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spicy mac n cheese
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5 from 4 votes

Spicy Masala Mac and Cheese

Masala Mac n Cheese with a spicy kick from fresh jalapeños, ginger, garlic and garam masala with an EASY Instant Pot recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Brunch, dinner, Lunch, Main dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: masala mac n cheese, spicy pasta
Servings: 8
Calories: 461kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 cup red pepper diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder or any mild chili powder, add less if using a spicier variety
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth I use 4 teaspoons of Better than Bouillion vegetable broth paste mixed in 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup 2% milk or whole milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes optional
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode & heat oil. Add onions, peppers & jalapeno & saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Turn off sauté mode.
  • Add ginger garlic paste, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, salt & mix well. Add pasta & broth. Close the Instant Pot & Pressure cook for 4 mins.
  • Quick release & open the lid. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode & add milk. Add the cheeses handful at a time & stir well. Add more milk if needed. Continue to stir until the cheeses are well incorporated making a smooth creamy sauce. Turn off the saute mode once all the cheese is melted. Garnish with red chili flakes & cilantro. Enjoy hot!

Stove Top Recipe

  • Boil the pasta as per the package instructions, drain the water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot or work and add onions, peppers & jalapenos. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat or until the onions turn translucent stirring frequently
  • Add ginger, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, salt & mix well cooking for another minute. Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of water and mix well until the pasta is heated through
  • Lower the heat to medium low and slowly stir in milk. Add the cheeses handful at a time & stir well. Add more milk if needed. Continue to stir until the cheeses are well incorporated making a smooth creamy sauce. Turn off the heat once all the cheese has melted. Garnish with red chili flakes & cilantro. Enjoy hot!

Video

Notes

Notes to make perfect Instant Pot Pasta:
  • Makes sure that the pasta is submerged under liquids
  • Quick release after pressure cooking cycle is complete, if you see foam coming out, do a slow quick release by turning the pressure release valve slightly towards venting so the pressure releases slowly. Make sure you press cancel on the Instant Pot while doing this so the pasta does not overcook
  • Always stir in cream, cheese etc. after the pressure cooking cycle completes
How to adjust cook time for different types of Pasta
  • To adjust the pressure cook time for the type of pasta you are using, simply half the cook time on the pasta package. The pasta I used in this recipe has stove top cook time of 8 minutes. So I pressure cooked it for 4 minutes
  • If you like al dente pasta or if you are using gluten free pasta further reduce the pressure cook time by 1 minute
  • If you are cooking pasta ahead of time, feel free to pressure cook for only 3 minutes as the pasta continues to absorb moisture and continue to soften over time

Nutrition

Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1206IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 2mg
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