Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese

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Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese Top View

This yummy Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese is an inexpensive one pot meal that elevates an ordinary box of macaroni and cheese in about 30 minutes!

Several years ago, a friend taught me how to make this recipe for Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese. Subsequently, it quickly became one of my favorite ways to spice up an ordinary box of macaroni and cheese!

The recipe starts with a store-bought box of macaroni and cheese. Next, add several Tex-Mex ingredients (like taco seasoning, salsa, corn, beans, ground beef, and sour cream) to give the mac and cheese an amazing flavor boost! It almost tastes like a taco in a bowl.

Originally, the recipe is cooked in the microwave. Recently, I found the recipe again and decided to convert it for the Instant Pot. And it couldn’t be simpler! One of the best things about this recipe is that every thing cooks in one pot.

Additionally, this Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese is very inexpensive meal. Plus, it can be stretched to feed the whole family. It’s also great for meal prepping on the weekends for an easy lunch during the week!

Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese Equipment

For this recipe, I used my 6 quart Instant Pot. It’s the perfect size for this recipe, but you could also use a 3 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot if that’s what you have.

Personally, I have only used the Instant Pot, but this recipe should work well with other pressure cookers too!

When browning meat in the Instant Pot, I like to use a heat resistant spatula, flat-edged wooden spoon, or a hamburger meat chopper. None of these utensils scratch my Instant Pot, and they have the right angle to grind the meat.

Tex-Mex Mac and Cheese Preparation and Ingredients

Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese Side View

For this recipe, there are only 7 ingredients needed, and you probably have most of them in your pantry. You’ll need:

  • 1 Box (about 7.5 oz) Macaroni and Cheese 
  • 1 lb of Ground Beef, Turkey, or Vegetable Crumble
  • 3 tbsp Taco Seasoning (or 1 packet)
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • 15 oz Whole Kernel Corn (1 can, Drained)
  • 15.5 oz Kidney Beans or Black Beans
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream

You’ll be using both the pasta and the cheese packet from the boxed Macaroni and Cheese, so be sure to use a brand you like.

Brown the Meat

For this recipe, the first thing you’ll want to do is brown your meat. Normally, I use ground beef in this recipe, but ground turkey can be substituted to reduce the calorie count. Or, use vegetable crumbles for a meatless recipe!

To brown your meat, set the Instant Pot to Saute, and add meat to inner pot. Saute until the meat, for about 6-8 minutes, until cooked through and browned. If there is more than 1 tbsp of grease, drain the meat and return to the pot.

To avoid getting a burn notice, add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, or fond.

Add Ingredients and Pressure Cook

Next, add the following ingredients to the Instant Pot, in order: taco seasoning, corn, beans, boxed macaroni (pasta only), remaining 1 cup water, and salsa. Once the ingredients are added, do not stir! This prevents the burn notice.

After that, close the Instant Pot with the lid, and set the Instant Pot valve to the “sealing” position. Set the pressure cooking (or manual) setting for 5 minutes on high. The Instant Pot takes about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, so the food will also cook during this time.

Once the 5 minute timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes. Then, turn the Instant Pot valve to “venting” to manually release any remaining pressure.

Add Remaining Ingredients and Serve

Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese Spoonful

Last but not least, add the cheese packet (from the macaroni and cheese) and sour cream to the pot, and stir to combine.

Portion the Instant Pot Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese into serving bowls. If desired, add another dollop of sour cream on top!

For an extra serving of vegetables, top with shredded lettuces, diced tomato, chopped onion. Or serve the Instant Pot Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese with a simple side salad. Serve warm and enjoy!

For meal prep, portion the Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese into containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Store topping separately, and top right before serving.

Want MORE Mac and Cheese Recipes?

If you loved recipe for Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese as much as I do, be sure to checkout my popular recipe for Three Cheese Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese. It’s probably in my top three Mac & Cheese recipes of all time!

If you can’t get enough mac and cheese like me, be sure to check out my Pinterest board dedicated to different types of macaroni and cheese. While you are there, be sure to follow me!

To see more of my Instant Pot recipes, click here! Or I also have lots of ideas for meal prep recipes, here.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to subscribe to never miss another recipe!

Instant Pot Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese

This yummy Instant Pot Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese is an inexpensive one pot meal that elevates an ordinary box of macaroni and cheese in about 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Cheese, Instant Pot, Meal Prep, Pasta
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Pressure Build-Up/Release 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 486kcal
Author Clean Fingers Laynie

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Macaroni and Cheese (about 7.5 oz)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef, Turkey, or Vegetable Crumble
  • 3 tbsp Taco Seasoning (or 1 packet)
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • 15 oz Whole Kernel Corn (1 can, Drained)
  • 15.5 oz Kidney Beans or Black Beans (1 can, Rinsed and Drained)
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 cups Water

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute, and add meat to inner pot. Saute until the meat, for about 6-8 minutes, until cooked through and browned. If there is more than 1 tbsp of grease, drain the meat.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, or fond.
  • In order, add the following ingredients to the Instant Pot: taco seasoning, corn, beans, boxed macaroni (pasta only), remaining 1 cup water, and salsa. Do not stir.
  • Close the Instant Pot with the lid, and set the Instant Pot valve to the “sealing” position. Set the pressure cooking (or manual) setting for 5 minutes on high. 
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes. Then, turn the Instant Pot valve to "venting" to manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Add the cheese packet (from the macaroni and cheese) and sour cream to the pot, and stir to combine.
  • Portion the Instant Pot Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese into serving bowls. If desired, top with additional sour cream and fresh vegetables*. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Estimated Nutrition (per serving):  Calories 486, Fat 22 g, Carbohydrate 49 g, Dietary Fiber 7 g, Protein 24 g, Sodium 1150 mg
*Optional toppings: Shredded lettuces, diced tomato, chopped onion. 

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