Air Fryer Mac and Cheese with Bread Crumbs

best air fryer mac and cheese

There is nothing better than air-fried macaroni and cheese! It’s perfect for a quick dinner when you want something homemade. It takes just a few minutes to prepare tender cheesy noodles.

It probably never occurred to you that you could make macaroni and cheese in an air fryer, did it? Your hot air machine can perfectly cook pasta noodles. Take a look at this easy air fryer recipe you’ll love.

Make this with your Ninja Foodi by using its air crisp function. With this handy pot, you can bake all sorts of things.

Best Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

Changing up to small shells was fun. You can use any small noodles you want, not just elbows. Our Ninja Foodi macaroni and cheese is delicious, but this is another tasty option for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Depending on your preference, you can choose cheddar and Mexican cheeses.

When making homemade macaroni and cheese, I mostly use the same ingredients. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, or this one. There is no doubt that tweaks are necessary, but why mess with perfection?

If you don’t like elbow macaroni, use cavatappi pasta instead. As long as they are small, shapes don’t matter.

How to Make Ninja Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 5 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 box (16 ounces) dry elbow or cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. panko or Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) of shredded cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt

Instructions:

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 24 minutes Total time: 34 minutes Servings: 6-8

  1. Add baking soda and lemon juice to the pot. Stir until the mixture dissolves, and the bubbles stop. Stir the water into the pasta.
  2. Ensure the pressure release valve is in the SEAL position before assembling the pressure lid. PRESSURE should be set to low (LO). Set the time to 0 minutes (pressurizing the unit takes enough time to cook the pasta). Click START/STOP to begin.
  3. After pressure cooking is complete, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to release. Moving the pressure release valve to the VENT position after 10 minutes can quickly release the remaining pressure. When the unit has finished releasing pressure, carefully remove the lid.
  4. To the pot, add all the ingredients except bread crumbs and butter.
  5. Combine all ingredients and stir well to melt the cheese.
  6. Melt butter and combine bread crumbs in a bowl. The mixture should be spread evenly over the pasta.
  7. The crisping lid should be closed. Choose AIR CRISP, set the temperature to 360°F, and set the time to 7 minutes. Click START/STOP to begin.

Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Recipe

Course: RecipesCuisine: American
Servings

6-8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

24

minutes

A cheesy, creamy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe will delight everyone! When starting from scratch is much simpler and healthier, why buy the blue box with the additives and preservatives? Tonight for supper, or tonight for lunch, try this fantastic recipe!

Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. 1 baking soda

  • 1 tbsp. 1 ground black pepper

  • 1/2 c. 1/2 lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp. 1 onion powder

  • 5 c. 5 water

  • 1 tbsp. 1 garlic powder

  • 1 1 box (16 ounces) dry elbow or cavatappi pasta

  • 1 tsp. 1 mustard powder

  • 1 c. 1 heavy cream

  • 2 c. 2 panko or Italian bread crumbs

  • 1 bag 1 (16 oz.) of shredded cheese

  • 1 1 stick (1/2 c) butter, melted

  • 2 tbsp. 2 kosher salt

Directions

  • Add baking soda and lemon juice to the pot. Stir until the mixture dissolves, and the bubbles stop. Stir the water into the pasta.
  • Ensure the pressure release valve is in the SEAL position before assembling the pressure lid. PRESSURE should be set to low (LO). Set the time to 0 minutes (pressurizing the unit takes enough time to cook the pasta). Click START/STOP to begin.
  • After pressure cooking is complete, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to release. Moving the pressure release valve to the VENT position after 10 minutes can quickly release the remaining pressure. When the unit has finished releasing pressure, carefully remove the lid.
  • To the pot, add all the ingredients except bread crumbs and butter.
  • Combine all ingredients and stir well to melt the cheese.
  • Melt butter and combine bread crumbs in a bowl. The mixture should be spread evenly over the pasta.
  • The crisping lid should be closed. Choose AIR CRISP, set the temperature to 360°F, and set the time to 7 minutes. Click START/STOP to begin.
  • Serve immediately after cooking is complete.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Approx. pressure build: 7 minutes Pressure cook: 0 minutes Pressure release: 10 minutes Air crisp: 7 minutes
  • The onions, garlic, and mustard powder can be removed from this mac & cheese, and the bread crumb topping can be added afterward for a more kid-friendly version.

Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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