Mac and Cheese with Crab
Like Crab and Mac & Cheese?
Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Crab Recipe
Making a special mac and cheese with crab dinner may seem time consuming and expensive, however it can be an affordable dinner for an entire family. While it is easy to make macaroni and cheese from scratch this version simply calls for a boxed version that gets kicked up with special cheese, vegetables, and crab meat. The key to making this a really delicious entree is using a higher end boxed variety, so instead of using a Kraft mac and cheese our family prefers to use Annie's White Cheddar. This can be found in the organic aisle at the supermarket. We catch our own dungeness crab for the dish, but you can also buy it whole or already picked. If you can't get fresh crab, substitute with shrimp for a special baked seafood macaroni.
Ready to Dish
- 2 Box's Annie's White Cheddar Mac & Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar, Shredded
- 1/2 Cup Milk, Your Choice - low fat, 1%, 2%
- 4 TBSP Butter
- 1 - 2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs, Depending on Casserole Dish Size
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Cups Dungeness Crab, Picked - Optional More Crab
- 2 Cups Vegetables, Your Choice - Broccoli, Peas & Carrots, Corn, None
Annie's Best Box Mac & Cheese
Needs Toppings Before Baking
Whole Cooked Crab
Seafood Pasta Recipe
- Boil 8 cups of water in a large saucepan. Optional - add a clove of garlic and salt to the water
- Add the macaroni to the boiling water and boil until tender.
- Strain the pasta and place back into the saucepan, turn off the heat.
- Add the contents of the pouch from the box.
- Add in 1 Cup of the Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar Cheese. (Regular white cheddar is fine, even a swiss or mozarella will work as a substitute)
- Add the Butter and Milk.
- Stir in together until the butter and cheese .
- Fold in steamed vegetables & crab meat.
- Transfer everything to a casserole dish.
- Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on the surface as well as add the remainder white cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
- Place into oven that was preheated for 325.
- Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes until the cheese on top is melted and the bread crumbs become brown.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Enjoy! If you prefer to not include the vegetables in the dish that is fine, but you will want to then serve them on the side. A Cesar side salad is a nice compliment to this dish.
There are a few ways to alter this hearty seafood macaroni dish.
- Add a few extra macaroni elbows or shells when cooking the pasta if you know you will have an extra person or two at the table by adding a little extra pasta you will not alter the flavor and can feed an extra friend or family member
- Shrimp or clams can be used as an alternative to crab meat. Of course you could go away from the whole seafood thing and just add, chicken, ham, or whatever else you enjoy, but shrimp is an excellent alternative if crab is too expensive where you live.
- If you are not a fan of broccoli then consider using peas and carrots as an alternative, another veggie that works well is corn, sugar snap peas, and green beans are all great options.
- Any white cheese will work well, if you can not find a white cheddar or if you have some mozzarella or swiss in the house already.
Make It From Scratch
If you must make the base from scratch here is a good recipe to check out. It does not take that much time, there are several more complicated recipes on the web for making a seafood mac and cheese, but this one is focused on simplicity that is why the boxed version is highlighted. When you serve a warm cheesy crab filled casserole to your friends they will never know that it started in a box, especially if you use Annie's.
Change it up with a little green chile and surimi which is an imitation crab meat that helps to keep the cost down for making this delicious meal. Check out the video below describing how to make, the green chile variation.