Our one-pot mac and cheese is a traditional, roux-based mac and cheese, but loaded up with extra vegetables for more flavor and color to a plain mac and cheese. Enjoy it as a main course or a delicious side dish.
This mac and cheese with veggies is made all in one pot, on the stovetop, for limited cleanup, but maximum comfort food cravings!
Traditional mac and cheese usually takes two pots, and a little bit of multitasking as you boil your noodles in one pot and create your roux and creamy sauce in a second pot.
In this delicious recipe, you will be creating your roux, boiling your noodles, and making your cheese sauce all in one large pot.
Plus, we add in some veggies to this one-pot mac and cheese!
Ingredients and Swaps
Pasta: for this great recipe, we like to use cavatappi noodles, but you can swap for elbow macaroni, no problem.
Cheese: The key to flavorful one-pot mac and cheese is the cheese. You want to use sharp cheeses with a lot of flavor – some other cheeses you can use are sharp cheddar cheese, gruyere, Colby jack, and even a bit of parmesan cheese. Using a mild cheese such as marble cheese works but will yield a more creamy mac and cheese.
For a more stringy texture, don’t use packaged shredded cheese (those have cellulose to prevent clumping and affect the way the cheese melts). Make sure you shred your own cheese.
Want your cheesy sauce extra rich or more creamy? Try stirring in some softer cheese such as cream cheese.
Milk: this dish is rich in roux and cheese, and so milk vs cream was used, but you can swap in heavy cream if you choose to.
Dijon mustard: this adds a great flavor to mac and cheese. Leave out if you prefer. Do not swap for prepared yellow mustard.
How To Make One-Pot Veggie Mac and Cheese
The magic of this easy recipe is that you do all of these steps in just one large pot.
- First make your roux with butter, onion, and flour.
- Then, add half of the milk to make a slurry.
- After that, it is as simple as adding the remaining ingredients in - yes, you boil your noodles in the milk. Wild, right?!
- Lastly, stir in your desired cheeses!
How to Freeze & Reheat Mac and Cheese
Yes, you can freeze pasta! To prevent it from being mushy on reheat, you want to do 2 important things:
- Undercook your pasta by about a minute. The pasta will continue to cook when you reheat it.
- Let it cool fully, even put your trays in the fridge to fully cool before transferring to the freezer. If you put hot food in the freezer, the steam will create condensation and then freezer burn.
You will have the best results when you reheat if you reheat from thawed. You can absolutely reheat from frozen but we find you have to break the noodles apart because it doesn't reheat as well from a frozen block.
From frozen, add 2 teaspoons of water or milk, cover, and reheat for 5 minutes, break it apart and add more time in one minute increments until warmed throughout.
1 cup cubes take 5-7 minutes from frozen, and 2 cup cubes take 10-12 minutes.