This bacon and crab mac and cheese is simplified gourmet! Crab meat, bacon and three kinds of cheese make for a creamy and extra delicious 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.
My kids have no idea how lucky they are. I might serve up this chicken stew or even a hearty beef soup, but none of this compares to the food I grew up with! Most often, my family is served dishes like this rich, and creamy mac and cheese for dinner.
Again, my kids have no idea how fortunate they are when it comes to dinner!
How To Make Bacon and Crab Mac and Cheese?
STEP ONE – In a large skillet, brown bacon and onions. Stir in crab meat until heated through. Remove from heat. and set aside.
STEP TWO – Prepare pasta according to package directions, seasoning pasta with salt.
STEP THREE – 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.
STEP FOUR – When pasta is ready, drain and add to cheese mixture. Stir in crab and bacon. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together butter, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
Should I Use Fresh Or Canned Crab Meat?
Fresh is always best but it can be a little more costly. Therefore, I say go with what your budget allows!
The only thing I need to note when it comes to crab is make sure you go through the crab meat before you add it to your pasta. Sometimes there will be shell or claw pieces in with the crab.
What Kind of Cheese Should I Use For This Mac and Cheese Recipe?
For this recipe, I used a little cream cheese (for an extra rich, creamy texture) and a combination of Gruyere and Gouda. Both of those cheese melts really nicely and are very creamy. However, they tend to be on the costlier side.
Feel free to substitute white cheddar, Monterey jack cheese, Swiss chees or Mozzarella. Ideally, use a combination of two if possible.
Can You Reheat Crab Mac And Cheese?
If you have leftover mac and cheese, cover the leftovers completely and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can reheat the past in individual portions in the microwave, or you can place the baking dish in a 350-degree oven and bake for about 20-230 minutes until heated through. Make sure you cover your casserole dish with foil
You can add a drizzle of milk over your mac and cheese to revive the cheese sauce and keep your mac and cheese creamy.
Can You Freeze Crab Mac and Cheese
Yes you can! Prepare the recipe as listed, but do not bake the mac and cheese. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and foil (I like to double wrap to keep things from getting freezer burn) and then freeze for up to 1 month.
Allow the pasta to come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Then bake the dish as directed.
What Goes With Crab Mac and Cheese?
Check out these other great mac and cheese recipes:
- Cajun Shrimp Mac and Cheese
- Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Buttermilk Ranch Mac and Cheese
- Mexican Mac and Cheese
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8oz cream cheese, cubed
- 2 cups shredded Gouda
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 8 oz container lump crab meat
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 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.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, seasoning pasta with salt.
- 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving Calories 556Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 132mgSodium 826mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 27g