Macaroni and cheese. Classic comfort food. I’ve had it over and over again throughout my life. There are some nights when you just crave that gooey, cheesy pasta…and tonight was one of those nights for me. I rummaged through cookbooks and looked online to find out where to begin. I had lobster tails in the freezer and right away thought, “LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE!”. I ended up picking out an Emeril seafood mac and cheese recipe to guide me.
I’ve had only a few really good macaroni and cheese experiences in my life. I find I’m often disappointed with what I am served at restaurants. I get so excited at the table when I see lobster, or crab, or truffle mac and cheese on the menu. The excitement builds until my food arrives, and then I’m usually let down by the not-as-glorious-as-I-thought-it-would-be dish of pasta. I guess it’s easy for the pasta to absorb a lot of the sauce, and you end up with a not-so-cheesy, dry, mac and cheese, with not a lot of flavour. Maybe I just don’t go to the right restaurants…
Anyway, it doesn’t even matter which restaurants I go to anymore, because I made THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE I HAVE EVER HAD! I don’t think I’ll ever eat any other kind. This M&C is rich and creamy, really cheesy, and is covered in a delicious golden panko crust. It’s so rich and filling, that you can serve it with just a salad or steamed veggies on the side and your meal is made! It’ll be the most satisfying meal of your life.
I used a fiorelli pasta, which was a gorgeous rolled/curled up frilly little tube-like pasta. I figured it would hold they sauce well, while also looking beautiful, which it did…very well. You can always stick to the classic elbow macaroni or even cavatappi or penne.
The cheese you use will change the flavour of the mac a bit. Also, using some cream will make the sauce a lot richer. I always try to use the ingredients I have at home. I happened to have a lot of Swiss and Gruyere, so I used it along with some aged cheddar. I also had almost a cup of whipping cream in the fridge, so I used that along with my 1% milk.
Best part: the recipe’s totally versatile. I made lobster mac and cheese, which works wonderfully. You can, however, replace the lobster with crab or any seafood you like. You could even take the seafood out and just do a plain mac and cheese. Mushrooms, truffle oil, shrimp, broccoli…there are a million ingredients I would experiment with. I’m convinced it would taste amazing along with any ingredients you fancy.
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cups fiorelli pasta (or whatever pasta you decide to use…4 cups= 1 pound)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1% milk, 1 cup whipping cream. **The original recipe called for 3 cups whole milk. I used what I had in the fridge. Using cream will definitely make your sauce more creamy.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 lobster tails, de-shelled, cleaned, chopped (Use as much lobster as you like.)
- A bit of oil/butter to cook the lobster
- 4 cups of mixed grated cheeses *I used 2 cups Swiss, 1 cup aged white cheddar, 1 cup Gruyere* (I’ve seen other recipes use all cheddar, while I’ve seen many with combos of cheddar, swiss, parmesan, or fontina.)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- About 1/2 teaspoon of Creole seasoning**
** I mixed up my own version of a Creole seasoning: 1/8 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika. A little salt and pepper. Use this mixture if you don’t have a pre-mixed Creole seasoning.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put a bit of oil/butter in a small pan (enough to coat the pan) on medium heat. Add chopped lobster. Saute until cooked, 3-5 minutes. Once the flesh has become opaque, it is done. Set aside. *You can keep this small pan handy for Step 8.
3. In boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than al dente (I cooked my fiorelli for 5 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
4. While the pasta cooks, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Saute until soft, 3-5 minutes.
5. Add flour, stir, and cook for about a minute.
6. Add milk/cream slowly to pan, while whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Keep whisking, don’t let it burn. Season with 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, and ground nutmeg. Mix.
7. Remove the pan from heat. Fold in lobster, pasta, and cheese. Mix it up well and transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish or a casserole dish.
8. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan (I reused the lobster-cooking pan). Take it off the heat and mix in the panko breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning. Mix well and scatter over macaroni mixture.
9. Place your dish of macaroni on a rimmed baking sheet (I think this is in case of overflow) and bake in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden.
10. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
11. Take a moment to prepare yourself for one of the best meals of your life, and then DIG IN.
If you love lobster, cheese, mac and cheese, or all of the above…this is something you MUST try!
Hope you love it as much as I do! Happy eating! xx
This is a wonderfully and most amazing meal. Great post and the images are nice as well. When I lived in Mexico we always went to Puerto Nuevo at least once a month for lobster. Yummy!!! this is great mixed with Mac and Cheese.
Thanks for sharing your delectable food creation with Us!! 🙂
I am a seafood lover! Lobster is definitely a favourite of mine. Crab would work nicely with this recipe too! Thanks for reading 🙂
Do you think I could prep all steps, a day ahead- and leave the final step i.e.; cook uncovered for 15 minutes – for the day of needing it?
