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An overhead image of shrimp mac and cheese

Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese

Shell pasta topped with a creamy and garlicky cheddar and gruyere cheese sauce, then topped with barbecue sauce glazed shrimp, panko crumbs and more cheese. This is a ridiculously delicious and very rich mac and cheese. True classic comfort food with a barbeque shrimp twist!
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 529 kcal


  • 1 lb large shell pasta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 shallots finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese  freshly grated, do NOT use store bought pre-grated. reserve 1/4 of the cheese for topping 
  • 7 ounces Gruyere cheese freshly grated save 1/4 of the cheese for topping
  • 1/2 lb shrimp colossal, raw, deveined and shelled, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce plus more for drizzling when serving
  • 1 cup plain panko crumbs

For serving

  • Fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 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, adjust depending on the pasta you use. 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 flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the minced shallot and garlic sauté on low for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant. 
  • Stir in the milk slowly, constantly whisking over medium low heat until milk is steaming, but not boiling. Remove milk from heat and add 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 relatively smooth. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. 
  • Pat shrimp very dry. Brush on both sides with barbeque sauce. Discard any remaining sauce that has touched the raw shrimp. Nestle shrimp into the top of the mac and cheese. 
  • Top pasta with remaining cheese and panko crumbs. Place baking dish into the oven for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly, shrimp is cooked through and topping is lightly browned. 
  • Remove from oven. Drizzle with bbq sauce. Top with freshly ground black pepper. Serve. 


Do not use cooked shrimp - if you do the shrimp will turn out very overcooked and rubbery. 
You can also grill the shrimp (brush them with bbq sauce) and add them after the mac and cheese is cooked (instead of baking the shrimp in the dish) if you want more smokey goodness. 


Calories: 529kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 28gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 564mgPotassium: 328mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 766IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 543mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese
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