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Emeril's Seafood Mac and Cheese


This mac and cheese is a fantastic one-dish meal -- it's so rich and creamy and cheesy, all you'll need is a simple green salad to serve alongside, and your menu is set. Lobster works well in this recipe, but if that seems too luxurious, use any combination of seafood you like.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Emeril’s Seafood Mac and Cheese

Photography: Kana Okada

Source: Everyday Food, October 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish, or crabmeat, or a combination
  • 4 cups (1 pound) mixed grated cheeses, such as Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, and fontina
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 2 minutes less than al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.

  2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium in a large saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a medium bowl, and reserve. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.

  3. Remove pan from heat. Fold in seafood, macaroni, and cheese; transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish. To bowl with reserved melted butter, add breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning; toss, and scatter over macaroni mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

A touch of Creole seasoning (a blend of spices like garlic powder, paprika, and thyme) adds oomph. Store-bought seasonings can be substituted for Emeril's recipe.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Sara Bedard
    24 MAR, 2014
    I made this recipe tonight and it's very good! I didn't have any Lobster but I used shrimp. I wish I had lobster. But it was still really good. I recommend this for anyone who loves mac n cheese and seafood!
  • Mark Henzie
    16 MAR, 2014
    Made the full recipe last night with 1/2 pound of shrimp and 2/3 pound of King Crab. Used 2 cups sharp Cheddar 1 cup fontina and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. It fed 4 of us for dinner and lunch the next day. It was awesome. The panko mixture on top with the cerole season really is awesome! I highly recommend this recipe.
  • sweetie23
    12 APR, 2012
    This was DELICIOUS! I made this last night for the two of us, I cut the recipe in half and we had enough for dinner last night and two lunches today! I used Pecorino-Romano, Parmesan and a little mozzarella instead of the cheeses listed (used what we had) and it turned out great. The panko topping is excellent so don't forget it!
  • j1222lo
    10 NOV, 2010
    i didn't have any seafood, so i only used cheese and it was awesome as well.
  • 60degreesandsunny
    7 JUL, 2010
    Lobster was on sale, so I just used that too and it was the best mac and cheese I've ever tasted. The recipe makes a lot, though, so invite your friends over.
  • smd1227
    13 JAN, 2010
    Oh my!!! I made this with lobster and it was DIVINE! No one said a word during dinner. We just chewed and moaned, chewed and moaned,....