More Cheese, Please: A Recipe for Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

More Cheese, Please: A Recipe for Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Serve up some comfort with a savory classic

lobster mac n' cheese recipe

Photo by Rachel Benavides

Few foods are as quintessentially “American” as macaroni and cheese. A pot of steaming noodles coated with creamy cheese is a mainstay at backyard barbecues, Sunday dinners and holiday meals. With an almost 500-year popularity streak, how has such a humble dish had its remarkable staying power in an ever-evolving world?

Before traversing the globe, macaroni and cheese was most commonly found in Italian households. Farmers’ wives stretched perishable milk, sometimes the only available protein, into a satiating meal by making cheese and mixing it into their pasta. The recipe for “Roman Macaroni” was first recorded in 1465 by Chef Martino de Como, who catered to Italian clergy and aristocracy alike. 

Mac and cheese has been a staple in the U.S. since its independence. Many credit the dish’s renown to founding father Thomas Jefferson. Food historians, however, recognize President Jefferson’s enslaved chef James Hemings as introducing the dish to the new world leader. 

Cheesy mac soared in popularity after technology developed during the Industrial Revolution increased its shelf life. Cheese was emulsified, cooked and processed in order to destroy any living organisms. Kraft released its blue box take on the meal in 1937, advertising it as a meal for the entire family for only 19 cents. 

Most of us have a long-standing personal history with mac and cheese. We often favor the macaroni and cheese of our youth, whether it came from a box or the hands of a family elder. Some mix in tomatoes, greens, crab or hotdogs; others prefer it drizzled with sriracha, ketchup or truffle oil. Our recipe counters the salty umami of artisan cheddar with sweet bites of lobster tail. Buttery breadcrumbs crown the gooey interior, creating a pleasing bite.

Lobster Mac n' Cheese recipe
Photo by Rachel Benavides

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 4-8

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes 


  • 16 oz dry trottole, shells or cavatappi
  • 3 lobster tails, about 12 oz
  • 6 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (opt for smoked paprika, if desired)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups gruyere, grated
  • 3 cups cheddar, grated


  • 1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 cup gruyere, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar, grated
  • 4 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes, or per package instructions. Strain cooked pasta and set aside. 

Cook lobster tails for 4-6 minutes in boiling water, until just turning opaque and floating. Remove lobster from water and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes. (These will shrink down during the baking process, so we want them large enough that they won’t get lost in the pasta).

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and fragrant, stir in flour, garlic powder, dry mustard and paprika. Cook for 2 minutes, until mixture is a deeper blonde color and smells nutty. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream to roux, until a smooth sauce forms and begins to bubble. Remove the mixture from the heat and add all but 1 ½ cups of cheese to the roux. Whisk until a thick, creamy sauce is formed and is lump-free. Stir in cooked pasta and lobster. 

Transfer half of macaroni and cheese into prepared baking dish. Top the surface with the reserved gruyere/cheddar. Add the final half of prepared macaroni and cheese. 

Top the macaroni and cheese with additional parmesan, cheddar and gruyere. In a medium-sized bowl, melt butter in a microwave. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder and salt into melted butter and evenly distribute along the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden.