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Taco-flavored mac and cheese gets the Instant Pot treatment for a dinner recipe that's faster, easier and healthier than it sounds.

"My friend Rachel called me while I was writing this cookbook and said she was making Taco Mac and Cheese for dinner," Audrey says. "I immediately asked for the recipe, and she said, 'It's your recipe!' I was confused until she explained that she had used the Skinny Mac and Cheese recipe from my first cookbook, Lose Weight by Eating, and added taco meat and veggies. It was sweet of her to give me credit, but I give all kudos to her for this fantastic idea. Thanks, Rach!"

Audrey uses her Homemade Taco Seasoning to give this mac 'n' cheese a flavor boost.

Adapted from Lose Weight With Your Instant Pot by Audrey Johns. Copyright © 2018 by Audrey Johns. Used with permission by William Morrow Cookbooks. All rights reserved.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • One 16-ounce box penne pasta
  • ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large tomato, cut into medium dice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or green onions (optional)


Serves: 8


Set the Instant Pot to Sauté, Low Heat. Once it reads Hot, add the olive oil, bell pepper, onion, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.

Add the ground beef and taco seasoning and brown for 5 minutes. Transfer the veggies and beef to a plate.

Add the milk and pasta to the pot, cover, and cook for 6 minutes on high pressure.

Quick-release the pressure. Stir in the cheese until melted. Return the veggies and beef to the pot, add the tomato, and toss to combine. Serve hot topped with optional herbs