Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese

Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese

Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese


My mom served a lot of “mangia” when I was a kid.  You might know this as “stew”.  No matter what your name is for this type of dish, I call it “blah”.  There was nothing more disappointing than asking mom what was for dinner only to find out it was “mangia”.   She made this for dinner because it was economical.  She would scour the grocery store for discounted meat, which would be combined with veggies and lots of broth.   The biggest problem with discounted meat was how chewy it was.  I remember chewing the same piece of meat for a good 10-15 minutes.  What was worse is I knew we’d be eating this same meal for leftovers the next night.  It was a no win situation for me.

Not long ago, my mom and dad had me over for lunch.  Much to my dismay, she served stew.  I instinctively cringed at the site!  I still don’t like stew.  My mom noticed my crinkled nose and proceeded to lecture me about my taste in foods.  I’m 40 years old and my mom is still yelling at me to eat my “mangia”!!  I had to laugh.  We may age, but once a parent, always a parent!

My kids wouldn’t eat this type of food if I served it to them.  The only thing I have going for me is since we always have dessert in the house, I can usually bribe my family to eat.  My kids have no idea how good they have it.  Not only did I have to chew and swallow the leathery meat my mom served, but dessert was a rarity!  You  ate your dinner and you liked it!

What I prefer to eat instead of “mangia” is mac and cheese.  Not the blue boxed kind, but the homemade kind.  I love tasting real cheese.  You can use virtually any cheese combination and you can add in whatever you like to make it a meal.  This is what I call comfort food and it’s the kind of food I like serving my family.  I know they’ll eat it and we will all be happy.   Sorry mom, you can have your “mangia”!

I used cream cheese in this dish.  I wanted the mac and cheese to be really creamy and have lots of flavor.  The cream cheese took a little edge of the Guyere and kept it all very smooth.  We loved this!  It was as creamy as I’d hoped and you couldn’t taste the tang that you sometimes taste with cream cheese!  I added lump crabmeat and bacon to round it out.  The result was amazing!  We had this for leftovers, but at least we all looked forward to those leftovers!

You might enjoy these too:

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese with Andouille

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese


Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda
  • 1 cup shredded Guyere
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pepper
  • 1 8 oz container lump crab meat
  • 1 lb cavatappi pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large skillet, brown bacon. Remove, add onion to grease and cook until soft. Pick through crab meat removing any shells and add to onion. Sautee crab and onions until heated through. Remove from heat. and set aside.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions, seasoning pasta with salt.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour with a whisk and cook for one minute. Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth. Let milk come to a slow bubble, then add cubed cream cheese and stir until melted and mixture is creamy and smooth. Add shredded cheeses and continue to stir. Add Dijon mustard and pepper.
  4. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cheese mixture. Stir in crab and bacon. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons melted butter, panko and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly.


I’ll be sharing the recipe with these fabulous parties as well as with: The DIY Dreamer,

 and finally, I’ll be sharing this at Growing Up Gable for this weeks Iron Chef Mom


49 Responses

  1. What a decadent mac & cheese. If you have more leftovers please send them my way!

    • Kari, I wish I had some to send along with you, but we devoured this!

  2. Your choice of cheeses for this mac & cheese dish is awfully good on its own, Tanya, and adding bacon would have made most people very happy. Tossing some crabmeat into the mix, though, takes this to a completely different level. I have to agree with Kari above, this is one decadent mac & cheese — and I never, ever thought that mac & cheese could be considered decadent. :)

    • It’s not just for kids any more John! Or maybe it’s for kids with sophisticated palettes??

  3. Love the crab in this mac and cheese! And all of the cheese. . .the cheesier the better!

    • Your favs too? You bring the Amaretto fudge and I’ll bring this mac and cheese!

  4. Lol! I love Mac n cheese.i have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it now, and just wasted a bunch of cheese on a recipe from Country Cook. It was awful! Noodles swimming in grease. Also I thought mangia meant, “eat.” As in, ” you, eat. Now.” Mario Batali says it all the time.

    • You might be right about mangia! All I know is what my mom called dinners from my childhood! I’d rather eat Marios’ mangia! I need a mac and cheese Pinterest board!

    • Love to link up, thanks for the invite!

  5. This crab and bacon combo rocks! Pinning b/c I must try–I adore crab.

    • Thanks Michelle! It was a pretty darn good mac and cheese!

  6. Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

    I know exactly what you mean about cheap chewy meat! our Mom’s must have shopped at the same stores. Ha ha This mac and cheese sounds heavenly! I am off to check out your other combinations! I found you on Crumbs and Chaos Linky Party!

    • Welcome Chandra! I’m glad I’m not the only one who had to endure chewy meat! I’m off to check out Plaid and Paisley Kitchen!

  7. ro

    Your crab mac and cheese sound and look so delish, I will try it during Lent. Thank you.

  8. Every ingredient in that list is delicious in its own right… combining them all together is divine!

    • Thanks Elizabeth! I thought so too!

  9. Christine

    Gosh that looks DIVINE!!!!!!!

    Thanks so much for partying at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! Can’t wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!!

  10. Oh Tanya I love your stories!! You are so good at telling a story, I felt like I was right there eating that chewy meat and “mangia”. But I would soooo rather have this crab and bacon mac and cheese! Are you kidding me?? Crab AND bacon in mac and cheese… it’s pretty much pasta perfection. The best possible way to eat mac and cheese! I’d say your kids have it GREAT!!! :) Pinning this!

    • Awe, thanks Desi. At least I know what person reads my stories! This was some seriously good mac and cheese!

  11. Thanks for sharing this link at last weekends link party! Just pinned this to my Link Party Recipe Board :)

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  12. JJ

    WOW! This was amazing! Instead of pepper I used Old Bay and instead of regular shells, I used Pappardelle’s Pasta Old Bay Shells. Unbelievably decadent and, for me, a little taste of home (Eastern Shore of MD)!

    • I’m so happy to hear this!!! I never thought about using Old Bay, but it is the perfect spice!

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  15. Hi there. Making this tonight. Almost done and I realized it doesn’t tell me when to add the panko and parmesan?

    • Right before baking. Then drizzle on the butter.

  16. Hilda

    Missing direction for Panko

  17. […] is my favorite kind of side dish.  I love pasta dishes like this crab and bacon mac and cheese or even this buttermilk ranch mac and cheese.   The common thread is all the cheese.  I love a […]


  1. […] Gnocchi with Bacon, Tomato and MozzarellaDark Chocolate Bacon BarkCheddar Bacon Spoon BreadCrab and Bacon Mac and CheeseBacon Jalapeno Deviled EggsBacon Fluffernutter Puppy ChowBacon & Mielie (Corn) BreadBraised Pork […]

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