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Crab Mac and Cheese

Crab Mac and Cheese


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.

Crab Mac and Cheese is super creamy and rich with crumbled bacon on top!

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.

Chicken of the Sea crabmeat

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.  🙂

Crab Mac and Cheese


I also like to have a few cans of Chicken of the Sea tiny shrimp for making this Shrimp Remoulade Pasta Salad. I find having a stocked pantry makes the holidays so much less stressful.

Crab 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.

Crab Mac and Cheese

Click HERE for a Chicken of the Sea Coupon.

Crab Mac and Cheese

Crab Mac and Cheese

This Crab Mac and Cheese is super creamy and rich with lots of cheese and crumbled bacon on top.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 12 servings


  • 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.


Calories: 371kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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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.

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19 thoughts on “Crab Mac and Cheese”

  1. This came out GREAT! I used Italian bread crumbs instead of panko, a touch of nutmeg, some cayenne and 2 tsp Cajun seasoning (Slap Ya Mama),, skipped the salt. And I baked it 30 minutes. So Good. Thank you.

  2. I have made this recipe but I use lump crab meat and it makes all the difference. I also use Old Bay seasoning and more Cajun seasoning. It turned out phenomenal!!

  3. Like someone else said, this was a bust for me. The cheese ended up being clumpy and not smooth. A bit too oily for me too, it was puddling in the dish. Personally I also found the onions in this recipe to be a bit overwhelming to the flavor, you can sure smell them even after everything is made.

  4. Sorry, this was a bust for me. The sauce is so bland – definitely amp up the seasonings. I also added more of everything except the noodles.

  5. I like this recipe! I halved all the ingredients except for the crabmeat (I used 16oz canned lump crabmeat) and used cavatappi pasta. It was cheesy and delicious! Will definitively make again!

  6. I never understand why people find it necessary to write a whole article before the recipe. We just want the recipe, not some stay at home mom’s ramblings.

  7. Making this for Easter tomorrow . Could you assemble this the night before and then cook right before dinner?

    1. I did exactly that. I just didn’t cook the pasta all the way. Only enough to loosen it up, about 6 minutes. I refrigerated it covered and cooked it next day at 375 for 40-45 minutes 🙂

  8. Making this for Easter tomorrow. Could you make this the night before and then cook right before dinner?

  9. kimberlee decker

    Hate to do this but I really did not like this . I made it as written and there wasnt nearly enough sauce also it was much fishier then I would of liked or expected .

  10. Made it tonight! Came out great. Don’t eat pork so omited bacon & onot had almond milk on hand & still came out delicious 😋 thanks for the recipe…

  11. We all really enjoyed it. Next time I will amp up the seasoning and add more crab. We added 1 lbs, but it still was not enough.

  12. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This looks AMAZING, Christin! I love crab (it’s my favorite seafood) and of course mac n cheese, so this mashup looks so good! What a perfect side dish, or even main dish!

  13. Ashley - The Recipe Rebel

    This looks insanely creamy and cheesy! Such an elegant side dish for the holidays!

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