Oh mac & cheese, there is no redemption from your own particular cheesy brand of sin. Oh well, it’s not like I believe in an afterlife anyway which is a good job as this Instant Pot Chorizo & Jalapeño Mac & Cheese is about as naughty as cheese and pasta gets. And yep, the magic ratio is 50:50 cheese to pasta :O I’ve got two friends who share my obsessive search for the ultimate mac ‘n’ cheese (big shout out to my girls Shazza and Regan here) and we barely go a week without sharing recipes for our beloved cheesy carb fest of a dish with each other. It may not do your waist line or blood pressure any good but man alive, will it do your soul good. There can’t be many first world dramas which can’t be cured with a big fat bowlful of this. Just go get into your fat pants before continuing to read on… 😉
I recently published my recipe for Instant Pot Custard Cream Cheesecake and proclaimed that it was the reason to purchase an Instant Pot. Now that still remains true but if you aren’t cursed with a sweet tooth and instead, eye up the cheeseboard after dinner like a rabbid pitbull then this mac & cheese will be the reason you should get one! I’m fast becoming evangelical about the benefits of this electric pressure cooker and am loving finding new things to cook in it. Would you believe that with only 4 minutes cooking time, you will have this ooey gooey, hot and spicy bowl of loveliness before you?
Now the truth is, you will spend a few minutes prepping the dish, a couple more sautéing the chorizo, a few for the pressure to build in the machine and then a couple more finishing the dish but really, you are still looking at a comfort meal classic being on your table in less than 20 minutes. If anything, it’s a bit scary how fast and easy the Instant Pot makes this (I think now is the time to put a disclaimer on this recipe to state that I will except no responsibility for excessive weight gain after purchasing said Instant Pot and devouring said mac & cheese!). It must take me an hour to knock the traditional one together on the hob and in the oven. You should also know that you can multiply this up to feed a crowd very easily and the cooking time remains the same.
In developing this recipe, I came to realise that certain ratios and ingredients need paying attention to to ensure your mac comes out perfect each time. Like for ever 120g pasta, you need 250ml water – you definitely need to weigh this one out. And yes, you do need the same amount of cheese as pasta or you are just lining yourself up for disappointment. I find the combination of mozzarella, Double Gloucester and Parmesan give both the taste and the goo factor I want from my mac. Creamy ingredients such as the evaporated milk (thanks to Nigella for teaching me in her book Express that you can make mac & cheese with this store cupboard staple, rather than making a béchamel sauce) definitely need adding at the end as they can clog up the filter inside the IP if added before. Adding the chorizo brings garlic and smoky paprika which always play well with cheese. The jalapeños bring heat which cuts all that crazy richness and the spring onions add their rasp again, making this all to easy to eat despite the creaminess of all that dairy. Honestly, one mouthful and you’ll be hooked. Go get you Instant Pot Chorizo & Jalapeño Mac & Cheese on now!
- 100g chorizo sausage, sliced into thin discs
- 120g dried macaroni pasta
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- Good grating of nutmeg (about 20 scratches on your plane or grater will do)
- 250 ml water
- 50g grated mozzarella
- 50g Double Gloucester or Red Leicester cheese
- 20g grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp jalapeño, finely chopped (adjust to your heat preference)
- 2-3 spring onions, minced finely
- 100g evaporated milk*
- Set the Instant Pot to sauteé mode and add the chorizo. Stir frequently until they release their oil and there is no pearly white fat remaining. This should take a couple of minutes. If there is lots of oil, spoon it away - you only need about 1 tbsp worth.
- Turn off the sauté function and add the macaroni, mustard, nutmeg and water and give it a good stir. Set the Instant Pot to manual mode and adjust the time to 4 mins. Put the lid on and set the vent to "Sealing".
- When the cooking cycle has finished, do a Quick Pressure Release. There should be little or no excess water left and the pasta will be fully cooked. Press cancel and the Instant Pot will remain in Keep Warm whilst you finish the mac & cheese.
- Stir in the cheeses and keep stirring until no clumps remain - barely 30 seconds.
- Add in the jalapeños, spring onions and evaporated milk and give it one final good stirring. You are done! The pasta will suck up the evaporated milk and you will have the gooiest mac & cheese ever!
- Optional: if you like a grilled cheese topping to your mac & cheese, then scrape the contents of the Instant Pot into an oven proof dish having reserved a little of each of the cheeses to sprinkle on at the end and finish under a hot grill in the oven for a few minutes.
- *= evaporated milk is what it says on the tin - milk cooked down until thick and sticky. Don't confuse it with condensed milk which is 50:50 milk to added sugar! I only say this as the tins can be remarkably similar and I *may* have bought the wrong one on more than one occasion!
- Top Tip - if you can bare waiting a moment, put the Instant Pot inner pot in the sink and add some washing up liquid and hot water before you eat so making the clean up a lot easier!
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