This Pressure Cooker Jalapeño Macaroni Ham and Cheese is the perfect and easy way to use up your leftover Easter or Christmas Ham.
With so much Ham leftover from Easter and/or Christmas, my readers have been
demanding asking for an easy recipe. Something that is easy, comforting, yet delicious, so that after the Holiday, they can toss some ingredients into the Pressure Cooker and relax. It has to be fast. There has to be minimal preparation and clean up. After all, the last few days and weeks were spent in preparation for the Holiday.
This Pressure Cooker Jalapeño Macaroni Ham and Cheese will not disappoint. It covers all the requirements. Little to no preparation, limited ingredients, easy to assemble, fast, one cooking vessel to clean, quick cook time.
The seeds of the Jalapeño is what holds the most heat, so make sure to remove them, unless you want a spicier dish. I like the flavor of Jalapeño, but I don’t like the heat, so I remove all the seeds. If you do not have Jalapeño Peppers, just use a can of Diced Green Chiles.
For a more traditional Mac & Cheese, check out my Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, Fully Loaded. For an adult spin (but kids love this too), try my Pressure Cooker Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.
This recipe is so easy. Add the Elbow Macaroni, Diced Ham, Seasonings, Diced Jalapeno Peppers, Butter and Water to the Pressure Cooker cooking pot. Not all pasta is created equal. De Cecco is my pasta of choice. It is one of the ingredients that I do feel is better than other named brands and store brands. It holds up especially well in the Pressure Cooker.
Using my method for cooking Pasta, with the Natural Pressure Release time to gently finish off the cooking, will give you perfect Pasta every time. Plus, you won’t have to worry about steam flying all over the place with a Quick Release. Some of the Pasta may be a little stuck together, so just take a Big Spoon and break it up and mix it through.
Let’s talk about Cheese for a minutes. Please don’t ever buy pre-shredded Cheese. The Cheese is coated in a starchy powder to prevent it from sticking. Said starchy powder also dries out the Cheese. It is so easy to buy a block of Cheese and shred it yourself. I use my Food Processor when I need to grate a bunch of Cheese. It takes less than a minute. Place the blade in the Food Processor, add the block of cheese to the feeder and push the button. Seriously, it is the difference between less than average Macaroni and Cheese and incredible Macaroni and Cheese.
Mix in half the Cheese, until fully incorporated. Add in the milk and cream and mix through. The Pressure Cooker will keep your Pressure Cooker Jalapeño Macaroni Ham and Cheese nice and hot, since it switches to warm after the cook time is up.
Dump in the rest of the Cheese and combine. If you prefer more cheese, add a little at a time, until you get the amount of cheese you love.
Easy peasy, right! Take a load off and enjoy! You deserve a rest after all the cooking and entertaining from the Holiday. My Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Pasta is another delicious Pasta meal.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot DUO Plus, 6 Quart
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- LamsonSharp Chef’s Slotted Turner– I totally love this spatula!
- Rachael Ray Stoneware EVOO Oil Dispensing Bottle
- Alpha Armour Salt Box with Spoon
- Electric Pepper Mill
- John Boos Maple Cutting Board with Groove
- De Cecco Elbow Macaroni
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
Pressure Cooker Jalapeño Macaroni Ham and CheesePrint Pin Rate
- 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
- 4 cups Fresh Water or Broth
- 2 cups Ham diced
- 2 TBL Butter
- 1.5 TBL Ground Mustard Seed
- 3 large Jalapeño Pepper (seeded/diced)
- 1 clove Fresh Garlic finely minced
- 1 tsp Sea Salt or more to taste
- 1 pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 20 oz Sharp Cheddar Jack Cheese shredded
- 1 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Add all ingredients, except Milk, Cream and Cheese to the Pressure Cooker cooking pot.
- Lock on lid and close Pressure Valve. Cook at High Pressure for 2 minutes.
- When Beep is heard, allow a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release and then release the rest of the steam.
- Open lid and break apart any clumps. Stir in half of the cheese. Add the milk and cream and mix through. Stir in the rest of the cheese.
- Top with Crispy Bacon Topping, if desired.