This leftover pigs in blankets mac & cheese combines the best part of Christmas dinner with a quick & easy, cheesy stovetop pasta!

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leftover pigs in blankets mac & cheese

If you somehow end up with leftover pigs in blankets this Christmas, this mac & cheese is a great way to make use of them! It’s creamy, it’s cheesy & best of all, it’s full of crispy sausages & bacon.

This dish also makes use of any cheese board cheeses that you might have leftover. I used a mix of brie, red Leicester & cheddar but stilton, parmesan & goat’s cheese could also be used. You could even add any leftover turkey or stuffing into the sauce as well!

What Are Pigs In Blankets?

In my opinion, pigs in blankets are the best part of Christmas dinner! These are a classic, festive side dish here in the UK & consist of chipolata sausages that are wrapped in streaky bacon then cooked.

What You’ll Need

  • Leftover Pigs In Blankets
    This recipe uses pigs in blankets that have already been cooked. I’d recommend using at least 10 of them!
  • Leftover Cheese Board Cheeses
    This dish is designed to make use of Christmas leftovers, including the cheese. If you haven’t got cheddar, red Leicester or brie, feel free to use different cheeses. Stilton, goat’s cheese & parmesan are all good options.
  • Dried Macaroni
    We’re using dried macaroni for this recipe. This can be the standard, straight pasta or the curved elbow variety.
  • Milk
    For the richest cheese sauce, I like to use whole milk. Semi skimmed can also be used though.
  • Chicken Stock
    Usually you’d use just milk for a cheese sauce but I like to use chicken stock as well, for a roasted, meaty flavour. For convenience, I like to use a stock cube dissolved in hot water.
  • Butter
    We need a small amount of butter for the cheese sauce & the crispy breadcrumbs. I like to use unsalted butter but salted will also work.
  • Plain Flour
    Our cheese sauce is made with a roux, which uses a small amount of plain flour.
  • Breadcrumbs
    This recipe makes stovetop mac & cheese so we’re adding some fried breadcrumbs on top for some added texture. I like to use panko breadcrumbs but feel free to use regular ones.
  • Mustard
    Adding mustard to the cheese sauce is optional but highly recommended. Use dijon or French’s mustard for a mild flavour or English mustard for a stronger one.
  • Nutmeg
    A small amount of freshly grated nutmeg works brilliantly in cheese sauce. This is added to taste.
leftover pigs in blankets mac & cheese

The full, printable recipe card for this mac & cheese can be found at the bottom of this post!

How To Make Cheese Sauce

Step 1 – Make A Roux

To start our sauce, we need to make a roux. To do this, we place butter into a large saucepan then melt it over a medium heat. Once melted, we stir in flour & cook out for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Step 2 – Add Milk & Chicken Stock

Next, we add in half of our milk then whisk until smooth. This is then cooked out for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thick. We then add the remaining milk & repeat. Make sure to stir the sauce regularly with either a rubber spatula or a whisk, to keep it smooth & stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.

Once the sauce has thickened up again, we add in half of our chicken stock & cook out once again, this time at a slightly reduced heat. We then add the rest of the stock & cook until thick. If you taste the sauce at this point, it should no longer taste like flour.

Step 3 – Add In Mustard, Nutmeg & Cheese

Once the flour has been cooked out & the sauce is thick, it’s time to add some flavour! First we need to reduce the heat to low (this stops the cheese from separating & going grainy) then we add in Dijon/French’s mustard, a small amount of freshly grated nutmeg & all of our cheese.

We then cook the sauce over a low heat until the cheese has completely melted, stirring constantly. This will only take a couple of minutes.

leftover pigs in blankets mac & cheese

Step 4 – Blitz With A Stick Blender

This step is optional but makes for a smoother sauce.

Once the cheese has melted, we remove the pan of sauce from the heat then give it a good blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth. At this point, the sauce can be used straight away or cooled down & stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How To Cook Macaroni Pasta

Like most pasta, macaroni is best cooked al dente. To do this, bring a large pan of water to the boil, season well with salt then add in the pasta. Give it a quick stir then cook at a rolling boil for 5 minutes.

dried macaroni

How To Make Crispy Breadcrumbs

Our crispy breadcrumbs are pan fried & only take a few minutes to cook! Simply place a frying pan over a medium heat then add in some butter. Once melted, add in panko breadcrumbs, garlic granules, salt & pepper then fry until crispy & a deep, golden brown. Make sure to stir/shake the pan regularly to stop them burning.

crispy garlic breadcrumbs

Reheating Pigs In Blankets

We need to reheat the leftover pigs in blankets before adding them into our pasta. To do this, first cut each sausage into 4 pieces then place onto a baking tray & drizzle with a small amount of vegetable oil.

