My instant pot cauliflower mac and cheese is a super tasty variation on the classic mac and cheese. Perfect comfort food with added veggies!
I added bacon into the recipe to add some flavour, but you could leave this out which would make the recipe vegetarian (also replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock).
Instant pot cauliflower mac and cheese
- Instant pot
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 200 g Bacon bits
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 Clove Garlic (roughly chopped)
- 650 ml Chicken stock Vegetable stock would also be good.
- 500 ml Milk (I used semi-skimmed - 2%) Whole or skimmed milk would also be fine.
- 2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 2 tsp Mustard I used Dijon, but English would be good.
- 2 tsp Hot sauce I used Frank's.
- 500 g Macaroni
- 1 Whole Cauliflower (chopped into florets)
- Season to taste
- 200 g Cheese (grated) I used cheddar.
- 40 g Parmesan (grated)
- 200 g Cream cheese I used full fat, but reduced-fat would be ok.
- Set the instant pot to saute and add the olive oil. When its hot add the bacon bits and fry until crispy.
- Add the butter and garlic followed by the stock. Deglaze the pot if necessary.
- Now add the milk, smoked paprika, mustard and hot sauce. Stir together and then add the macaroni and cauliflower florets.
- Season to taste and then put the lid on. Set on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Leave under pressure for another 8 minutes and then do a quick release. Remove the lid and stir together.
- Now add all of the cheese and stir in. Put the lid back on loosely and leave for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.
- Stir serve and enjoy.
We like to serve with vegetables (usually broccoli) or a leafy green salad.
To make it even more special you could add some of the cheese to the top and either use the air fryer lid, or broil to give a crispy, cheesy topping.
If you're not adding bacon, just add the olive oil and butter and once melted proceed from there.
Initially, I cooked for 4 minutes under pressure with 4 minutes under pressure before releasing, but I got some splatter out of the valve. I reduced the cooking time to 2 minutes with an increase time under pressure of 8 minutes and the results were the same with no splatter.
Although there is smoked paprika, mustard and hot sauce in my instant pot cauliflower mac and cheese, it won't taste spicy or hot - they will just add depth to the flavour.
If you have picky eaters, it would be fine to blend the cauliflower and I promise you they won't even know its in there.