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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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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.



  • 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 |

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    1. Hey Lisa,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)

  1. 5 stars
    Just got home from work…Friday night.
    not in the mood for takeout.
    poured a glass of wine listening to William Prince and made this Mac and Cheese.
    This is my favorite!!
    Wouldn’t change a thing.
    Uncomplicated and delicious.

    1. Hey Lorraine,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:)

  2. 4 stars
    Made this last night. Delicious for sure. I’ve never used cream cheese in stovetop Mac before, I’ve always used Velveta as thickener. This turned out very thick and cheese didn’t fully incorporate into the sauce like I would have liked. Maybe I let the pasta go too long and didn’t have enough liquid remaining? I would probably add more water or milk next time and maybe even scoop out some of the pasta water out into a bowl to add in and whisk the cream cheese & butter and then pour back in.

    1. Hey Becky,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback!! Did you shred your own cheese? That’s going to melt much better than the pre-shredded stuff in a bag:) I hope this helps! xx

  3. Hi! I’m wondering if it will mess up the consistency of the sauce to leave out the zucchini? I know you said it helps make it creamy, but I have an allergy and would love to know if you think it’ll work okay without. This looks so great, so I hope it won’t make too much of a difference!

      1. 5 stars
        Ended up making this over the weekend and it was perfection – even without the zucchini. Didn’t make any other changes! Thanks for a great recipe! I think I may throw some spinach in next time to bump up the veggie content. 🙂 Definitely a keeper!

    1. Hey Dana,
      These are from Dellalo and called “shellbows”. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  4. Hi! Silly question, but does the zucchini cook that quickly if it’s put in raw towards the end? Maybe I’m reading it wrong. Thanks!!

    1. Hey Selene,
      Since it’s grated, it’s going to cook super quickly. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

    1. Hey Jen,
      Happy Sunday!!🏈 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx

  5. 5 stars
    Mmm this was quite tasty. Crazy how much it tastes like real hamburger helper. Good flavors and easy to make. Great comfort food on a cold night.

    1. Hey Courtney,
      Awesome!!🌼 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you giving it a try! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Minus 17 degrees F here in Maine and this was the perfect meal. Stick to the ribs warm, comfort food. The flavor was perfect and I didn’t change a thing. Thanks again!

    1. Hey Susan,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Have a great weekend:)

  7. 5 stars
    Amazing! This is a special mac and cheese. The flavors combine beautifully, and the meal came together so quickly. This will definitely be going on repeat in our house. Thanks again for sharing another awesome recipe.

    1. Hey Katherine,
      Perfect!! I am delighted to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and thanks so much for trying it out! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe – one of the best mac and cheese meals I’ve had; and everyone I cooked for said it was #1. So quick and easy, but also feels healthy (somewhat) with the broccoli and sneaky zucchini.

  9. Has anyone attempted this with gluten free noodles? Wondering if draining the water would be necessary or different?

    1. Hi Alexa,
      It should be just fine for you to follow the recipe as written using gluten free noodles. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

    2. 5 stars
      I used Trader Joe’s brown rice and quinoa fusilli. I messed up and boiled the pasta the “normal” way then realized what I did. I saved most of the pasta water before I drained it and added it back in as needed I made the sauce. Turned out great!

      1. Hey Brenda,
        Happy Monday!! I appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well! xT

  10. Hi, has anyone else added chicken for protein? I think I’m going to try this but with some chicken. LMK what anyone else thinks!

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      I would add some cooked, shredded chicken. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  11. 5 stars
    Love Love this recipe. Question?- I do not like cream cheese would cottage cheese as a substitute – do not like ricotta either

    1. Hey Jeanne,
      Happy Friday!!❄️🧑‍🎄 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! I wouldn’t choose cottage cheese, but that’s personal preference. You could just skip the cream cheese, it’s really just there to add the creaminess. xx

  12. Hi!! I’m making this, this weekend! Can you suggest another one of your recipes to pair it with!? Mac N Cheese is always quickly associated with summer and bbqs so I’m trying to thing of something wintery to pair it with! Any help is appreciated!