This Post Contains Affiliate Links.Click Here To Read Our Full Disclosure.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese. Learn how easy it is to make mac and cheese in the Ninja Foodi. An incredibly easy recipe to follow at home and ideal for Ninja Foodi and pressure cooker beginners.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese
Calling all mac and cheese addicts, today I wanted to show you the best ninja foodi mac and cheese.
I am calling it the best because that’s what my chef hubby said after he had a bowl of it and after he demanded that he ate my creamy mac and cheese for the rest of the week.
I have been a mac and cheese fan since childhood. Though growing up in England it normally came from a can of Heinz and was often referred to as macaroni cheese.
But even though the stuff from the can was never as good, it started my obsession with pasta in a creamy cheesy sauce.
When I left home, the one thing I could cook well was a homemade cheese sauce. It would either be loaded with pasta, vegetables or in a lasagne.
Naturally, when I got my first instant pot, one of the first things I made in it was macaroni cheese. So, on the first week of owning my brand new Ninja Foodi I wanted to see how good mac and cheese was in the Ninja and if I could meal prep it and freeze lots of leftovers.
Mac And Cheese In Ninja Foodi
How do you like your mac and cheese? And how do you want to make your mac and cheese in the ninja foodi?
That’s what you need to be thinking about first before you make your first batch. Because you can go basic and make a creamy mac and cheese with no extras or go with your favourite mac and cheese theme.
- Ninja Foodi Bacon Mac And Cheese – Before loading the macaroni into your mac and cheese sauté some bacon first, then the bacon will flavour your macaroni.
- Ninja Foodi Chicken Mac And Cheese – I love to add leftover meat into my mac and cheese. What I will do is make a batch of macaroni cheese, then load chicken with the macaroni leftovers to make a bigger leftover meal. Ideal if you want your mac and cheese to do more than one meal.
- Ninja Foodi Buffalo Mac And Cheese – You can also load the macaroni with buffalo sauce if you want some heat. I recommend adding it with the cheese near the end of the recipe and stirring it in.
- Ninja Foodi Cauliflower Mac And Cheese – I love to make an instant pot cauliflower sauce. It is much healthier than our regular cheese sauce and its easy to substitute it in this recipe. Instead of adding the cheeses at the end add our cauliflower sauce too and stir it in.
Macaroni In Ninja Foodi
There is often this big argument over which macaroni you should use in the Ninja Foodi or which macaroni makes the best mac and cheese.
I always recommend going with what you have in your pantry. No need to do a special shopping trip to make your mac and cheese.
You could use pasta shells, traditional macaroni, pasta twirls or whatever is your thing.
Just don’t go too big or too fat on your pasta shapes because the cook time may differ.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese Ingredients
What is wonderful about making your own homemade mac and cheese is that you get to choose what ingredients are added and you can mix and match with your favourites.
The main ingredients you will need for Ninja Foodi Mac & Cheese include:
- Pasta – Any dried small to medium pasta shapes will work well with this recipe. I prefer pasta shells, but you may have your own favourite.
- Cheese – For the best Ninja Foodi mac and cheese I recommend a mixture of Philadelphia cream cheese and red Leicester cheese. The beauty of red Leicester is that it has a richer flavour than cheddar and is much better than some of the processed cheap cheeses you see being used. Mature cheddar is another alternative and is one my mum always uses in her cheese sauces.
- Milk – When I make a flourless cheese sauce, I always do so by combining a soft cheese such as Philadelphia with milk. It creates a wonderfully creamy cheese sauce. If you add too much cheese you can use milk to make the sauce thinner. But best of all the milk is fantastic in case you overcook your pasta by accident.
- Spring Onion – Start the Ninja Foodi with a sauté of spring onion and extra virgin olive oil. It will stop the pasta from sticking when it pressure cooks and the olive oil will improve the texture of the pasta.
- Seasonings – I love to add salt, pepper and oregano to my mac and cheese. You can do the same or mix and match with your favourites.
You’ll notice that our mac and cheese has no evaporated milk or other odd ingredients. This mac and cheese recipe is much simpler and easy to adapt for making at home.
We have a son that is lactose free, so we used lactose free Philadelphia and then took his pasta out and added a different hard cheese to is. You can do this too or separate it for different flavoured mac and cheese dishes if you prefer.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese Tips
Making macaroni in the Ninja Foodi can be rather daunting before you first do it. This is because there will always be this fear of the pressure cooker drying out the pasta, or there not been enough liquid or too much liquid. Or the stories that if you add dairy into the pressure cooker that it would explode.
Let me share a few Ninja Foodi Mac & Cheese tips that would also apply for cooking any pasta in the Ninja:
- If in doubt add a little extra liquid – After your macaroni has cooked, you can always take liquid away, but you can’t add it. I always add about 150ml more than a recipe requires just to be on the safe side.
- Don’t add dairy – The dairy when added to the pressure cooker is likely to come through as you are venting after cooking and you can end up with milk on your cream kitchen walls. Instead add the dairy after pressure cooking.
- Add wine – Flavour your stock by adding some white or red wine to your pasta dishes. Just 150ml of white wine can make a big difference to your mac and cheese.
- Add mayonnaise – Got lots of mac and cheese leftover? Add some mayonnaise to it when cold and transform it into a cold mac and cheese pasta salad.
- Use coconut milk – When making pasta in the pressure cooker use coconut milk instead of just water for your liquid. It will help make your pasta more creamy and will prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese Recipe
The quick version of a mac and cheese in Ninja Foodi goes as follows:
- Sauté your spring onion with extra virgin olive oil.
- Pressure cook your macaroni.
- Add in as much cheese as you like and stir.
There is a little more to it than that, but those are the simple basics!
More Ninja Foodi On Recipe This
You can follow along with our Ninja Foodi series at Recipe This. Simply click through to the links below and see what else we have to say and recommend for the Ninja Foodi.
Ninja Foodi Mac And Cheese
- Clean and slice your spring onion and load into the Ninja Foodi cooking pot. Add your extra virgin olive oil and cook on sauté until the onion has started to soften. Cancel the sauté.
- Pour coconut milk into the Ninja Foodi and use it to deglaze the cooking pot.
- Add pasta, a pinch of salt and 500ml of water and give it a good stir. Place the lid on the Ninja Foodi and set the valve to sealing. Press the pressure cooker button twice until it registers high, then set the time to 3 minutes and press start. Cook for a total of 3 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of natural pressure release. Once it has counted up for the 5 minutes, manually release pressure.
- After manually releasing pressure, stir your pasta and all liquid will now be almost gone. Add in seasoning, both cheeses and the milk and stir well. The heat from the cooking pot will melt the cheese. But if its not warm enough place it back on sauté for a minute or two.
- Once it is well mixed and you have your mac and cheese, load into bowls or serve as a side dish for a family dinner.