This healthy one pot mac and cheese recipe uses ground beef, lots of vegetables (including broccoli), and makes a great freezer meal too!
Ahhh, macaroni and cheese. It’s so comforting and delicious, but not always the healthiest meal out there. That’s why I wanted to come up with a delicious mac and cheese recipe that you could feel good about feeding to your family.
Making a homemade version instead of a boxed mac and cheese will always be healthier. And, like your favorite boxed version of mac and cheese, this recipe also only requires one pot! Hallelujah.
Easy One Pot Mac And Cheese
One pot recipes are one of my favorite things because they make cooking the recipe simpler, and they make clean up so easy (you’re welcome husband). And a lot of the time, they’re more flavorful because all the flavors combine together in one pot.
This mac and cheese recipe is one of the easiest ones you’ll find. By making this recipe in one pot on the stove top, you eliminate unnecessary steps, are able to cook faster and more efficiently, and ultimately, you’ll create a mac and cheese that’s perfect for your whole family.
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If you’re looking to save money, this recipe will help you do just that! At less than $3 per serving, this is one you’ll definitely want to make time and time again!
You can also make this recipe vegetarian by just eliminating the beef. I would imagine that would make it less filling, but it would drop the cost of the recipe down to just $12.72 or $2.12 per serving.
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Another great thing about this recipe is that is can be made into a freezer meal! My poor husband went through a few rounds of recipe testing, and by the end, he was pretty tired of mac and cheese. So the last time, I made it the way I normally do, then divided it and froze it in individual-sized aluminum pans like these ones for later.
I like to freeze leftovers if I can because it definitely helps save us money on our grocery budget! When we’re running low on cash at the end of the month, it’s so nice to have meals stashed away in the freezer.
Healthy Mac and Cheese
What makes this mac and cheese recipe healthy is that it uses whole foods and has lots of veggies! Combining heavy cream with real cheese will ALWAYS be healthier, heartier, and just better than a boxed mac and cheese with powdered flavoring.
Add in whole wheat noodles, lean beef, and loads of veggies, you really can’t go wrong.
This recipe is so cheesy and flavorful, you and your kids will hardly notice the vegetables anyways. Win win win!
Healthy One Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup broccoli chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 3 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 15 oz canned tomato sauce
- 2 roma tomatoes diced
- 12 oz whole wheat macaroni noodles
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Heat oil on medium heat in your large stock pot. Saute ground beef and season with paprika and minced garlic as it cooks. Continue to stir and cook until the beef is browned.
- Add onion, bell peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms to the beef mixture. Continue to cook on medium heat until veggies begin to soften and the onion turns translucent (about 5-6 minutes).
- Add broth, tomato sauce, Roma tomatoes, and dry noodles to the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until the noodles are al dente.
- Turn the heat off, uncover, and add the cheeses and heavy cream. Stir until the cheese has melted and everything is well combined.
- Serve and enjoy!
To Make It A Freezer Meal
- Simply follow all of the steps, then divide into aluminum freezer pans. Cover, and allow to cool completely in the fridge before placing in the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When you're ready to heat your mac and cheese from the freezer, thaw in the fridge overnight. Heat oven to 350 degrees, then place your thawed mac and cheese in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until completely heated through.
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Making healthy, budget-friendly meals for your family does not have to be difficult. Try this mac and cheese and let me know what you think in the comments below!