Sometimes I crave comfort food, even on a hot summer day. I know September doesn’t exactly scream “mac and cheese,” but I saw a version of Lobster mac and cheese on Ina Garten’s cooking show and I had to have it! I changed her recipe just a little bit, but kept the smoky, rich Gruyere cheese she calls for. It came out of the oven piping hot and satisfied all my comfort food cravings. This is a great dish for a potluck, wonderful as a freezer meal, and perfect for a date night in.
Baking the Lobster Tails
Start with two large lobster tails.
Turn the tail over and use some sharp kitchen shears to cut a long line from the top of the tail all the way down to the bottom. Stick your finger inside the tail and separate the meat from the cartilage.
You might have to use a little bit of muscle but the meat should easily begin to pull loose. Move your finger all around the edges and then gently pull the meat out trying to keep it whole. Brush some melted butter on all sides of the lobster tail and bake them at 375 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. The meat should be 140 degrees if you use a meat thermometer.
Preparing the Mac and Cheese
While the lobster cooks, prepare your favorite macaroni noodles al dente. I chose the spiralized noodles for no other reason than that they look pretty! 🙂 Elbow or rotini noodles will work fine too.
You’ll also want to grate 3 different kinds of cheeses: Gruyere, cheddar, and parmesan. You’ll need 1 cup of each. (If you’re afraid that your kids won’t like this more sophisticated cheese, I have a kid-friendly 3 Cheese Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe that my kids gobble up every time.)
Then in a small saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk. Heat it until it is hot, but don’t allow it to boil.
Then in a large Dutch oven or pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and then add in 1/4 cup of flour. Cook this mixture over low heat for about 2 minutes, constantly moving it with a whisk. While still whisking, add the milk and cook until it is thickened and smooth. Turn the heat off and add the 3 cheeses. In addition, add 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. This seems like a funny spice to add to lobster mac and cheese but it gives it a soft nutty flavor with a hint of spice. It’s just enough to make you feel all warm and gooey inside. 🙂
As the cheese begins to melt, pour in the noodles and chopped lobster pieces. I like to keep the lobster pieces big so there are bite-sized chunks.
Assembling the Lobster Mac and Cheese
Pour the lobster mac and cheese into a casserole dish and sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Bake it at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and the top is crispy. You can also pour this into a freezer friendly foil tin and freeze it for later. Just thaw in the fridge overnight, let it sit out and come to room temperature, and then cook as normal.
You can also spoon the lobster mac and cheese mixture into individual ramekins and bake it that way. For a fancy meal with guests, I add some chopped bacon to the top.
Lobster mac and cheese is ultimate comfort food! If you’re not a seafood type of person, you can easily leave the lobster out or use chicken instead. This is also a great dish to serve at a potluck or dinner party. For more recipe ideas, check out my Recipe Index. Happy cooking y’all!
Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese
- 2-3 lobster tails baked and cut in bite-sized pieces
- 16 oz spiral noodles cooked al dente according to package instructions
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup each: Gruyere Cheddar, Parmesan cheese shredded
- 3 Tbsp butter plus extra for lobster
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pull lobster meat out of tails, baste in melted butter, and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
- Let cool and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Meanwhile, prepare macaroni noodles al dente following package instructions.
- Heat milk in a sauce pan until hot but don't allow it to boil.
- In a large pot, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring with a whisk.
- While still whisking, pour in the milk and cook until thickened and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the cheeses and spices. Stir until the cheese melts.
- Add the noodles and lobster and mix until everything is coated.
- Pour into a casserole dish (or individual ramekins) and top with bread crumbs.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
*To freeze, simply add the uncooked lobster mac and cheese to a foil pan and cover. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature and then bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.