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White Cheddar Pressure Cooker Pasta

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This White Cheddar Pressure Cooker Pasta is creamy, delicious, and so easy to make in your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Now you can have this elegant take on macaroni and cheese can be made in less than 20 minutes in one pot.

white cheddar pressure cooker pasta on a plate


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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

I’ve always been a huge macaroni and cheese lover. Baked macaroni, stove top macaroni, slow cooker macaroni…you name it, I’ll eat it. I raved and raved all about my favorite Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. And although I love this baked macaroni and cheese, I also love a good creamy stovetop pasta shell recipe.

Full Recipe, Step by Step photos, and Video Can be Found below.

I grew up eating stove top white cheddar pasta shells. Yes, white cheddar pasta shells are my comfort food. As a matter of fact, Panera Bread has a white cheddar macaroni and cheese recipe that I have come to love as well. But rather than give them all my money, I decided I needed to come up with a copycat recipe I can make at home with the same great taste but little effort.

That’s where my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker comes in for the win. I can have this recipe finished and on our dinner table in less than 20 minutes thanks to my good ol’ Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

white cheddar pressure cooker pasta in the instant pot

You should make your pasta in a pressure cooker

I’m sure many of you are wondering…why in the heck would you make pasta in the pressure cooker? Because it’s so awesome! I mean, no draining of water, no using multiple pots or a colander, and perfectly cooked pasta each and every time.

white cheddar pasta on spoon

How to Make Pasta in a Pressure Cooker

For this recipe, I’ve used large seashell pasta noodles and elbow macaroni noodles. Both have resulted in perfect noodles that I didn’t have to drain at all. 

First, place your 16oz box of pasta in the pressure cooker and cover with 4 cups of water, ensuring that the pasta is fully covered.

Next, add your seasonings to the pasta (no cheese, no butter, or other ingredients yet) so that it can flavor your pasta while it cooks. Cover and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.

Quick release your pressure once the 4 minute timer is up. Open and you will find that you have perfectly cooked pasta shells. Stir in your butter, heavy cream, cheese, and other adds in you may have.

Heavy Cream vs. Evaporated Milk, that is the Question?

Most macaroni and cheese recipes use evaporated milk. In my opinion, it doesn’t make much a difference in my Instant Pot macaroni pasta. I also rarely have evaporated milk…but heavy cream is always in my fridge.

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy pressure cooker pasta recipe. Enjoy 🙂

Looking for more Pressure Cooker Pasta Recipes? Try these out:

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5 from 1 vote

White Cheddar Pressure Cooker Pasta Recipe

This White Cheddar Pressure Cooker Pasta Recipe is creamy, delicious, and so easy to make in your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Now you can have this elegant take on macaroni and cheese can be made in less than 20 minutes in one pot.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pressure cooker pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
To build pressure 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 579kcal
Author Tanya


  • 16 oz large shell pasta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tablespoon butter cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese* grated
  • 8 oz provolone cheese* grated


  • Add large shell pasta and water to Instant Pot, ensuring that pasta is fully covered. Add dry mustard, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to pot. 
  • Cover and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Once timer is up, quick release pressure. Open lid. 
  • Stir in heavy cream, butter, and grated cheeses. Top with additional fresh ground pepper. Enjoy 🙂


*Cheese may be modified. Have fun with the cheese combos. 
*Avoid extra sharp cheeses as they can be grainy once melted. Provolone tends to be stringy…if that bothers you, reduce the amount added and increase the white cheddar.

Suggested Tools for White Cheddar Pressure Cooker Pasta

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker


Calories: 579kcal
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.



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5 from 1 vote
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hi Tanya, Would it be possible to make this a day ahead, put it in a casserole dish, and heat it in the oven covered? Thank you so much, Noreen


Friday 29th of September 2023

Hi Noreen, yes, that would work fine. I'd add it to a 350F oven and heat until heated through.


Thursday 7th of January 2021

Hello. Please help. After the 4 minutes was up in the pressure cooker there was still a good amount of water. Is that normal??


Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi Angela, there should be some water but not a lot. Was the pasta cooked after 4 minutes?


Friday 9th of November 2018

What cheese can I use as a substitute for provolone?


Friday 9th of November 2018

Hi Kayla, you could leave it out or use Gouda.

Art from my Table

Thursday 23rd of August 2018

My kids would devour this! So creamy and unbelievably easy!

Crystal Faulkner

Wednesday 22nd of August 2018

This recipe was put together so well, gosh! Thank you for sharing this fantastic idea!