Suzanne: Thanks for checking out the recipe, I actually made it for dinner tonight! 🙂
Yes! You can make it ahead of time and bake the day you need it! I’ve brought it to many a potluck!
Hope you enjoy it!
do you add the breadcrumb topping right before baking or refrigerate with the topping when making ahead? thanks in advance!
I’ve added the breadcrumb topping right away and refrigerated, then just put everything in the oven when you’re ready to bake. It works fine for me!
Love the recipe and want to try if for Christmas. Would you add truffle oil to recipe with the lobster? Not sure if lobster and truffle oil would be a good combo. Never cook with either.
So sorry for the late reply, it’s been a busy year! I personally believe truffle oil is ALWAYS a delicious addition to pasta. I think it would go wonderfully in the lobster mac.
I sometimes make this mac & cheese with mushrooms instead of lobster. Truffle oil would go perfectly with a mushroom version as well! Thank you for stopping by and reading! 🙂
This recipe for lobster mac’n cheese is unbelievably good! I followed each step faithfully ( which is unusual for me) and added a bit of truffle oil to make it even more delectable. I agree with “This Hungry Kitten”-no other mac’n cheese dish will ever compare! Thank you.
So glad you enjoyed it, Sara! It is the BEST. I still make it all the time with the same recipe. Sometimes I just use onions and mushrooms for a really good mushroom mac & cheese (if you like mushrooms, of course). 🙂
how many people does this feed?
Looking forward to making this for Christmas Eve…looks amazing.
I too loved this recipe! I’m a pretty good cook so I read a recipe and using the ingredients usually alter it a little. Here’s what I did. I added about a cup more milk and about 6 cups really good cheddar (aged) and about 2 cups swiss (cheap brand). I used frozen lobster for ease as I knew fresh wouldn’t make a difference in a casserole. I served this to guests with tomato bisk soup and they called it “restaurant good”
Thank you, thank you soooo much for this receipe!!! I had to double the receipe and it was a hit at work. I used frozen langostinos (just had to thaw and mix in) which were sweet and perfect. I cannot believe how great this turned out.
what is the greens served in the pics?
I tried this recipe and it is absolutely delicious…..I will definately use this again and again
I followed the recipe exactly without making substitutions and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!! The best I have ever had. I am an avid cook of gourmet food and very particular with the food I prepare. This is first for me not to change it up. It was really THAT GOOD! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Made this the other night and it was delicious!!! My husband even loved it! Will be making it for Easter dinner now! Great recipe! Thanks!
You are so welcome! So glad to hear you guys loved it. 🙂
This is the best lobster mac and cheese recipe EVER. It is even better than the lobster mac and cheese I had in some upscale restaurants. Once you start esting it you can’t stop. It is really that delicious>
Thanks Lisa! I know, right? This is one of my most favourite recipes of all time!
How should I cook the lobster if I only have live lobster?
Hmm…If I had a live lobster I would probably cook it whole (don’t overdo it), and then de-shell/remove all the meat and then add that into the pasta.
I cannot locate fiorelli pasta, any one know where to purchase?
You can use regular macaroni or any pasta you like, really. If you’re in Canada, the fiorelli I found was made by President’s Choice. I haven’t bought it recently so they may not even carry it anymore. I make this recipe a lot with shell pasta. I find the shells hold the sauce really well. Hope this helps! 🙂
Use Campanelle, looks just like fiorelli pasta as in the images
Use Campanelle by Barilla , it is identical to the pasta in the images. It was perfect!
What are your thoughts about trying this in a slow cooker.
Really interesting idea! I don’t have a lot of experience trying different recipes in the slow cooker. It’s possible the mac & cheese would be fine, but the breadcrumb topping may not come out as nicely crisp and browned as it would in an oven.
How many servings is the recepe?
I would say it’s about 6-8 servings, depending on the size of your servings.
Wow I just made the lobster mac and cheese and I have to say it was the best mac and cheese I have ever made. Yummy
Thanks Michele! What an amazing compliment! It’s definitely the only mac & cheese recipe I use anymore. Thanks for giving the recipe a try, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Tried this recipe and I must say it was delicious. Thank you. Thank you for this recipe.
Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s the best pasta dish I ever made. I will be making this on a regular basis.
You are so welcome! This makes me so happy to hear. It really is a win, win kind of dish. Thanks so much for trying the recipe, loving it, and for stopping by to leave a comment! 🙂
This was one of the best Lobster Mac n Cheese I have ever had!! Can’t wait to make it again (I doubled the lobster tails!)
Sweet! You can’t ever go wrong with more lobster! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