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Instant Pot Panera Style Mac n Cheese

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Looking for a quick and delicious weeknight meal that the whole family will love? Look no further than this Instant Pot Panera Bread Mac and Cheese recipe! This copycat version captures the creamy, cheesy goodness of Panera’s favorite side dish, but in a fraction of the time.

In just 20 minutes you can have a steaming pot of this delightful mac and cheese ready to enjoy. Plus, with minimal prep work, it’s a lifesaver on busy weeknights.

Simply toss everything in your Instant Pot, cook for a few minutes, and then stir in the cheese for a creamy, dreamy sauce. No need for a fancy stovetop method, this recipe lets your pressure cooker do all the work!

So ditch the takeout menu and give this Instant Pot Panera Mac and Cheese a try. It’s sure to become a new family favorite!

Copy Cat Panera Instant Pot Mac N Cheese
Yield: 6-8

Copy Cat Panera Instant Pot Mac N Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound Pasta Shells
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 8 ounces White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices White American Cheese
  • 1 cup Milk
  • Black Pepper, optional


  1. Add to your Instant Pot pasta, butter, and salt. Add 4 cups of water, and then give a good stir making sure each noodle has been mixed with the water.
  2. Close the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn the valve to sealed.
  3. Choose High Pressure for 4 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for your IP to come to pressure. 
  4. Once the time is up, manually release by pulling the valve to you and opening it. Make sure to open using a towel or hot pad. 
  5. Remove some of the water from the pot. No need to make sure all is gone, just a bit. 
  6. Add in the shredded cheese, slices cheese, and milk to the noodles. Mix until fully incorporated. 
  7. Serve in bowls, and enjoy! 

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