Mac N’Cheese with Bacon & Leeks

From Ainsley’s Food We Love

A simple and classic Mac N’Cheese jazzed up with bacon and leeks – comfort food at its best!


Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and grease a large ovenproof dish.

Fry the bacon in a dry frying pan until golden. Add a drizzle of oil and the leeks and cook for 4-6 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the plain flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the mustard and over a very low heat gradually whisk in the milk. Turn up the heat a little, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Take the pan off the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted. Season with plenty of white pepper and a little salt.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and stir in the macaroni. Cook according to the packet instructions, or until al dente, drain well and add to the cheese sauce along with the bacon and leeks.

Pour the macaroni into a pie dish (approx. 26 x 18 x 5 cm). Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and scatter over the top of the macaroni. Bake for 15- 20 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.



  • oil for frying
  • 100g bacon lardons or pancetta
  • 1 leek, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 40g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 700ml full-fat milk
  • 150g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 250g dried macaroni
  • 30g white breadcrumbs
  • 50g Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt and white pepper