Lobster Mac and Cheese

I love macaroni and cheese and this dish is probably one, if not the best, comfort food I could eat all year round.  Occasionally you need to kick up your macaroni and cheese by adding a special ingredient like seafood.

Ina Garten has upgraded the typical mac and cheese by adding lobster to it.  Lobster is pretty expensive here (unless I can get it on sale) so next time for this recipe I will substitute shrimp or crab. I will save the lobster tails for grilling and dipping in lots of butter.  I do like the flavor seafood imparts to macaroni and cheese and you can take it further by adding a little Old Bay Seasoning or even a dash or two of hot sauce.

I absolutely love the cheese she chose, gruyere and extra-sharp cheddar. I chose an American cheese, Tillamook, which is made from a quality blend of cow’s milk. The distinct flavor and quality of the sauce is over the top!

Normally I would use my slow cooker this time of the year to make macaroni and cheese but I have been wanting to make this recipe since the cooler months of Spring and never got around to it. I couldn’t leave all that lobster in the freezer any longer!

Lobster Mac and Cheese, Adapted

  • 1 lb. cavatappi (I would use only 3/4 lb.)
  • 1 quart whole milk (I used a mixture of 2% and whole milk)
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups Gruyere cheese, grated (12 oz.)
  • 2 cups extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (8 oz.) (I used Tillamook – love this cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2-1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (optional) or any other seasoning of your choice
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt (I used 1/2 tbsp.)
  • 1-1/2 lbs. lobster meat, 1/2-inch diced ( each lobster tail has 4-5 oz. of meat so you will need about 6 tails)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Thaw lobster tails overnight in a covered bowl.

Trim the bread and let it sit out overnight. Cut the bread into small pieces and process it in your food processor to a medium crumb. For more information go to Homemade Bread Crumbs. These do make a difference in the finished dish…

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Cut the lobster tails along the backs, pull apart the shells and remove the meat. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Boil the pasta in salted water  according to package directions; drain well.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan but do not let it boil. Using the pasta pot melt 6 tbsp. butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Whisk in the hot milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cheeses, 1/2 tbsp. salt, pepper and nutmeg, Old Bay Seasoning (if using) stirring until the cheese melts. Stir in the cooked pasta and lobster. Pile the mixture into 6  (2-cup)  5-1/2″ gratin dishes.

Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter, combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top. Bake for 30  minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the bread crumbs are browned on top. Don’t overcook or the lobster can become chewy…

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju 

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Speaking of Ina, a new cookbook “Cooking for Jeffrey: a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” will be coming out in October. I just pre-ordered it – I guess that makes 10 cookbooks that I own of Ina’s. Any couple that has been married for 48 years gets my attention and admiration for developing a strong, loving and meaningful relationship.

I am sharing one of my favorite comfort foods with Fiesta Friday #129 where Angie, Jhuls  and Colleen are the co-hosts this week.

34 thoughts on “Lobster Mac and Cheese

  1. Hmmmmm this sounds out of this world 🙂 What a lovely take on a great dish. Ina Garten is amazing and I love her recipes, I must look out for her new cookbook 🙂 Have a lovely weekend Judi.

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  2. I love mac and cheese and adding lobster to it makes it more appetizing! Thanks for sharing at this week’s FF. I am happy to see you here, Aunt Juju. x

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  3. I’m not a Mac and cheese gal, but I did make a lobster version for company once. I wasn’t that impressed. I bet your recipe is much better, so I’ll have to try it some time! 48 years? impressive.

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  4. This sounds lovely! I use langostino in lieu of lobster to help cut down on the cost! Same yummy flavor for at least half the cost! Thanks for sharing on Fiesta Friday!

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  5. I had sticker shock when I moved from New England where lobster was $5.95 a pound for live lobsters and for that the market would steam it free. Here in Florida, live lobsters sell for $22.95 and good luck on getting it steamed. Your lobster mac and cheese looks absolutely delicious.

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  6. Wow that is a whole lotta mac and cheese with lobster Judi! But heck, with ingredients that good, I can’t imagine any of it stayed around that long. I could certainly eat some right this minute it looks so delicious!

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  7. I love Ina, too!! And I love this mac and cheese – it might not make the frugal list, lol, but it is something that is so worth a splurge! (well maybe it is a little frugal because it makes a lobster go a little further…) Your pans are adorable, Judi!

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      • When I was growing up my Mom used to get the combo lobster tail/steak at any nice restaurant we went to and she would offer me a bite. I didn’t like lobster – but was always willing to try it. When we went on a vacation through Washington DC and on to the East Coast, we ate a place that caught all their lobster. Tried a bite and it was like heaven!! Ever since then, I’ve liked lobster…

        I like to look for the lobster tails before New Year’s, too.

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