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Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

A no-boil recipe, this Air Fryer Mac and Cheese is creamy, easy and full of cheesy goodness! Quick, flavorful and the perfect side dish!

DELICIOUS AIR FRYER MAC AND CHEESE

I bet y’all didn’t know you could make macaroni and cheese in an air fryer! You can and I know a simple way to do it where you don’t even have to boil the noodles first. This recipe is baked of my Oven Baked No-Boil Mac and Cheese recipe. It truly is a simple recipe that is full of flavor and once you have a creamy bite, you will want to make it over and over again. Just another reason to get an air fryer if you don’t have one! No need to heat up your house either. If you want a new spin on your mac and cheese game, then you must make this Air Fryer Mac and Cheese recipe!

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese held up on fork.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use milk instead of half and half?

Yes you can. Just make sure that you do not use skim milk as it will be too watery.

What kind of cheese is best?

When it comes to macaroni and cheese, freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese is a good way to go. But you can certainly use your favorite store-bought shredded cheddar cheese. I know folks out there are Velveeta haters but it brings the creaminess to this dish so don’t ask me about substitutes – I refuse to substitute Velveeta but if you like, you can try making a Homemade Velveeta!

How long does this need to cook?

This took about 18 minutes in total in my air fryer. You will want to stir it every 5 minutes to make sure that everything is incorporated and the cheese is melting. NOTE: There are so many different styles and types of air fryers out there these days and some of them may cook slower or faster than the one I am using (depending on their age, size, shape, air circulation, heating element, etc.) So please bear that in mind. The cook time is only an estimate based on the one I used. Please check your noodles for doneness before turning off your air fryer. The best time to check your noodles is after you stir them each time (this also helps the noodles to cook evenly). 

Do I have to pre-cook the noodles?

No. They will go in this uncooked. That is what makes this recipe awesome!

What kind of pan is best to use in the air fryer?

You can use any oven-proof dish for the air fryer (as long as it is deep enough and fits into your air fryer basket. I have this one (paid affiliate link) from Amazon.

How do I store leftovers?

This can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 4-5 days.

Overhead photo of finished Air Fryer Mac and Cheese in baking pan Pinterest image.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • elbow macaroni
  • half and half
  • Velveeta
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
Ingredients needed: elbow macaroni noodles, half and half, velveeta, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, unsalted butter, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and salt.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER MAC AND CHEESE:

Preheat the air fryer at 360°F for 10 minutes. While the air fryer is heating, in a large bowl, add the macaroni noodles, half and half, Velveeta, 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, butter, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne (if using), and salt.

All ingredients added to white bowl.

Stir to combine.

Stirred ingredients together in bowl.

Spray an air fryer baking dish with cooking spray and pour the mixture into the dish.

Mac and Cheese ingredients added to pan for air fryer.

Air fry for 15-18 minutes (please see the notes in the recipe card below for more information about cook times).

Mac and cheese pulled out of air fryer before stirring.

Stir every 5 minutes to incorporate the ingredients together.

Stirred Mac and cheese mixture in air fryer.

Add the remaining shredded cheese on top.

Cheese added to top of Mac and cheese mixture in air fryer.

Air fry an additional 2-3 minutes until melted and slightly browned, serve immediately. 

Finished Air Fryer Mac and Cheese in dish right out of air fryer.

Enjoy!

Plate with Air Fryer Mac and Cheese on plate with fork going into it.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES?

Square image of Air Fryer Mac and Cheese with fork going into it.

Air Fryer Mac and Cheese

A no-boil recipe, this Air Fryer Mac and Cheese is creamy, easy and full of cheesy goodness! Quick, flavorful and the perfect side dish!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer at 360°F for 10 minutes.
  • While the air fryer is heating, in a large bowl, add the macaroni noodles, half and half, Velveeta, 1 cup of the shredded cheddar, butter, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne (if using), and salt.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Spray an air fryer baking dish with cooking spray and pour the mixture into the dish.
  • Air fry for 15-18 minutes (please see my note below about cook times).
  • Stir every 5 minutes to incorporate the ingredients together.
  • Add the remaining shredded cheese evenly on top.
  • Air fry an additional 2-3 minutes until melted and slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Please note: there are so many different types of air fryers out there these days and some of them may cook slower or faster than the one I am using (depending on their size, shape, air circulation, heating element, etc.) So please bear that in mind. The cook time is only an estimate based on the one I used. Please check your noodles for doneness before turning off your air fryer. The best time to check your noodles is after you stir them each time (this also helps the noodles to cook evenly). 
  • You can use milk, just make sure it is not skim.
  • You do not need to cook the noodles before hand.
  • Use your favorite cheese, just make sure that it is freshly shredded.
  • Use any oven proof pan for this recipe. It will work in the air fryer. Just make sure it is deep enough and fits into your air fryer basket. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 833kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 44g | Sodium: 1374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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