Irresistible Gourmet Crab Mac and Cheese Delight

a bowl of crab mac and cheese with a spoon in it placed on a countertop

It’s time to taste the goodness of velvety cheese sauce dancing on your tastebuds. I am talking about everyone’s favorite “mac n cheese,” and that too with the briny flavor of crab. Sounds like a great combo, doesn’t it? Crab, with its rich, sweet flavor, is a versatile ingredient for many dishes, such as crab cake sandwiches. We thought, why not mix the cheesiness and creaminess of mac and cheese with the delicate flavor of crab and make a dish that wows your guests? So, let’s have a look at the seafood goodness with a favorite meal.

garnished bowl of crab meat mach and cheese

Understanding the Dish

I say before we discuss the easy recipe for crab mac and cheese, let’s understand the taste of it a little bit. The Crab Mac and Cheese is an appealing combination of gourmet refinement and comfort food. This dish creates a balanced blend of flavors that will draw in your taste buds by combining the creamy richness of traditional mac and cheese with the delicate sweetness of crab. The Crab Mac and Cheese recipe is ideal whether you’re cooking a special supper or just treating yourself to a posh treat. You can serve it in a casserole dish as a main entree or a perfect side dish.

ingredients for crab mac and cheese pasta pack crab meat milk water spices onion parsley in small bowls

Ingredients for Crab Mac and Cheese

To get your hands on the easy crab mac and cheese recipe, let’s have a look at the handful of ingredients needed to create this masterpiece. Ingredients needed to make the ideal seafood Crab Mac and Cheese are as follows:

For the Cheese and Macaroni

  • One pound of elbow macaroni or any type of pasta
  • Four teaspoons of melted butter
  • One-fourth cup of all-purpose flour
  • Three cups of heated whole milk
  • One cup of thick cream
  • Two cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • One cup each of shredded Gruyere and mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, half a cup
  • One teaspoon each of smoked paprika and Dijon mustard
  • To taste, add salt and pepper.

For the Crab Mixture 

The mac and cheese crab recipe will be perfect if you follow the ingredients list we mentioned.

  • 1 pound of lump crab meat that has been screened for shells
  • Two tablespoons of melted butter
  • Two minced garlic cloves
  • One small shallot, cut finely
  • A tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

For the Toppings

Believe me, these toppings are just the cherry on top of baked mac and cheese with crab.

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs from Panko
  • Melted butter: Two Tablespoons
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup
  • One tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley

backed crab mac and cheese in a casserole dish with a spoon

Instructions for Cooking Crab Mac and Cheese

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your aprons and sharpen your knives as it’s time to cook the lusciousness of crab meat mac and cheese.

1. Get the Pasta Ready

  • Boil a big pot of salted water.
  • Add the pasta and cook it until al dente, following the directions given on the package.
  • When the pasta is boiled, drain it and set it aside in a big bowl.

For the optimal texture in your baked crab mac and cheese, make sure the pasta is cooked to the ideal al dente texture. You should know that Al dente pasta holds up well when combined with the creamy cheese sauce and crab mixture because of its subtle firmness when bit into pieces. Overcooked pasta can go mushy and ruin the dish’s texture as a whole.

2. Prepare the Cheese Sauce for Crab Mac and Cheese

  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Stir in the flour and fry until it starts to turn golden, for about 2 minutes.
  • Heat the milk and heavy cream gradually and add them while whisking continuously to prevent lumps.
  • Cook and stir the mixture until it starts to boil and thicken.
  • Turn down the heat to low and mix in the Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, and Gruyere until smooth and melted.
  • Add the smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, pepper, and salt. Mix everything together.

A sumptuous Mac and Cheese experience requires a silky, velvety cheese sauce. Combining sharp cheddar, Gruyere, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese creates a rich and complex flavor profile. Parmesan cheese lends a savory depth, mozzarella lends a stretchy gooeyness, sharp cheddar brings tang, and Gruyere adds nutty sweetness. The dish’s overall flavor is enhanced without being overbearing by the subtle levels of flavor added by the smoked paprika and Dijon mustard. These types of cheeses are important for bringing a versatile flavor to crab and mac and cheese recipes.

3. Get the Crab Mixture Ready

  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes or until mellow and aromatic.
  • Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, and crab meat and stir.
  • Cook for 3–4 minutes or until the crab is thoroughly cooked.

Making this recipe into a gourmet meal requires using good quality, fresh lump crab meat. On the other hand, imitation crab can work just fine in place of fresh crab. You can prepare the imitation crab mac and cheese by using imitation crab in your recipe.

