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Easy, Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese

This Easy Lobster Macaroni and Cheese recipe is the best homemade side dish for any spread. This dish is made with a delicious cheese sauce, tender lobster, and baked to perfection for the ultimate crispy topping. 

a large spoonful of lobster mac and cheese

Gourmet meals from your favorite steakhouses like Ruth Chris and Capital Grille, just got easier with this recipe!

macaroni pasta, raw lobster, butter, flour, and seasonings in separate bowls

What Type of Cheese to Use

You can use whatever you like. Mix and match whatever you like and it’s likely to be a hit. You will definitely want cheddar cheese, I typically use sharp. I also used Parmesan Reggiano and fontina (because it’s so soft!).

Here are more examples of cheese you can use:

  • White Cheddar
  • Mozzarella (Great if you want a cheese pull to the dish)
  • Gouda
  • Romano
  • Muenster

Always purchase your cheese in block form and shred or grate it yourself. You can also use a food processor. Pre-shredded cheese has preservatives and potato starch to keep it from going bad quickly. These additives don’t melt nicely and the dish won’t be as creamy. Grate your own cheese. It makes a huge difference.

The longer cheese is aged naturally, the sharper and more pronounced the Cheddar flavor becomes. Mild Cheddar cheese is generally aged for 2 to 3 months, whereas an extra sharp might be aged for as long as a year.

Mild cheddar has a creamy, subtle taste.
Medium cheddar has a little more flavor in comparison to mild, but it lacks the distinct bite found in sharp cheddar.
Sharp cheddar has a distinct and prominent flavor.
Extra sharp cheddar has a very pronounced and sharp taste. (I typically don’t cook with it and use it for wine pairings and Charcuterie Cheese Boards.)

Taking all of this into account, sharp is typically my go-to for mac and cheese.

shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan in separate bowls along with milk and heavy cream

What Type of Lobster to Use

I like to keep things simple so I use pre-cracked wild-caught lobster claw and knuckle meat from Butcher Box. It’s usually only available as an add-on item. It comes in 8oz packages, and I use 2 for this recipe to really load up on the lobster flavor. Their lobster is sustainably harvested from cold waters.

Crowd Cow is another option for cold cracked lobster. You can check them out here.

You can also use lobster tails. In general, when purchasing lobster, always look for cold water lobster. It usually comes from the East Coast or Canada. Maine lobster tails are a big deal because the water is so cold there.

Cold water lobsters are larger than warm water lobsters and have more meat. Because they live in cold temperatures their meat gets a lot firmer than those from warm water, which will produce tender meat when properly cooked. Warm water lobster is often mushy with a fishy taste, and sometimes has an ammonia smell.

While shopping, if the display isn’t clear, you should always ask if it’s from warm or cold water. If they don’t know, I would assume the worst and try elsewhere. Cold water is more expensive. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and quality comes at a price.

I also look for wild-caught, which can sometimes be harder to find outside of specialty stores like Sprouts or even Whole Foods (which is why I order from Butcher Box).

How to Cook the Lobster

My favorite way to prepare it, is to saute it in a pan for a few minutes with melted butter and Old Bay Seasoning. Old Bay is a staple that my family has used for years because it’s perfect for shellfish like crab and lobster, but you can use whatever seasoning you like. If you’re using knuckle meat, definitely prepare it this way.

If using tails, you can boil or bake them.

Boil them in a large pot of water for 8-12 minutes.

To bake them, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Butterfly the tails. Use kitchen shears and slice the tail vertically to reveal the meat. You can read more about How to Butterfly Lobster here. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

The meat should be firm and opaque when done.

collage photo of 4 photos with lobster and butter cooked in a skillet

What Type of Pasta to Use

Elbow macaroni is typically used. I used the elbows from Trader Joe’s in these photos and it’s thicker than standard elbows and I loved that about it.

I also typically use cellentani. It has a corkscrew shape and a ridged surface which works great in a dish like this.

collage photo of butter and flour melted in a saucepan with milk

How to Make the Cheese Sauce

One of the most important parts of this dish is the cheese sauce. A great cheese sauce starts with a roux. A roux is a combination of butter and flour. It’s used to thicken the sauce and to help bind the dish.

