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Can we all agree that skillet lobster mac and cheese is the epitome of classy comfort food?
Lobster mac and cheese is the perfect way to eat leftover lobster (if there ever is any). Sometimes Patty and I will steam an extra lobster on the lobster night and peel it and freeze it for later use. Also, frozen lobster tails work phenomenally and are easy to manage/steam without a big mess.
How to Steam Lobster Tails
Frozen or fresh lobster tails are convenient and usually readily available at the seafood counter. To steam, fill a medium-sized lidded pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the lobster tails, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Here is another article on steaming full lobster. Crack or cut the shells open with kitchen sheers and chop the lobster into bite-sized chunks. Always thaw before steaming!
Best Cheese for Lobster Mac and Cheese
The cheese is very important. I use mainly sharp white cheddar cheese, plus a smoother fontina or gruyere to balance out the flavor and creaminess. Look for Cabot brand cheddar cheese—those are my favorite.
- 8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp
- 8 ounces Cabot Vermont Sharp
- 4 ounces BelGioioso Fontina
Maybe it’s just me, but the sharp cheddar cheeses give homemade mac and cheese a gourmet feel and taste.
How to Make a Roux
This is technically the “trickiest” part of the recipe and the most important step to get right. A roux is a thickening agent consisting of melted butter and flour. It helps the cheese sauce yield a creamier texture. I prepare the roux and cheese sauce all in a single cast-iron skillet for easy baking later. A roux serves as the cheese sauce’s base, it’s what holds the entire cheese sauce together.
- Start by melting butter in a skillet on medium heat and slowly whisk in flour until a creamy, paste forms. The roux will take about a minute and will take on a very slight brownish hue. The key is to constantly whisk to prevent burning.
- Slowly add the warm milk, whisking constantly until thickened sauce forms and just starts to bubble. It will resemble very creamy mashed potatoes at one point, and then gradually thin to a creamy sauce, perfect for aiding in the melting of cheese.
Shredded Cheese Melts in Seconds
Once the roux has formed, it’s all about the cheese. Shredded cheese melts incredibly fast in the roux. Cubed cheese takes longer and runs the risk of overcooking or improperly melting. Take the extra time to shred the cheese. You’ll thank yourself later.
We can add the lobster and cooked elbows right into the sauce and bake in the oven topped with crushed croutons. It’s the best lobster mac and cheese recipe ever and it’s so easy to make.
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Skillet Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
Skillet lobster mac and cheese made with sharp cheddar cheese, fontina cheese, and fresh lobster. Topped with garlicky croutons and baked for the perfect golden finish.
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 3 lobster tails, fully cooked and chopped (about 1–2 cups lobster)
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups warm milk
- 8 ounces, Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces, Vermont Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or mild cheddar)
- 4 ounces, fontina or gruyere cheese, shredded
- 2 cup whole croutons, crushed (I like garlic butter)
- To steam lobster, fill a medium-sized lidded pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the lobster tails, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Here is another post on steaming full lobster. Crack or cut the shells open with kitchen sheers and chop into bite-sized chunks. Always thaw lobster before steaming!
Mac and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 °F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook elbows until al dente. Strain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, spray a cast iron skillet liberally with cooking spray. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until incorporated and roux has formed, about 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in warm milk, one cup at a time, whisking out any lumps if they form. Heat until sauce just starts to bubble in the center. It helps to whisk constantly during this process.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese in a small bowl for step 6. Add half of the remaining cheese to the skillet, whisk until nearly all is melted and creamy. Add the other remaining half and whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in cooked elbows and lobster until evenly distributed. Evenly top with a layer of the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese and then crushed croutons.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until croutons are golden. Serve immediately.
This recipe calls for roughly 20 ounces of cheese. Your typical block of cheese is 8 ounces. You want roughly 4 cups of shredded cheese, lightly packed (a little extra is always OK).
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 808
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 1169mg
- Fat: 46.1g
- Saturated Fat: 27.2g
- Carbohydrates: 51.4g
- Fiber: 2.2g
- Protein: 44.4g
- Cholesterol: 204mg
Keywords: lobster mac and cheese recipe
What size cast iron skillet do you use? This sounds delicious!!!
12 inch should do the trick!
Hey Shawn, I was wondering if cooking the noodles first would make the finished product even more cheesy. What do you think?
I’ve never tried it myself – but it will certainly be more tender and creamy. Give it a shot! I’d still bake it to really cook the cheese.
Who would have thought, just one skillet! My brother in law made this for me once and it truly was a quick and easy technique. Great meal and recipe!
Thank you Liz – sounds like that guy has some serious kitchen swagger.
Hi Dave – the recipe is made in a single cast iron skillet, so yes it is indeed a “one skillet” recipe regardless of the stove top to oven transfer cooking method. I’m sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you.
Trying this recipes right now. It looks yummy. I added a little salami cheese to it as well. Cooking in oven now. It’ll be a good hit during the Super Bowl.
Awesome Lloyd – I hope it worked out well!
Thanks for sharing, made this last night and it was delicious. I did use a different mix of cheese (lots of swiss, sharp cheddar, and a little pepper jack) and added a little more milk. The method was awesome… never knew you could make mac and cheese without boiling the pasta first. My husband ate about half of it between dinner and post-dinner snacking.
Glad to hear it Paige! I love the idea of pepper jack. Never thought of that before but sounds fantastic.