Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

If you’re looking to transform mac and cheese from a simple weeknight meal into a restaurant order copycat, I have the secret: A crispy breadcrumb topping!  It makes all the difference in this Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese!

This pasta bake is quick and easy with only simple ingredients needed.  It’s also quite customizable.  Should you have a preference to use a different type of cheese or vegetable, it can be made entirely your own.

That being said, I highly recommend this particular combination!  The broccoli is very complimentary in both taste and texture, and there’s just the right amount of subtle kick from the pepper jack that really ties all of the flavors together.

The contrast of the crispy cheese and breadcrumb topping paired with the saucy pasta center makes this meal perfect to serve hot from the oven, but in a smaller household it can easily be stored as leftovers for readymade meals or sides in the days to follow.  This recipe makes 6 servings, and whether you’re feeding a group or meal prepping for yourself, it’s designed to make the cooking as easy as possible. (Cue the cheese slices in lieu of shredding!)

Servings: 6


  • 3 Cups Elbow Pasta (dry)
  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper (about 10 total rotations from the grinder)
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/4 Cups Oat Milk
  • 1 3/4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 8 Slices Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • 5 Cups Broccoli (measured while frozen/raw)
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 2 Slices Muenster Cheese
  • 2 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs



Preheat the oven to 350°

Grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish

Cook the broccoli (I microwaved from frozen), cut into small pieces, and set aside


Prepare the elbow pasta according to the package instructions.  Be sure to rinse it with cold water once drained


While the pasta is cooking, in a wok/vessel of similar size, melt the butter

Stir the flour into the melted butter until evenly combined

Next, stir in the sea salt, half of the black pepper (about 5 rotations from the grinder), and the cayenne

Add in the oat milk and vegetable broth, cooking and stirring on medium heat until well blended

Melt in the 8 slices of cheddar, stirring until smooth


Add the cooked pasta into the sauce

Add in the cooked broccoli pieces

Also add in the other half of the black pepper (5 rotations from the grinder) and the paprika

Transfer into the greased baking dish


Tear the 2 muenster slices and the 2 pepper jack slices into small pieces, and evenly disperse over the top of the pasta

To follow, top with the bread crumbs


Bake for around 17 minutes

To brown and crisp the top, broil for an additional 2 and 1/2 minutes.  Rotate the pan, then broil a second time for 1 and 1/2 – 2 minutes (or until lightly browned)

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly

If desired, an additional sprinkle of salt can be added when serving


[Leftovers can easily be stored in the refrigerator by simply covering up the cooled cooking dish and storing it in there as is.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Want more baked pasta? Try this Baked Zucchini Beef Pasta!

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