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No need to boil the pasta separately when you make this easy, creamy and delicious Air Fryer Mac & Cheese.

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.


Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

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!

Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

The elbow pasta is perfectly cooked through, and the cheese sauce was thick and creamy.


Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

What do I serve with this Air Fryer Mac & Cheese?

You may enjoy these other Mac & Cheese Recipes:

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Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: American


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.


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).

Keywords: Air Fryer Mac & Cheese



Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

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  • Cathy wrote:

    Going to try this out. I’m assuming those that had parchment paper issues didn’t cover the parchment/pan tightly with foil? I was curious what the point is of the layer of parchment paper in between the food and the foil. I’m super excited to try this out!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cathy – (I assume so too…) We used the parchment to prevent the mac and cheese from sticking to the foil, plus we could get a closer fit against the noodles, holding in moisture. I suppose you could just use the foil if you prefer.

  • Michael S Bacon wrote:

    Ok, so, I just got my air fryer. A Mimoday 8 quart 1700 watt model. I’m REALLY looking forward to using it and I think this mac n cheese may be the first thing I try. I have some questions though. 1) Can I use everyday parchment paper, cut to size or is there a paper made specifically for air fryers ? 2) I can use just a regular stainless mixing bowl ? ( No accessories.) I guess I have a bit of the “metal in a microwave” paranoia going on. Lol. I just don’t want to be sticking all kinds of things in a brand new air fryer only to have it destroyed. Oh and did I mention that I am a mac n cheese addict ? So, if this recipe turns out as awesome as it looks, you may have to assist me in my weight loss !!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Michael – Everyday parchment paper is what we used (do not use wax coated paper). We used an attachment specifically made for our air fryer (you can see it here: ) that is a similar coated metal to a cake baking pan, but deeper and with a handle. I’m not sure about using a stainless steel bowl…an air fryer is basically a small convection oven so you don’t have to worry about sparks. But – depending on your bowl, I’d just make sure it is oven safe. Hope that helps – and we hope you love the recipe! 🙂

  • Kim wrote:

    Directions were hard to follow if you’ve never made it.
    Unfortunately, my parchment also caught on fire! However, it is because my air fryer fan (i guess) started cooking the ventilation sucked the parchment to the top of the air fryer. it took less than 15 seconds to start burning. So, i didn’t want to waste the ingredients, so i placed small potatoes on top of the parchment. It is cooking now! We shall see. Regardless, i’m very excited about air free mac and cheese.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Kim – I suppose every air fryer is a little different. Hope the potato trick works out!

  • Hiba wrote:

    Hi! What temperature should the air fryer be set at?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Hiba – See step #1? 400 degrees..

  • Karen wrote:

    Do you cook the pasta before putting in the air fryer?

    • Martha wrote:


  • Sandra Weathers wrote:

    Thanks so much for the recipe got my airfryer for my birthday in June 2020… Love my Cosori air fryer

    • Martha wrote:

      Happy (belated) Birthday Sandra! So glad you enjoyed the mac and cheese!

  • Jack wrote:

    Don’t try this dangerous recipe. Parchment paper in a freaking air fryer? I tried this and it nearly started a fire, the paper started to catch on fire with embers and all. Never trying a recipe from this site again. I’ll just stick with youtube.

    • Jack wrote:

      Jack Smith

      In all of my career I have never seen parchment catch fire. Parchment is treated with a food safe silicone and is rated to withstand heat up to 450 degrees F. It will darken and get crispy but not burn. An air fryer is rated to 392 degrees F as its highest temperature (200 C). Either you were using waxed paper or some special non-silicone treated parchment.

      Sorry this didn’t work out for you.

      PS, Love your email address, Futurama is one of my favorite adult animated series.

  • Donna petrino wrote:

    Souds good. Ill try the resipe

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy it Donna!

  • Kim Cavanagh wrote:

    Creamy, zesty goodness! Will never make in the oven again. Omitted nutmeg & added 2TBSP. Valentina’s hot sauce. What A wonderful flavor. So easy & didn’t heat up the house. Best mac & cheese, no boil & in the air frier….genius!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kim – glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Rick wrote:

    This recipe is so easy to put together and the result was delicious. Everybody loved it. Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Rick! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

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