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Seafood Mac and Cheese

This Seafood Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy with two types of cheese and plenty of your favorite seafood, such as lobster or shrimp, all baked together to golden brown perfection.

Seafood mac and cheese on a blue towel that's on a wooden table.

You probably know that I grew up in Wisconsin, and later spent many years in Southern CA, both of which are big dairy states. So trust me when I say that I know my cheese.

I don’t discriminate when it comes to mac and cheese, and I make it all the time. I make my Instant Pot Mac and Cheese when I want something creamy and rich, but also fast and easy. And I add seafood when I want comfort food that’s also rich and decadent, and just a bit more upscale.

This recipe calls for topping the dish with panko breadcrumbs. I’ve made it both with and without, and I prefer making it with them. Don’t worry if you don’t have them on hand though, as it’s delicious either way!

You can also make fresh breadcrumbs in place of the panko; both are very good. Sometimes I give just a little sprinkle of breadcrumbs on the top (as in the photos), so do whatever you think you’ll like best.

Usually, seafood mac and cheese is fine just on its own. But read on if you’re looking to make a bigger, more well-rounded meal.

Cooked Seafood mac and cheese on a blue towel that's on a wooden table.

What goes with Seafood Mac and Cheese?

If you’re going all-out, consider making a steak or prime rib for a surf and turf dinner. This is a fantastic way to serve a high-quality meal that will spoil your special someone, while also saving some cash, as you won’t have to buy as much seafood for the occasion.

If you’re looking for good side dishes, I’d first recommend going with something on the light side, since Seafood Mac and Cheese is fairly rich. A simple salad is a good choice. Green Beans Almondine or Roasted Tomatoes are both great choices, too. Simple roasted asparagus is another side dish that only takes a few minutes to make and balances the richness of the mac and cheese nicely.

Seafood mac and cheese on a blue towel that's on a wooden table, along with a fork and a black pepper mill.

What’s the best cheese to use for Macaroni and Cheese?

For the best flavor, I always recommend using two kinds of cheese: Gruyère and a mild Cheddar. Of course, I’ve made mac and cheese many times with just cheddar and it’s delicious! But if I’m going to the expense of adding seafood, such as lobster or shrimp, then I’ll also use a more expensive cheese, such as Gruyère, and combine that with the cheddar.

Cheddar with some parmesan mixed into the breadcrumbs is also a nice combination. You can also use Fontina, which is a fabulous melting cheese. Really any of your favorite cheeses will work, as long as they’re meltable!

How long does Seafood Mac and Cheese last?

It will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you put in your body. Besides, it’s so good that I can’t imagine it would ever last more than a day or two!

Seafood mac and cheese on a blue towel that's on top of a wooden table.

Can you freeze Seafood Mac and Cheese?

It can definitely be frozen but there’s always a chance it could curdle due to its dairy content. If you do freeze it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a 300F oven for 20-30 minutes.

This Seafood Mac and Cheese is so creamy, rich, and decadent, you’ll get rave reviews from all! If you make it, be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thewickednoodle on all social channels. I’d love to see your results!

Seafood Mac and Cheese

Seafood Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Mac and cheese is already terrific on its own, but it's truly decadent with the addition of seafood! Lobster or shrimp work best.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 4 cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 lb cooked lobster, crab, and/or shrimp, etc.
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray (or lightly coat it with butter).
  3. Cook the pasta just to al dente, according to the package directions.
  4. Meanwhile, melt 6 tbsp of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour, then whisk constantly until it's fully combined, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the milk and cream, whisking constantly, until it's combined and smooth, about one minute more. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Stir in the shredded cheeses, one handful at a time, stirring to combine completely between additions. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the cooked pasta and lobster meat. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and mix it with the panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle them on top of the mac and cheese.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the seafood mac and cheese is hot throughout and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1511Total Fat: 103gSaturated Fat: 61gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 409mgSodium: 1917mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 86g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
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