Za'atar mac 'n' cheese

The crunchy za’atar and breadcrumb topping adds a delicious twist to a family favourite

Serves 6

  • 500g macaroni pasta
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tbsp Zaytoun olive oil
  • 75g butter
  • 75g all-purpose flour 
  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • A generous dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 300g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 75g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 slices of bread (try sourdough or wholemeal)
  • 4 tbps Zaytoun za’atar
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt generously and add the macaroni. After 10 minutes, drain and spoon into a large oven-proof dish. Stir 1 tbsp of olive oil through the pasta to stop it sticking, and set aside.
  2. Sauté the leeks in 1 tbsp olive oil until soft, then stir through the macaroni.
  3. Melt 75g of butter in a pan, add the flour and mix to form a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the milk little by little, stirring all the time until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Add the mustard powder and a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce. Take off the heat and stir in the cheese.
  5. Pour over the macaroni and leeks, and stir through. 
  6. Blitz the bread to breadcrumbs in a food processor, then briefly pulse in 4 tbsp of za’atar.
  7. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese.
  8. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden and crunchy.

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