Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Tender, sweet chunks of lobster tossed with a creamy sharp cheddar and nutty Gruyere sauce and pasta shells and topped with more cheese plus white cheddar lentil chips. A rich, luxurious and comforting dish that’s perfect for savoring with family or friends.
Mac and cheese. Cheesy, decadent, heart and soul warming. There are not many foods that are more comforting than a bowl of mac and cheese. Sure, often times a nap is required afterwards, but that’s not such a bad thing, is it? Just kidding. Or, more like dreaming, about that nap. Instead of nap time after mac and cheese these days, just give us an extra cup of coffee because we’re living the #toddlerlife. Whatever works, right?
Everyone loves a good mac and cheese. We rarely have it (maybe a few times a year?), but we do have buttery macaroni with cheese on top at least once a week. That’s probably Lucca’s favorite dinner and if it were up to him he’d eat it for every meal. He grabs handfuls of pasta (orzo, alphabets, rotini, shells) and shoves it into his mouth, gulps and tries to swallow that huge handful then quickly returns to his plate for more, as if he was in a speed eating competition.
Then, if we have freshly grated cheese, which we often do, because that’s how daddy likes it (no pre-shredded for him), he grabs handfuls of cheese and does the same thing. And actually, while I am talking about Lucca, I realize that Lexi is exactly the same way. So, while we don’t make a stovetop mac and cheese often, we have mac with cheese with our little hungry people very often.
We actually learned quite a lesson the other night when I made spaghetti. In the past, Lucca was content with shoving handfuls of spaghetti into his mouth and having some fall out. But, for whatever reason, this particular night he was trying to use a fork and a spoon to eat the spaghetti and was failing MISERABLY. No spaghetti strands made it into his mouth. A meltdown ensued. It was bad. Patience isn’t a “trait” of 3 year olds, so then and there we swore not to have spaghetti for a very long time, until his spaghetti twirling skills are up to par.
So, back to this mac and cheese. Since we’re headed into the cozy sweater weather, it’s time to bring you some of that comfort food. With a seafood twist. I had to, right?! Lobster Mac and Cheese.
The recipe also uses the finely crushed chips (use a food processor for the best results) to thicken the cheese sauce, which combines butter, shallots, milk, crushed chips, cheddar, gruyere, garlic salt and pepper.
The creamy, luxurious sauce is tossed with pasta shells and fresh sweet lobster meat, then topped with more cheese (because, more cheese is always better) and more chips and baked just until the cheese begins to bubble and the chips begin to lightly brown.
I know you’re thinking, lobster is so expensive and you’re using 3 lobsters?! Actually, these small chicken lobsters cost less (here on the Cape) than 2 tenderloin steaks that I bought the other day at our grocery store. So, yes, lobster is not cheap, but there are far more pricey items that are eaten more frequently.
And, if you’re on a tight budget, use 1 or 2 lobsters instead of 3. Obviously, the more lobster, the better, especially if you are making this for a special occasion. But the dish is going to be great no matter the amount of lobster. And, if you can’t get lobster, try shrimp.
Also, you’ve heard me say this before, but have your grocery store or fish market steam (and crack, if possible) those lobsters for you, so you have less work to do at home. You’ll still have to devote 10-15 minutes or so to crack and pluck the meat, but you’ll have saved quite a bit of time. Oh – and if you can get larger lobsters, go that route – you could get away with using one 2 lb lobster.
If you need instructions on cooking lobster, here’s a step by step guide for steaming lobster.
Indulge and pair it with a salad!
This isn’t a light meal and doesn’t want to be. It’s indulgent and you’ll love every bite of it. Usually when I have a heavier main course like this, I like to pair it with something lighter like a citrus vinaigrette glazed leafy green salad. And a glass of white wine – we had a sauvignon blanc with this, which is usually our choice of whites. Also, this dish will easily serve 8-10 people. It uses a full box of pasta, which as a family of 4 we usually devour. But with the cheese and lobster, you can easily feed 8 hungry mouths, if not more.
If you are a lobster purist and don’t like your lobster mixed with anything, then this dish isn’t for you. But, if you love mac and cheese and love lobster, then you will be in seafood heaven. The lobster flavor still shines through all the cheese in this dish, because nothing overpowers that sweet lobster. I used to only like my lobster steamed with butter, but now like to experiment with lobster flavor pairings and unique lobster dishes.
This is a great dish to make around the holidays or for any special occasion. Enjoy it with your family or friends, sitting by the fire with a glass of wine. We will be enjoying it, likely, standing near the fire or guarding the fire from the kiddos, with a bowl in one hand and a glass in the other.
Here’s the recipe for this Lobster Mac and Cheese:
Lobster Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb large shell pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 shallots finely minced
- 4 cups White Cheddar lentil chips divided (2 cups finely crushed*, 2 cups roughly crushed) we like Simply7
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese freshly grated, reserve 1/4 of the cheese for topping do not use store bought pre-grated
- 7 ounces Gruyere cheese, freshly grated save 1/4 of the cheese for topping
- 3 1 1/4 lb lobsters, cooked, meat plucked and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, until barely al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain and pour into a 9x9 baking dish and set aside.
- In the same large pot you used to boil the pasta, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the minced shallot and sauté 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the finely crushed chips and sauté another minute. Stir in the milk slowly, constantly whisking over medium low heat until milk is steaming, but not boiling. Remove milk from heat and add garlic salt and pepper. Small handful by handful, whisk the cheese into the milk, until you have roughly ¼ of the cheese remaining (you’ll add that to the top of the dish later). Continue whisking until cheese sauce is smooth and has no clumps.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Stir in the lobster meat. Top with remaining cheese and roughly crushed chips.
- Place baking dish into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.
- Remove from oven. Serve with a green salad tossed in a citrus or balsamic vinaigrette.