Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 4 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 24 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
453 Calories
29g Fat
26g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 453
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 580mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 31mg 153%
Calcium 557mg 43%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 321mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you have a hard time getting your kids to eat their broccoli, try this casserole that sneaks broccoli into the popular American dish. This easy macaroni and cheese is a snap to prepare, which makes it a perfect family dinner for a busy weeknight. You can serve it as a side dish or main dish for dinner or lunch. 

These macaroni and cheese are entirely cooked on the stovetop using just one saucepan. The broccoli is added to the pasta water during the last minute. The thick, cheesy sauce, always a kids’ favorite, is made with lots of sharp cheddar cheese. 

Follow the package directions for cooking the pasta al dente. Especially small pasta like elbow macaroni overcooks easily. To prevent the pasta from turning mushy in the sauce, it also helps to rinse it after cooking to remove the extra starch. 

The additional crunchy breadcrumb topping will add 20 minutes of baking time but it’s worth it—it is another way to win over picky eaters. 

The baked version is also great if you want to make the macaroni and cheese ahead of time. Assemble the cooked and cooled ingredients in a baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Refrigerate it for up to 2 days. While the oven is heating, take the casserole out of the fridge. Bake covered until bubbly, about 40 minutes. If adding the topping, remove the foil during the last 15 to 20 minutes and bake until the topping has browned.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)

  • 12 to 16 ounces frozen broccoli, chopped

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water, following package directions, adding chopped broccoli about 1 minute before macaroni is done. Drain in a colander.

    pasta and broccoli in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. In same saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in mustard powder, pepper, and flour and continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

    butter, mustard powder, pepper, and flour in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and bubbling. 

    sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add cheese and continue stirring until cheese has melted. Taste and add salt, as needed.

    cheese sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add drained macaroni and broccoli and stir to combine thoroughly.

    Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Transfer to a serving dish or individual bowls.

    Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese in a saucepan and in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • If you like a crunchy topping, put the macaroni and cheese mixture in a lightly buttered baking dish. Combine 1 cup of soft breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the macaroni and cheese. Bake the casserole in a preheated 375 F for about 20 minutes, or until the topping has browned.