Bacon and leek pasta bake recipe

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Bacon and Leek Pasta Bake

This bacon and leek pasta bake recipe is another one of my wife’s favourites. I make this for her when she needs some spoiling. 

bacon leek pasta
Frying the bacon

Again it is another one of those great meals you can prepare upfront and pop in the oven when you need to cook it.  A great one for dinner parties and the bacon/leek combo with cheese always pleases.

The breadcrumbs on the top give a delicious crispy topping in the oven. 

The preparation time is quick and dependant on how many pans you like to have on the go at any one time.

I like to re-use a single frying pan, so it takes me a bit longer than it needs to, but you can prepare it quicker if you have the pans and do not mind the extra washing up!

Leeks and the Welsh

The Welsh people have a number of national emblems. The leek is one of them. As I drove East to West through Wales this week in the pouring rain I wondered whether it shouldn’t be ‘leak’ rather than ‘leek’! It was throwing it down!!

This link about the Leek will tell you a bit more about that if you are interested. The daffodil, the dragon and Prince of Wales Ostrich feathers are also well known Welsh symbols.

All of which you may see if you go and watch Wales play live rugby.

We think the leek goes better in this dish than the daffodil!

 

sauteeing the leeks
Softening the leeks

I prefer to use penne for this recipe, but find that fusilli also works well.

leek and pasta bake
Bacon and leek pasta bake in a cheese sauce

Bacon and leek pasta bake

This creamy leek and bacon pasta bake is simple to make and uses an Alfredo type cheesy sauce, which coats the pasta beautifully.

The breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese on the top give it a lovely crispy chewy surface. The cheese sauce for the pasta really goes very well with the combination.

It is a bit like a baked mac and cheese with bacon and leeks added.

cheese and bacon pasta bake
Delicious crispy breadcrumbed surface

Make sure that you use the right size dish for the amount of ingredients, so that you have enough of the creamy cheese sauce to cover the pasta/leeks/bacon.

The recipe amount below fills a 3-litre dish (approx. 100 fl. oz US) and will feed about 6-8 people (depending on how much you like to eat!)

Using leftover ham

This recipe is another good recipe for using up any leftover ham, if you have any, after Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Just replace the bacon in the recipe with ham. I like to fry the ham in the pan a bit before adding it to the dish. The result looks pretty much the same and tastes great:

 

leek and ham pasta bake
Using leftover ham in the recipe

 

 

leek and ham pasta
Leek and ham pasta bake

 

I hope you enjoy making this recipe. If you do, please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!

How to make this cheesy pasta bake recipe

Bacon and leek pasta bake recipe

bacon and leek pasta bake recipe

A delicious creamy and cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake recipe. This never fails to please and the crispy topping makes it special.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 220g streaky bacon (or leftover ham if you have some, chopped into pieces)
  • 3 x large leeks, chopped
  • 1 x 25 g butter for the leeks and 1 x 50g butter for sauce
  • 2 x cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 x heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 150 g grated medium strength white cheddar cheese
  • 800ml milk
  • 350g dried pasta (fusilli or penne)
  • powdered nutmeg to taste
  • Salt & pepper
  • 125ml x cream
  • 2 x tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese, finely grated or flaked
  • Breadcrumbs

Instructions

Prepare leeks and bacon

  1. Start by boiling a pan of water and then cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, sieve and run under the cold tap to stop it cooking further. Then set it aside in the baking dish.
  2. At the same time fry the bacon until the majority of fat has rendered and it is crispy. Then put it aside on a plate until cool, and chop into small 1cm size pieces and place in the baking dish.
  3. Before chopping the leeks make sure you have cleaned them properly by running a knife length ways and running them under a cold tap to get rid of any dirt that may be inside them. Then chop them laterally into 1cm thick pieces. I use the leek up to about half way up from the transition from white to green, so there is a mix of white and green.
  4. Next melt 25g of butter in a pan and use it to sweat the leeks on a low heat until they are soft. Do not burn them. When done, add to the pasta and bacon.

Make the sauce

  1. At the same time make the white sauce: melt the 50g piece of butter in a saucepan and add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the flour and mix together and cook for another minute. 
  2. Then slowly add the milk bit by bit, whisking with a hand whisk to get rid of any lumps. Cook until it starts to get thick, then add the cheddar cheese to the sauce, stirring all the time. Finally add the cream, the cream cheese and the nutmeg, and season to taste, mixing all the time.

Combine

  1. Then mix all the contents of the baking dish and add the sauce to the contents and stir properly to make sure the sauce settles to the bottom and covers the pasta. 
  2. Then cover the top with breadcrumbs, (not too much) and sprinkle the Parmesan on the top. 
  3. The mix can now be covered with tin foil and put into the fridge until ready to cook. To cook, place uncovered in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 40 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the sauce is bubbling away.

Notes

Put the hot dish in the middle of the table, take a big serving spoon and help yourself. But be quick as everyone will want the crispy bits on the top! 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 509Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 867mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

The recipe is also good for using up ham leftovers from this recipe (if you have any):

  Just use chopped ham instead of bacon.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may like to try these :

 

 

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