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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
    Just coming back to say that I’ve made this sooo many times. It’s the only Mac n Cheese I want to eat. I don’t skimp on any of the ingredients, it’s so creamy and delicious! My favorite HBH recipe yet! 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    1. Hey Jin,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe out, I am so glad to hear that it was a winner! xxT

  2. 2 stars
    This was incredibly mustard-y tasting. So much so that I thought I must have misread the recipe, but no, it was just that overpowering somehow. Such a bummer 🙁

  3. 5 stars
    This is THE new mac and cheese recipe in our house! I love sneaky ways to get my veggies in, so we actually double the broccoli and zucchini and it’s fantastic!

    1. Hey Leslie,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for trying it out! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I made this with frozen broccoli and mascarpone instead of cream cheese and it was a easy and delicious

    1. Hi Erin,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed! xx

  5. Can you replace the cream cheese with additional jack or cheddar cheese? What would be the new measurements?

    1. Hey Whitney,
      You could just omit the cream cheese, it does make it extra creamy though:) I hope you love the recipe, let me know how it turns out! xxTieghan

    1. Hey Michelle,
      I used shellbows. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time today and it was so good!! I don’t usually like broccoli but I loved that this was a sneaky way to enjoy it since you can barely taste it along with the zucchini. Thanks Tieghan!!

    1. Hey Andrea,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! xx

    1. Hey Kari,
      That should work well for you!! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    So yummy, I made it for “Meatless Monday” with skim milk and light cream cheese. My teenage son ate it up!!! Didn’t tell anyone there was zucchini in it. So Good!!

    1. Hey Jill,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! xx

    1. Hey Nicci,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! Have the best week:) xT

  8. 5 stars
    So easy and SO delicious!! Made this to keep in the freezer after I give birth but not sure if it will make it since I can’t stop eating it. What a great, quick, low mess recipe with items I normally have on hand.

    1. Hey Jess,
      Happy Sunday!! So glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!! ? xx

  9. 5 stars
    This isn’t the recipe’s fault, it is the fault of my blurry eyed, sleep deprived new parent self BUT make sure you read the instructions and don’t just go for it with the ingredients because I totally didn’t see the “4 cups water” and just filled up a pot and started off on my journey. When I realized it, it was too late and despite pulling out cups of water, we still have what is closer to a broccoli cheddar soup. Oops! The flavors were great though 🙂

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      Lol ooops!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one to start cooking the noodles without reading that there’s only 4 cups of water needed ? amazing flavour and super super easy !

      1. Hey Mel,
        Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

      2. Used 4 cups of water as the recipe said and followed the timing perfectly but it was still super runny and like soup

  10. This was really great! So easy, fast, and also loved the Dijon mustard! I agreed with one other comment that I would’ve liked to have more chunks of broccoli, but I think in my case, the broccoli just got so soft that it got mixed all throughout. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Hilary,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan