Lobster is luxurious, and homemade mac is oh-so comforting; put them together, and you have a divine combination. There is one secret ingredient; however, that’ll really deliver an irresistible flavor; and we use it every time.
Creamy cheese sauce combined with sweet bite-sized chunks of lobster meat entangled in each bite; it’s sure to give you the warm fuzzies.
Lobster mac is like a fancy adult version of the homey meal you enjoyed growing up, but so much better! We’ll show you each step for making this decadent meal and provide plenty of tips and variations so you have plenty of excuses to make this delicious dish multiple times!
Whether you plan on boiling your lobster or steaming it, there is a lot to learn on the subject. From understanding why we cook it live to ensuring you have the right tools on hand, we can help with it all.
Because preparing lobster properly is crucial for food safety, do review our guide to cooking lobster for a rundown on cooking times, tips for working with live lobsters, and how to remove the meat.
Once you’ve mastered the cooking skills, you’ll be ready to make this meal and others that use lobster.
Otherwise, if you are fortunate enough to find already cooked lobster meat at your supermarket, you can certainly skip the laborious steps and use thawed meat instead.
This recipe might deliver fancy-schmancy results, but it’s actually quite simple. Just don’t skimp out on any of the components, and please brush away your health-conscience worries because this recipe is loaded with rich calorific stuff.
Here’s a quick rundown on the ingredients used:
- Butter: This recipe calls for a 1/4 cup (or half stick) of butter, which you’ll learn to brown into a nutty, rich flavor perfect for this meal.
- Flour: Next, you’ll add in 1/4 cup of flour to help create a lovely roux.
- Half and Half: The addition of one cup of half and half helps break up the roux before it’s carefully mixed into a lovely thick sauce similar to bechamel. While whole milk works fine, we like half and a half for its ultra-creamy quality.
- Lobster Base: From there, you’ll add a cup of the lobster base, made with Better than Bouillon; A thick, concentrated paste made from lobster and other ingredients used to prepare broths.
- Cheese: You certainly can’t make macaroni and cheese without this ooey-gooey ingredient. For a more sophisticated look, we choose white sharp cheddar and steer clear of bright yellow cheeses. Parmesan is a must too.
- Fancy Pasta: While shells and elbows tend to top the charts with the most widely used shape selections for mac and cheese, we like to use something fancier. I stick to bite-sized alternatives that’ll still equally distribute the gooey goodness of each bite without seeming so basic. Cavatappi does a fine job of just that, but we also sometimes use campanelle.
- Black Pepper: Be very cautious with adding salt here because this recipe already calls for a hefty amount of base, which is highly concentrated and very salty. We only add pepper to ours.
Now that you know a little more about the significance of each ingredient, let’s talk about that lobster base we so call our “secret ingredient.”
Well, the secret is out, and the whole world should know how a simple ingredient can transform a meal like this one.
Better than Bouillon is a concentrated paste-like base made from various meats, spices, and vegetables. Many (including myself) swear by this product, and some say it’s even better than making a stock from scratch. Don’t believe us? You’ll have to try it yourself.
Aside from extreme flavor, it’s so easy to use; just add a spoonful into hot water and watch as it disperses and turns into a delicious broth.
Use it to make soups, creamy sauces or swirl them into a stew or dish lacking flavor. We use the beef base for stews and gravies and chicken bases for a flawless cream of chicken for pot pies.
It’s the perfect solution for brothy soups and always provides quality flavor to creamy pasta sauces and casseroles.
The lobster flavor is spot on and packs a powerful punch of rich umami flavor that you just can’t beat. Yes, you can certainly simmer your leftover lobster shells; we won’t stop you from that. But this will fast-track your meal and provide bonus flavor with ease.
Lucky for you, there is a variety to suit just about every cooking need. Chicken, roasted garlic, mushroom beef, you name it, there is a flavor out there. There are vegetarian/ vegan options, and organic varieties, and even a few low-sodium options available for purchase.
- 1 box of cavatappi pasta
- Water for boiling
- 1/4 cup of butter (half stick)
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon of Better than Bouillon lobster base
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of cooked lobster meat
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta (and a pinch of salt), and cook until al dente.
- Remove from water and set pasta aside. Drizzle over a bit of olive oil and massage into the pasta to ensure it doesn’t stick together.
- Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a Le Creuset Dutch oven on low-medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted, allow it to continue cooking for a few minutes until it begins to deepen in color.
- While the butter starts to brown, add a tablespoon of Better than Bouillon lobster base to a cup of hot water, then whisk to ensure the base disperses evenly.
- Stay close to the stove and watch carefully so that your butter doesn’t burn. Once the butter has started to darken a bit, add your flour and combine the two ingredients using a whisk until you’ve created a roux.
- Slowly start adding the half and a half while continuously mixing with your whisk. Then slowly add your lobster broth. Work carefully with your whisk to make sure any leftover roux in the corners of your Dutch oven is scraped away.
- Add two cups of sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese and mix until it has completely melted. Remove from heat, then add the chopped lobster meat and cooked cavatappi pasta. Add black pepper to taste.
- Transfer the macaroni and cheese into a casserole dish, then sprinkle over the additional 1/2 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the oven uncovered for about 25 minutes until the cheese bubble and turn golden brown. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Now, get ready for a mouth full of deliciousness.
If any of the ingredients aren’t your jam, there’s plenty you can do to change the recipe, but we have to admit, it’s pretty damn delicious, so we hope you try it out as is.
- Protein Substitutes: Turn this into a loaded seafood mac and cheese by adding cooked scallops, shrimp, crab, or any other fresh catch you see fit. If you aren’t a fan of seafood in general, you can sub the lobster broth with chicken broth and throw in shredded chicken instead of lobster.
- Cheese Options: Aside from cheddar, many like using mozzarella, although I find it too stringy. Gruyere is another popular choice, and a bit of goat cheese would add a lovely touch, too.
- Toppings: Feel free to sprinkle fresh chopped chives or parsley over your baked casserole for a bright and earthy addition. Otherwise, extra cheese or toasted panko bread crumbs make a delicious final touch, too.
- Lobster Bisque: Follow this exact recipe steps one through seven and stop before step eight. Instead of adding cheese, add a bit of white pepper, chopped lobster, and serve with warm crusty bread.
- Chowder: Next time you make a hearty clam, fish, or seafood chowder, be sure to use this lobster base. Again, follow steps one-seven and stop before step eight, and there is the creamy liquid for the soup.
- Seafood Alfredo: Add a swirl of the lobster base to a homemade alfredo sauce before drowning your Fettucine with all that love.
Lobster mac and cheese is as comforting as snuggling up with a blanket in front of the fireplace, so why not turn to your fire table and enjoy super cozy food with super cozy vibes.