Velveeta Shells and Cheese Instant Pot made from scratch is insanely creamy and delicious just like our Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli. This Velveeta Shells and Cheese Instant Pot recipe is much loved by even picky eaters & you can make it in just 15 minutes.
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Instant Pot Shells and Cheese
You won’t go back to the boxed Velveeta shells and cheese ever once you try this insanely creamy & easy recipe. You can make it saucy or on the drier side, you can totally control the consistency.
Even your picky eaters will run to fill up their bowls 😀 You can also add broccoli, green peas, pre-cooked chicken, sausages to this Instant Pot Shells and Cheese for an extra protein & veggie boost.
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Medium Shells Pasta
- Milk: You can use whole milk or fat free varieties. You can even replace the milk with equal amounts of half and half for a richer, creamier shells and cheese.
- American Cheese: We used white American Cheese slices. However, you can totally skip it or replace this ingredient with 1/3 cup white cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack Cheese.
- Liquid: Water or chicken stock.
- Seasonings: Black pepper powder and salt.
Tips & Tricks
- Dairy when to add: Pressure cook the shells first & add dairy later. Pressure cooking dairy might curdle it. It always safe to add the milk & Velveeta later.
- Types of Pasta: You can replace the shells with elbow macaroni.
- Velveeta: Keep the heat to LOW while mixing in the Velveeta. Turn off the heat just before adding the American cheese or any cheese. DO NOT simmer the pasta after adding cheese. The cheese might curdle leaving the pasta grainy!
- Consistency: If you prefer extra saucy Shells and Cheese you can increase the amount of milk in the recipe as per your liking. Today’s recipe is neither saucy nor dry.
- Extra Rich Shells and Cheese: Sub the milk with half and half.
How to make Instant Pot Shells and Cheese with Velveeta?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Pressure cook shells
Add stock/water, black pepper powder, salt. Give a quick stir and add the shells, spread them out in a single layer. Throw in the cubed butter.
Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 3 mins for al dente shells and 5 mins for softer shells followed by a quick pressure release (QPR).
Step #2 Add dairy and Velveeta
Open the lid, set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function at LOW heat. Pour in the milk, bring it to a gentle simmer. Throw in the diced Velveeta and stir well until the Velveeta fully incorporates and melts.
Turn off the Instant Pot and add the sliced American white cheese and stir well until the cheese completely melts.
At this point you can control the consistency of the Velveeta shells and cheese. If you want it saucy add more milk as per your liking. This recipe will reward you with a shells and cheese recipe that’s neither saucy nor dry. Enjoy!
What goes with Velveeta Shells and Cheese?
- Steamed Broccoli
- Steamed Green Beans
- Steamed carrots
- A serving of protein like grilled chicken, pan seared shrimp, blackened salmon or sausages.
Fridge: The Instant Pot Shells and Cheese will last for 4 days in the fridge when stored in air tight containers. Re-heat with splashes of milk or water.
Freezer: You can freeze the Velveeta shells and Cheese for upto 3 months. Store portion sizes in freezer safe bags and mark the date. The consistency and the texture of the pasta will change, the shells will turn softer when thawed and re-heated.
Thaw over night in the fridge and re-heat with splashes of milk either on the stove top (medium low heat, stir often) or in the microwave oven.
Instant Pot Shells and CheesePrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- Pour the water or chicken stock into the steel insert of the Instant pot. Add salt and black pepper powder.
- Add the medium shells into the steel insert spreading them into a single layer. Throw in the butter.
- PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 3 minutes for al dente pasta with a bite or for 5 mins for softer shells.
- Once the pressure cooking cycle is over immediately perform a quick pressure release (QPR) by manually moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully when the floating pin drops.
- Turn back the SAUTE function and set it on LOW heat. Add milk, give everything a good stir.
- Add the Velveeta (diced into small cubes) and stir well until the Velveeta uniformly incorporates and melts completely.
- TURN OFF the Instant Pot and add the American cheese slices. Stir well to mix well, until the cheese fully melts. The insanely creamy Shells and Cheese is ready. You can adjust the consistency at this point and keep it the way you love – saucy or dry.
- Milk: You can use either whole milk or even fat free ones.
- Extra creamy shells and cheese: Replace the milk with half and half.
- American Cheese slices: You can sub it with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack. I would add about 1/3 cups.
- Shells and Cheese consistency: Today’s recipe is neither dry nor saucy. If you love saucy shells and cheese increase the amount of milk as per your liking.