This Healthy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with broccoli and white cheddar is comfort food at its finest without all the extra calories!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter – any other type of fat like vegan butter, margarine or ghee will work in this recipe.
- Salt – to taste.
- Macaroni spirals – also known as scoobi do noodles. Feel free to also use rigatoni, macaroni elbows or penne instead.
- Evaporated milk – you can use regular milk, but the mac and cheese won’t be as creamy.
- White cheddar cheese – swap out for another cheese of your choice like cheddar, gouda or gruyere.
- Broccoli – add in another veggie of your choice or leave this out altogether.
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How to make mac and cheese in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Cook macaroni in the Instant Pot.
Step 2: Stir in milk and cheese.
Stir in milk and white cheddar until fully blended. If you prefer your broccoli less well done, stir in your broccoli now. Replace the lid and let sit 5 minutes.
Step 3: Steam broccoli.
If you like your broccoli well done, cook in a bowl of water for 5 minutes in the microwave, then drained and added to the Mac and cheese.
Step 4: Stir in broccoli then serve and enjoy!
What goes with mac and cheese?
I personally like serving my healthy mac and cheese with some broccoli added right into the pot. That being said, if you want something to go on the side, there are plenty of options.
Here are some ideas of what to serve with your mac and cheese:
- Garlic bread
- Side salad or coleslaw
- Roasted or steamed veggies
You can even cut down on the portion size to make this mac and cheese a side dish and serve it with BBQ ribs, pulled chicken and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mac and cheese is definitely an indulgent dish, but this broccoli mac and cheese recipe is a bit healthier with just 414 calories per serving. This is due to the fact that you’re not using a ton of butter and you’re swapping out the traditional heavy cream for evaporated milk. Since you’re adding broccoli, you’re also sneaking some green vegetables in there, which is always good!
Evaporated milk is my secret ingredient for this healthy Instant Pot mac and cheese! It makes the dish super creamy without needing to add in heavy cream or lots of butter, which means less calories.
I like to keep things simple when it comes to this healthy mac and cheese by using three cups of grated white cheddar cheese. That being said, feel free to swap out the white cheddar for another variety of cheese of your choice. Regular cheddar, gruyere and gouda would all be delicious!
Storing and reheating
Store any leftovers of this healthy mac and cheese in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days. That way, you’ll have delicious mac and cheese ready to go in the fridge whenever you’re craving some cheesy goodness!
When you're ready to enjoy your mac and cheese, reheat it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed through.
Can you freeze mac and cheese?
Yes! Just make sure the dish has cooled down to room temperature before freezing this broccoli mac and cheese. Store it in airtight containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags and freeze it for up to 2 months.
When you're ready to enjoy, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. From there, you can microwave it for a couple minutes or reheat it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 375° Fahrenheit.
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Healthy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb macaroni spirals (sometimes call scoobi do)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 3 cups white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 head broccoli, finely chopped
- Add sunflower oil, water, salt, macaroni spirals and butter to Instant Pot in that order. Set to cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Once complete, do a quick release of pressure and open the lid when safe to do so.
- Stir in milk and white cheddar until fully blended, then add broccoli florets and stir. Replace the lid and let sit 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy! For those who like their broccoli more well done, it can be cooked in a bowl of water for 5 minutes in the microwave, then drained and added to the Mac and cheese.
- Add macaroni to a large pot of salted boiling water on the stove. Boil for 8-9 minutes until al dente, then rinse and drain.
- Add macaroni back to pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, stirring until melted. Stir in evaporated milk and cheese until creamy and well combined. Finally, stir in broccoli and continuing cooking another 3-4 minutes until broccoli is tender. Serve and enjoy!
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