A rich and flavorful dish, Leeks Mac & Cheese combines the taste of sharp cheddar with the sweetness of leeks for a new twist on mac and cheese.
Are you familiar with leeks? They have the flavor of a mild onion. I really like leeks in this recipe, it adds a new element to the dish and compliments the sharp cheddar cheese very nicely.
If you are not familiar with cleaning leaks, here is a link,How to Clean Leeks. Dirt tends to lie in the creases and crevices, so it’s important to clean them properly before cooking with them.
I have always been a fan of Mac & Cheese and Leek Mac & Cheese has become my new favorite. As far back as I can remember, way back into my childhood, my Mom would make Mac and Cheese regularly. Any dish that combines pasta and cheese rates high on my list and I am sure you will fall in love with this dish as much as I have.
- 1 lb. pasta, medium in size
- 4 tbsp. butter, divided
- 3 leeks, cleaned and sliced
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 ½ cups half & half
- 1 ½ cups skim milk
- 4 tbsp. cheese powder *
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions
- Melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a large sauce pan. Add the leeks and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the leeks start to brown. Set the leeks aside.
- In the same saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, making sure to whisk while it cooks.
- Add the half & half and skim milk. Whisk the mixture until the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium and continue whisking until the mixture is thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the salt, pepper and cheese powder.
- Add 1 cup of the shredded cheddar and whisk to combine.
- Stir in the pasta and leeks. Pour the mixture into a 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*If you don't have cheese powder, increase the amount of cheddar cheese to 2 cups.