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One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese

The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Calories 475kcal


  • 2 cups milk (I use whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
  • 8 ounces elbow or mini shell pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces frozen broccoli (I use the steam-in-the-bag kind)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (feel free to double this!)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)


  • Add the broth and milk to a large pot set over high heat. Bring just to a boil, then reduce to medium-high.
  • Stir in the pasta and salt, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the pasta is just soft. (The liquid will not be totally absorbed and that is okay—it will be by the end of the process!)
  • Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in the bag (or steam it on the stovetop if using fresh broccoli). Drain the broccoli and cut it up roughly with kitchen scissors.
  • Turn the heat off and stir the cheese, broccoli. butter, cream cheese, and salt into the pasta mixture. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Serve.



  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Warm for 30-60 seconds, or until warmed through, in the microwave.
  • The size of the pasta you use may alter the cooking time slightly. This recipe was tested with elbow pasta, so any kind that's a similar size should work the same.
  • I prefer to use steam-in-the-bag frozen broccoli to cut down on pots, but you can also steam fresh or regular frozen broccoli florets in a pot fitted with a steamer basket. Fill your pot with 2 inches of water, add the steamer basket, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, cover, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until broccoli is just tender. Add to the recipe.
  • I don't often call for a half of pound of pasta, but this is very filling so I went with a smaller amount here to avoid a ton of leftovers. But if you want to use a full pound, you can click the "2x" in the recipe card to adjust it up.
  • Add the optional spices to add more flavor as desired. Adults may also like to top their serving with crushed red pepper or hot sauce.


Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1058IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 395mg | Iron: 2mg