5 from 2 votes
Home » Recipes » Instant Pot » The BEST Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese (Instant Pot!)

The BEST Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese (Instant Pot!)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details.

This Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese recipe is a buttery and creamy comfort dish that comes together beautifully in your Instant Pot. With only five ingredients, this cheesy pasta topped with an even cheesier crust is amazingly tasty, cozy, and simple to make. Enjoy a restaurant-quality side dish or at home with this recipe!

A plate of cracker barrel Mac N Cheese with an instant pot in the background.

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your information below, and I’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you’ll get complimentary gifts!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Kim Schob.

There are few things in life better than a nice warm bowl of macaroni and cheese. Sure, you could head to the nearest Cracker Barrel for some good old-fashioned Southern cooking, but why spend all that money when you can make it at home? This recipe is not only easy (and cheap!) but also tastes just like the real thing.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself!

Not to mention it takes about the same amount of time to make as boxed mac and cheese! The instant pot makes cooking this mac and cheese recipe super easy and delicious!

Why you should make this Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac & Cheese

  • You can make it in a matter of minutes. Only five ingredients are required, and following the recipe is a breeze. When you make this mac and cheese, it’ll be ready in no time.
  • Making your own macaroni and cheese is less expensive. You can have as many as you want for a very little cost. You will save money if you try this recipe!
  • It has the flavor of Cracker Barrel Mac & Cheese. You don’t have to just eat this cheesy pasta at Cracker Barrel. This is something you can make in your own kitchen.
  • Mac and cheese is the quintessential comfort food and perfect for days when you just want a warm bowl of cheesy goodness!

If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this Creamy Instant Pot Sausage Rigatoni

What You Need To Make This Instant Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ingredients for cracker barrel Mac N Cheese in an individual container sitting on a countertop.
  • elbow macaroni
  • flour
  • butter 
  • cheese
  • Milk

How to Make The BEST Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Collage of elbow macaroni in an instant pot and a skillet of butter and flour mixture.
  1. Place the macaroni in the instant pot and cover with water. Close and seal pressure valve and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Release pressure manually. (Photo 1)
  2. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. (Photo 2)
  4. Once the flow and butter make a roux, Stein in the milk slowly to thicken the mixture. Lower the heat and add 2 cups of cheese. 
College of Mac N Cheese in a skillet with and without melted cheese on the top.
  1. Fold in the pasta and once coated, spread over the skillet. (Photo 3)
  2. Top with the remaining cheese and place under a high broiler until cheese starts to brown.  (Photo 4)
Cracker barrel Mac N Cheese sitting on a glass plate with cheese on the side.

Storage

Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.

To freeze leftovers make sure you allow your Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese to cool completely before wrapping it snugly in plastic wrap and storing it in the freezer. Place your dish in the freezer-friendly container and freeze it. Frozen Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese can be stored for up to three months.

Cracker barrel Mac N Cheese on a fork.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Pasta: Out of elbow macaroni no probelm! You can use pretty much any type of pasta you have on hand, even spaghetti noodles!
  • Add-ins: You can also add as many more ingredients as you want, such as ham, bacon, chicken, ground beef, onions, peppers, corn, and vegetables.
  • Cheese: If you wish, you can switch up the type of cheese you’re using a nice cheddar or other good melting cheese works best.

FAQs

What is the best cheese for this Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese recipe?

Colby cheese is the cheese of choice for Cracker Barrel’s homemade mac and cheese. Though you can use white cheddar, sharp cheddar, or even a blend. whatever you have on hand is fine.

How do I get a thicker sauce for my instant pot mac and cheese?

You can get a thicker sauce by using milk with a high-fat like heavy cream and half and half.

How do I keep my cheese sauce from clumping up?

Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. The texture will be smooth and creamy as a result of this.

More Instant Pot Recipes You May Enjoy

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!

Or any other delicious recipes on my site? If so, please leave a ★★★★★ star rating below and a 📝 comment sharing your thoughts!

To ensure you’re not missing a thing. Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along below!

Glass plate with copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese.
5 from 2 votes

The BEST Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac N Cheese (Instant Pot!)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Instant Pot, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Yields 4 Servings
This copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and cheese is easy to make with only 5 ingredients and tastes amazing! You'll never go back to boxed mac N cheese again!

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz (453 ⅗ g) Elbow macaroni
  • cup (41 ⅔ g) Flour
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cups (396 g) Shredded Colby cheese
  • 2 cups (488 g) Milk

Instructions

  • Place the macaroni in the instant pot and cover with water. Close and seal pressure valve and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Release pressure manually.
  • Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour
  • Once the flow and butter make a roux, Stein in the milk slowly to thicken the mixture. Lower the heat and add 2 cups of cheese.
  • Fold in the pasta and once coated, spread over the skillet.
  • Top with the remaining cheese and place under a high broiler until cheese starts to brown.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 Helping Calories: 797kcal (40%) Carbohydrates: 101g (34%) Protein: 39g (78%) Fat: 25g (38%) Saturated Fat: 14g (88%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 81mg (27%) Sodium: 606mg (26%) Potassium: 514mg (15%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 11g (12%) Vitamin A: 796IU (16%) Calcium: 609mg (61%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Hungry for more?

Follow me on Pinterest and make sure to comment below!

Get 3 FREE Conversion charts + Bonus!

When you subscribe to the latest updates, recipes, and content.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like...