When you have a best friend who’s feeling under the weather and her favorite food is seafood… what do you make her? You make her this cheesy and comforting Seafood Mac and Cheese!
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Yesssss! I thought long and hard on what I could make that would be extra extra special for my dear friend Rhonda. I couldn’t think of anything more comforting than mac and cheese surrounded by a bunch of local shrimp and crab meat… SCORE!
And that crunchy, buttery panko bread crumb topping… so sinfully delicious!
Rhonda is such a sweet and selfless person, when I told her I was making this she replied, “Please don’t go out of your way.” I replied, “Ummmm RHONDA I have a freakin’ food blog and my job is cooking which I LOVE!” 🙂
We met when I started working at a local surgical center in 2012 and we immediately became friends on my first day of work.
Last weekend was my birthday and Brian and I had a party celebrating moving into the new house. The best present ever was her presence and being able to spend time with my friend. We were even gifted with a beautiful rainbow right after she got here!
You just can’t go wrong with tender macaroni in a 3-cheese sauce surrounded by shrimp and crab meat! You can also use cooked lobster and/or cooked chopped scallops… or your favorite seafood. LOVE. Enjoy!Print
The ultimate seafood comfort food… perfectly seasoned cheesy macaroni full of shrimp and crab meat!
- 1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked 2 minutes less than al dente, drained and rinsed with cold water
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3/4 pound medium shrimp peeled, deveined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 heaping teaspoon freshly minced garlic
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less, to taste)
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)
- 1-1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1-1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 pound cooked lump crab meat
- Optional fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees .
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, just until pink (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to a medium bowl and toss with the panko bread crumbs.
- Add diced onions and garlic to melted butter in saucepan and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add flour and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
- Add milk and whisk until smooth and there are no lumps.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, whisking constantly.
- Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Old Bay Seasoning.
- Remove saucepan from burner. Add cheeses and stir until smooth. Fold in macaroni, shrimp and crab meat.
- Transfer to an 11 x 7 casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Top evenly with buttery panko bread crumb mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bread crumb topping is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, for garnish if desired.
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com