4.91 from 84 votes

Ninja Foodi Mac and Cheese

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Ninja Foodi makes MACARONI AND CHEESE simple with a pressure cooker and air fryer in one.

Multiple layers of whole cream, butter, and cheese make up a traditional, classic, homemade macaroni and cheese. Plus check out variations to truly make this 20 minute dinner your own.

This is a simple, no fuss, easy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe perfect for your Ninja Foodi. Because this recipe requires both a pressure cooker and an air fryer, it’s uniquely made for a Foodi, but if you already have pre-made pasta, you could likely do this recipe in any Air Fryer from that point in the recipe.

perfect air fryer and pressure cooker homemade macaroni and cheese side dish or main dish recipe

Ninja Foodi Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

My family is really picky about macaroni and does not like extra additives, but mac and cheese is one of those great recipes to get creative with. Down below I have listed a few variations to amp up your recipe if you want.

Texture of this recipe: Just like oven baked mac n cheese!

Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone.

Here is what you need to gather to get started:

  • Macaroni Elbows
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
  • Salt & Pepper

NOTE ON CHEESE: Shredded Cheddar is the cheese typically used for a homemade recipe like this, but my kids personally find cheddar a bit bitter. Cheese blends create a softer more savory and less bitter taste when considering assembling your recipe.

Don’t have a Foodi? YOU GOTTA GET ONE. Check out current price on all the machines here.

Pressure Cook Macaroni Noodles

  1. Before you get started, you first need to pressure cook the macaroni noodles.
  2. Add entire box of Pasta and four cups of water into Ninja Foodi Pressure cooker on HIGH for 6 MINUTES.
  3. Once done, use QUICK RELEASE.
  4. There should be no water left. Once macaroni noodles are tender and ready, move onto step two of this recipe.
pressure cooked macaroni noodles

Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese

  1. This is step two once noodles are pressure cooked!
  2. Leaving your cooked macaroni noodles in the pressure cooker bowl, add nearly all of the shredded cheese (reserving a bit for a top layer), pats of butter, heavy whipping cream and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all ingredients well.
  4. Top with last bit of shredded cheese and close up with the Air Fryer lid.
  5. Air Fry macaroni for 5-7 minutes at 400 degrees.
  6. Open lid and check on melted cheese.
  7. Macaroni is ready when top is bubble and slightly brown.
macaroni and cheese in the ninja foodi

Macaroni and Cheese Variations

As mentioned above, this recipe is a simple, classic macaroni and cheese to easily make in your Ninja Foodi. Here are a few ideas to change this recipe up.

  • Add a can of Rotel Tomatoes.
  • Cooked hamburger meat for some protein.
  • For the top layer, add a bit of crunchy French onions or bread crumbs to vary the topping before you Air Fry.
  • Add minced garlic into the noodles.

More Ninja Foodi Recipes

Right now I am really building up and sharing my Ninja Foodi recipes. I LOVE working with it and its become a staple in my home, and I hope yours. The all in one machine is amazing. Just a few recipes I have made are side dishes like the Ninja Foodi Green Beans and Bacon, full on meals like Ninja Foodi Chicken, and appetizers like the Ninja Foodi Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos.

If you do not own one but want dinner to be easy, you really should consider the investment. What I like about the Ninja Foodi is that I can pressure cook, saute, slow cook, air fryer – literally all kitchen tools in one.

I have found that this machine products the best results in an instant and having tested the Instant Pot, Vortex, and the Ninja Foodi, I ADORE this machine.

Check out the specs and see if its a fit for you:

Once you have it, here are some amazing recipes you can test out that are easy for beginners:

Made this recipe? Come back and tell me what you loved (or didn’t!) so I can continue to improve. My readers help make these recipes great!

cheesy macaroni and cheese on a fork
4.91 from 84 votes

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Recipe in Ninja Foodi


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
20 Minute Ninja Foodi Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with bubbling brown cheese layer on top – a delicious and quick main dish pressure cooker and air fryer dinner (or side!)

Ingredients
 

  • 16 oz. box of Macaroni Elbows
  • 6 tablespoons of Butter
  • 4 cups of Water
  • 1 cup of Heavy whipping cream
  • 16 oz. of Shredded Cheddar Cheese or your fav cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Add entire box of Pasta and four cups of water into Ninja Foodi Pressure cooker on HIGH for 6 MINUTES, quick release. There should be no water left. Once macaroni noodles are tender and ready, move onto step two of this recipe.
  • Leaving your cooked macaroni noodles in the pressure cooker bowl, and while hot, add nearly all of the shredded cheese (reserving a bit for a top layer), pats of butter, heavy whipping cream and salt and pepper.
  • Mix all ingredients well. 
  • Top macaroni with last bit of shredded cheese and close up with the Air Fryer lid. 
  • Air Fry macaroni for 5-7 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Open lid and check on melted cheese. Macaroni is ready when top is bubble and slightly brown.

