This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated when you purchase through these links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This is an interesting time we are living in right now. There are so many new things. Yes, coronavirus...but also family lunches. Pantry family lunches. I'm in regroup mode trying to figure out family lunches. I am used to standing in front of the refrigerator trying to talk myself out of eating all the bread and cheese while the baby screams at me from the family room. Suddenly more kids and husbands are home and hungry. Family lunch is on the schedule. And you know what makes a great family lunch? Instant Pot saucy shells and cheese. Heavy on the saucy.
Going through the pantry, trying to figure things out...meat is off the table for lunch right now. My new plan is meat for dinner only, and smaller portions. So the new lunch rules are:
- Ingredients from the pantry
- No meat
- Small but satisfying
- Try to include fresh or frozen vegetables if possible
- Not Chik-Fil-A delivery
How To Make Instant Pot Saucy Shells And Cheese
One thing I forgot to include in my recent article on Food To Stockpile In Your Pantry was Velveeta cheese. Yes, it's processed cheese, no it's not usually in a food bloggers back pocket for high quality meals. But, at this point...it's shelf stable cheese, and this means not going to the store for cheese.
This has to be the easiest pantry lunch that ever was. Large shells, water, and butter go into the instant pot for 10 minutes. Stir in Velveeta cheese. Done.
At first, I was worried that we had too much sauciness going on and I was going to have to start over. Not worried I would have to eat more. The sauciness actually turned out to be our favorite part. We all agreed that was our new fave way to eat shells and cheese. Slightly drowning in sauce but also no sauce left behind....balance.Print
The perfect family lunch using pantry ingredients you can afford right now. This recipe makes three small bowls or two medium bowls of shells and cheese. Scale up as needed.
8 oz large pasta shells
2.5 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
6.5 oz Velveeta Cheese
Combine shells, butter, and salt in the Instant Pot
Press "Manual" and set the time (using + -) to 10 minutes.
Close the lid on top and push the toggle toward the back (sealing)
Release the pressure once finished by pushing the toggle toward the front (venting)*
Stir in Velveeta cheese fairly vigorously to release gluten from the pasta, helping bind the cheese and thicken the sauce.
* I use a long handled wooden spoon to push the toggle on top toward venting when releasing pressure. This keeps your hands away from the steam that will come out.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: North American
Keywords: shells and cheese, velveeta shells and cheese, instant pot velveeta shells and cheese, instant pot macaroni, family lunch, budget lunch, pantry cooking, lunch, pantry lunch