This Crab Mac and Cheese is super creamy and rich and makes an indulgent side for the holidays. Crab pairs perfectly with both cheese and pasta so it is a natural choice for adding to mac and cheese. The addition of crab and some salty, crumbled bacon elevates mac and cheese from a kid’s food to an elegant side dish that will please your inner child AND your adult palate.
No matter what you are serving for the holidays, this Crab Mac and Cheese will make a delicious accompaniment.
I love it every bit as much as this Super Creamy Mac and Cheese which is one of the most popular recipes on Spicy Southern Kitchen.
For this Crab Mac and Cheese I like to use 2 cans of Chicken of the Sea White Crabmeat. They also make a Fancy Crab and Lump Crab that would taste wonderful.
Look for the new packaging (pictured below) at your local store.
Using canned crab not only makes this recipe more economical, there’s no need to worry about the crab going bad before you use it. I love to have a few cans on my pantry shelf so I’m ready at a moments notice to whip up this Crab Mac and Cheese. Because sometimes you just get that craving for mac and cheese. 🙂
I’ve used medium pasta shells since I think they are a natural choice for recipes including seafood, but macaroni, penne, or any pasta shape you like can be used.
A combination of cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese gives this Crab Mac and Cheese plenty of cheese flavor. You get little bites of crab in every bite and I love the way the sweetness of the crab contrasts with the salty bacon and buttery Panko crumb topping.
Click HERE for a Chicken of the Sea Coupon.
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt to taste, I used 1/2 teaspoon
- 1 (16-ounce) box medium pasta shells cooked according to package directions
- 2 (5-ounce) cans Chicken of the Sea crab
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 cup Panko crumbs
- Cook bacon in a large nonstick pan. Remove, crumble, and set aside.
- Add butter to grease in pan and cook onion until soft.
- Add flour to pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning. Set aside 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and stir remaining cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese in until melted.
- Check for seasoning and add salt to taste.
- Drain crab and stir into cheese mixture.
- Place cooked pasta in a 9X13-inch casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce on top and mix.
- Sprinkle reserved cheese on top along with bacon.
- In a small bowl, stir together Panko crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Broil for 2-3 minutes (watching closely) to brown bread crumbs.
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I appreciate the opportunity to share products I love and use in my own kitchen.