Creamy, delicious and subtly sweet corn mac and cheese you can make entirely in your Instant Pot. Fresh corn is used in the pasta and the cheese sauce; you can also use frozen corn if not in season. Perfect family dinner or a side dish for potlucks, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or big feasts.
3 fresh corns on the cob (or about 2 cups of corn kernels)
0.5 lb / 220 grams macaroni pasta (or small elbow pasta)
4–5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the cheese sauce
2/3 cup of corn kernels (from the cobs above)
1.5 cups milk of choice
1/4 cup butter (cubed)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: Parsley and pepper
- Slice the corn kernels off the cobs. Divide them into two halves. Add half of the fresh corn kernels to the Instant Pot together with 0.5 lb dry macaroni pasta, 1 litre of water, 1 teaspoon salt and a little oil. Reserve the rest of the corn for the cheese sauce.
- Stir the pasta and corn in the Instant Pot, pop the lid on top and lock. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook and set the time to just 1 Minute (at high pressure). This smaller pasta doesn’t take long to cook and you don’t want to overcook it. The Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure, then the timer will start.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare ingredients for the sauce. Add the remaining fresh corn and milk to blender and process into a smooth liquid.
- Once done, allow no more than 5 minutes for natural pressure release. Then point the sealing valve to Venting to quickly release the remaining steam. We recommend holding a towel of the steam jet to catch any erupting foam, which is a normal occurrence when cooking pasta in the Instant Pot.
- Strain the pasta and set aside. Wash the inner pot, wipe and return to the base. Press the Saute function to start on the cheese sauce.
- Add butter to the pot, and once melted, stir in the flour to form the roux, which is a thickener for the sauce. As soon as the flour is incorporated into the butter, pour in the corn and milk mixture, stirring continuously until smooth and thick.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic powder and stir. Now add the grated cheese and stir until melted into the sauce. The sauce should be thick and glossy but if it feels too thick, you can add a little more milk to dilute it. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
- Add the pre-cooked pasta and corn and combine with the sauce. Serve while hot with fresh parsley and pepper on top.
Using frozen corn: Add about 1 cup of frozen corn to the pasta when cooking. To use in the sauce, defrost the corn first before blending with the milk. You can do this in a microwave or a bowl of hot water.
Baked macaroni and cheese casserole: Turn this recipe into a baked cheesy casserole. Transfer the ready corn mac and cheese to an oven-proof casserole dish. Top with more grated cheese and pop in a hot oven (430 F / 220 C) for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.