Chef John's Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chef John's Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chef John

"You can actually prep these ahead and bake before that romantic, possibly Valentine's, dinner. You probably want to take them out and let them warm up for 30 minutes before baking. By the way, only bake these until the tops are browned and the inside is just hot."
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1 h servings 975 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 2 servings


  • Calories:
  • 975 kcal
  • 49%
  • Fat:
  • 53 g
  • 82%
  • Carbs:
  • 61.8g
  • 20%
  • Protein:
  • 63.3 g
  • 127%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 283 mg
  • 94%
  • Sodium:
  • 1767 mg
  • 71%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter 2 gratin dishes.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook lobster tails in skillet until slightly golden and about halfway cooked-through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer tails to a plate to rest. When cool enough to handle, remove lobster meat from shells and chop meat. Reserve shells.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook and stir until a paste forms and flour taste cooks off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cold milk to flour mixture; whisk until completely incorporated. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and stir in paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
  4. Stir Cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese into milk mixture until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir Worcestershire sauce into cheese sauce.
  5. Bring a large pot of water with reserved lobster tails and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Remove and discard lobster shells, drain pasta.
  6. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce with thyme leaves. Divide macaroni mixture between the 2 prepared gratin dishes. Top macaroni with chopped lobster meat, poking meat down into macaroni mixture with a fork.
  7. Stir bread crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Top each gratin dish with bread crumb mixture.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.


  • Cook's Note:
  • Make sure your mac and cheese mixture is wet and saucy in the pan, otherwise it might get dry when it bakes. Don't be afraid to add a splash of the pasta water to loosen things up.
  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.


Read all reviews 13
  1. 17 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

I added the Lobster chunks into the skillet then I loaded up the two boats..Absolutely delicious..And plenty cheesy...Defintely will make many times. Thanks Chef John. By the way, after going t...

Most helpful critical review

I followed his recipe EXACTLY. I'm getting a bit of flavor that just doesn't compliment the ingredients. I think it's the worchestershire. Which I normally love. I think I will do a bit more sea...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

I added the Lobster chunks into the skillet then I loaded up the two boats..Absolutely delicious..And plenty cheesy...Defintely will make many times. Thanks Chef John. By the way, after going t...

Excellent recipe! Nice flavor! I made a couple adjustments along the way; I used half n half instead of milk and I added an extra 1/4 cup to ensure the pasta didnt get too dry. I didn't put i...

Very good,A little dry, I could have added a bit more of the pasta water, I would make this again in a heartbeat!, love this recipe!

I love this classic! Especially appreciated the tip on adjusting the vollume of pasta to customize the creaminess of the sauce!! I've been trying to get a creamier texture for years and I have b...

Delicious! Made this dish for my hubby and I...and wowzers! it was incredibly tasty to us. Perfect with lobster. I really enjoy Chef John's recipes. I've made several of them and have 5 star ra...

Could not find gruyere at the grocery store (don't shop on Christmas eve...) so substituted havarti. Not a great substitution, the sauce was yummy but the texture was not creamy. Otherwise a tot...

I thought this was very easy to make and my family enjoyed it. I used crab meat instead of lobster and just tossed in a full pound at the every end. I also doubled the recipe and put it in one 1...

Doubled the recipe for me and my 3 kids. They pretty much licked the pan clean. Weren't even done and were asking if I could make a second pan so we'd have leftovers for the next day!! Will make...

Great recipe although I may have to adjust how long I bake it for, I managed to dry it out just a little but it was still great

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