Macaroni cheese with bacon & pine nuts

Macaroni cheese with bacon & pine nuts

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(30 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
You don't get much more comforting than a melty pasta bake with a crunchy topping. Serve with a crisp green salad

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal886
  • fat60g
  • saturates34g
  • carbs60g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein26g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 50g pine nuts
  • 4 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 400g macaroni or other short pasta
  • 300ml pot double cream
  • 200ml pot crème fraîche
  • 200g gruyère or mature cheddar, grated



    Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • green salad, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the pine nuts in a dry frying pan, gently toast for 2-3 mins, then tip onto a plate. In the same pan, add the pancetta or bacon and cook for a few mins until crisp.

  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta following pack instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water for later.

  3. Meanwhile, put the double cream, crème fraîche and half the cheese in a saucepan, stir together and gently warm through until the cheese has melted. Take off the heat, stir in the mustard and some seasoning to taste.

  4. Tip the drained pasta into a large baking dish and stir in the cheese sauce, adding some of the pasta cooking water if it looks a little dry. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts and cooked pancetta over the top, then scatter over the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 mins until the top is golden and bubbling, then serve with a salad, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sophiehendo's picture
2nd Nov, 2017
Tasty, but incredibly rich (obviously!). Not quite as 'saucy' as I'd hoped. Pine nuts a great idea. Overall, I think you get a better result from a classic roux sauce method, but this was very easy and we enjoyed it.
amandajanepidgley's picture
30th Apr, 2017
Very tasty recipe! Went down well with the whole family. Would definitely do this one again. Served with a side salad. Delicious.
26th Jan, 2017
Great mac and cheese. We had loads of leftovers because it's so filling.
11th Aug, 2016
So delicious and really rich! The recipe makes LOADS!
1st May, 2015
This is SO filling! Not only does it do a great job of filling a few mouths but it lasts a few days in the fridge. I tried a few alternatives too, adding a little coriander went a long way, an extra tsp of Dijon helped combat the huge amounts of diary and finally try swapping out the creme fraiche for a low fat cheese like Quark (it just makes it a bit healthier). Would recommend to everyone who needs to feed many of a small budget.
14th Jan, 2015
Super meal for kids and adults, the crispy bacon with pine nuts really makes a special Mac and cheese !
newmikeman's picture
26th Sep, 2014
Very tasty and easy to prepare.
Frantic Flapjack
17th Apr, 2014
This was extremely quick to make and tasted lovely. Would definitely make again.
newmikeman's picture
26th Sep, 2014
Having frozen some double portions, how would you suggest we reheat them - microwave?
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2014
Hi there thanks for your question. For best results defrost at room temperature, then cook following the original instructions stated in the recipe. 
Georgia Linsey-Bessent's picture
Georgia Linsey-...
23rd Jun, 2018
You can swap the meat type and it's easily adaptable, I also made it without the pine nuts as they're really expensive, also cheese lovers (like my family) should use extra mature cheddar cheese for a strong taste. If you want to make this it's definitely filling!
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