Creamy Broccoli Mac & Cheese is made on the stovetop in just one pot and is the ultimate in comfort food side dishes. With lusciously melted cheddar, cream cheese, fresh chopped broccoli and elbow pasta, this is one homemade macaroni and cheese recipe that gets to the table in less than 30 minutes!
Macaroni and cheese is always a winner! Classic, inviting and just the right amount of dreamy indulgence, who doesn’t love a golden helping of mac & cheese? And this recipe? Well, it’s all that and then some.
With a bit of chopped broccoli, it’s a great way to sneak an extra veggie to the table while amping up your menu’s yum factor. Kids love it, husbands love, it’s a tried and true keeper. And while it rocks a Wednesday night, it’s also right smart on the holiday table.
Broccoli Mac & Cheese Ingredients
- elbow pasta
- broccoli crowns or florets (I use fresh broccoli so that I can chop it small without a lot of stalk, like my family likes it.)
- sharp cheddar cheese
- cream cheese
- half & half
- chicken broth
- ground mustard, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper
How To Make Creamy Stovetop Broccoli Mac & Cheese
To begin this recipe, I like to have everything chopped, grated and measured out before I start cooking.
Boil Macaroni and Broccoli. This recipe boils the pasta and the broccoli (one after the other) in the same sauce pan using chicken broth and water.
In a large sauce pan, cover macaroni with chicken broth, then add enough water to allow pasta room to boil. Cook just until al dente. Remove pasta from the brothy water and set aside.
Add chopped broccoli to broth and boil for 3-5 minutes, just until tender. Drain pasta and broccoli together.
Make Sauce. Put the same sauce pan back on the stovetop. Melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, making a smooth paste. Then whisk in the seasonings. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour in half & half, then chicken broth. Add cheese one handful at a time, whisking until each melts before adding another. Lastly whisk in cream cheese.
Add the Goods. Fold in drained macaroni and broccoli and you’re ready to serve!
What to Serve with Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
This creamy, cheesy side dish is perfect for the holiday table and easily takes the place of a traditional broccoli cheese & rice casserole. But it’s also great for any weeknight too! Partner it up with any of these proteins to make a meal your family will love. Or enjoy it by itself for a warm, welcoming lunch!
- Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Easy Pepper Crusted Pork Loin
- Classic Chicken Fried Steak Fingers
- Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders
- Juicy Lucy Broiler Burgers
Pasta. Don’t want to use elbow macaroni? Pasta shells, rotini and bow ties are great options for this dish.
Broccoli. To skip the steps of chopping & boiling the broccoli, use frozen broccoli. Run it under warm water in a colander, drain well and fold into mac & cheese according to the recipe.
Spice. Add a little red pepper flakes to bring the heat!
Make it a Meal. Add leftover holiday ham or chopped rotisserie chicken to make this an all-in-one meal!
Other Comfort Side Dishes You’ll Love
- Fluffy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Southern Cornbread Pudding
- Louisiana Dirty Rice
- Horseradish Mashed Potatoes with Garlic & Cream Cheese
- Ultimate Scalloped Potatoes
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO LET ME KNOW!
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- 8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups, uncooked), prepared in chicken broth & water
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups half & half
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounce block)
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- In a large sauce pan, cover uncooked macaroni with chicken broth. Add about 2 C of water to give pasta room to boil. Cook to al dente. Remove pasta from sauce pan, keeping broth and water. Set macaroni aside.
- Add chopped broccoli to same broth/water mixture. Let boil 3-5 minutes or just until broccoli is tender. Drain broccoli with pasta.
- Put saucepan back on the stop over medium heat. Melt butter. Sprinkle in flour. Whisk until there are no lumps and flour makes a thick paste. Whisk in seasonings.
- Whisk in half & half, continuing to whisk until there are again no lumps. Whisk in broth.
- Added grated cheese one handful at a time. After each handful, whisk slowly until cheese is melted before adding another handful. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Fold in pasta and broccoli and serve!