From there you will add milk and heavy whipping cream, along with cheese. You will also need to season it with onion powder, salt, and pepper. This is important because the cheese sauce is a source of flavor for the dish.

uncooked lobster mac and cheese in a large pot
uncooked lobster mac and cheese in a large pot

How to Make Lobster Mac and Cheese

Detailed serving sizes and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot in accordance with the instructions on the package.
  2. Heat a skillet or saucepan add in butter, lobster, and Old Bay Seasoning.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt.
  5. Once melted, add flour and whisk.
  6. Add milk and heavy whipping cream and stir.
  7. Add shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  8. Add onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Return the pasta to the large pot. Drizzle the liquid mixture over the pasta and stir until fully combined. Add in the cooked lobster and the butter sauce the lobster was cooked in.
  10. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  11. Begin to layer in the pasta. Start with the pasta and lobster, then add a layer of all of the shredded cheese.
  12. Bake.
collage photo of unbaked lobster mac and cheese in a baking dish

What Type of Baking Dish to Use

I often use a 9×13 rectangular dish. Sometimes I will opt for an 8×8 dish, as used in the photos here. With an 8×8 dish, you will really pile in the ingredients and as it bakes, the sides will bubble and ooze over. This provides a dramatic effect (that looks great), but isn’t necessary. I bake the dish on a sheet pan to prevent liquid from oozing into the oven.

For baking dishes, I often prefer ceramic to glass. A ceramic dish will regulate heat better. When I use glass, the top of the mac and cheese, typically dries out quickly.

You can also bake the dish in cast iron.

lobster mac and cheese in a baking dish

Substitutions and Additional Add-In Ideas

  • Bacon
  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Crab
close up view of lobster mac and cheese in a baking dish

Can You Make it Ahead

If you’re making this for a crowd, I wouldn’t make it ahead. This is a dish that’s best served fresh while the cheese is still soft and gooey. After making it, I leave it in the oven on warm and covered in foil.

I also wouldn’t prep it in advance. This will ruin the texture of the cheese.

How to Store It

You can store leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered for 3-4 days.

How to Reheat it

The best way to reheat it is in the air fryer on 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until warm. You can also use the oven at the same temperature. Heat until warm. You can use the microwave, but it doesn’t result in the best texture in my opinion.

a large spoonful of lobster mac and cheese

Freezer Tips

I enjoy freezing my leftovers and I reheat them in the air fryer (after defrosting in the fridge overnight first). When you reheat frozen dishes with dairy, there’s almost always some separation. If this bothers you, you may not enjoy freezing this recipe.

a large spoonful of lobster mac and cheese

What to Serve and Pair With This Dish

Southern Style Green Beans
Smothered Turkey Wings
Baked Crab Legs
Southern Baked Ham With Pineapple
Southern Mustard Greens

Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans
Okra and Tomatoes
Instant Pot Cabbage
Southern Potato Salad
Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Stuffed Turkey Legs

Pair With Cornbread

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Southern Homemade Classic Cornbread
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Air Fryer Cornbread
Honey Cornbread
Homemade Blueberry Cornbread
Cornbread Muffins

More Mac and Cheese and Pasta Recipes

Southern Style Soul Food Baked Mac and Cheese
Bacon and Gouda Mac and Cheese

Seafood Mac and Cheese
Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese

Seafood Stuffed Pasta Shells

a large spoonful of lobster mac and cheese
Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Easy Lobster Mac and Cheese

This Easy Lobster Macaroni and Cheese recipe is the best homemade side dish for any spread. This dish is made with a delicious cheese sauce, tender lobster, and baked to perfection for the ultimate crispy topping. 
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword how to make lobster mac and cheese, lobster mac and cheese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 487kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni or cellentani pasta
  • 5 tablespoons butter Divided 4 tablespoons for the cheese sauce and 1 tablespoon to cook with the lobster
  • 16 oz lobster meat See notes.
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning You can substitute whatever you like.
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2-3 cups milk I often use 2 cups. Use your judgement. Start with 2 and add more if needed.
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese See notes for extra cheesy mac and cheese.
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pasta

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot in accordance with the instructions on the package.
  • Drain the macaroni and rinse with cold water.

Lobster: You can prepare it 3 ways

    Sauteed Lobster

    • Heat a skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter. When melted, add in the lobster and Old Bay seasoning.
    • Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the lobster into smaller chunks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Boiled Lobster Tails

    • Boil the tails in a large pot of boiling water for 8-12 minutes. The meat should be firm and opaque when done. Slice the meat into smaller chunks.
    • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and combine it with the Old Bay Seasoning. Drizzle it over the lobster and set aside.

    Baked Lobster Tails

    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
    • Butterfly the tails. Use kitchen shears and slice the tail vertically to reveal the meat.
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Slice the meat into smaller chunks.
    • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and combine it with the Old Bay Seasoning. Drizzle it over the lobster and set aside.

