Delicious Crab Macaroni And Cheese cooked all in one pot. This easy crab mac and cheese recipe is creamy, cheesy, flour free and super yummy!!
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We are a family of mac and cheese lovers. My husband used to maintain the only mac and cheese he ever wanted to eat was the Kraft one out of a box.
Thankfully I have converted him to homemade macaroni and cheese and this version with crab is currently our favourite!
I have Nigella to thank for this idea… Nigella’s Crab Mac ‘n’ Cheese caught my eye the minute I leafed through her book Cook Eat Repeat.
And while her recipe is undeniably yummy, my version is actually easier, contains no flour but is just as deliciously creamy!
CRAB MAC AND CHEESE INGREDIENTS
Most macaroni and cheese recipes combine pasta with a roux-based cheese sauce. My recipe cooks the macaroni right in the sauce – less washing up is always a win in my book! A Chef’s pan with a lid is ideal for this recipe.
- Elbow macaroni or you can use other smallish pasta shapes.
- Chicken stock made using stock cubes or you can use chicken broth from a can. Check it is gluten free if that is a concern.
- Tomato paste and a little Sriracha for a hint of spice. If you can find tomato pesto then use that instead!
- Sweet paprika, smoked paprika, nutmeg and garlic salt
- Cream cheese – I used Boursin Garlic and Herb but you can use Philadelphia if preferred
- Grated cheese – I used a four cheese mix of cheddar, Edam, mozzarella and Monteray jack cheese plus grated Parmesan. You can use just grated cheddar and Parmesan if you like.
- Crab meat – I used canned lump crab meat. You can use fresh if you like.
HOW TO MAKE CRAB MAC AND CHEESE
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
Heat the butter in a large lidded pan. Add the macaroni once it has melted and stir to coat. Add half the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the tomato paste, Sriracha and seasonings. Continue to cook the pasta, stirring occasionally and topping up the stock gradually as it gets absorbed.
Stir in the cream cheese until it melts into the sauce.
Check the pasta is cooked but with a bit of bite (al dente). Stir in the shredded cheese, adding a little more of the stock until you have a lovely creamy consistency.
Stir in the crab to heat through. Check the seasoning – it shouldn’t need any salt but add pepper and the chilli flakes. Serve immediately!
- I haven’t added any additional salt as the stock and cheese add plenty. Taste before serving to see if you need to add some.
- You can serve this mac and cheese without the crab if you prefer. Or you can replace the crab with lobster meat – incredibly delicious but, alas, quite pricy.
- Add a little water or milk when reheating leftovers.
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Crab Macaroni And Cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 300 g (10 1/2 oz) elbow macaroni
- 960 ml (4 cups) chicken stock , made using two stock cubes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (purée) or tomato pesto
- ½ tsp sriracha or chilli paste (optional)
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 3 tbsp cream cheese I used Garlic and Herb
- 100 g (1 cup) cheddar cheese , grated or see notes
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes to serve
- Heat the butter in a large lidded pan. Add the macaroni once it has melted and stir to coat.
- Add half the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the tomato paste, Sriracha and seasonings. Continue to cook the pasta, stirring occasionally and topping up the stock gradually as it gets absorbed.
- Add the cream cheese and stir until it melts into the sauce.
- Check the pasta is cooked but with a bit of bite (al dente). Stir in the cheese, adding a little more of the stock until you have a lovely creamy consistency.
- Stir in the crab to heat through. Check the seasoning – it shouldn’t need any salt but add pepper and the chilli flakes. Serve immediately!
- I used a four cheese blend from the supermarket which contained Cheddar, Edam, Mozarella and Monteray Jack.
- If you have leftovers you will need to add a little water or milk when reheating on the stove.