Shrimp & Crab Mac and Cheese with Spicy Breadcrumbs

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Difficulty

Essential Tools
Large saucepot
Wooden spoon
Large bowl
Measuring spoons
Medium saucepan
Measuring cups
Cheese grater
11 x 15-inch baking dish
Small bowl

1 box (16 ounces) mini penne pasta
1 pound 21-25 count peeled and deveined tail-off cooked shrimp, thawed if necessary
¼ pound refrigerated jumbo lump crabmeat, drained and picked through
1 tablespoon Fire Roastin’ Cajun seasoning
¼ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large saucepot, prepare the pasta as label directs and drain.

2. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp, crab and 1½ teaspoons Fire Roastin’ Cajun seasoning.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes or until roux is thick and blonde, whisking frequently. Whisk in the cream and milk, and cook 5 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Whisk in the cheeses and remove the saucepan from the heat, whisking until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth.

4. In the baking dish, toss the pasta, cheese mixture and shrimp mixture. Makes about 12 cups.

5. In a small bowl, stir the breadcrumbs, cayenne and remaining 1½ teaspoons Fire Roastin’ Cajun seasoning. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese and bake 35 minutes or until the top is crispy and sides bubble.

Approximate nutritional values per serving (1½ cups): 804 Calories, 45g Fat (27g Saturated), 255mg Cholesterol, 808mg Sodium, 58g Carbohydrates, 3g Fiber, 6g Sugars, 40g Protein

The shellfish can easily be omitted for a vegetarian version of this recipe.