Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese


Delight in the rich flavors of creamy crab mac and cheese, featuring tender crab meat and velvety cheese sauce

As sweet Maryland crab season returns, embrace the summer with my Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese recipe. This dish combines the buttery goodness of classic mac and cheese with sweet lump crab meat, perfect for any occasion, from casual Sunday dinners to laid back summer BBQs.

There’s something magical about the arrival of sweet Maryland crab season, and our Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese celebrates it by incorporating generous portions of sweet lump crab meat into every creamy, cheesy bite.

At the heart of this recipe lies the creamy, velvety cheese sauce that envelops each tender cavatappi pasta. Made with a blend of rich cheeses, butter, and cream, this sauce creates a luxurious base for the sweet crab meat to shine.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ with friends or enjoying a quiet evening at home with family, this Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese is sure to be a hit. It’s the perfect side dish to accompany grilled meats, seafood, or enjoyed on its own as a comforting main course.

Despite its gourmet appeal, this recipe is surprisingly simple to prepare. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep work, you can have this indulgent dish on the table in no time.

Ready to experience the creamy, buttery goodness of our Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese? Whether you’re enjoying it as a side dish at your next BBQ or as a comforting Sunday night dinner, this recipe is sure to leave a lasting impression. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to indulge in a taste of summer that’s sure to become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire.

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese

Creamy Crab Mac and Cheese

Delight in the rich flavors of creamy crab mac and cheese, featuring tender crab meat and velvety cheese sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cavatappi noodles
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh mixed herbs
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh lump crab, reserve half to layer when you assemble the mac and cheese for baking
  • 1/2 cup gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup colby jack cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 for topping the mac and cheese)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 for topping the mac and cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Old Bay or cajun seasoning of choice to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook cavatappi noodles according to package instructions and set aside
  2. To a non stick skillet, melt butter an saute shallot until fragrant, about 1 minute
  3. Next, add flour 1 tbsp at a time and mix well to combine
  4. Once roux is nice and toasty and a light blonde color, add 1 cup of milk and stir well followed by 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  5. Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer
  6. Once the milk is warm, turn heat to low and add cheese 1/2 a cup at a time and mix until melted
  7. Season the cheese sauce to taste and add fresh herbs
  8. Lastly, turn off the heat, add the crab meat and pasta and fold to combine
  9. Assemble in your baking dish and layer with pasta, cheese and crab
  10. Top with remaining cheese for a golden brown crust

Notes

To pasta water add better then boullion lobster base for an even deeper seafood flavor without the lobster!

P.S. I use the roux method for this mac and cheese.


Creating the perfect roux is essential for many dishes, not just mac and cheese. Here are five steps to help you make the best roux:

  1. Choose your fat: Start by melting your fat of choice, typically butter or oil, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. The fat will act as the base for your roux and help thicken your sauce.
  2. Add equal parts flour: Once your fat is melted and hot, gradually add an equal amount of flour to create a paste-like mixture. For example, if you melted 2 tablespoons of butter, add 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir continuously to combine the flour and fat evenly.
  3. Cook to desired color: Continue cooking the flour and fat mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches your desired level of color. A white roux is cooked just until the raw flour taste is gone and remains pale in color, while a blond roux develops a slightly nutty aroma and a light golden color. For a darker roux with a richer flavor, cook until it becomes caramel-colored, but be careful not to burn it.
  4. Adjust heat as needed: Keep an eye on the heat throughout the cooking process to prevent burning. If the roux starts to smoke or smell burnt, lower the heat immediately and continue stirring.
  5. Incorporate into your recipe: Once your roux reaches the desired color, remove it from the heat and immediately incorporate it into your recipe. Gradually whisk in liquid, such as broth or milk, to create a smooth consistency, and continue cooking until thickened to your liking.
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