To get rid of any shells, carefully pick over the crab. The crab’s delicate flavor is enhanced, and its inherent sweetness is brought out by sautéing it with garlic, shallot, and fresh lemon juice. Fresh parsley balances the richness of the cheese sauce by adding a pop of color and freshness.

4. Put the Dish Together for Ideal Crab Mac and Cheese

  • Set the oven temperature to 175°C or 350°F.
  • Combine the cooked pasta and cheese sauce in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the crab mixture gently.
  • Spoon the mac and cheese into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish that has been buttered.

It’s important to be careful when adding the pasta, cheese sauce, and crab mixture to ensure the crab stays whole and is spread out evenly. The idea is to have precisely the right amount of pasta, cheese, and crab in every bite. Use a big mixing bowl to ensure that the cheese sauce coats the pasta completely.

5. Prepare the Toppings for Crab Mac and Cheese

  • Combine the melted butter, panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley in a small bowl.
  • Evenly scatter the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese.

A crunchy, golden crust offers a delicious contrast to the Crab Mac and Cheese’s creamy interior. Panko breadcrumbs offer a light, airy bite, making them perfect for this kind of application. To achieve even browning in the oven, mix the breadcrumbs with melted butter. Fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese enhance the flavor and appearance of the breadcrumbs.

6. Bake Your Crab Mac and Cheese

  • After preheating the oven, put the casserole dish inside and bake the mac and cheese for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  • When the Crab Mac and Cheese is baked, the flavors come together harmoniously. In addition to making the breadcrumb coating crisp, the oven’s heat guarantees that the cheese sauce is hot and bubbling, wrapping the pasta and crab in a decadent embrace.

7. Serve Hot

  • Before serving, remove from heat and give the dish a few minutes to rest.
  • You can garnish it with more parsley if you want.

Before serving, let the meal sit for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken slightly and facilitate portioning. Adding extra fresh parsley as a garnish gives the dish a splash of color and a hint of freshness, which improves its presentation.

A gourmet take on a well-loved staple, Crab Mac and Cheese is ideal for serving guests or treating yourself to a special dinner. It’s hard to resist the combination of juicy crab with creamy, cheesy pasta. This mac and cheese recipe will help you make a dish that will quickly become a favorite in your kitchen. Enjoy your tasty treat!

Crab Mac and Cheese’s combination of tastes and textures creates a scrumptious yet cozy eating experience. The sweet, soft crab enhances the creamy, cheesy pleasure of classic mac and cheese in every bite. This recipe is easily modified to be the star of a spectacular meal or a memorable side dish at a potluck or holiday get-together.

bowls of dungeness crab and cheese placed on table and a bottle

Additional Tips for Crab Mac and Cheese

You can have a look at the following adjustments and suggestions for customizing this dish:

  • Spicy Kick: To give the cheese sauce a spicy twist, mix in a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce.
  • Add Your Favorite Veggies: For extra texture and nutrients, add finely chopped veggies (such as bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms).
  • Multiple kinds of cheese: Try varying the cheese types (Fontina, Havarti, or smoked Gouda) to customize the taste to your liking.
  • Crustacean Mix: To make a seafood mac and cheese lover’s ideal dish, mix in additional seafood, such as shrimp and crab or even Dungeness crab. It will result in a combination of shrimp and crab mac and cheese which is finger-licking good.
  • Addition of Herbs: For an additional taste boost, infuse the milk with fresh herbs like bay leaves or thyme. Just bring the milk and herbs to a boil, then drain and add to the sauce.

With the help of this comprehensive recipe, you can successfully make this opulent cuisine in your own home and wow your family and friends with an actual gourmet dinner.

However, if you want a perfect appetizer for your next get-together, you can try out this creamy variation of crab mac and cheese bites in Kathryn’s article.


To sum up, the article covered the mac and cheese with crab recipe in detail. Seafood aficionados love trying out different variations when it comes to seafood, so here we are with an appetizing variation. Follow the step-by-step recipe and enjoy your meal.

Enjoy the Velvety Taste!

Written by Jamie

Journey with seafood began on the shores of their coastal hometown, where they developed a profound appreciation for the freshness and diversity of the ocean's offerings. From humble beginnings as a fishmonger's apprentice to their current status as a celebrated chef and seafood connoisseur, their culinary odyssey has been fueled by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a commitment to honoring the flavors of the sea.

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