Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese is a delicious cheesy baked pasta recipe featuring an indulgent 4 cheese sauce, chunks of tender fresh lobster, al dente pasta and baked until golden brown to create the most delicious comforting dish! It’s the perfect main course or side dish that everyone will love!
Want more cheesy, creamy pasta goodness? Check out this Creamy Tomato Pesto Shrimp Pasta, or my Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Seafood Pasta and this One Pot Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage!
Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese
Growing up in a Caribbean household, comfort food was definitely something we had often. Foods that were rich and savoury, foods that took time to make. Foods where with every bite you felt the love and energy of the person making it. This Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe is the 2.0, the must try, the definitely will love version of the traditional Mac and Cheese recipe. It’s the one for the comfort dish lovers, and seafood lovers, like myself. It’s one for the ooey gooey cheese lovers like myself and those who just want to eat good…like myself!
Here’s why I love this Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe:
- Perfect for special occasions, holidays, and everyday family dinners
- It’s cheesy, savoury, creamy and full of indulgent flavours
- The perfect way to combine seafood + pasta + cheese into one baked deliciousness
I’m almost certain, that if you grew up in North America you’ve tried mac and cheese as a kid (the box kind). But this is the grown folks version, the upgraded, indulgent, delicious, cheesier, creamier version. Leave a comment below letting me know if you ate mac and cheese growing up, and how you like The Seasoned Skillet version – I hope you enjoy!
Check Out These Other Seafood Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Sun Dried Tomato & Spinach Seafood Pasta
- One Pot Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage
- Creamy Shrimp & Broccoli Alfredo Pasta
What is Seafood Mac & Cheese?
I call it an elevated cheesy seafood baked pasta. It’s a beautiful combination of al dente macaroni pasta, a creamy cheese sauce, a blend of herbs and spices, and of course lobster. The cheese sauce, lobster, and macaroni are then mixed together until combined, transferred to a oven-safe casserole dish topped with seasoned panko breadcrumbs and baked to a golden perfection!
What You Need to Make Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Milk or Cream
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Old Cheddar Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Fresh Lobster Meat
- Scoobi Doo or Cavatappi Pasta
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- All-Purpose Flour
- Smoked Paprika
- Dried Parsley Flakes
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Old Bay or Cajun Seasoning
How to Make the Ultimate Lobster Mac & Cheese
Before we begin, here is the number one tip for this recipe – taste as you go! Everyone’s taste buds and tolerances are different, and seasoning is always based on preference. You can adjust as you go, based on your desired taste!
Firstly, you want to start by boiling your pasta to al dente. Your pasta will continue to cook while baking, as such al dente is the perfect place to remove from heat, and drain.
The Cheese Sauce
Secondly, you move onto the cheese sauce, the star of the show, the main act! Start with your roux, it’s the base of the cheese sauce. A roux is flour and fat (butter) cooked together and used to thicken sauces. Rigorously whisk, and once combined pour in your milk or cream and stir. Next, you add in your chopped onions, and minced garlic – cook until fragrant and translucent. Now you guessed it, its cheese time. Add heaping spoonfuls of cheese, and stir in, mixing until melted and well combined. Ensure you whisk and stir away any lumps! Finally, add in your herbs and spices, adjust to your liking and viola, your cheese sauce is complete!
Once done, combine the pasta and the cheese sauce.
TSS Tip: Buy block cheese and shred yourself. Pre-shredded cheese have a starchy coating to prevent each piece from sticking together. The result, your mac and cheese will be drier and less cheesy.
Thirdly, you want to prepare your cheesy crumb topping. Start by combining panko bread crumbs, add a tablespoon of butter, good ole’ old bay seasoning, smoked paprika, and parsley until crumbly. Next, shred more cheese if you’ve run out ’cause you definitely want to add this on top as well!
Putting it Together
Lastly, it’s finally time put it together and toss it (not really, more like gently place) in the oven. You want to pour the cheesy pasta into an oven-safe casserole dish, and top with bread crumbs and shredded cheese. Bake on 375 degree Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly along the edges and golden brown.
Fresh or Frozen Lobster Tails?
