This protein mac and cheese is made in the Instant Pot with whole wheat noodles, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and a boost of protein from Greek yogurt!
Cottage Cheese Protein Mac and Cheese
Looking for a quick and protein-packed dinner idea? You will love our protein mac and cheese made right in your Instant Pot. It packs in 17g of protein per serving and you can even up that amount by serving it next to a protein!
We love this protein mac and cheese recipe because it’s made with cottage cheese and Greek yogurt for both extra protein and creaminess.
PS: there is no roux involved like classic mac and cheese!
Why you’ll love it!
Delicious mac and cheese recipe
Ready in 30 minutes
- Noodles: we’re using a classic macaroni elbow noodle in this recipe, but you could also use a whole wheat noodle, too!
- Broth: broth is used in place of water to cook the noodles in the Instant Pot to add flavor.
- Spices: garlic powder, dijon, salt, and pepper are used to add flavor.
- Cheddar cheese: it wouldn’t be a mac and cheese without some freshly shredded cheddar cheese!
- Cottage cheese: cottage cheese adds a great texture along with more protein!
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is our secret weapon for extra creaminess. Plus it adds a decent amount of protein.
- Heavy cream: this adds a bit of richness without going to crazy.
Instant Pot Duo
Looking for a new pressure cooker? Check out 6 Qt. the Instant Pot Duo. It’s the one we use and love!
How to Make Protein Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot
- Cook Noodles: add noodles, broth, butter, garlic, dijon, and salt into the Instant Pot and mix. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Add cheeses and Greek yogurt: quick release the Instant Pot and then remove the lid. Immediately add the cheeses, heavy cream, and Greek yogurt.
- Mix: stir vigorously until the cheeses melt all the way.
Cottage cheese not melting?
We have some tips for you if your cottage cheese isn’t melting.
Add when hot: we recommend adding the cheeses, heavy cream, and Greek yogurt right after you open your Instant Pot so that the hot noodles can do their job and melt the cheese,
Put the lid back on: simply place the lid back on your Instant Pot so the steam can get trapped and melt the cheeses.
Use saute function: quickly turn the saute feature on so that the noodles get hot again to melt the cheese.
Mac and cheese not enough to float your boat? Here are some serving suggestions to pair with your mac!
- Chicken breast: pretty much any and all of our chicken recipes would be delicious with this mac. Try our grilled whole chicken, air fryer chicken nuggets, or baked chicken thighs.
- Salad: get your veggies in with a quick and simple salad: garden salad, strawberry broccoli salad, or Nicoise salad.
Store leftover protein mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Instant Pot Protein Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni whole wheat pasta works too!
- 4 cups chicken broth or any broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup 2% cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Place macaroni noodles, broth, butter, garlic powder, dijon mustard and salt into the Instant Pot and mix well.
- Set your Instant Pot by making sure the pressure valve is turned to seal. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the time on the instant pot runs out, quick release the pressure by turning the pressure valve to vent. Be careful, the steam is hot!
- Remove the Instant Pot lid and give the noodles a quick stir. Add the cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and heavy cream. Stir constantly until all the cheese has melted. It might take some time for the cottage cheese to melt.
- Remove the mac and cheese from the Instant Pot and top with freshly ground black pepper.
Tips & Notes
- All of the cheese (including the cottage cheese) should melt easily IF you add all of the ingredients while the macaroni is HOT. Do not wait to add the cheese, Greek, and milk because then it may become grainy.
- If the cottage cheese isn’t melting, turn on the saute function on your instant pot and stir.
- This recipe was slightly modified on September 15, 2022. Click HERE for the original recipe.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.