Video

Notes

  • SEE POST ON MACARONI AND CHEESE TO SEE INGREDIENT VARIATIONS

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 652mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.91 from 84 votes
4.91 from 84 votes (79 ratings without comment)

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21 Comments

  1. Carolyn Wessel says:

    I made this tonight for our dinner. I cut the recipe in half, because there are only two of us. I am not a huge Mac and cheese fan, but this is very good. My husband makes a delicious mac & cheese casserole, and this is very similar to his, only it takes very minimal amount of time compared to his. I love how easy it is to make. And the taste is amazing! I will definitely make this again!

    1. I am so happy that you commented! I think you are the first person to let me know you tried it, thank you!!

  2. Omgosh this is seriously my favorite mac & cheese ever! I made it for Christmas (which I don’t usually do but my very pregnant daughter requested it). I had just gotten my Foodi abt 3 weeks earlier for my bday. This recipe rocks! I am now on my 3rd roubd of making it, now for NYE dinner. Pro tip: Add some crumbled bacon and/or french fried onions for a perfectly crispy top! Thank you!

  3. Made this for the first time and my husband went back for thirds and also took leftovers to work the next day. (He hates leftovers) a week later he requested this for his birthday meal as well.
    I cook the noodles in chicken broth instead of water for a different flavor and it is ✨chef’s kiss✨

    1. I love that idea of cooking the noodles in broth!

  4. Anne Jones says:

    Just making this arm in my food. This is my second attempt at mac and cheese. My first was from the accompanying recieo book it was unbelievably disgusting. This one I’ve not eaten yet but I licked the spoon!! Heavenly.

    So much easier and more delicious than my traditional rouxe one. I used full fat milk and cream cheese with chives instead of heavy cream but still amazing!!

    Thank you for this recipe it will be a weekly family meal 🥰🥰

    1. Anne, so happy that this was a hit for your family! Its so frustrating when things do not work out so glad we could help you out. Much love,

      Trisha

  5. This was delicious! I added 1 t Onion powder, 1 t garlic powder, 1/2 cup crispy fried onion. I also used 1 c. Whole milk instead of cream because that is what I had. This recipe is a great basic Mac n cheese. Add whatever you like and know it will be good!

    1. Mary, I love the addition of crispy fried onion on top, SO good! Glad you enjoyed this mac and cheese recipe. Its sometimes hard to find a good one and glad this was a hit for your family.

      Trisha

  6. Sarah Lyon says:

    Yummy, just made this for tea omg! Supper tasty so easy. X

  7. Sharon Young says:

    This is excellent. I am going to make this all the time from now on. I always used sharp cheddar cheese. It was awesome! Thank you!

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      Thank you for the review on the pressure cooker mac and cheese! So glad you enjoyed. 🙂

      Trisha

  8. I have to keep a gluten free kitchen so I wanted to try this recipe with a package of Great Value brown rice elbow noodles. The only thing I had to do differently was to rinse the macaroni in a colander after cooking as directed. It was gooey and bitter before rinsing. I added some garlic powder, smoked paprika and mustard powder along with the butter, cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Very good and easy recipe! Thanks!

  9. Instructions were spot on! This Mac n cheese was delicious! Thank you for posting a great recipe. I used half sharp cheddar n half velveeta for my cheese. Didn’t have any heavy cream either so just used whole milk. It came out great!

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      So glad you you loved this mac and cheese!

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      It has salt and pepper as shown in the recipe however if you want to add other seasoning flavors, we recommend garlic and onion.

  10. I made this tonight and my family loved it! I added bread crumbs on top of the cheese and it tasted exactly like the macaroni and cheese our grocery store has in their deli section. Thank you for such an easy and versatile recipe. I won’t ever buy Kraft macaroni and cheese again!

  11. I have a question about what you wrote in reference to shredded cheddar cheese: “…but my kids personally find cheddar a bit bitter. Cheese blends create a softer more savory and less bitter taste when considering assembling your recipe.”
    I’m not a huge fan of Mac & Cheese. I’ve also never made it because I’m like your kids, I also find cheddar bitter. So, are you suggesting a cheese blend to use or did you just use shredded cheddar? If you used a blend, I’d appreciate any flavor/brand suggestions. My apologies if I am not understanding correctly.
    I’m thrilled I found your recipe blog on Pinterest. It’s pure luck that my Ninja Foodi 8-in-1 steam crisp/air fryer arrived today. I’m sure to be using your recipes and especially your tips for this Foodi model. Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I got your message regarding cheese. In my article, I was referring to a cheese blend like Fiesta Blend or even a Colby Jack to make the mac and cheese. My kids prefer either one of those over straight shredded cheddar cheese.

      I have personally not had any issues making the recipe with the alteration.

      I hope that helps!

  12. So easy and great tasting! We added bbq chicken and crunchy fried onions on top !! So delicious!

    Side note we buy rotisserie chicken from Costco and freeze in 2cup packages and take out when needed.

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