Quick EASY Lactose-Free Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

When you live with someone who is lactose-intolerant, you get used to a few things.

Milk = bad.

That’s one of them. A big one when it comes to some dishes, and especially when it comes to classic comfort foods like mac and cheese!

Luckily, we live in an age where the once “fringe” non-dairy products are so mainstream there are almost more NON dairy products in the dairy section than actual dairy products. That makes doing things like this a lot easier than even a couple of years ago would have been.

I was recently trying to decide on a good side dish, for a batch of meatloaf I was making, and thought mac and cheese sounded AWESOME. But it’s not generally good for my wife. Between the milk and the cheese in mac and cheese … well, it’s kind of dairy-heavy.

So I set out trying to find something that could please us both!

I shredded my own block of lactose-free marble cheese for this, even though you can buy bags of pre-shredded lactose-free cheese. The issue for a recipe like this is they are generally coated with anti-clumping agents that can mess with them melting into a sauce nicely. But you’re certainly welcome to try it and tell me I’m wrong.

We’re also big fans of broccoli in our mac and cheese – even if you think it sounds weird, it’s AMAZING. So I added that in too. Going with fresh broccoli florets leads to them turning to absolute mush. Stirring them in basically turns them into sauce, with tiny green bits. If you want actual broccoli pieces at the end, I’d suggest either blanching them separately or using FROZEN broccoli. I haven’t tried frozen, but I think they might hold up alright. At the very lease, better than fresh does!

Anyway, enough of my jibber-jabber. On to the recipe!

Quick EASY Lactose-Free Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Super quick and easy to throw together, this classic comfort food gets a slight makeover for the lactose intolerant.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: alt milk, broccoli, cheesecake, chicken broth, cream cheese, garlic, lactose-free, margarine, mustard, Parmesan, pasta, white pepper
Author: Chris Pollard

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Box grater
  • Bowl

Ingredients

  • 500 grams pasta shells or other pasta shape of your choice
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets cut bite size
  • 400 gram lactose-free marble cheese coarsely grated
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 cup lactose-free milk (soy, almond, coconut, cashew, etc)

Instructions

  • Grate block of lactose-free cheese with box grater. Use the coarse blade.
  • Trim broccoli florets, if necessary.
  • Add chicken broth, margarine, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper to Instant Pot. (Yeah, I know, this part REALLY isn't attractive.)
  • Add shell pasta and stir a bit to combine.
  • Lay the broccoli on top. Do NOT stir it in.
  • Put the lid on your Instant Pot and set to seal.
  • Set Instant Pot to manual, high pressure, for 4 minutes. When cook is complete, do a quick release right away.
  • Remove the lid, add your milk (or milk substitute), and stir to combine it all.
  • Add your grated Parmesan and stir to combine.
  • Add the shredded cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt and blend it all in before adding more.
  • Give it a taste and add more salt and pepper now, if you want more seasoning in there.
  • Serve it up! The sauce WILL thicken as it stands.

Notes

This is another side that re-heats really well. I had it for a couple of days along with some meatloaf I made. The combination was excellent!
If the whole lactose-free thing doesn’t matter to you, go ahead and use regular milk – even half and half if you want it REALLY creamy – and a nice sharp cheddar. If we had a lactose-free straight up cheddar available, that’s the road I would have gone. All I can get locally is the marble.
If you’re not a broccoli fan … just leave it out. We’re big fans of it though.  Even though it turned to mush on the first attempt, the flavour stayed in the dish, and it was yummy. There’s that bit of broccoli earthiness that cuts through the richness of all that cheese.

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