This creamy, cheesy, crabby macaroni and cheese takes a childhood favorite and blends in a bit more pizzazz. Make tonight Crab Cake Macaroni and Cheese night.
Ever want the comfort of macaroni and cheese but don’t know what to pair it with (other than hot dogs for the kiddos) to get some protein added to your weeknight meal? Look no further than this quick but sophisticated macaroni and cheese.
Making Dinnertime Work
After a long day at work, I still want to have a decent dinner. Takeout is just not an option unless we want to eat at 4:30 in the afternoon (I’m not that old yet. LOL) Now, granted, I’m ready for supper at 5:30 pm and he would be completely happy waiting until 8 pm to eat. But there is no way I’m eating at my bedtime! This I can make as early as I want to in the evening so that I can eat when I’m hungry. It’s simple to keep warm for him to grab whenever he finally decides to eat his dinner.
I personally think that sitting down to a screen-free dinner would be the best option for both of us so that we could get a little “quality time” each day. With all of my irons in the fire, sometimes that just isn’t a feasible option. I’m trying to institute dinner time at the table instead of watching television, but we shall see how that works out. (I’ll keep you posted.)
Staying Away from Takeout
This is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. I can have everything ready to go within 45 minutes from the time I start. I tend to only be able to find the sharp white cheddar cheese in blocks. By shredding ahead of time when I purchase on grocery day (Sunday morning) I save myself weekday time. If you find a good sale, buy a couple and go ahead and shred it up and freeze it. I always shred my cheese before freezing. The texture changes when it thaws and makes it more difficult to work with.
Stocking Your Freezer
By now, we’ve all heard of “Freezer Cooking”. Granted, the name is new, but the act of making food to have in the freezer is not. For as long as I can remember, my mother would double a recipe in order to have extra on-hand down the road. She did it a lot with bread and other doughs in particular.
To freeze this Crab Cake Macaroni and Cheese, prepare as directed but do not broil. Cover in foil and label and date. Store in your freezer for up to 6 months. When you want to cook, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Broil for 5 minutes to crisp topping, and serve.
Crab Cake Macaroni and Cheese
Crab Cake Macaroni and Cheese
- 12 oz. Penne pasta
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 16 oz. imitation crab meat flake style
- 1 green onion sliced
Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well. Rinse with cold water; drain. Set aside.
Mix Panko, Parmesan, oil and thyme in a small bowl until blended well. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large ovenproof frying pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Whisk until bubbling and lightly browned. Add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to thicken.
Reduce heat to low.
Add cheddar and stir until blended and melted.
Add crab and pasta.
Toss into sauce gently to coat evenly and reheat pasta.
Make sure crab mixture is spread evenly in bottom of pan.
Sprinkle with Panko/Parmesan mixture.
Broil 5" from heat for about 1 minute, or until well browned.
Top with green onions.
Tried this recipe? Make sure you let me know what you think! I love hearing from you all!