Lobster and Bacon Mac and Cheese is the ultimate one-pan comfort food. Smoked cheddar is used to complement the smokey bacon, along with stretchy mozzarella, savoury garlic butter, and big chunks of sweet lobster.
This post is super special to me for two reasons:
* This is going to be part of a virtual baby shower that some friends and I are putting together. (No, not for me!! A blogger friend of ours just had her baby so we are celebrating her and her family!) Check back on September 30th for a special surprise!
* This was the final dish that I cooked and photographed before leaving Oregon last month to move to Malaysia.
Lobster and Bacon Mac and Cheese….need I say more??
I used smoked cheddar cheese (Tillamook brand, of course!) in addition to medium cheddar for the extra smoky flavor to complement the bacon, along with mozzarella cheese to give it that stretchy-cheese texture. These cheeses, the macaroni, along with the savoury garlic butter and big chunks of sweet lobster meat makes this dish ridiculously luscious.
Using a skillet makes this dish really easy to prepare. You can cook everything in the skillet (except the macaroni) then toss the whole skillet in to the oven to bake the dish. Clean-up is also much easier since the cheese doesn’t stick as much to the cast iron as opposed to a regular baking dish.
You can use any kind of macaroni pasta you like. I love Rotini pasta for any sort of mac and cheese because it picks up a lot of the cheesy sauce with every bite 🙂
(Scroll down for the printable/shareable recipe)
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a cast-iron skillet on your stove-top and sauté the bacon (3 strips, cut into approx. 1/2 inch slices) over medium-high heat until slightly brown on the edges. Add 5 tablespoons of butter and 3 cloves of garlic (chopped), then stir till well combined. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Just as soon as the edges start to brown a little, add a 1/4 cup of flour, then stir constantly for 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream to the mixture. Stir to combine, then add the lobster meat (1 cup, cut into bite-sized pieces), 1 bay leaf and 1 teaspoon of salt. Keep stirring. This mixture will thicken up quickly. The reason why we add the lobster meat during this stage rather than sautéing it with the bacon and garlic at the beginning is so that it won’t overcook. Lobster meat cooks very quickly so adding it as late as possible in the cooking process will ensure that the meat stays succulent instead of rubbery.
As soon as the mixture has thickened up (only takes about a minute), add your shredded cheese; about 1/2 a cup at a time while stirring in between. You will need 2 cups of shredded medium cheddar cheese, 2 cups of shredded smoked cheddar cheese, and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
When all of the cheese has melted, add the cooked pasta. Stir till well combined, then remove the bay leaf.
In a separate bowl, pour the melted butter over the panko breadcrumbs and mix well. Pour the buttered panko breadcrumbs over the macaroni.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Et voila! Lobster and Bacon Mac and Cheese!
Lobster and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 3 strips of bacon sliced into approx half inch pieces
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup lobster meat raw, bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded smoked cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 box of your favorite macaroni pasta cooked (my recommendation: Rotini pasta)
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs + 2 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a cast iron skillet, sauté bacon until slightly brown on the edges. Add butter and garlic and stir till well combined.
- Add flour. Stir constantly for about a minute.
- Add heavy cream and milk. Give it a quick stir, then add the lobster meat, bay leaf and salt. This mixture should thicken up very quickly.
- When the mixture has thickened, slowly add about 1/2 cup of cheese at a time.
- When all of the cheese is melted, add the pasta. Stir till well combined.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- In a separate bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter.
- Top the macaroni with the buttered panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.