This cheesy, creamy seafood Crab Mac and Cheese is comfort food goals! It is super easy to make and is a great way to add a twist to a well-loved classic. Make in 30 minutes during busy weeknights and serve with veggies or more crab!
About this Recipe
I am a huge seafood fan and I love pairing it with pasta. It always enhances the flavors in dishes and adds delicious flavors of the sea. There are several different ways to prepare seafood pasta. You can go for a creamy base or a tomato base, it's entirely up to you!
On this occasion, I decided to make the popular classic Mac and Cheese with a twist! Ordinarily, Mac and Cheese does not contain any meat/seafood but this time, I added some crab meat to take the plain ol’ Mac and Cheese to the next level. It's safe to say that this crab mac and cheese was a major HIT with my family and some people even prefer it over my classic Mac and cheese.
This Crab Mac and Cheese recipe uses cooked crab meat and is made on both the stovetop and in the oven. The recipe is cooked first on the stovetop and finished off in the oven.
So let's get into it because as you can see I could go on and on about how tasty this dish is!
Crab Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- Butter: Since the recipe requires salt to taste, it would be best to use unsalted butter so you are able to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Garlic: You can use minced garlic or garlic powder if you don’t have access to fresh garlic cloves.
- Flour: Use plain/all purpose flour here. Self raising flour contains raising agents which are suitable for baked goods and as such may not be best for this recipe.
- Milk: In terms of taste, whole milk is recommended. However, if you are looking to make your recipe low fat, consider using skimmed or semi skimmed milk as an alternative.
- Double cream: Double cream is great for this recipe because it gives it a thick, rich creamy consistency. If you’d like to use an alternative, try experimenting with single cream.
- Crab meat : You can use either regular cooked crab meat or canned crab meat. Either would work fine for this recipe.
- Salt: To taste
- Onion powder: If you have not got onion powder on hand, try using grated onions as an alternative.
- Oregano: For a herby flavour.
- White pepper: For flavour.
- Mozzarella: Use grated mozzarella cheese to make it easier to spread over your macaroni dish.
- Cheddar: You can use any type of cheddar cheese. Just like mozzarella, try grating your cheese or using already grated cheese for this recipe.
- Macaroni Pasta: Use your favourite macaroni shape for this recipe.
How to Make Crab Mac and Cheese
Making this crab mac and cheese is really easy.
- You will need to preheat an oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. The first step will be to boil the macaroni for about 8 to 10 minutes. Once it is boiled, drain out the water and set it aside.
2. Meanwhile, melt your butter in a cast iron pan or heat-proof pan and add crushed garlic.
3. Then add flour once the butter is completely melted and stir until well combined for at least 30 seconds.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and add ¼ cup of milk and stir. Continue adding in the milk, ¼ cup at a time, stirring as you add. Once all the milk has been added, pour in the double cream. If you have any crab stock to hand, you can also add it at this point for a stronger seafood flavor.
5. Place the pan back on the stove and add onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt and white pepper.
6. Stir and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
7. Add ¾ cup of mozzarella, cheddar and crab meat and stir well.
8. Stir well and top with grated mozzarella cheese.
9. Finally, bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Serve with leftover crab or crab meat and any other side of your choice. Enjoy!
- Butter: If you are using salted butter for this recipe, you will need to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe so your Mac and Cheese is not too salty.
- Crab: I added fresh crab meat to this recipe but it is okay to use canned crab meat if that is what is avaliable. Make sure you buy good quality crab meat to ensure that you get the best, fresh seafood flavors.
- Milk: If you choose to use skimmed milk, semi skimmed milk or single cream for this recipe, bear in mind that the consistency and taste may not be the same as using milk and/or double cream.
- Cast iron: If you don’t have a heat proof pan or iron cast pan, you can work around this by first cooking the Mac and Cheese in a regular saucepan before transferring into a baking dish. Once the mac and cheese is in a baking dish, you can sprinkle more cheese and bake as the recipe states.
To cook crab, follow these simple steps:
1. Bring to boil a liter of water with salt. Use 30g of salt to a liter of water.
2. Once the water is boiled, place the crab into the water for about 10 - 20 minutes. The total amount of cooking time would vary depending on how much crab is being cooked.
3. Once the crab is cooked, remove it from the water and allow it to cool down before using it for your recipe.
Since seafood mac and cheese is a very rich dish, a simple side dish is best to go with it. You can serve it with a simple salad, some tomatoes or roasted vegetables. The simpler the better so as to balance the heaviness of the mac and cheese. If you are not keen on serving with a side dish, this seafood mac and cheese can be served on its own.
Leftover mac and cheese can be stored in a tightly covered plastic container in the fridge for up to three days.
Yes. Seafood mac and cheese can be frozen. However, note that once the mac and cheese have been defrosted, it should not be placed back into the freezer to be frozen again. This is to prevent incidents of food poisoning.
Thanks for reading this recipe, comment below if you made this and let me know how it went! Follow @simshomekitchen on Instagram, take a photo, tag and hashtag it with @simshomekitchen.
Crab Mac and Cheese
- Cast iron pan or oven proof pan
- 100 g butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 70 g flour
- 1.5 cups of milk
- 1 cup of double cream
- 1.5 cup of crab meat reserve ½ cup for serving
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of oregano
- White pepper
- ¾ cup of mozzarella
- 2 cups of cheddar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Once it’s boiling, add 400g of macaroni pasta and cook it for 8-10 minutes. Once it is ready, drain the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a cast iron pan or heat proof pan. Then add crushed garlic. Once the butter has melted add plain flour and stir until well combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add ¼ cup of milk to the pan. Stir until it’s mixed, and then add another ¼ cup of milk. Repeat until all of the milk has been added. Pour in 1 cup of double cream and stir again. Option to add ½ cup of crab stock at this point for more flavor.
- Add onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt to taste and white pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Add ¾ cup of cheddar, mozzarella and crab meat then stir well.
- Add the macaroni and stir until well combined. Finally, top with cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.