Bacon, pea & basil macaroni

Bacon, pea & basil macaroni

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(56 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
The perfect summer comfort food - classic macaroni cheese with extra veggies and herbs

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal703
  • fat32g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs81g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein28g
  • salt1.87g
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  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced into rings



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 140g frozen pea
  • 400g macaroni
  • 200g pack soft cheese
  • 85g mature cheddar, grated
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • small bunch basil, shredded



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Fry the bacon and leeks in the oil for 10 mins until the bacon is golden and the leeks soft. Tip in the peas and heat through. Meanwhile, boil the pasta and heat the grill to high.

  2. Reserve 150ml of the cooking water before you drain the pasta, then add it, the soft cheese, half the grated cheese and the mustard to the pan with the veg. Stir until the cheese melts into a creamy sauce. Stir in most of the basil and the pasta, then scatter with the rest of the cheese. Grill for 2-3 mins until the cheese melts. Scatter with basil to serve.

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Comments (62)

RachelM85's picture

So quick and so simple! Great with chicken, mushrooms and a bit of garlic too. Will definitely be making this again!

allielovetocook's picture

We really enjoyed this but only needed to serve 3 of us so adjusted the recipe accordingly - just added 2 cloves of garlic with the leeks and bacon, and used low fat soft cheese. I sliced up some vine tomatoes to put over the top and popped the lot into the oven for 10 mins. Delicious. Even our daughter (who doesn't like soft cheese or mustard!) liked it! I thought it needed more sauce but hubby and daughter liked it just the way it was. Will definitely make this again.

Second helpings's picture

I used 4 eggs stirred in at the end instead of the cream cheese, and will add garlic next time. Really delicious!

lucik's picture

A very tasty dish! Added extra bacon and used a few different cheeses. Recommended!

coulbyc's picture

I took note of what other people had said and the first time I made it added 2 cloves crushed garlic and used half fat soft cheese. I used the other quantities (approximately) added a pinch of chilli powder ( I would rather have used paprika but only had smoked in the cupboard) and a pinch of dried mixed herbs. Tasted great. Lovely and light, very tasty

yummymummy43's picture

This was absolutely delicious - the whole family loved it - will definitely make this one again

jimiskewl's picture

I skipped the Basil and used Pancetta. A decent mid week meal and perhaps would consider adding a little garlic next time around - Tony's suggestion above (tomatoes) seems like the way forward to me if using a larger type dish to make more surface area.

vriensa's picture

made it exactly according to the recipe and the whole family loved it!

denisejura's picture

Wonderful dish, used courgettes instead of leaks as I had to use them up. Worked a treat!

phaniejm's picture

This was delicious. I subbed in lardons, farfalle and cantal because I had them on hand. I made the dish for my husband and I for lunch, so I cut the pasta back to 300g and adjusted the other quantities accordingly. (I just used one leek.) It could've been a little bit creamier, but it was really delicious, and even with the reduced pasta we only managed to eat half. I am freezing the other half for lunch another day. Would be great with garlic bread!

Rowena Wilkes's picture

This was a real winner with my other half however I found it very rich and a bit too cheesy. Like others, I cooked it in the oven like a pasta bake, rather than grilling it. I added tomatos to the top aswell and didnt add the water to the cheese as I didnt think it needed it. Good in general but will tweak it a bit to suit us all

mamadel08's picture

I used left over roast gammon, spring onions, Philly light with chives and a spoonful of Creme fraiche (to replace cheese already used!). Lots of black pepper and cayenne have a kick. finished in oven at 180 for 10 mins. 300g of macaroni is loads for 2. Lovely light alternative to macaroni cheese.

eleanormayo's picture

I was really looking forward to cooking and eating this dish, but somehow it did not live up to expectation.

rachi09's picture

Fantastic recipe will be having it again and generous portions.

hannahrook's picture

Really easy and tasty mid week meal? My husband loved it too and it re-heats really nicely so he took it to work with him the next day. My 2 year old also loved it so this will definitely be one I make again

barrygreenback's picture

I added Cayenne pepper to the sauce and baked it, then finished off under the grill, otherwise think it may have been a bit sloppy. I think if I tried it again would maybe try with red onions and peppers, and courgettes, with garlic soft cheese, and none of the peas!

ilikefooduk's picture

This was very filling and quick to make. To reduce the calories and increase nutrition, I made the following changes which were fantastic:

whole wheat fusilli for the macaroni
light philadelphia for the soft cheese (to cut back on calories)
three leaks instead of two
200g of peas instead of 140
"lowlow" grated irish cheddar (to cut back on calories)
quorn bacon rashers in place of meat (because we are veg)

other than that, i followed the recipe and this was fab! i don't think the changes i made hurt the recipe as it was still packed full of flavour and very satisfying. this will remain a regular for me. thanks!!!

ladyhazy's picture

A delicious simple dish which is now one of me and my partners favourites.

I didn't have any soft cheese when I first made it so I put a bit of Boursin (soft garlic cheese) in, and this is now a must! I also put a LOT of pepper in to give it some heat.

ladyhazy's picture

A delicious simple dish which is now one of me and my partners favourites.

I didn't have any soft cheese when I first made it so I put a bit of Boursin (soft garlic cheese) in, and this is now a must! I also put a LOT of pepper in to give it some heat.

actress1nce's picture

I added a glug of white wine and used Tesco value low fat soft cheese, with a little cheddar and Dijon mustard. It was tasty but needed a bit more of a kick, I will add some garlic next time.


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