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This Broccoli Mac and Cheese proves that old cliché that picky eaters will eat any vegetable when it’s served with cheese sauce. Broccoli is a guaranteed hit when it’s folded into rich, creamy mac and cheese—and it all comes together in one pot, right on the stovetop!

a teal cast iron dutch oven full of creamy mac and cheese with broccoli florets.
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This incredibly easy broccoli mac and cheese is a one-pan recipe, which means you don’t have to make the sauce in one pot and boil the noodles in another—it all cooks together.

Plus, there’s no roux and the whole recipe is cooked on the stovetop too, so there is zero oven time. Basically, I’m saying this easy mac and cheese with broccoli is the answer to your dinnertime prayers.

This recipe is made on the stovetop, but if you’re looking for a pressure cooker version, check out our Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe. And for a different flavor profile, you’ll want to make our Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese.


bowls of pasta, cheese, broccoli, a can of evaporated milk, and other items on a marbled board.

This recipe has:

  • Shell or elbow noodles – or another pasta you like. Rotini is always fun.
  • Butter -salted or unsalted; chef’s choice.
  • Evaporated milk – Not to be confused with condensed milk! They’re often sold side-by-side, so it’s easy to pick up the wrong can, but evaporated milk is unsweetened.
  • Nutmeg and dry mustard – Two optional ingredients to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
  • Cheese – I recommend a blend of extra sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Mozzarella is a good melter, while sharp cheddar brings the flavor, giving you the best of both worlds.
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Salt
  • Broccoli florets – Steamed or roasted.

Step By Step Instructions

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.

Bring 4 & 1/4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan (I used my enameled cast iron Dutch oven). Stir the pasta, salt, and butter into the boiling water.

Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook until almost all of the water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.

3 photos showing how to make stovetop macaroni and cheese.
Middle pic: halfway through the cooking process. Right pic: pasta is done!

Stir in the evaporated milk, dry mustard, nutmeg, and delicious cheeses. Keep stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth and ridiculously creamy. Seriously, get ready.

Fold in the cooked broccoli. Now, go live your best life.

4 photos showing how to make stovetop macaroni and cheese.


You can use whole wheat pasta if you’d like, but I don’t recommend other alternative kinds of pasta, like the ones made with bean flour. They have a tendency to foam and fall apart. And because they cook so differently than wheat pasta, they’ll produce different results for this recipe.

Make this creamy broccoli pasta a one-dish dinner by adding diced leftover Instant Pot Ham to your mac and cheese. Chicken mac and cheese with broccoli works too, ala our Chicken Pasta Broccoli Bake!

While broccoli mac and cheese is a classic combo, you can totally switch things up with other vegetables. Cauliflower florets would also be delicious. Try Air Fryer Cauliflower or Instant Pot Cauliflower.

The appeal of this recipe is that you’re not baking it in the oven, but if you have a soft spot for that buttery breadcrumb topping, you can melt a little bit of butter in a small skillet, add panko, salt, and pepper, and toast the breadcrumbs until they’re nicely browned. Sprinkle them over each portion of the mac and cheese after plating.


Storing Leftovers: Allow the broccoli mac and cheese to fully cool before storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use leftovers to make mac and cheese egg rolls.

Reheating Leftovers: You can reheat the mac and cheese in the microwave or in a saucepan until it’s warmed through, ~1-2 minutes depending on the portion size.

Freezing Leftovers: Freeze fully cooled leftovers in an air-tight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. I love to use my 1-cup or 2-cup Souper Cubes and then transfer to reusable silicone bags.

Let it thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat according to the instructions above.

The sauce in mac and cheese that has been frozen will likely separate upon reheating. It may look curdled or lumpy (mmmmm), but it’s still totally safe to eat.

What to Serve With Mac and Cheese

Pair mac and cheese with a simple protein like Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs or Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.

Keep it kid-pleasing with Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken, or go all in on carbs and serve your mac with No-Knead Bread or Cheesy Garlic Bread.


  • Shred your own cheese! It’s totally worth the extra 5 minutes. Store-bought shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent added to it (AKA the white powdery stuff) that affects the way it melts. While it will melt, it’s just not quite as smooth as freshly shredded cheese. 
  • If you don’t have evaporated milk, you can sub in regular milk, half-and-half, or cream. Just make sure you heat it before adding it to the hot pasta. This prevents the milk from curdling, resulting in a grainy cheese sauce.
  • When I’m making this recipe, I’ll plan on having steamed or roasted broccoli the day before. Then, I set aside the 4 cups I need for the mac and cheese with broccoli and refrigerate them; they don’t even have to be reheated before adding them to the mac. See Roasted Frozen Broccoli, Instant Pot Broccoli, and Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer.
A white dish with cheese noodles and broccoli.
5 from 2 ratings

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
a teal cast iron dutch oven full of creamy mac and cheese with broccoli florets.
This broccoli mac and cheese proves that old cliché that picky eaters will eat any vegetable when it’s served with cheese sauce. Broccoli is a guaranteed hit when it’s folded into rich, creamy mac and cheese—and it all comes together in one pot, right on the stovetop!


  • 1 lb shell or elbow noodles {feel free to use any preferred pasta}
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup butter {1 stick}{cut into cubes}
  • 12 oz evaporated milk {1 can}
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg {optional}
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard {optional}
  • 3 cups cheese, shredded {recommend: extra sharp cheddar + mozz}
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces {steamed & well-drained, or roasted}


  • In a large saucepan, bring 4 1/4 cups of water to a boil.
    1 lb shell or elbow noodles
  • Add pasta, salt, and butter to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
    4 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 tsp salt
  • Reduce the stove temp to medium-high, and occasionally stir the mixture, until almost all of the water has been absorbed by the pasta (~8 minutes).
  • Add the evaporated milk, (optional) dry mustard, (optional) nutmeg, and cheese, and stir gently until all the cheese has melted.
    12 oz evaporated milk, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 3 cups cheese, shredded, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • Gently stir in the cooked broccoli.
    4 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces


  1. For faster prep, roast or steam the broccoli 1-2 days ahead of time.
  2. Chop florets small so that they are easier to incorporate into the dish.
  3. Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are NOT the same thing. Only evaporated milk will work in this recipe.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 16gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 359mgPotassium: 295mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 809IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 350mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. I tried three mac and cheese recipes before Thanksgiving to find one good enough to make it to the table. I stopped after making this one because it is so, so good. So good that my Thanksgiving plate was 2/3 this dish.

    Having made this twice, the first time I made it exactly as written with mozzarella, cheddar, and parm cheeses. Delicious. Second time I got crazy and used american in place of parm (Sarah forgive me!) and it was still delightful.

    Leftovers reheat beautifully with ZERO sauce separation. Witchcraft? Nope, just an amazing blogger dedicated to her craft.

    This recipe is so good that my husband, reluctant mac and cheese eater, ate this willingly AND as part of his leftover meals. I’m almost mad that the leftovers aren’t automatically mine. It’s. That. Good.

    The only thing I got nervous about when making this is the part in the recipe where it reads,”until almost all absorbed” referring to the water/butter combo being cooked into your pasta. But trust yourself. You’ll know. It’s weird and makes you really feel like a chef.

    This has now become my go to mac and cheese recipe. And it’s one pot. Could it be any better?! I’ll answer you, no. It can’t. It’s perfection.5 stars

    1. Allison, you honestly made my entire month with this kind review. I’m so honored it was part of your Thanksgiving and has become your go-to mac and cheese recipe. I’m thrilled your husband enjoyed it as well. Winning over skeptics is a fun part of this job.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, especially one as lovely as this!