Ilchester Day 3 Red Leicester and Monterey Jack Mac and Cheese

Ilchester gave us one of my new favorite cheeses for day 3. Red Leicester is a cheese I don’t get to experiment with much, but paired with monterey jack in a mac and cheese converted me to buying more of it.

The cheese advent calendar from Ilchester is the passion project of Annem Hobson from So Wrong It’s Nom. Each day contains .7 oz of cheese from 9 different varieties and I’m turning each into a single serving of mac and cheese. You can follow along here.

The flavors of Red Leicester lean toward the end of the bite, making it a perfect closer candidate. It’s sharp flavors help it stand out against a variety of strong ingredients.

For the opener in this recipe I used a Monterey Jack. Monterey Jack is a creamy American-originated cheese with an opening flavor. It is easy to get your hands on and works fantastically with a variety of cheeses. Jack is a great option if you’re looking to branch out to other opener cheeses.

I chose rotini as the pasta vehicle in this recipe. Rotini has tons of ridges perfect for holding the Red Leicester and Monterey Jack sauce in every bite of mac and cheese.

Topping options for this dish are endless. With strong cheeses in the sauce, you can use a stronger topping. Crushed spicy chips like Takis or hot Cheetos would be an amazing option.

Applewood Smoked Cheddar and Asiago Mac and Cheese

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 300 kcal


  • 16 oz pasta cooked according to package directions
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz Red Leicester, grated
  • 4 oz Monterey Jack, grated
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
  • Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
  • Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined. Season generously with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil. You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
  • Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
  • Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Combine the pasta and sauce and serve.