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Baked Mac and Cheese with Leeks

This mac and cheese casserole gets an upgrade with buttery leeks for a crowd-pleasing side dish that you can make ahead and reheat.

Serves 8
Ready in 65 mins
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 50 mins
314 calories per serving


> cooking spray
> 8 oz fusilli pasta
> 3 medium leeks, trimmed
> 3 tbsp butter
> 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
> 2 cups whole milk
> 2 tsp dry mustard powder
> 1 tsp paprika
> 8 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated and divided


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2-qt casserole dish with the cooking spray. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until almost al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the leeks and submerge in a large bowl of water. Swish and separate rings to release grit. Drain and then submerge and swish in water again. Drain well.
In a large pot, heat the butter on medium-high. Add leeks and cook 8 min., until softened, stirring often. Sprinkle in the flour. Let cook 1 min., stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Add the mustard powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook 3–4 min., until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
To pot, add cooked fusilli and all but ½ cup Cheddar cheese. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to casserole dish and top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake 30 min., until bubbly and hot. Let rest 10 min. before serving.

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