Seafood mac and cheese recipe

seafood mac and cheese recipe
Seafood mac and cheese combines the comforting warmth of a classic macaroni and cheese with the upscale elegance of gourmet seafood. This dish is a testament to the versatility of mac and cheese, transforming it from a simple comfort food into a decadent, sophisticated meal that’s perfect for special occasions or a luxurious weekend dinner.

seafood mac and cheese recipe

The Perfect Blend of Pasta, Cheese, and Seafood

Choosing the right ingredients is crucial for creating the perfect seafood mac and cheese. The pasta should be cooked to al dente perfection, ensuring it retains a slight bite that complements the creamy sauce. For the cheese, a blend of Gruyère and sharp cheddar offers a rich, complex flavor that melts beautifully into the creamy base. Gruyère, with its nutty and slightly sweet taste, elevates the dish, making it more refined and flavorful.

When it comes to seafood, the choice is key to the dish’s success. Lobster, crab, and shrimp are all excellent choices, each adding its unique flavor and texture to the dish. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality seafood to ensure the best taste and safety.


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

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and prepare a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray or a light coating of butter.
  2. Cook the elbow macaroni just to al dente, then drain.
  3. In a large pot, melt 6 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until fully combined, then gradually add the milk and cream, whisking constantly until smooth.
  4. Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in the Gruyère and cheddar cheeses until melted and smooth.
  5. Gently fold in the cooked pasta and seafood, then transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt the remaining butter and mix with the panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Complementing Your Seafood Mac and Cheese

While seafood mac and cheese is a star on its own, pairing it with the right side dishes can elevate your meal even further. Opt for light, refreshing sides to balance the richness of the main dish. A simple salad, green beans almondine, or roasted tomatoes can add a fresh contrast to the creamy, hearty mac and cheese.

Storage and Reheating

Leftover seafood mac and cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer storage, freezing is an option, though it’s best to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in the oven to maintain the best texture and flavor.


  • Can I use frozen seafood? Yes, but ensure it’s thoroughly thawed and drained to prevent excess water from diluting the sauce.
  • How can I prevent the cheese from curdling? Use room temperature dairy products and add the cheese slowly to the sauce, stirring constantly.
  • Is it possible to make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, by substituting the flour for a gluten-free alternative and ensuring your pasta and breadcrumbs are gluten-free.

Seafood mac and cheese is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary experience that blends the comfort of mac and cheese with the luxury of gourmet seafood. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply indulging in a rich, comforting meal, this recipe promises to deliver an unforgettable taste sensation.

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