Skillet lobster mac and cheese is a huge win, but an even bigger win for the cast iron skillet. This recipe marks the start of my “journey” to see how many cast iron skillet recipes I can create that require no extra pans.
Why? I love cooking things in one pan and I hate cleaning dishes, like everyone else in the world. Dishes are the death of me. I stare at them…they stare back at me…I walk away and hope they clean themselves.
That said, cast iron is so versatile, inexpensive, and indestructible. it’s becoming my favorite pan in the kitchen. My challenge for this particular dish was to see if I could condense a lobster macaroni and cheese recipe into a single cast iron skillet.
My brother-in-law, Scott introduced me to no-boil mac and cheese. In fact, the homemade cheese sauce cooks the pasta while it bakes in the oven. Amazing right? It renders a different style mac and cheese. It’s denser and a little less creamy than what you may be used to.
Lobster mac and cheese is the perfect way to eat leftover lobster (if there ever is any). Sometimes we will steam an extra lobster on lobster night and peel it and freeze it for later use. Also, frozen lobster tails work phenomenally and are easy to manage/steam without a big mess.
The cheese is very important. I use extra sharp white cheddar, ‘orange’ sharp cheddar (for color), and then balance with a smoother fontina or gruyere. Maybe it’s just me, but the sharp cheddar cheeses give homemade mac and cheese a gourmet finish on traditional comfort food.
How to Make a Roux
The sauce starts with a roux (equal parts melted butter and flour). A roux is a thickening agent in a lot of sauces. This will also be the base of our sauce along with warm milk. The roux will resemble a slightly thickened milk that will help the cheese melt to form a thick cheesy sauce.
Start by melting butter in a skillet on medium heat and slowly whisk in flour until a creamy, paste forms. The roux will take about a minute and will take on a very slight brownish hue. From here we can slowly add the warm milk until our thickened sauce forms and just starts to bubble.
From here it’s all about the cheese. Slowly melt the cheese in the skillet, stirring until incorporated and really creamy. The best part is, we can add the lobster and uncooked elbows right into the sauce and bake in the oven until tender. It’s my favorite mac and cheese recipe ever and it’s so easy to make.
Can we all agree lobster mac and cheese is classy comfort food?Print
- 1–2 cups lobster, fully cooked and chopped
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups warm milk
- 8 ounce stick, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounce stick, ‘orange’ sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounce stick, fontina cheese, shredded
- 2 cups croutons, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Cut lobster into bite sized cubes and set aside.
- Spray cast iron skillet liberally with cooking spray. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the flour a little at a time, whisking constantly until incorporated and roux has formed, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in warm milk, one cup at a time, whisking out any lumps if they form. Heat until sauce just starts to bubble in the center.
- Turn heat down to medium low. Add cheese one handful at a time, periodically whisking until fully melted into the sauce.
- Once sauce is smooth and cheese is fully melted, Stir in dry pasta (no need to boil) until evenly distributed throughout the skillet. Sir in fully cooked lobster.
- Cover skillet with tin foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until cheese bubbles along edges of skillet.
- Remove foil and top with crushed croutons and return to oven uncovered for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool before serving, about 10 minutes.
Cast iron skillet will be heavy and very hot. Handle with care.