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No need to boil the pasta separately when you make this easy, creamy and delicious Air Fryer Mac & Cheese.
We’ve been having fun in the kitchen, testing out our new air fryer—and this Air Fryer Mac & Cheese is our newest air fryer recipe that we think you’re going to love!
Why should I make mac & cheese in an air fryer?
First of all, an air fryer is essentially a countertop convection oven that circulates hot air above and around the food placed in the small appliance. Some foods crisp up or ‘fry’, while other foods—like this macaroni & cheese recipe—bake up very quickly in the air fryer.
You should think about making mac & cheese in an air fryer to avoid heating up a large oven! Clean up is super easy too.
How do I make Air Fryer Mac & Cheese?
This Air Fryer Mac & Cheese is pretty much a ‘dump & go’ recipe. You’ll start by rinsing the elbow pasta under hot tap water for two minutes.
You’ll also heat up some milk, chicken stock, butter and cream—just long enough for the butter to completely melt.
Then mix the rinsed and drained pasta, the butter mixture, and some seasonings all together in the handled, baking pan that comes with your air fryer. (Some brands, like the one we have, sells the baking pan and other accessories separately.)
We covered our Air Fryer Mac & Cheese with a parchment paper round and foil as it baked. Then, about 35 to 45 minutes later, it’s ready to serve!
The elbow pasta is perfectly cooked through, and the cheese sauce was thick and creamy.
What do I serve with this Air Fryer Mac & Cheese?
You may enjoy these other Mac & Cheese Recipes:
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Mac and Cheese Cupcakes
- Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
½ pound dry uncooked pasta (we used elbow macaroni)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese
8-ounce package sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch Cayenne pepper
Few grinds fresh nutmeg
Preheat air fryer on 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes.
Rinse pasta under hot tap water for two minutes and drain.
Place milk, chicken stock, butter and cream cheese in a glass 4-cup or larger measuring cup and microwave until hot, and the butter melted, about 3-4 minutes. (This just needs to be hot enough to melt the butter and cream cheese, not boiling hot)
Mix drained pasta, hot liquid, cheddar, mozzarella, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and nutmeg in a large bowl then pour into the Air Fryer handled pan.
Spray a round parchment circle with pan spray and place sprayed side down over the macaroni mixture, pressing down to touch the mixture. Cover the top with foil and set into the heated air fryer and cook for 45 minutes.
Note: Air fryer wattages vary so check at 35 minutes and cook the additional 5-10 minutes as needed. Our air fryer is an 1800-watt air fryer and our macaroni and cheese took exactly 45 minutes.
Remove foil and parchment, stir and serve.
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Some air fryers sell accessories (like the 7-cup pan we used in this recipe) separately. The pan we used is 3” deep and 7” across. The recipe makes six cups so it fits perfectly in this pan. If you don’t own the handled pan, we tested this recipe first with an 8-cup stainless steel mixing bowl and it worked just as well (but having a pan with a handle definitely made it easier to lift out of the air fryer).