Lobster Mac and Cheese is an indulgent cheesy pasta, with tender seafood and a golden brown topping. Elevate your favorite comfort food meal with this easy lobster mac and cheese recipe!
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Although this dish has become famous in fine dining restaurants, it’s easy enough to make at home even on the busiest weeknights.
Baked lobster mac and cheese is especially delicious, thanks to a crispy, crunchy layer of panko breadcrumbs on top.
For a truly easy lobster mac and cheese, use leftover seafood and have the rest of your ingredients prepped and measured. Dinner will be on the table in just 30 minutes!
For another cheesy pasta recipe, try my One-Pot American Goulash. It’s hearty, delicious, and ready in just 30 minutes!
Jack Daniels Mac and Cheese has a delicious smoky flavor and an extra kick from the whiskey.
If you prefer something a little lighter, make my Cheesy Chicken Pasta recipe. It’s bursting with Italian flavors and is another easy one pot meal.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Lobster Meat – You’ll need 24 ounces total of cooked seafood, not counting the shell.
I typically use four tails since they are easy to find and provide the most meat.
- Cheese – Gruyere and white cheddar complement the natural flavor of the lobster and melt down nicely in the sauce.
Other cheeses would be tasty in this lobster mac and cheese recipe — find suggestions in the FAQ down below!
- Half & Half – This is the base of your creamy cheese sauce, and the extra fat helps it thicken far easier than regular milk.
For an easy substitute, mix equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.
- Seasonings – A simple blend of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper flavors the dish while letting the seafood shine.
I like to add a pinch of cayenne for heat as well.
For some smoky warmth, try nutmeg or smoked paprika — a little goes a long way!
- Breadcrumbs – Panko provides maximum crunch in baked lobster mac and cheese, but regular breadcrumbs will work in a pinch.
Either way, mix them with a little melted butter to help with browning.
Tips for Making Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
- Always salt your pasta water
Bring the water to a boil first, then add the salt. Once it comes back to a boil, add the pasta.
The standard rule is that your pasta water should taste like the ocean. This way, the noodles are well seasoned, flavorful, and less likely to stick together.
- Shred cheese by hand
While pre-bagged shreds are certainly more convenient, they just don’t melt the same way.
Guarantee a richer flavor and a perfectly smooth lobster mac and cheese sauce by shredding fresh blocks of cheese yourself.
- Warm the half & half
It’s always a good idea to use room-temperature dairy, otherwise it may cause clumping when mixed into a warm sauce.
At the very least, measure it out and let it sit on the counter to remove the chill while you start everything else.
- Use up leftovers
This lobster mac and cheese recipe is a great way to use any lobster tail meat from a previous meal.
Plus, it cuts down on prep time since the meat is already cooked!
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- 9×13 Baking Dish – This set is one of my favorites! It comes with a lid for easy storage and is great for casseroles too.
- Box Grater – As much as I love buying shredded cheese because I’m lazy, freshly grated cheese melts down so much better and creates a smoother recipe.
- Large Pot and Strainer for the pasta
- Heavy Bottom Skillet – To help the sauce cook evenly, a wide skillet works best.
Storing and Reheating Baked Lobster Mac and Cheese
Cover tightly with foil or transfer lobster macaroni and cheese to a container with a lid. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
For best results, warm in the oven for about 20 minutes at 300°F or until warmed through.
You could try it in the microwave but do so in bursts so the meat stays tender.
I don’t recommend freezing lobster mac and cheese for two reasons. First, dairy tends to curdle and separate when frozen, thawed, and reheated.
Second, the lobster would likely become tough and rubbery, and nobody likes that!
Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe FAQ
Sure! Make sure to use varieties that melt well so the sauce stays nice and smooth.
It’s often recommended to use a blend of young cheese and aged cheese for the right balance of creaminess and flavor. Any of these would taste great in lobster macaroni and cheese:
Sharp or medium cheddar
Because of the addition of seafood, make sure to use something with bends and twists so you get a little bit of everything in each bite.
Cavatappi is another popular choice, or try pipe rigate which is basically extra-large macaroni with ridges on the outside.
Balance the creamy richness of this cheesy seafood dish with something fresh and green!
A simple salad is always easy to toss together, while air fryer green beans are ready in minutes.
For sides that will impress dinner guests, you can’t go wrong with a burrata caprese salad or brussels sprouts with bacon!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Unique Mac and Cheese Recipes
Lobster Mac and Cheese + Video
- 16 ounces dry elbow pasta
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups half and half
- 4 cups shredded gruyere cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
- 24 ounces cooked lobster, 6 4 ounce lobster tails
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cook the noodles per the directions on the back of the box and drain well, set aside.
- In a heavy bottom skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and melt. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, and flour to the pan and whisk to mix into the butter. Cook for two minutes, whisking occasionally. Slowly add the half and half to the pan whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer to thicken. Take off the heat and add 3 cups of the gruyere cheese and 1 cup of the white cheddar cheese, whisk to combine and melt the cheese into the sauce.
- Chop up the lobster so there is a mix of smaller and larger bite-sized pieces throughout. Mix the cheese sauce with the noodles and lobster and pour everything into the baking dish. I like to make sure a few pieces of the lobster is sticking up on top of the dish for a pretty presentation. Smooth out the top so it cooks evenly.
- Add the remaining cheeses on top of the casserole.
- Melt the remaining butter in a microwave-safe dish by microwaving in 15-second intervals until melted. In a medium-sized bowl add the breadcrumbs and melted butter, stir to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the casserole. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with a parsley garnish, optional.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2020, updated and republished November 2023
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