Macaroni in a Lemon Cream Sauce

Pressure Cooker Macaroni in a Lemon Cream Sauce from Pressure Cooking Today

A quick, easy pressure cooker macaroni recipe – a creamy, delicious lemon macaroni and cheese recipe that is sophisticated enough for adults, but my mac and cheese loving kids loved it too.

One of my favorite pasta recipes on Barbara Bakes is Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce. I was thinking about making it again last week, but decided it would be fun to turn it in to an easy pressure cooker recipe instead. I decided to combine it with the ATK Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese and the result was fantastic.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni in a Lemon Cream Sauce - recipe from Pressure Cooking Today

I stirred in a cup of frozen peas, and sprinkled the top with a little Parmesan cheese. This dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes, including the time it takes to pressure up. It’s quick and easy, but the sauce is rich, creamy and satisfying.

Macaroni in a Lemon Cream Sauce

Yield: 8 servings

Macaroni in a Lemon Cream Sauce


  • 1 package (16 ounces) macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Mix macaroni, water, and salt 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. (If foams start to come out the valve close it an wait one minute.)
  2. Stir in cream cheese and evaporated milk. Select saute and simmer until sauce is smooth and pasta is tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Add additional milk if necessary for a smooth and creamy sauce.
  3. Turn off pressure cooker, stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Belinda says

    So sorry if this is a stupid question. Do you drain the four cups of water from the macaroni. Or do you just add the other ingredients to the cooked macaroni and water in the pot.

    I made your Mongolian Beef today. Wow, thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! I am a newbie to pressure cooking. Received a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker for my birthday . Love your site. Thanks again for all your hard work.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Belinda – so nice to hear you’re enjoying my recipes. The macaroni will absorb most of the water as it cooks and the rest is incorporated in to the sauce. No need to drain it. Enjoy!

  2. says

    You made me do it! This one looked easy for my first run and it was cool enough today that I didn’t mind doing something inside. I didn’t change a thing although I just ate a small portion for a late lunch; tonight I think I’ll add the peas and Parm when I serve it for dinner, refreshed with just a bit of milk. It was perfect. I’m now convinced. :)

    I had a moment when I first heard the sounds; hand went up to cover my face. But I am alive…and I love my new pressure cooker. Now on to the real deal; something like short ribs…that’s what I really bought it for!

  3. Mona says

    Hi Barbara,

    I made this tonight but used the little trumpet pasta, and I cooked it on low pressure for half the amount of time that the box called for. Box said 10, I cooked 5 minutes with quick release. I have found for my liking, the pasta turns out perfectly when finished by this formula that Laura from Hip Pressure has provided, so I followed that for cooking of the pasta. I ended up adding more water than recipe to barely cover. Pasta was cooked perfectly and not overly done. I drained the pasta, melted cheese (Greek yogurt cream cheese) in hot pasta, and then added enough evaporated milk to loosen it up, but only about 1/3 can was required plus the lemon juice. I then added some caramelized diced red onions I prepared earlier, along with some diced Roma tomatoes from our garden. Had no peas. I was thinking cooked bacon at the end would send it over the top! Next time…
    It was superb! This is a perfect “base” recipe for those who are creative: Capers, sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, scallops, bacon, olives, salami, …whatever one likes! The lemon juice was key. So Good! I served it with stuffed peppers from the garden.
    For me, it would have been too runny with all of the milk, but it was perfect with 1/3 or so of the can.
    No one at our table could stop eating this dish!
    Thanks for sharing! I love your site!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Sounds like delicious additons. Thanks for taking the time to share. So glad you loved the recipe and my site.

  4. cookinmom says

    Hello Barbara, First of all…Love your site! Secondly, I have a question. I thought that when you cook pasta in the pressure cooker that you cook it on Low (8psi?). Is this true? Is it better results? Have you ever tried? I have an 8qt. Fagor and a 4qt. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Tks in advance!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks! So glad you’re enjoying my site. America’s Test Kitchen cooked the pasta on high pressure and I haven’t had any problem cooking it at high pressure. If it was a tender pasta you might be better off using low pressure but the macaroni holds up well cooked at high pressure.

  5. Mary20 says

    Is an Instant Pot the same as an electric pressure cooker? I’m new to pressure cooking and I love it! But I’m not familiar with all of the terminology. Love this recipe though. Hubster and I are going to make this at our daughters house when we visit to see our new grandson. Love your recipes which help me make her life so much easier!!!!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Mary! Yes the Instant Pot is a an electric pressure cooker brand. That’s so nice that you’re making dinners for your daughter. Congratulations on the new grandson. How fun. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy the dinner.

  6. Carol says

    That looks delicious Barbara. I’d love the addition of peas……….Bob would pitch a fit. I’ll stir them into mine…he doesn’t know what he’s missing. 😉

    Can’t wait to give this one a try…..

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Corinne – I made it in my Instant Pot. Just press manual and the minus button until it says 5 minutes and wait for it to start. Almost as easy as the programmed buttons.