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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. 5 stars
    My family loved this. I made it without the broccoli and zucchini because I didn’t have. Nonetheless, it was a hit. Thanks Tieghan!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this, used a little less cheese and it was absolutely delicious. Easy and quick.. great dish for kids. Lots of veggies 🥦

  3. 5 stars
    This is my go-to mac and cheese for sure and so easy to swap in gluten free pasta! I love the final consistency of this one compared to a lot of baked macs and that it comes together so easily.

    I’ll usually buy Tillamook shredded cheese so I don’t have to shred it myself and have not had an issue with how it turns out. It’s so good!!

  4. 5 stars
    Best Mac n cheese ever. By the comments I was worried I was going to screw this up, but followed the directions to a T and it turned out wonderful!

    Thank you for creating simple and delish recipes, Tieghan! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        This recipe doesn’t lie! It comes together quickly and is so yummy and flavorful. My only regret is I didn’t grate the zucchini. I had a long shredder and thought the zucchini was thin enough to melt. But no. Most of it melted but I still had zucchini. Still, it was delicious with the broccoli. I’ll make this again with this small self-correction.

  5. 5 stars
    Flavor was awesome. I totally missed that the water was a clearly specified amount and not drained later- until I got to that step and the pasta was already cooked.. whoops. Aside from being a little too liquid-y the flavor was amazing- I only had smoked paprika but I think it was a nice touch. I added more cheese and a bit of cornstarch to thicken and salvage my error. Agree with other reviews that the base would make an awesome broccoli cheddar soup! Also a great way to use up some zucchini and sneek in veggies for a bit less guilt. Can’t wait to make again

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and it is very tasty! 🙂 The only thing is, one should trust their gut during the cook. Unlike a lot of other reviewers, every time I make this, the pasta and broccoli get too dry before the other additions. I use mini pasta shells and after 4 minutes (not the full 8 as directed) on high and boiling, there is very little liquid left, and the bottom layer sticks to the pot despite stirring every 1-2 minutes. This is not really a problem for me as I’ve been cooking long enough to wing it when things don’t go perfectly. So, as soon as sticking begins, I lower the heat to medium and add the cream cheese (have subbed sour cream in a pinch), heavy cream, and mustard.. even if the pasta is only half cooked. I cook and stir this for a few minutes and as that liquid quickly gets sucked up/reduces, I then add the zucchini and let it release some moisture. By this time, the pasta is al-dente so the spices and cheeses are added over low heat. Stir, stir, stir… things are certainly cheesy and ooey-gooey but we prefer the sauce a bit looser. So, at the very end, I drizzle in more cream, a little at a time, stirring all the while, until the desired consistency is achieved. Yum, yum, and dinner is done. 🙂

    I love HBH recipes and know Tieghan works very hard on all the content. I appreciate that more than words can easily express. Still, it should be said that it seems a lot of these recipes are geared toward folks who have some experience cooking, and a new cook may run into some issues. For example, with this recipe, there is no mention of ever lowering the heat… so a home cook may keep it on high the whole time and run into issues like pasta sticking or running out of liquid. In my kitchen, this recipe’s success is dependent on lowering the heat before adding the cream and cream cheese and adding those ingredients a few minutes earlier than the directions state. The drying issues I experience may also be solved by putting a lid on the pot. However, I’m always reluctant to do so as, due to so many reviews stating theirs turned out soupy, leading me to believe that reducing is part of this recipe’s success. Maybe a slightly vented lid next time.

    Either way, five stars for a delicious recipe, and no complaints, just wanted to share my experience with this recipe and let people know that I think HBH counts on us trusting our instincts when cooking. No complaints about that as I too believe we should cook in a way that works for us.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I am thrilled to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a lot for making it! Thanks for sharing your feedback. Have a great holiday weekend! 🇺🇸🎆 xT

  7. This has become a cozy pantry cooking rotation. I’ve made this 5 times, and have had success using a mix of water with leftover vegetable/chicken stock.
    Cream cheese is not a regular item in our home, and so played with using yogurt, it was great! We always have mozzarella, and have thrown in peas, other squash.
    4 cups water to 1 lb short pasta! xo, Andrea in Los Angeles

    1. Hey Andrea,
      Amazing!! Thank you so much for making this recipe so often and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it always turns out well for you! xx

  8. We tried this recipe with the coconut milk and the coconut seemed to be overpowering. We didn’t notice the cheese flavor as much. It was a fun adventure to mix things up, but not one I would suggest.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Sorry to hear the coconut milk was not enjoyed! Let me know if you try with regular milk:) xT

  9. I also found that it turned out way too soupy. and i drained 2 cups of water before adding the milk, cream cheese, etc. So kind of a brocolli/cheese/pasta soup.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! Was there anything you adjusted? Did you adjust the serving size at all? Let me know how I can help! xT

  10. 5 stars
    Did I sneak a ton of veggies into a dinner that my kids devoured?! Plus, it was ridiculously easy to make! I’ll definitely make it again!!

    1. Hey Valerie,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xx

  11. I cut the recipe down to 4 servings and it seemed very “soupy” using that much water. I used coconut milk and added a bit more cheese but we had to eat it with a soup spoon. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try! Since you adjusted the serving size, you will also need to adjust the water:) I hope this helps for next time! xx

  12. I have a question.. i have some leftover shredded mozzarella cheese in my fridge, approx 1 cup, could i add it to the mix? substitute it for the monterey jack?

    1. Hi Heba,
      Totally, that would work well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  13. 5 stars
    This fulfilled all my dreams for cheesy, creamy mac and cheese in one pot! The spices and dijon add so much flavor, and the blend of cheeses was perfect. And thank you for incorporating veggies too – it cut some of the richness of the mac and cheese well and was a fabulous way to sneak in some healthier things. 🙂

    1. Hey Jessica,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for testing this recipe out, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT