I found your blog, I needed more recipe ideas and am intrigued by ATK’s new cookbook. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

  8. Elizabeth says

    I’m excited to try the new cookbook. I’m always looking for more pressure cooker recipes.

  9. says

    Would love to win their book. Have an electric pressure cooker i don’t use as often as i’d like and their books are fantastic. Thanks for opportunity and have a great day!

  10. Whitney says

    I am always looking for good pressure cooker recipes and cookbooks. Glad I found you!

  11. bruce b. says

    as a long-time pressure cooker and a vegetarian, this recipe is much appreciated…thanks!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Kelly – thanks for sharing your Pinterest board. I especially like your lemon asparagus recipe. I need to try that one soon.