You can use either fresh or frozen lobster tails, for this recipe I used frozen. When using frozen tails be sure to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or place them in a pot of cold water for 30 minutes or more, until fully thawed.
How to Cook Lobster Tails (Different Ways to Cook Lobster Tails)
- Broiled: This is my favourite way to prepare lobster tails. It’s quick and easy, and yields the best and consistent results every time. Prepared in the oven under high heat on the broiler setting.
- Grilled: This is my second favourite way of preparing of lobster tails. Especially if you love the grill, preparing lobster this way way will be a treat.
- Baked: Prepared very similar to the broiled method, except with normal baking temps. This required extra cooking time as well as a less tender result.
- Poached: Also known as butter poaching where the lobster tail meat is gently cooked in melted butter with a gentle simmer but never comes to a full a boil.
- Boiled: This is one of the simplest, mose carefree and effortless ways to prepare lobster tails, however does not yield the best flavour. Prepared by boiling a pot of water and letting the tails boil for a few minutes.
Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe Notes & Tips
- Don’t Overcook the Pasta – slightly undercook your pasta to avoid it from overcooking into a mush when added to the cheese sauce.
- The Roux – do not burn the roux. If it becomes too dark it will lend a burned flavour to the entire dish.
- Don’t Skimp on the Cheese – the pasta should be completely coated with more to spare in the cheese sauce
- Add More Seafood – feel free to substitute or add in cooked shrimp or crab meat in the place of or in addition to the lobster
- Don’t Overcook in Oven – be sure not to overcook your pasta in the oven, causing it to dry out.
Other Seafood Dinner Recipes to Try
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Ultimate Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Oven Safe Casserole Dish
- 3 tbsp Salted Butter
- 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Onion medium, finely diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 1/4 cups Whole Milk (3.25%)
- 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups Old (Sharp) Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese cubed, soften to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional, to taste
- 1/4 tsp Salt more or less to taste
- 2 cups Cooked Lobster Meat or more for a meatier dish
- 3-4 cups Cavatappi Pasta or Scoobi Doo pasta
- Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning
- 3/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup Old Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese shredded
Preheat Oven & Prep Ingredients
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cook pasta according to package instructions or al dente, then drain and set aside with a dash of olive oil to prevent from sticking. Then in a small bowl, combine seasonings – smoked paprika, parsley flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay seasoning, salt and set aside.
Make Cheese Sauce
- Heat a wide shallow pan over medium-high heat and melt butter. Add all-purpose flour, whisking vigorously until the mixture begins to thin and bubble then reduce heat to medium and continue stirring.
- Add finely diced onions and minced garlic. Cook in roux (flour butter mixture) until fragrant and translucent – be sure not to burn it. Pour milk or cream into the pan, and whisk continuously to avoid clumping.
- Reduce heat to low and gradually, starting with 1/2 cup of monterey jack cheese, add cheese to mixture and whisk until melted and incorporated. Continue to add remainder of cheeses (monterey jack and old (sharp) cheddar) in 1/2 cup increments until done. Then add in the cream cheese and whisk until melted and all ingredients incorporated.
- Season the cheese sauce mixture with the prepared dry seasonings, stirring continuously to combine. Taste test your cheese sauce; add cayenne pepper if you like a touch of heat, additional salt etc. to your liking.
- Stir in 3/4 of cooked lobster meat into the cheese sauce mixture and save 1/4 to top the dish. Fold pasta gradually into sauce, until well incorporated and set aside (you may want to add all the pasta or a little less).
- In a medium sized bowl, combine unsalted butter, panko breadcrumbs, dried parsley flakes, smoked paprika, Old Bay (or cajun) seasoning, and mix together until a crumbly consistency has formed.
- In a medium to large sized oven-safe casserole dish, transfer heaping spoonfuls of lobster mac and cheese to create a bottom layer. Then add a layer of shredded cheese (monterey and old (sharp) cheddar cheese). Finish with a final layer of lobster mac and cheese.
- Top with remaining lobster meat, shredded cheese (monterey, old (sharp) cheddar and parmesan cheese). Add breadcrumb mixture, and place in oven for 25 minutes, or until bubbly along the edges and golden brown. Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!