Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
425 Calories
27g Fat
25g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 539mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 31mg 153%
Calcium 587mg 45%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 320mg 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. 

This macaroni and cheese recipe is cooked entirely 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. 

"This recipe hits all the notes you want macaroni and cheese to hit—lush, creamy, and cheesy— with the added benefits of broccoli and it couldn’t be easier to make. Be sure to start your pot of boiling water while you gather and prepare all your ingredients so that it’s ready to go once you’re all prepped." —Kayla Hoang

Easy One-Pan Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, about 1 3/4 cups uncooked

  • 12 to 16 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed, drained, and roughly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 cups milk

  • 3 cups (12 ounces) 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 a saucepan of 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 the same saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the 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 the milk into the 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


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. Preheat the oven to 350 F and take the casserole out of the fridge. Bake covered until bubbly, about 40 minutes. If adding a topping (see variation below), remove the foil during the last 15 to 20 minutes and bake until the topping has browned.

Recipe Variation

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.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftover mac and cheese can be refrigerated in a sealed container for two to three days. You can reheat leftover portions of mac and cheese in the microwave until warm; check it regularly and stir if needed. You can also reheat mac and cheese in a covered dish in the oven at 350 F.
  • Mac and cheese also freezes well. Put any leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.