    Cheese Sauce

    • Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt.
    • Once melted, add the flour and whisk.
    • This will create a roux. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.
    • Add the milk and heavy whipping cream and stir.
    • Add half of the shredded cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
    • Add the onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Taste repeatedly. This step is important because this sauce is what the mac and cheese will taste like.
    • Return the pasta to the large pot. Drizzle the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until fully combined.
    • Add in the cooked lobster and the butter sauce the lobster was cooked in. Stir.

    Mac and Cheese

    • Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    • Begin to layer in the pasta. Start with the pasta and lobster, then add a layer of all of the shredded cheese.
    • Add another layer of pasta, and then another layer of cheese.
    • Bake for 25-45 minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. I like for the crust on top to turn a deep golden brown, which takes more time. Use your judgment based on what works for you.
    • Cool before serving.

    Video

    Notes

    Lobster Tips
    • I use raw, uncooked lobster.
    • I like to keep things simple so I use pre-cracked wild-caught lobster claw and knuckle meat from Butcher Box. It’s usually only available as an add-on item. It comes in 8oz packages, and I use 2 for this recipe to really load up on the lobster flavor. 
    • You can also use lobster tails. In general, when purchasing lobster, always look for cold water lobster. It usually comes from the East Coast or Canada. Maine lobster tails are a big deal because the water is so cold there.
    • I recommend 16oz of lobster, which is typically 2-3 tails.
    Cheese Tips
    • You can substitute any cheese you like in this recipe.
    • Always purchase your cheese in block form and shred or grate it yourself. You can also use a food processor. Pre-shredded cheese has preservatives and potato starch to keep it from going bad quickly. These additives don’t melt nicely and the dish won’t be as creamy. Grate your own cheese. It makes a huge difference.
    • Feel free to add more cheese as you deem necessary. To make this a really creamy and cheesy dish, I often add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of additional shredded cheddar. I typically add this additional cheese to the cheese sauce to make it really thick.
    General Tips
    • You can whatever milk you choose in the recipe. 
    • I often use a 9×13 rectangular dish. Sometimes I will opt for an 8×8 dish, as used in the photos here. With an 8×8 dish, you will really pile in the ingredients and as it bakes, the sides will bubble and ooze over. This provides a dramatic effect (that looks great), but isn’t necessary. I bake the dish on a sheet pan to prevent liquid from oozing into the oven.
    • For baking dishes, I often prefer ceramic to glass. A ceramic dish will regulate heat better. When I use glass, the top of the mac and cheese, typically dries out quickly.
    • You can also use cast-iron.
    • If you’re making this for a crowd, I wouldn’t make it ahead. This is a dish that’s best served fresh while the cheese is still soft and gooey. After making it, I leave it in the oven on warm and covered in foil.
    • I also wouldn’t prep it in advance. This will ruin the texture of the cheese.
    Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g
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    Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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    Recipe Rating




    Leslie Caraballo

    Monday 23rd of August 2021

    I’ve made this lobster Mac and cheese several times and it’s always a hit! So creamy and delicious! First time I made it for my SO his jaw hit the floor after the first bite! 😂

    staysnatched

    Tuesday 24th of August 2021

    haha! I love to hear that.

    Kelley York

    Saturday 10th of July 2021

    This was DELICIOUS! My kids gave me total 10s. I doubled the recipe and it is almost gone! Love your recipes.

    staysnatched

    Sunday 11th of July 2021

    I’m glad the kids enjoyed it!

    Brande

    Thursday 8th of July 2021

    I can’t believe there aren’t more reviews on this recipe! I’m typically the designated mac and cheese person in my family so when I said I was trying a new recipe there were some reservations. However, Brandi outdid herself with this one. It was amazing and my family loved it!!! Thanks again for an amazing recipe, it will be a staple in my household.

    staysnatched

    Sunday 11th of July 2021

    Yay! So glad to hear it.

    Libby

    Sunday 20th of June 2021

    Yes, yes, YEEEEESSSSSSS. I had just recently searched for this recipe, after watching Brandi make it for what felt like months! A lot of happy curse words left my mouth when this came across my IG stories. I used one pkg of BB lobster, and then 1 lb of crab meat. I increased the Old Bay a little bit to account for the increase of seafood. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly as written, including the TJ macaroni. I even bought a ceramic baking dish! It. Is. So. Amazingly. Good!!! Brandi’s recipes never disappoint and everything is laid out so perfectly. Substitutions are addressed, and her tips are always spot-on. Thanks Brandi, for another kick ass recipe. It is a hit in this house!

    staysnatched

    Sunday 20th of June 2021

    Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe.