I guess technically this isn't "mac" and cheese since I use penne and not macaroni noodles, but there's no convincing my kids of that, and "Mac and Cheese" just has so much more meaning. The stuff out of the blue box was a commonly requested meal in my home, and just the name feels nostalgic. I wanted to keep this recipe just as simple to make as the boxed kind, but keep the ingredients themselves even simpler. It has become a favorite in our home, and I hope it becomes a favorite in yours!
Mac and Cheese
Yield: 6 servings | Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Total Time: 30 min
16 oz whole wheat penne
4 cups water
1/2 heaping tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
3 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 T cream cheese
1 garlic clove
Set to saute mode on medium
Add a splash of olive oil
Once it's hot, add finely chopped garlic cloves, and stir constantly for 1 minute.
Then add noodles and stir for 1 more minute
Switch to pressure cook mode, and add water and salt, making sure to deglaze
Cook on high for 5 minutes, then NPR 5 minutes (I usually use this time to grate my cheese)
Once the pressure has completely released, add in the cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and cream cheese in small batches, and stir until everything is well combined (There should be a little starch water left in the bottom of the instant pot. Don't worry-this helps the cheese become a sauce without having to make a roux). Then serve it up warm.
Pro Tip: When re-heating, stir in a splash of milk to keep the cheese creamy