Garlic Shrimp Mac And Cheese Recipe

Plain and simple — it's always a good idea to have some mac and cheese. This wonderfully cheesy pasta is a total comfort dish, and the addition of shrimp makes it even more delicious and fulfilling. This mac and cheese would be excellent for the main course, or it would also make a great side for a crowd to accompany any sort of other protein.

Recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply came up with this decadent garlic shrimp mac and cheese recipe that looks, tastes, and smells incredible. "This twist on a classic mac and cheese is so garlicky and wonderful. This is not the time to [skimp] on cheese, garlic, and butter in this recipe — it's rich, tasty and indulgent," Dalton raves. "Great for a family meal or if you want to make something ahead of time for friends. You can do all parts of the recipe and finish off in the oven before serving if you want to make a day ahead." Without further ado, let's jump right into this cheesy, garlicky, and decadent recipe.

Gather the ingredients to make garlic shrimp mac and cheese

The first thing you will need to do is take a trip to the store and gather all of the ingredients necessary to make this dish. Start with some peeled shrimp, followed by a few cloves of garlic. "I used a mix of sizes for different bite and texture – I also for ease used frozen – and defrosted for a few hours before cooking. You can use any of your choice as long as they're peeled," Dalton says of the shrimp. You will also need to get unsalted butter and at least two cups of elbow macaroni. Moving down the list, grab some all-purpose flour, milk, and Dijon mustard. Then, pick up some white pepper, cheddar cheese, and panko bread crumbs. The last two items you will need are Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley. That's it! 

Heat the shrimp

It's time to get cooking, and we mean that in every sense of the word! Start by preheating your oven to 300 F. Then, grab a skillet and put it on your stove on medium-high. Add the butter to the skillet first, followed by the garlic. Cook the butter and garlic for one to two minutes, then add the shrimp to the skillet. Coat the shrimp with buttery garlic and cook for one to two minutes. "If you wanted to add a little kick, throw some chili flakes into the shrimp as it's cooking," Dalton suggests. You don't want to cook the shrimp all the way through since they'll also cook in the oven. After the shrimp have cooked for just a couple of minutes, set them aside.

Cook the macaroni and start the roux

Take out a saucepan and fill it with water. Then, check the back of your macaroni box for instructions on cooking the macaroni, since all brands vary. Once you finish cooking, drain the water and set the macaroni to the side as you will need it shortly. 

In a different pan, add another ¼ cup of butter and let it melt. Then, toss in the flour. Working quickly with the spoon, mix the butter and flour vigorously, cooking it for two to three minutes. It will resemble a paste — this is the start of your roux. 

Add flour and milk to the roux

Once the flour has cooked out of the mixture, begin adding the milk. Using a whisk, work the paste into the milk until well combined. The roux will start to thicken as you continue whisking for five to six minutes over medium heat. "This recipe does have several steps, but once you're confident with making a roux — or classic white sauce, you'll find this easy," Dalton notes. "To make a smoother roux, always use a whisk and if you feel the sauce isn't thick enough remember that when you add the cheese it will thicken a lot more." Then, add the pepper, Dijon mustard, and cheddar cheese, whisking until it melts. Now, add the macaroni and the shrimp to the roux. Stir to combine. 

Make the breadcrumb topping and bake the macaroni

There are still a few more things you will need to do in prep for the mac and cheese. Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter in the microwave. Be sure to cover it as it will splatter and create a mess. You can use a paper towel or cling wrap to cover the bowl.

Then, add the melted butter, Panko breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese to a different bowl. Now you have the mac and cheese topping. Sprinkle it on the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crispy on the top.

Serve and enjoy

Once your timer dings, take the macaroni out of the oven and top with parsley. "What can you serve this with? Great with a green salad and fresh bread or garlic bread to soak up all the garlicky cheese goodness," Dalton shares. If you love hot sauce, we also think that this would go well with a little bit of hot sauce on top. As for leftovers? Be sure to store them in a "suitable container in the refrigerator for up to three days and can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating." We hope this decadent garlic shrimp mac and cheese hits the spot! 

Garlic Shrimp Mac And Cheese Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
Recipe developer Ting Dalton came up with this decadent garlic shrimp mac and cheese recipe that looks, tastes, and smells incredible.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
35
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
mac and cheese on plate
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound peeled shrimp
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, heated
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. In a skillet, heat ¼ cup of butter, then add the garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the shrimp. Coat the shrimp in the buttery garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. You don't want to cook through thoroughly, as the shrimp will be added to the macaroni and put in the oven. After the shrimp cooks for a few minutes, set them to the side.
  3. In a saucepan, cook the elbow macaroni in salted boiling water according to packet instructions. Once it's cooked, drain and put to the side.
  4. In another pan, add another ¼ cup of butter and melt, then add the flour. Working quickly with a spoon, mix the butter and flour vigorously cooking it for 2 to 3 minutes. It will resemble a paste.
  5. Once the flour cooks out, begin adding the milk. Using a whisk, work the paste into the milk, until well combined. The roux will begin to thicken as you continue to whisk for 5 to 6 minutes over a medium heat.
  6. Once you are happy with the consistency of the white sauce, add the pepper, Dijon mustard, and cheddar cheese, whisking the cheese until it has melted.
  7. Stir through the macaroni and shrimp until well combined.
  8. Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter in a microwave — make sure to cover as it will splatter. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, panko breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese together. Then sprinkle this mixture on top of the macaroni cheese. Bake the dish in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until it's golden and crispy on top.
  9. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 747
Total Fat 46.6 g
Saturated Fat 27.8 g
Trans Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 219.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 1,095.8 mg
Protein 37.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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