Air Fryer Mac and Cheese (Yes, You Can!)

Air Fryer mac and cheese on white plate with blue and white checkered napkin.


If you’ve ever wondered about making mac and cheese in the air fryer, it can be done! In fact, Air Fryer mac and cheese is actually super easy to make!

You can make a delicious, baked macaroni in less than 30 minutes with the air fryer! That makes it a great side dish option!

Scroll down to the bottom for a printable recipe card or continue reading for complete instructions along with tips and tricks!

Air Fryer mac and cheese on white plate with blue and white checkered napkin.

AIR FRYER MAC AND CHEESE

If you have an air fryer with a basket, I’m sure your first question is how you could ever make air fried mac and cheese in a basket with holes. So let me answer that question first!

The solution is — an air fryer pan!

You can see the pan in the photo below.

If you haven’t tried any accessories for your air fryer, I highly recommend getting some. Click here to get the set that I use.

Having different pans and trays to use in your air fryer opens up a world of delicious things you can cook in it!

CAN YOU MAKE MAC AND CHEESE IN AIR FRYER?

Absolutely! The key is using an air fryer pan. Then the process is very similar to making baked macaroni and cheese. You’ll combine all of the ingredients and then cook at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER MACARONI AND CHEESE

This recipe makes 3 servings. It takes about 5 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook.

To make macaroni and cheese in air fryer, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Dry mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream

You’ll also need an air fryer pan to cook it in.

With this recipe, you can tweak the seasonings to your liking. You can also just go with simple salt and pepper. Full measurements are listed in the recipe card.

You can also change up the type of cheese you use. I recommend shredding your own cheese to improve the melting, but you can use the pre-shredded type as well.

White mixing bowl with air fried mac and  cheese ingredients -- elbow macaroni, shredded cheddar cheese, and seasonings.

Start by preheating the air fryer to 350°F if your model requires it.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the elbow macaroni, shredded cheese (saving some to top the pasta with at the end), dry mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Macaroni in milk and heavy cream in an air fryer pan.

Pour the dry ingredients into the air fryer pan and top with milk and heavy cream.

Make sure all the pasta is fully covered by the milk.

Set the air fryer to cook for 20 minutes.

Wooden spoon serving air fryer mac and cheese

Halfway through the cooking time, remove the pan from the air fryer and stir the ingredients.

When 1 minute is left, remove the pan from the air fryer basket and top with additional cheese, if desired.

Return the basket to the fryer and cook for the remaining minute to melt the cheese.

Air fried mac and cheese on white plate

MORE EASY MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPES

If you love mac and cheese, try some of other easy recipes:

CAN YOU HEAT UP MAC AND CHEESE IN AIR FRYER?

Yes. You can reheat it in an air fryer pan or even in silicone cups for smaller servings. You can also use aluminum foil to create a pan to place your macaroni and cheese for reheating.

Heat the air fryer to 350°F. Then cook for 4-5 minutes. You can add a splash of milk if needed.

HOW LONG DO YOU AIR FRY MAC AND CHEESE BITES?

This question isn’t related to the recipe but is one that I get often. For most brands you can heat the air fryer to 350°F and cook them for 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked through and golden.

Macaroni and cheese baked in air fryer on white plate and garnished with parsley

HOW DO YOU COOK STOUFFER’S MAC AND CHEESE IN AN AIR FRYER?

This is another question I get asked fairly often. You can cook Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese in the air fryer. Check to see if the package is safe for the air fryer. If not, remove the frozen mac and cheese from the package.

Heat your air fryer to 350°F and cook for about 20 minutes. You can place the macaroni in silicone containers to cook or in your air fryer basket.

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

Whip up comforting air fried macaroni and cheese as a delicious side dish!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time16 mins

Servings: 3

Calories: 424

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (room temperature)

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350°F if required by your model.

  • Stir together the macaroni, shredded cheese, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

  • Pour the ingredients in the air fryer pan and top with milk and heavy cream. Make sure all the pasta is fully covered by the milk.

  • Set the air fryer to cook for 20 minutes. Halfway through the cook time, remove the pan from the air fryer and stir the ingredients.

  • When 1 minute is left, remove the pan and top with additional cheese, if desired.

  • Cook for additional minute to melt the cheese on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 424 kcal





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