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This super easy One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese is the perfect recipe for sneaking in vegetables. Elbow macaroni and broccoli are boiled together until al dente. Then a splash of milk, a handful of sharp cheddar cheese, and a little shredded zucchini. Together they create a creamy mac and cheese that’s wholesome and delicious. This simple mac and cheese is made all in one pot, in just 30 minutes.

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

We’re starting the week off right with Monday Mac and Cheese! Growing up, mac and cheese was the frozen Stouffers kind. Looking back, I can’t believe I ever ate microwaved mac and cheese in plastic. It’s a little cringy to think about. But I will say, I do recall them being pretty good.

The sides would get a little crispy, crunchy (which probably meant it was cooked too long? who knows) and the center was creamy, cheesy, and perfect.

For whatever reason, I don’t remember Kraft mac and cheese being in our kitchen. I think the boys may have made it in high school. But by then I had sworn off boxed mac and cheese.

Point is, I love the idea of a quick stove-top mac and cheese. But prefer mine to be homemade and with real ingredients.

This solves that problem. It might not be as quick as popping a frozen meal into the microwave, but I promise, it’s so much more delicious and nutritious.

I snuck in some broccoli, secretly added in zucchini (and you’d never know), while still keeping this creamy and cheesy.

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

The process

Start by boiling a big pot of water on the stove. Use a pot that will be large enough to hold both the pasta and the broccoli.

Once the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and the broccoli. Boil together until al dente, then simply stir in all the remaining ingredients, and that’s kind of it. The key is to use a touch of cream cheese and creamy dijon mustard for creaminess. But the real secret is the shredded zucchini. It helps to create the perfect amount of creamy sauce while adding a vegetable at the same time.

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Sounds like it’s going to be weird, but this is fully family approved. The boys didn’t even realize there was any zucchini.

For the cheeses, I love using a mix of melted cheddar for flavor and Monterey jack for creaminess. Together they create that ideal cheese pull we all love so much. A little parmesan could be good too, but then you lose that “classic” mac and cheese flavor.

To season it up, I like to use paprika and cayenne. Perfect combo, you don’t even know it’s in there really, but yet it adds so much to the dish.

Definitely makes it better than the frozen stuff, that’s for sure.

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Excited to have this recipe in my back pocket. It’s pretty perfect any time of the year and everyone really loves it. Even Asher, who’s picky about adding vegetables to mac and cheese, loves this. She actually said, “the broccoli makes it better”!

So there ya go! She doesn’t lie.

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other one pot recipes? Here are my favorites: 

French Onion Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto

One Skillet White Chicken Chili Bake

Healthier Homemade One Pot Hamburger Helper

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

Lastly, if you make this One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 507 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pasta, and broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Do not drain the water. Stir in the milk, cream cheese, and mustard, and cook until the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente, about 4-5 minutes more. Stir in the zucchini.
    2. Add the cheeses, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and butter (if using), and stir until melted and creamy. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce feels thick, add ¼ cup milk or water to thin.
    3. Divide the mac and cheese between bowls. Top with black pepper.
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One Pot Stove-Top Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! My husband says it’s his new favorite banana bread 🥰 could this recipe be made into muffins?! I’d like to give them to my littles for breakfast or snacks, and think it would be easier for them to eat in muffin form. If so, how long do you think they’d bake for?

    1. Hi Joelle,
      Fantastic! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) Sorry, I’ve never made this into muffins. xx

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is a winner! A great base recipe to use whatever you’ve got up. My baby and I loved it! Tieghan never steers me wrong.

  3. 5 stars
    This is absolutely going to be a repeated recipe. The Cauliflower Mac and Cheese from HBH was my go-to so I’m happy for another one that is different and just as delicious. Can’t wait for leftovers!

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe:) I am so glad it was enjoyed! Hope you’re off to a great Monday! xxT

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy! 100% will make again. I LOVED the subtle spices. I grated the cheese myself using good quality cheese (to avoid additives) but omitted the zucchini because I was nervous about cooking for very picky toddlers, a picky husband and in-laws. ALL loved it! Measurements were perfect; I added a bit of water while cooking, chopped up the broccoli in tiny pieces and threw in a 250 degree oven to keep warm while everyone gathered. My 5-y.o. nephew declared that his aunt’s Mac and cheese is the best ever! Doesn’t get any better. ❤️ Thank you HBH!

    1. Hey Jeanah,
      Fantastic!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! 🌸Tieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Super good! There is a LOT of cheese, I initially hesitated on adding a second bag of cheddar after the rest of the cheese but wanted to stay true to the recipe. Probably going to stick to 8 oz of cheddar next time and maybe add some bread crumbs on top (nothing wrong with the recipe, just personal preference). Definitely going to make this again though, 10/10 for easiness of cooking and super tasty!

    1. Hey Abi,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Have a great weekend:) xx

  6. 5 stars
    This turned out amazingly! I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious. Husband approved heartily and our baby loved the broccoli bits we gave him. Definitely going into our meal rotation!

    1. Hey Hannah,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Have a great weekend:) xx

  7. 1 star
    I love Tieghan’s recipes, but this was not for me. I’m a basic mac ‘n cheese girl. Although I always put mustard (usually dry mustard) in my mac, I dislike other seasonings. Ive had great success with HBH recipes which is why I tried it, but should have known better since I like a much more basic mac recipe. Sorry Tieghan! I DO love your sheet pan pizza though, it’s a family favorite! ❤️

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, so sorry to hear it was not enjoyed! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Fast and flavorful, even my picky 2 year old who won’t eat anything green loved it!

    1. Hey Leah,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for trying it out! xTieghan

    1. Hey Chloe,
      I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing your review:) xxTieghan

  9. Can I make this ahead of time and warm it up later in the week? What would you recommend? I am hoping to do this in a Meal Train.

  10. 4 stars
    So i almostttt got this right but I think the water quantity for the pasta is off. 4 cups of water didn’t even cover the 16 oz bag of pasta I used…so, I added more water and then of course, ended up with too much. Overall the taste wasn’t bad, but it felt much too soupy.

    1. Hi Bridget,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear it was too soupy. Next time, just do the 4 cups of water even though it doesn’t cover all of the water:) xTieghan

        1. Hey Bridget,
          Happy Sunday! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it:) 🌼

  11. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I also doubled the vegetable component and it made it very substantial. I am in Australia so I have no idea what “Jack” cheese is so I just used a mix of 3 different cheeses It also was easy to make. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Hi Leanne,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great week! 🌺xxT