Crab Macaroni and Cheese is a ‘crabtivating’ (get it?) cheesy pasta dish that is easy to make and get on the dinner table.
Feeling crabby? Well, this Crab Macaroni and Cheese is delicious enough to get you out of that funk. With three kinds of cheese, crab meat, and Cavatappi noodles, this classic comfort food is full of CRABohydrates…Yes, I just did that. I am having a little too much fun with the puns here. Anyway, if you love crab, you will enjoy this dish.
CRAB MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPE
I love macaroni and cheese, and I have made quite a few varieties of the dish. There really is no excuse to buy macaroni and cheese out of a box anymore, especially after you make this Crab Macaroni and Cheese and see how easy and creamy the end result is. I do have to warn you, though. There is definitely a distinct crab flavor in this mac and cheese. So, it may not be your kids’ favorite, but you never know!
- Pasta noodles–For some reason, I always choose Cavatappi noodles for my mac and cheese recipes. I just love the shape and they seem to fancy it up a bit.
- White cheddar cheese–There really is no taste difference between orange and white cheddar cheese; it’s just a matter of preference. Block cheese is the best for cooking, so grab a block of cheese to shred for mac and cheese.
- Jarlsberg cheese–This cheese has a sweet and nutty flavor and is pretty universal for cooking and snacking. Look for Emmentaler cheese or Swiss cheese if you need a replacement.
- Parmesan cheese–Freshly grated parmesan cheese is best. Try to stay away from the pre-packaged parmesan cheese.
- Heavy cream
- Garlic clove–Use a fresh garlic clove and try to skip the jarred garlic.
- Crabmeat–I used crabmeat from a can. You could also use Dungeness crab or imitation crab. But, be aware that the changes in types of crab will definitely change the flavor of the dish.
- Dried chives
HOW TO MAKE CRAB MACARONI AND CHEESE
Most of this recipe is done on the stovetop, but you will need to broil the Crab Macaroni and Cheese for about 5 minutes at the end. So, preheat the broiler as you prepare the mac and cheese.
- In a bowl, mix together the three kinds of cheese and separate 1 cup of the cheese to be added just before broiling.
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic to the heavy cream, letting it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and return the heat to medium, cooking for about a minute.
- Remove the skillet from the heat BEFORE you add the cheeses. Then, add the cheese mixture, stirring until the cheese has melted.
- Gently stir in the crab and 1 tablespoon of chives.
- Top with the 1 cup of cheese you had set aside and broil the Crab Macaroni and Cheese for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Let the mac and cheese sit for a few minutes before adding the remaining chives and serving.
HOW TO GET CREAMY MACARONI AND CHEESE
I am on a mission to make sure no one has grainy homemade mac n cheese ever again… and in my research discovered this awesome tip. Do NOT put the pan back over the heat to melt the cheese. The ingredients in the pan are already hot enough to do the job of melting the cheeses. If you get cheese too hot that is when you will end up with a grainy texture.
- 8 ounces Cavatappi noodles, cooked per package directions
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- 1 cup Jarlsberg cheese, finely shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely diced
- 8 ounces crab meat
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
Mix together the white cheddar, Jarlsberg, and parmesan cheeses until well combined. Set aside 1 cup of the cheese mixture for the topping.
Preheat broiler to low with the oven rack near the top of the oven.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Add garlic and gently simmer, stirring often (about 2 minutes).
Stir in cooked pasta and return to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir for about a minute. Remove from heat.
Add the cheese mixture and stir until the cheese has melted.
Gently stir in the crab and 1 tablespoon of chives. Season with salt, if needed.
Top with the 1 cup of cheese mixture you had set aside. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and add the remaining chives for garnish.