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Instant Pot Italian Mac ‘N’ Cheese

This Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe has a rustic, Italian flare to it. With the addition of olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, and a hearty helping of mozzarella, this vegetarian wonder will have you drooling for days. 

Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Italian Style Recipe

Have you ever made an Instant Pot pasta before? It’s ridiculously easy and the results will surprise you every time. You literally throw in the dried pasta and the sauce, press the button and walk away. And one of our favourite pasta dishes to make with the pressure cooker is a hearty mac and cheese.

Today, we want to share an Italian-inspired Instant Pot mac and cheese that comes with a few Mediterranian additions like olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. We like to think of it as a more sophisticated, grown-up mac ‘n’ cheese recipe BUT the kids will love it just as much as the classic. It’s hearty, delicious and perfect for those meat-free Mondays.

Italian Instant Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe


Cooking tips

We are using elbow pasta, which is a classic shape for mac and cheese but you can use penne or fusilli pasta. This recipe yields quite a bit of pasta (6 servings) but it keeps well for leftovers and you can reheat it with a touch of water or milk, or turn it into a baked pasta slice.

We’re using a combination of cheddar (or other strong cheese) and a more mild mozzarella but you’re welcome to mix and match other cheeses in this dish. Here are some step-by-step pics to guide you along but the full instructions are below. We’ve divided the ingredients and the method into two stages to make it easier for you. You don’t need an oven for this recipe!

How to make Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe - step by step photos

Gooey Pressure Cooker Mac & Cheese

New to Instant Pot? Here are 10 first meals you should make. You can also check out our Instant Pot 101 series here.

Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Italian Style Recipe

Instant Pot Italian Mac’N’Cheese

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian


This Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe has a rustic, Italian flare to it. With the addition of olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, and a hearty helping of mozzarella, this vegetarian wonder will have you drooling for days.



Stage 1

  • 500 g / 17 oz elbow pasta (we love this brand)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup / 250 ml tomato passata or diced, tinned tomatoes
  • 4 cups water (1 L)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional, can be less)

Stage 2

  • 1012 black olives, sliced
  • 10 sun-dried tomato halves, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, diced roughly
  • 1 cup almond milk or regular milk
  • 1/4 cup tomato passata
  • 1 cup grated cheddar or other strong cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/41/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions/scallions (about 12 onions)
  • 4 tablespoons of fried shallots like these
  • Basil or parsley to garnish with, optional


  1. Stage 1.Combine everything in the inner pot, stir through and pop the lid on top. Lock and set to Manual, High for 4 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start the cooking process. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes and then use the quick release method to let off the rest of the steam. Don’t leave the natural release for too long as that will keep cooking the pasta and you risk having a soggy mess!
  2. Stage 2. Add the diced olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, milk, extra tomato passata and half of the grated cheese to the pasta, and press the Sauté function key. Stir together for a minute or so, until the cheese has melted into the pasta. Add the rest of the cheese and stir in again for 30 seconds or so. Turn the Instant Pot off and serve the pasta topped with chopped green onions and fried shallots on top. You can add some basil or other herbs as well.

Keywords: Italian Mac'N'Cheese Pasta Olives Garlic Artichoke Hearts Cheddar Mozzarella Tomato


Italian style Instant Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe with step-by-step photos. Super easy, delicious pressure cooker dinner.


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  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    It says a teaspoon and a half of teaspoon of salt in stage one. Is it supposed to be something else?

    • Reply
      October 4, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Jean, I believe it should just be a single tsp.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I notice salt shows up twice in the ‘stage one’ list of ingredients – the first time specifying 1 tsp and the next line is 1/2 tsp – is this an error?

    • Reply
      October 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm

      Penny, I believe it should just be a single tsp. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2018 at 3:37 am

    What size InstaPot is this recipe for?

    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 12:57 am

      6-quart IP but fine in a larger pot too. I’ve not tried making it in the mini but you might be able to half the ingredients for a smaller batch.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Could you use whole wheat pasta? If so, how would it affect the cook time?

    • Reply
      February 23, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      Absolutely, I wouldn’t change the cooking time but add extra 1-2 minutes for natural pressure release before quick releasing the steam.

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