Instant Pot Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese Bread Bowl

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese in the Instant Pot

Hello Foodies,

          Creamy rich cheese sauce, chewy pasta shells, and crunchy broccoli served in crusty bread bowls! This is one of the easiest dinners/lunches that you can make in your Instant Pot.

          Panera's new Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese in Bread Bowl combination are so creamy, cheesy, and wonderful comfort food that's actually easy to make and ready in 15 minutes in the instant pot!

Video Recipe:

           It is a delicious copycat menu item at Panera Bread so you can skip the takeout. It doesn’t get much better than cheesy, delicious, homemade macaroni and cheese, and making this in the Instant Pot is a total modification. This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make, that’s why I love cooking in my Instant Pot. Just dump all the ingredients in and you get perfectly cooked, delicious food every single time. 

Why do we love this Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese? Because-

  • It's a creamy, cheesy, comforting meal!
  • Easy and quick to make!
  • One-Pot Meal.
  • Simple and tastes so great.
  • It just melts in your mouth and the one that you can’t stop eating.
  • It’s creamy, dreamy, and loaded with crunchy broccolis goodness!

Some More Panera Style Recipes to Try:

Ingredients used to make Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese in Bread Bowl:

Crusty Bread Bowls: I have used homemade bread bowls(Recipe here), but you can use store-bought bread bowls too.

Pasta Shells: I have used Macaroni pasta shells. But you can use any type of pasta shells you’d like for this, the possibilities are endless!

Butter: I have used butter, but you can use oil too. But if you want creamy and yummy mac and cheese then use the butter.

Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese is the star of this recipe. Also, I have used mozzarella cheese with cheddar. You can use Gouda, Velveeta, fontina, Monterey Jack, Colby, or any other varieties too.

Dijon/Ground Mustard: I have used dijon, this adds a nice subtle flavor to the mac and cheese.

Milk: I have used whole milk and a half and half, or you can use heavy cream instead of it, or even you can use skim milk if you want the lower fat content!

Broccoli: I have used fresh broccoli, but frozen broccoli would work too, just don't forget to thaw before adding to the pasta.

Salt and Pepper: Used salt and pepper to taste.

Water/Vegetable stock to cook the pasta shells.

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes; Cooking Time: 10 Minutes. 
Each Serving of Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese Contains 290 Cal.


  • Crusty Bread Bowl 
  • Macaroni 2 Cups
  • Broccoli 1 Cup
  • Garlic Powder ¼ Tsp
  • Nutmeg ¼ Tsp
  • Dijon/Ground Mustard 1 Tsp
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese ½ Cup
  • Mozzarella Cheese ½ Cup
  • Milk 1/2 Cup+Half and Half ¼ Cup
  • Black Pepper powder ½ Tsp
  • Salt 1 Tsp 
  • Unsalted Butter 2 Tbsp 
  • Water/Vegetable Stock 3 Cups


To Make Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot:

  • Turn on the instant pot and add water, salt, butter, and Macaroni and stir well. 
  • Close the lid and place the vent in the sealing position. 
  • Pressure Cook on Manual Mode(Hi) for 4 minutes. 
  • Quick Release the pressure. 
  • Open the lid and mix it all well. 
  • Turn on the saute mode of the instant pot.
  • Now add milk+half and half, mozzarella-cheddar cheese, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine. 
  • Now add steamed broccoli, garlic, nutmeg, dijon and mix everything well.
  • Turn off the saute mode.
  • Cover the pot with the glass lid and keep it aside for 2-3 minutes. 
  • After 3 minutes creamy, cheesy broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese is ready to serve. Enjoy!!! 

To Serve Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese in the Bread Bowl:

  • Cut a ½ inch thick slice from the top of each loaf to create a bowl. 
  • Scoop out the insides to create a deeper well, leaving ¾ inch thick shells(you can use scraped bread to make bread crumbs). 
  • Fill the bread bowl with Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese. 
  • Top it with Parmesan Cheese, Dried Parsley. Enjoy!!!

Making Mac & Cheese ahead of time and storing:

  • Make as directed, transfer to an airtight container and cool completely. 
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Any leftovers need to be refrigerated and covered tightly.  
  • To reheat, stir in a little bit of milk and microwave and stir often as it reheats.


  • Don't overcook the broccoli unless you want it mushy. If you add it to the pot with the pasta shells, then it will overcook it and become mushy.
  • If you are using frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it out for about 10 minutes before adding.
  • You can make the mac and cheese up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat in the microwave and spoon into the bread bowl.
  • Instead of parmesan cheese, you can top it with seasoned or plain bread crumbs.

Dietary Comment:

  • The calorie count is based on a 2000 calorie diet.
  • Per serving contains 290 calories, 26.4 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g dietary fiber, 14.6 g fats, and 13.2 g protein.
  • Portion size can always be increased or decreased depending on your health goals and activity level.
  • (Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on products used.)

Some More Pasta Recipes to Try:

Good Time To Eat:

            It's good to eat Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese for lunch and dinner.

  • If you make this recipe, share your food picture with hashtag #aaichisavali on Instagram and Facebook so that everyone can enjoy it too! 
  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel for Healthy, Tasty, Instant Pot, and Air fryer recipes.
  • I love it when you try my recipes and send me pictures & feedback.

Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!!!

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