Next, cook at 200°c/180°c fan (392°f/356°f) for 5-10 minutes, until nice & hot. Make sure to give them a stir every couple of minutes so that they don’t burn! Don’t worry if the bacon falls off the sausages, it will go crispy in the oven…

leftover pigs in blankets
I made my pasta with some honey & mustard glazed pigs in blankets. The recipe for these will be out soon!

Baked vs Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Stovetop mac & cheese tends to be creamier & quicker to make than the baked stuff. You don’t get the crispy topping with the stovetop method though, which is why we’re adding fried breadcrumbs before serving.

This recipe can be baked, if you’d prefer. To do this, give the pasta one less minute of cooking time then stir into the sauce with the sausages. Transfer this to a heatproof dish, top with breadcrumbs (not fried!) & extra cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling & the top is nice & crispy.

Equipment Used

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Leftover Pigs In Blankets Mac & Cheese

This leftover pigs in blankets mac & cheese combines the best part of Christmas dinner with a quick & easy, cheesy stovetop pasta!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dinner, Leftovers, Lunch
Cuisine: American, English
Servings: 6 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Stick Blender
  • 2 Large Saucepans
  • Cheese Grater
  • Large Frying Pan
  • Small Frying Pan
  • Slotted Spoon

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce

  • 50 g Unsalted Butter
  • 40 g Plain Flour
  • 700 ml Whole Milk
  • 500 ml Chicken Stock
  • 2 tsp Mustard Dijon Or French's
  • Grated Nutmeg To Taste
  • 100 g Mature Cheddar Grated
  • 100 g Red Leicester Grated
  • 75 g Brie Cut Into Small Pieces

Crispy Breadcrumbs

  • 15 g Unsalted Butter
  • 40 g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Granules

Pasta

  • 300 g Macaroni
  • 10 Leftover Pigs In Blankets Cooked

Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 200°c/180°c fan (392°f/356°f).
  • Chop each pig in blanket into four pieces then place onto a baking tray, drizzle with veg oil then set aside.

Crispy Breadcrumbs

  • Place a small frying pan over a medium heat then add in the butter & leave to melt.
  • Once melted, add in the breadcrumbs & garlic granules. Season with salt & pepper then fry until golden brown & crispy, stirring/shaking the pan regularly.
  • Transfer the crispy breadcrumbs to a bowl then set aside.

Cheese Sauce

  • Place the butter into a large saucepan then cook over a medium heat until melted.
  • Stir in the flour then cook out for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add in half the milk then whisk until smooth & cook out until thick, stirring regularly. This will take 2-3 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Next, pour in the remaining milk & keep cooking until thickened again.
  • Now add in half the chicken stock & reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, stirring/whisking regularly until the sauce has thickened back up.
  • Pour in the rest of the stock then keep cooking until the flour has been cooked out & the sauce has thickened for a final time.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add in the mustard, nutmeg & cheeses then stir until melted. Season the sauce with salt & pepper then take off the heat.
  • Give the cheese sauce a good blitz with a stick blender then set aside.

Pasta

  • Place a large saucepan of water over a high heat & bring to the boil.
    At the same time, place the tray of pigs in blankets into the preheated oven & cook for 5-10 minutes or until hot.
  • Add a large pinch of salt to the pan of water then add in the raw macaroni & stir with a wooden spoon.
    This stops the pasta sticking together!
  • Cook the pasta at a rolling boil for 5 minutes or until it is cooked al dente.
  • When the pasta is almost ready, place the pan of sauce back over a medium-low heat, to warm back up.
  • Once cooked, transfer the pasta to the cheese sauce, using a slotted spoon.
  • Stir the pasta & sauce together, pouring in a small amount of pasta water if necessary. Stir in the pigs in blankets then take the pan off the heat.

To Serve

  • Spoon the pasta into bowls then top each one with a generous sprinkle of breadcrumbs & a crack of black pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. Cheese – This dish is designed to make use of leftovers so feel free to use whatever cheese you have available. Blue cheese, goat’s cheese & parmesan are all good options!
2. The Sauce – Once cooked, the sauce can either be used straight away or cooled down & stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If refrigerating, the sauce will need a good 5 minutes on the stove to heat back up.
3. Baking – If you’d prefer to bake the mac & cheese, cook the pasta for 1 minute less & don’t fry the breadcrumbs. To cook, stir together the pasta, pigs in blankets & sauce then transfer to a heatproof dish. Top with the uncooked breadcrumbs, an extra sprinkling of cheese then bake at 200°c/392°f for 15-20 minutes.

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