Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

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You have found the easiest Air Fryer Mac and Cheese recipe you will ever make. This creamy, mouthwatering, homemade mac and cheese is a tasty comfort food dish that the whole family will enjoy! No need to pre-boil the pasta first.

Suitable for vegetarian diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

Close up of air fryer mac and cheese in a bowl on a table

My family loooooves when I make deliciously creamy Air Fryer Mac and Cheese. It is one of their favorite comfort food recipes and they ask for it all the time.

You only need a handful of ingredients to make air fryer mac and cheese and you’ll have dinner done in under 30 minutes.

Like my White Cheddar Mac and Cheese and Stove Top Mac and Cheese, the kiddos love homemade macaroni with a green salad or as a delicious side dish with some air fryer chicken tenders or corn for a totally filling and super satisfying meal.

An Easy Every Day Recipe

So yes peeps, I am super excited that I can share this Air Fryer Mac and Cheese with you today. Especially awesome as a Thanksgiving recipe, a Christmas recipe and perfect as an everyday weeknight supper too.

Yeap, cooking this in the air fryer means your oven is free for all the other holiday baking and cooking you are doing. Even better is when you have leftover mac and cheese that you roll up and whip up into some awesome Air Fried Mac and Cheese balls. #winningatcooking

It is great served with Air Fryer Ham, this juicy Air Fryer Whole Chicken and easy Air Fryer Green Beans.

 Air Fryer Mac and Cheese – Why You’ll Love This Dish

  • Air fryer mac and cheese is a dump and start recipe, this is a tasty pasta dish that requires virtually no effort to make.
  • It tastes just like your favorite baked macaroni.
  • You do not need to pre boil the noodles first so there is no stove top cooking. How awesome is that?!
  • This recipe for Air Fried Mac and Cheese comes together easily with affordable everyday ingredients.
  • It is immensely adaptable with a few suggestions below.
  • This can be made ahead – simply stir in a little bit of milk and warm through before serving.
  • It makes a great festive holiday main or side dish.
creamy homemade mac and cheese made in the air fryer

Basically this is one of those ‘whip up with 5 minutes of effort’ recipes. This means you have all the free time in the evenings to play, read, watch movies and do whatever else you want with all your free time.

ingredients to make air fryer mac and cheese preparing for air frying

Ingredients Needed

  • Macaroni – We’re using elbow macaroni noodles but you can use your favorite small pasta.
  • Cheese – This tasty cheese sauce is made with sharp cheddar cheese but you can certainly use parmesan cheese or any shredded cheese that you love.
  • Milk – Whole milk will make this sauce rich and creamy but use whatever milk you have on hand.
  • Nutmeg – Grated nutmeg pairs well with macaroni and cheese.
  • Salt and Black Pepper (optional) – Add to taste.

How To Make Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 340 degrees F / 170 degrees C.
  2. Add the macaroni into a deep 7 cm Air Fryer pan.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and add the dish into the air fryer basket
  4. Close the Air Fryer and cook for 20 minutes, mixing at about 7 minutes and 15 minutes.
  5. Open the air fryer remove the Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese, mix it let stand for a few minutes before serving. It will thicken up as it cools down.

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Tips

  • Freshly shredded cheese from block cheese melts more evenly.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese is most common but use your favorite cheese.
  • This recipe is perfect for using up leftover macaroni.
  • Be sure to use an oven safe dish that will fit into the air fryer basket. The one I use is linked to below.
  • Stir the Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese at least twice during cooking so you avoid ending up with a burnt top.
  • When mixing make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks.
  • Test the mac and cheese when cook time is finished, and if needed air fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Sprinkle with more shredded cheddar cheese before serving. You can never have too much cheese.
  • Serve immediately with a lovely green salad to make it a more substantial meal.
  • Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cooking time, checking food for doneness, and then adding more time as needed.
air fryer mac and cheese in air fryer pan in the air fryer

Air Fried Mac and Cheese Variations

  • You can use a mixture of Cheddar cheese and Parmesan if you prefer.
  • Feel free to add additional cheese to your taste and stir in some heavy cream for flavor.
  • Add a spice or seasoning blend to add more flavor. Some to consider include: garlic powder, garlic salt, dry mustard, chili powder, taco seasoning or your favorite blend.
  • Feel free to use either straight or elbow macaroni.
  • You can stir in some chili or oregano when cooking.
  • Feel free to mix in some spinach or cooked broccoli halfway through cooking.
  • Leftovers can be made into easy mac and cheese bites.

