Instant Pot Rosemary-Bacon Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy with melted Gruyere, fresh rosemary, and smoky crispy bacon on top.
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe: Put an adult spin on classic mac and cheese with sophisticated flavors of Gruyere cheese, smoked paprika, and fresh rosemary. Despite the elevated flavors, this Instant Pot pasta recipe is quick, easy, and kid-approved.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of hot and creamy mac and cheese. My kids love it when I make our classic cheddar mac and cheese. But when I’m choosing the meal, I always reach for this more grown-up version.
This recipe for herby, creamy mac and cheese is an update to one of our all-time favorite recipes from The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook. We’ve given it a new delicious spin that we think you’ll love.
How to Make Instant Pot Rosemary-Bacon Mac and Cheese
Aside from quickly sautéing crumbled bacon in the pot, this is a quick dump-and-go recipe. After the pasta cooks through, you’ll finish the sauce with whole milk, a quick cornstarch slurry, and grated cheese.
Tip: If you like an even creamier texture, you can use heavy cream to replace all or half of the milk.
Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese that is fairly easy to find at most grocery stores. However, if you can’t find it or simply prefer a different cheese, that’s totally fine. Mild cheddar or regular Swiss cheese would also work well in this recipe.
Vegetarian Mac and Cheese
If you love the salty, smokey, and meaty flavor of crumbled bacon on your mac and cheese like us, you’re going to not want to skip step one of this recipe.
However, you can easily adapt this mac and cheese to be vegetarian simply by skipping the bacon. If you do, add a tablespoon of oil to the pressure cooking pot with the pasta. The oil helps keep the pasta from foaming a lot during pressure cooking.
I like to top each bowl of Instant Pot Rosemary-Bacon Mac and Cheese with a sprinkle of sliced green onions and a dash of paprika for color.
You can also add more minced rosemary if you don’t mind the flavor of raw rosemary. For more crunch, you could also top the mac and cheese with breadcrumbs and place it under the broiler or use an air-fryer lid to toast up a crust on top.
(See how we did this in our Cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin recipe.)
More Favorite Instant Pot Macaroni Recipes
Once you’ve mastered this herby Rosemary-Bacon Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot, add these cheesy pasta dishes to your repertoire:
- Macaroni in Lemon cream Sauce is another elegant, springtime pasta recipe with a refreshing citrus-cream sauce.
- Instant Pot Chili Pasta is our take on loaded chili mac, with ground sausage and a green chili sauce.
- Pressure Cooker Amish Macaroni Salad is a chilled traditional pasta salad with egg and a mayonnaise dressing that’s perfect for picnicking.
- Instant Pot Creamy Mac and Cheese Five Ways from Foodie Crush is full of delicious and unique toppings for classic mac and cheese.
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- ½ cup diced bacon*
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound shell pasta
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 8 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, sliced thinly
- Select Sauté and add the bacon to the pressure cooking pot. Fry for about 5 minutes until crisp, stirring frequently. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.*
- Add the water to the pot and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom. Stir in the pasta, rosemary, and salt to the cooking pot. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 4 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Stir in the paprika and milk.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add the slurry to the pot and stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in the Gruyère, a handful at a time, until melted and the sauce is smooth. Turn on the Sauté, if necessary, to melt the cheese and thicken the sauce.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with bacon, scallions and a dash of paprika on top.
*To omit the bacon, skip step 1 and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil with the water and pasta in step 2 to reduce foaming.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 985mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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