Ditch the blue box and break out your Instant Pot! Creamy, cheesy, gluten-free, and packed with protein and fiber -Instant Pot Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese! Can mac and cheese be healthy, gluten-free, and quick? Yes, yes, it can, and with only FIVE INGREDEINTS!
I have tried making all sorts of gluten-free mac and cheese. But, unfortunately, noodles turn to mush. All I needed was the correct type of gluten-free noodles and an Instant Pot.
Macaroni and cheese is the perfect comfort food for a stand-alone quick lunch or a dinner side dish. I learned about the Instant Pot for mac and cheese from fellow Minnesotan Lindsay at Pinch of Yum. From there, it was testing noodles and cooking times to make a gluten-free version! Don't have an Instant Pot, try out crockpot gluten free mac and cheese!
With only five ingredients and not a packet of cheese powder in sight.
- Chickpeas Pasta Shells - Chickpea pasta is a legume-based pasta that helps create the creamy mac and cheese factor.
- Shredded Cheese - Use your favorite Cheese. We love to use Italian Style and Classic Cheddar.
- Butter - Add just a bit of butter to create the cheesy sauce.
- Milk - We use 1% milk. If you want to use skim because it is what you have, add another tablespoon of butter to balance out the lack of fat in skim.
- Kosher Salt - Salt is needed, don't skip this one.
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions.Jump to Recipe
Add water to the instant pot. Then add the chickpea noodles. Finally, before cooking, add the salt.
Cut the butter into smaller pieces to help with melting. Add the shredded cheese. You may or may not need all the milk. Add the milk slowly and stir until the mac and cheese is as creamy as you like.
- Noodles - If you want to use wheat noodles, you will need to increase the cooking time by one minute.
- Milk - I have not tried any plant-based milk myself, but try it and see how it does. It is worth a shot.
- Cheese - Use whatever type of shredded cheese is your favorite. Pepperjack cheese would add great spice. Any melty cheese would be great!
Variations and Additions to Mac and Cheese
- Add Broccoli - Increase your veggies! Broccoli and cheese belong together.
- Add Diced Ham - Increase your protein and make it a complete dish.
- Add both broccoli and ham! Living your mac and cheese dreams!
Technically all cheese will melt, and all cheese is delicious, except maybe blue cheese. Cheddar, gouda, Monterrey Jack, and gruyere are some of the best melty options. Other options like Mozarella or Provolone are stringy. You know those fantastic cheese pulls when you take a bite of pizza - those are the stringy cheese options.
Whole milk will make the creamiest sauce. However, even 2% milk paired with chickpea noodles will create a creamy sauce.
What to serve with Instant Pot chickpea pasta mac and cheese?
- Ham Steaks - Salty ham goes excellent with creamy, cheesy sides.
- Simple Green Salad with a homemade Italian Dressing
- Cuban Sandwiches
- Roasted Vegetables
Storing and Reheating Mac and Cheese
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When reheating the mac and cheese in the microwave, add a tablespoon of milk and two tablespoons of shredded cheese. Stir before you eat, and enjoy! Leftovers will last up to two days.
Instant Pot Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces Chickpea Pasta Shells
- 2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
- 1 cup Italian Style Shredded Cheese
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- ½ cup Milk
- Spray the Instant Pot liner with cooking spray.
- Add water, noodles, and salt.
- Pressure cook the noodles for 3 minutes.
- Natural Release for 1 minute. After one minute do quick release of the pressure. Do not drain.
- Dice up the butter into small pieces. Add butter to the cooked noodles. Carefully stir the butter and noodles until melted.
- Add shredded cheese in small batches, along with two tablespoons of milk at a time. As it sits, it will thicken up. Add more seasonings or milk as needed. Enjoy right away!