Mac and Cheese Bar

A really fun way to serve this is as part of a mac and cheese bar. Kids will love this and adults will too (think girls night, book club, other parties). Mac and cheese is the perfect recipe to customize with various topping.

Here are some toppings suggestions to get you started. Use some or all, and then watch everyone have fun customizing to suit their tastes!

  • Sweet corn
  • Sliced ham
  • Cooked bacon
  • Cooked peas
  • Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Grape tomatoes, halved
  • Pesto
  • Beef chili
  • Shredded chicken
  • Seasoned fried breadcrumbs
air fryer mac and cheese in the air fryer

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – This can easily be made up to a few days in advance.
  • Store – Store any uneaten air fried mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze – Double wrap mac and cheese and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheat – Reheat the entire container in the microwave or slice off a portion and place it in a dish in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through. You will probably need to add in a few tablespoons of milk or water whilst warming.

FAQs

What Type of Cheese Is Best For Mac and Cheese?

Sharp cheddar cheese is a popular option for mac and cheese. You can also use a combination of cheddar and parmesan or your favorite cheese for melting.

What Kind Of Dish Do I Need For Air Fried Mac and Cheese?

Any dish that is oven-proof and will fit inside your air fryer will work for baking mac and cheese.

Can I Reheat Mac and Cheese In Air Fryer?

The best way to reheat mac and cheese in the air fryer is to slice off a portion of cold macaroni and cheese. Place it onto a piece of foil or into an air fryer safe dish and reheat for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

Do You Need To Preboil The Noodles First?

That is one of the best parts of this recipe. You do not need to pre cook the noodles first. Awesome right?!

What Happens if My Pasta Dish Dries Out

No problems, just mix in a few tablespoons of milk at a time and mix in till it gets back to your desired consistency. Feel free to add in some heavy cream as well.

More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Want More Mac And Cheese Recipes?

Best Equipment To Use

Thank you for reading my Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese recipe post. And please visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.

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Close up of air fryer mac and cheese in a bowl on a table
Print Recipe
4.66 from 35 votes

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

An easy macaroni and cheese that is ready in less than 20 mins.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: air fryer, American, Western
Servings: 6 as a side
Calories: 305kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

For the Air Fryer Mac and Cheese:

  • 1.5 cups macaroni
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Instructions

Make the Air Fried Mac and Cheese

  • Preheat the air fryer to 340 degrees F/170 degrees C.
  • Add the macaroni into a deep 7 cm Air Fryer dish.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients and add the dish into the air fryer basket. 
  • Close the Air Fryer and cook for 20 mins, mixing at about 7 minutes and 15 minutes.
  • Open the air fryer remove the Air Fryer Mac and Cheese, mix it let stand for a few minutes before serving
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Notes

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Tips

  • Freshly shredded cheese melts more evenly.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese is most common but use your favorite cheese.
  • This recipe is perfect for using up leftover macaroni.
  • Be sure to use an oven safe dish that will fit into the air fryer basket.
  • Stir the Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese at least twice during cooking so you avoid ending up with a burnt top.
  • When mixing make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks.
  • Test the mac and cheese when cook time is finished, and if needed air fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Sprinkle with more shredded cheddar cheese before serving. You can never have too much cheese.
  • Serve immediately with a lovely green salad to make it a more substantial meal.
  • Air fryer temperatures can vary depending on the make and model. I recommend starting with less cooking time, checking food for doneness, and then adding more time as needed.
  •  

More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken Tenders.
Air Fryer Green Beans.
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Homemade Air Fryer Tater Tots
Air Fryer Mexican Corn on the Cob.
Air Fryer Plantains

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 526IU | Calcium: 380mg | Iron: 1mg

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