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A plate of buffalo chicken mac and cheese in front of an Instant Pot and a bottle of Franks RedHot

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. Spicy mac and cheese from the pressure cooker.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces (¾ pound) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ½-inch thick strips (“Stir Fry” cut at my local grocery store)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 ounces (½ cupFranks RedHot original sauce
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • More Franks RedHot for topping

Bread Crumb Topping (optional)

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese


  1. Brown the chicken: In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, heat the vegetable oil using Sauté mode until the oil is shimmering. (Use medium heat with a stovetop PC). Sprinkle the chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt, then add it to the pot and cook until it is browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
  2. Pressure cook the chicken and pasta for 4 minutes with a quick release: Stir the macaroni, 4 cups water, and 1½ teaspoon salt into the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits of chicken. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes in an Instant Pot, electric PC, or stovetop PC. (For an Instant Pot, use Manual or Pressure Cook mode, and set the time to 4 minutes.) When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.
  3. Stir in the butter, evaporated milk, Franks RedHot sauce, and cheese: Leave the Instant Pot in Keep Warm mode (turn the heat down to low under a stovetop PC). Add the butter, evaporated milk and Franks RedHot, and stir until the butter melts. Stir in the cheese one handful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for the current handful to melt before adding the next handful.
  4. Top with breadcrumbs and blue cheese, and broil (Optional): Pour the macaroni into a 3 quart broiler-safe dish, patting it down to level out the surface. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the macaroni and cheese in an even layer, then scatter the blue cheese on top of the bread crumbs. Broil the macaroni and cheese on high until the bread crumbs are toasted, about 5 minutes - but it really depends on your broiler. Keep checking the bread crumbs – they go from pale brown to burnt in a flash. 
  5. Serve: Pass the Franks RedHot at the table so your diners can add more if they need it. Enjoy!


Want to use buffalo wing sauce instead of straight Franks RedHot? Replace the 2 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of Franks with ⅔ cup of buffalo wing sauce. (The original Buffalo sauce was a 50-50 mix of Franks RedHot and butter - I’m upping the Franks ratio in this recipe to balance out all the ingredients.)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American