This easy broccoli mac and cheese recipe takes your mac up a notch with a serving of veggies and an incredible cheddar cheese sauce.
Easy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
Have your mac and veggies too with our simple broccoli mac and cheese recipe. This mac recipe features elbow noodles, an easy mac and cheese sauce, and bright green, perfectly cooked broccoli!
We love homemade mac and cheese at the Cheese Knees. We are a cheese site after all. But, it’s a bonus when you can sneak a veg into the mix and barely even notice!
Why you’ll love it!
- Serving of veggies
- So creamy
What You Need for Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Noodles: we’re using classic macaroni elbow noodles in this recipe, but you can use shells or really any kind of noodle.
Mac and Cheese Sauce: the mac and cheese sauce made for this recipe is made from a roux of equal parts butter to flour. Then, it’s thinned out with milk and cheesed up with shredded cheddar cheese!
Broccoli: we always recommend using fresh broccoli florets for this recipe, but frozen will work too.
Our Cheese Recommendations
We always recommend grate your own cheese from a block, if possible, when making mac and cheese. In this recipe, we’re suggesting cheddar cheese. You can use yellow, orange, or white, whatever your preference.
If you don’t have cheddar on hand, other mild cheeses such as mozzarella or gruyere would work too!
Panera Mac and Cheese
Panera Mac and Cheese — truly the best out there! Learn how to make this copycat Panera Bread Mac and Cheese in your own kitchen.
How to Make Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then, cook pasta until it’s al dente.
Steam broccoli in a little bit of water for 2-4 minutes. Make sure not to overcook your broccoli. No one likes mushy veggies. Set aside.
Make Cheese Sauce
Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan. Then, add flour and whisk until a paste forms. Slowly whisk in the milk for 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken and is smooth. Add shredded cheddar cheese and continue to mix until melted.
Add in the cooked noodles and broccoli florets and toss them with the cheese sauce. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper.
How do you thicken cheese sauce?
Thicken the cheese sauce by adding a little bit more flour into the mix. Whisk until thick.
How do you make mac and cheese sauce thinner?
To thin out your mac and cheese sauce, simply add more milk. Whisk until it reaches your desired consistency.
Is broccoli mac and cheese gluten free?
In order to make broccoli mac and cheese gluten free, swap the all-purpose flour 1:1 for all-purpose gluten-free flour. Then, use gluten free noodles.
Cheese Sauce Variations
We have a variety of cheese sauces here on the Cheese Knees that would be delicious served in this mac. Try any of the following:
Velveeta Cheese Sauce: Our ultimate Velveeta cheese sauce is oh-so creamy and flavorful and made with easy ingredients. Pair with your favorite pasta, and enjoy!
Nacho Cheese Sauce: This nacho cheese sauce recipe is perfect for dipping, drizzling, or anything in between. It is made with cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese, evaporated milk, and green chiles.
Transfer leftover mac and cheese into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups broccoli florets cut into small, bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons water
- 8 oz. dried elbow macaroni noodles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup 2% milk
- 8 oz. shredded extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese ~2 cups
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the noodles to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or until al dente.
- While the noodles are cooking, prepare the broccoli. Place the broccoli pieces in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and sprinkle the broccoli with a pinch of salt. Cover the skillet.
- Heat the skillet over medium/high heat to steam the broccoli. Let the broccoli steam in the skillet for 2-4 minutes or until the broccoli has turned a vibrant green color.
- Remove the broccoli from the pot and keep the broccoli warm.
- Strain the pasta and set aside.
- Heat the same skillet that you used for the broccoli over medium heat and add butter.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute or until a paste forms.
- Slowly add the milk into the roux, whisking continuously for 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. You want a smooth sauce with no lumps.
- Next, fold in the shredded cheese, mustard, and salt. Mix until all of the cheese has melted.
- Finally, add the cooked noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix to combine. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
- If the mac and cheese sauce is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of extra milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- This recipe can easily be doubled.