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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. 4 stars
    It smells delicious but it’s too hot to eat! I had problems with the cream cheese not melting completely; there are some soft chunks and specks. I did not add the broccoli or zucchini (can’t eat it) and used a millet noodle and used goat cheddar and Monterey. Mine end result looks much soupier than your images. Should I have made some adjustments to compensate for the changes?

    1. Hey Sherry,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try! I’m assuming the millet noodle is going to cook differently than a regular noodle which is causing the changes. I hope it tastes delish! xx

  2. Delish! I used gluten free penne and it came out perfect. I thought for sure I’d need more milk, but I didn’t. Definitely going into the rotation.

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Happy Sunday!💐 I really appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was a hit! xT

    1. Hey Elizabeth,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your comment, so glad it was a hit! Have a great weekend:)

  3. 5 stars
    This was a winner with our 7 yo daughter and my husband not to mention a winner for me w a one pot meal! Does this freeze well?

    1. Hi Megan,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! Have a great weekend:)

  4. 4 stars
    Well, I went rogue and my mac turned into more of a casserole in the end, haha… But it was all worth it!!! I chose a pasta that was an “elastici” shape instead of the traditional elbow macaroni or shell shape. So maybe it was just not right for the recipe, I don’t know… but I was totally stumped on the first step where it said to use a ratio of 4 cups of water to 1 lb of pasta and a head of broccoli… I just couldn’t figure out how the water would be able to cover all that pasta and broccoli in order to cook it, so I added a little more water. Then I followed the rest of the recipe as instructed. I scooped out some of the extra water before adding all the other liquids. By the time I finished cooking the recipe, my concoction had become a little mushy. The pasta was falling apart and broccoli had disintegrated. I suppose I should have trusted your instructions with the 4 cups of water… I was sad because I was cooking for my parents and wanted the food to look presentable! That’s when I had the idea to mix in a couple cans of tuna, sprinkle some parmesan and breadcrumbs over the top and pop it in a casserole dish for some broiling action. It actually tasted amazing and I would do it again, even though I went a little off-menu!

    1. Hey Lilja,
      Fantastic!!🌻 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! Try using just the 4 cups next time, I promise it works:) Just be sure to give the pasta a stir every so often! xT

  5. Just made this and it’s delicious! Simple, easy, fast. I went with whole grain Dijon mustard instead and some nutmeg. I’m smashing on this as we speak.

    1. Hey Sabrina,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was delish!! xx

        1. Hey Hannah,
          Fantastic!!🌻 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy and fulfilling. It’s like comfort food that isn’t horrible for you! My daughter (picky eater) loved it! I used Orecchiette pasta and the little cups held the sauce well. I opted for whole milk and the sauce was silky and cheesy! Definitely a repeat! Thank you for this recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    Turned out sooo good! Husband wasn’t thrilled when I said it had broccoli in it but he went back for seconds. And it came together so quickly. Definitely a keeper!

  8. Just wanted to tell you this meal was awesome!! Just made it for my wife and I. It is now in our comfort food rotation!! Thank you for idea. My wife and I throughly enjoy your recipes. Keep up the great work!!

    1. Hey Brendan,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! Thanks so much for your kind message!! xT

  9. This was delicious. I used gluten free noodles due to celiac. Perfect hearty cold weather meal. We served with baked chicken breasts.

    1. Alissa, would you mind telling me what kind of gf noodles you used? I just made with barilla gf elbows and they disintegrated by the end. Thanks.

  10. 5 stars
    Yum!! I read previous comments that it was too soupy, so I drained the pasta water into a bowl and added it as needed to achieve the perfect thickness. I also added bacon for some protein. Will be making again

    1. Hey Janna,
      Happy Monday!!💐 Thank you so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

    1. Hey Ann,
      Happy Monday!!💐 Thank you so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

  11. 5 stars
    Soooo good and so easy! I used smoked paprika and smoked havarti (because that’s what I had already), and the smokey flavour just enhances an already perfect dish. I already see this becoming a new favourite. Can’t miss with this one.

    1. Hey Jodi,
      Happy Monday!!💐 Thank you so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx