The ultimate stovetop BROCCOLI MAC AND CHEESE is ultra creamy, so decadent, and the easiest way to get my family to eat their veggies! This one is a must make!
While it’s no secret that my favorite vegetable just happens to be broccoli, that doesn’t mean that my entire family gets all overjoyed when they see a big bowl of steamed broccoli on the table.
But when they see a big bowl of broccoli mac and cheese? Their faces light up and they actually get excited to eat a vegetable. It’s a miracle.
A miracle made of rich, decadent, creamy mac and cheese, but a miracle nonetheless. 😉
This is the ULIMATE creamy stove top mac and cheese, made with two types of cheddar, and plenty of milk and cream.
I could understand being hesitant that the broccoli might ruin this beloved dish, but I can confirm that it does not. Every picky eater I’ve tested this on has been won over by that cheesy goodness.
Another broccoli favorite that my family gets excited about is this crockpot broccoli soup!
Pasta – I used pasta shells because they seem to hold so much more of the cheese! Macaroni is also a great choice.
Cheese Sauce – Plenty of shredded cheddar and shredded white cheddar cheeses will get mixed up with some milk, heavy cream, and flour to make the rich, creamy cheese sauce that’ll coat the pasta and broccoli!
Broccoli – We use fresh broccoli in this recipe, though frozen broccoli does work.
Seasoning – Just some salt, pepper, and a little mustard powder to add flavor.
What We Love About This Recipe!
Mac & Cheese is one of our favorite comfort foods, and when you mix in some broccoli you get to feel good about eating it! The cheese sauce in this recipe is rich and creamy and you can easily modify it by using your favorite types of cheese, though we find the white cheddar just perfect in here.
How to Make:
Pasta & Broccoli: Boil the pasta according to the package instructions.
Microwave the broccoli florets with a bit of water until nice and tender. Alternately, steam the broccoli on the stove.
The next time you roast broccoli, make extra and pop the leftovers in the mac and cheese the next day!
To roast broccoli, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like, and bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.
Sauce: Make a roux by melting the butter in the pan, whisking in the flour to form a paste. Whisk in the milk and cream until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses and seasonings until you have a smooth, creamy, decadent cheese sauce.
Be sure to remove your sauce from the heat before stirring in the cheese. Cooking the cheese can lead to a grainy sauce.
Combine: Drain the pasta and add it to the cheese sauce along with the cooked broccoli. Stir it all up and voila! Broccoli Mac and Cheese – just begging to be eaten!
Can I use frozen broccoli?
You absolutely CAN use frozen broccoli, if that’s what you have on hand. Just steam it according to the package directions.
However, my whole family agrees that fresh broccoli just tastes so much better. In fact, we all thought we disliked broccoli until I started cooking it from fresh instead of frozen.
Have broccoli haters in your life? Take the extra step and start with fresh – it’s basically a whole different veggie. 😉
If you keep it well sealed this recipe should last about 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Sure! I really enjoy the classic flavor of broccoli and cheddar, but other types of cheese will work too. Gruyere, smoked gouda, and Monterey jack all pair well with sharp cheddar.
Stir your favorite leftover protein right into this mac and cheese to make it a meal! Seared smoked sausage, a chopped hamburger patty, diced chicken, and even leftover steak are all delicious options!
More Cheesy Pasta Recipes:
- Feta Pasta
- Creamy Garlic Pasta
- Cheesy Taco Spaghetti
- Crack Chicken Casserole
- Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad
Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces pasta shells
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- Heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta shells. Cook according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the broccoli to a microwave safe bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes. Let sit for 2 minutes and then carefully remove the plastic wrap and drain the liquid from the broccoli.
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk the milk and cream into the flour mixture until smooth and creamy. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture has thickened a bit.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Add the drained pasta and broccoli to the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
- Serve hot.