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Seafood Mac and Cheese

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Elevate your favorite comfort food with this delicious seafood mac and cheese recipe. Made with shrimp and lobster, the sauce is made with three types of cheeses for a tasty bite full of flavor.

Mac and cheese on a wooden spoon.

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
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Everyone loves mac and cheese, there’s never a bad time for it! When it’s homemade and made from scratch it’s one of my favorite things, and when it’s loaded with shrimp and lobster, you have to hold me back!

This seafood mac and cheese is simple to make, and the good news is, it only takes a couple of extra minutes extra to whip up. The sauce is so creamy and cheesy, and made with cheddar, gouda and gruyere. I just know you are going to love this as much as we did!

Be sure to try my Air Fryer Mac and Cheese and Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese too!

How to make seafood mac and cheese

  • Gather your ingredients.
Ingredients for the recipe ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to directions on the box, about 8 minutes for al-dente noodles. Remove the noodles with a spider strainer and set aside.
Draining the cooked macaroni.
  • Add shrimp and lobster to the boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes, until lobster and shrimp are cooked through. Remove from water with a spider strainer. Set aside.
  • Remove the lobster meat from the shell.
Two photos to show the seafood being cooked.
  • Combine milk and heavy cream in a large measuring cup or glass. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of cheddar, ½ cup of gruyere, and ¼ cup of the smoked gouda. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium-sized pot, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour in the pot and whisk for 1-2 minutes, until the flour smells toasty. Slowly whisk in milk/cream mixture. And seasonings and allow to simmer until thickened, whisking often. This should take about 5 minutes.
Two photos to show how to make the cheese sauce.
  • The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
Stirring the sauce in a pot.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cheese you set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add shrimp and noodles. Pour cheese mixture over noodles and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture in a 9×11 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
The pasta and sauce topped with shredded cheese.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  • For an extra crisp topping, place the oven on broil for 3-4 minutes until the cheese on top has browned. Serve and enjoy.
Seafood mac and cheese in a baking dish before and after baking.

What’s the best pasta to use?

I made this seafood mac and cheese with cavatappi pasta (also known as spirali), it’s corkscrew shape collects all of that delicious cheese sauce. You can use other short pastas like macaroni, fusilli or even penne. Use gluten-free pasta if you have an allergy, and this recipe will also work well with wholewheat.

Can you make it ahead of time?

This recipe makes enough for eight servings, and the good news is, is that the leftovers taste amazing! Let the pasta cool before covering and refrigerating and it will keep well for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes or till warmed through.

If you would like to prep the mac and cheese, make the recipe as instructed but allow the cheese mixture to cool slightly before adding it to the pasta. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.

Can you use frozen seafood?

I prefer to use defrosted lobster and shrimp. Thaw thoroughly before adding them to the water to cook for the best texture and flavor.

Close up of the seafood mac and cheese being served with a wooden spoon.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Cook the pasta al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it or it will be pretty mushy.
  • Cook the pasta in heavily salted water so you add flavor right at the beginning.
  • Use freshly grated cheese rather than pre-grated. Pre-grated often has a coating which makes it harder for the cheese to melt.
  • For a crispy topping, you can sprinkle some panko breadcrumbs over the top before you add the shredded cheese.

More Pasta Recipes

Mac and cheese on a wooden spoon.
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5 from 1 vote

Seafood Mac and Cheese

Elevate your favorite comfort food with this delicious seafood mac and cheese recipe. Made with shrimp and lobster, the sauce is made with three types of cheeses for a tasty bite full of flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword lobster mac and cheese, macaroni cheese with seafood, shrimp mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 634kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cavatappi pasta
  • ½ lb shrimp peeled, deveined
  • 4 2-3 oz lobster tails
  • 8 Tablespoon butter
  • 8 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese separated
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese separated
  • ½ cup smoked gouda cheese separated
  • 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to directions on the box, about 8 minutes for al-dente noodles. Remove the noodles with a spider strainer and set aside.
  • Add shrimp and lobster to the boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes, until lobster and shrimp are cooked through. Remove from water with a spider strainer. Set aside.
  • Combine milk and heavy cream in a large measuring cup or glass. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of cheddar, ½ cup of gruyere, and ¼ cup of the smoked gouda. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium-sized pot, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour in the pot and whisk for 1-2 minutes, until the flour smells toasty. Slowly whisk in milk/cream mixture. And seasonings and allow to simmer until thickened, whisking often. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the cheese you set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add shrimp and noodles. Pour cheese mixture over noodles and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture in a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  • For an extra crisp topping, place the oven on broil for 3-4 minutes until the cheese on top has browned. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • Cook the pasta al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t want to overcook it or it will be pretty mushy.
  • Cook the pasta in heavily salted water so you add flavor right at the beginning.
  • Use freshly grated cheese rather than pre-grated. Pre-grated often has a coating which makes it harder for the cheese to melt.
  • For a crispy topping, you can sprinkle some panko breadcrumbs over the top before you add the shredded cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 634kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 219mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1403IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 624mg | Iron: 2mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating




James

Monday 6th of September 2021

I made this last night, it was amazing!!!!!!