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Crab Macaroni and Cheese

This post brought to you by Borden Cheese

This creamy Crab Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a very special dish meant for a special occasion. It doubles as both a side dish or an entrée. It’s a delicious and budget friendly way to serve crab meat to a crowd with style.

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This recipe was first developed for Borden cheese. I’m always a proud supporter of the farms across America and when asked by Borden to create a special dish to share for the holiday season using their cheese, I was delighted to partner with them and develop this ooey gooey Crab Macaroni and Cheese. How to make easy Crab Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Macaroni – One 16 ounce box of dry Cavatappi pasta or twisted macaroni.
  • Crab – One pound jumbo lump crab meat.
  • Sauce – Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour.
  • Seasonings – Seafood seasoning (i.e. Old Bay, Seafood Magic, your favorite), garlic salt, ground mustard, black pepper
  • Milk – Whole milk for the sauce.
  • Mix-ins – Chive and onion cream cheese and 5 cups shredded montgerey jack cheese or similar.
  • Topping – Melted unsalted butter, panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, seafood seasoning and fresh Italian parsley.
Crab Macaroni and Cheese

How to Make Crab Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

When you think of ingredients to include in a meal for a group crab meat probably doesn’t come to mind. Quality jumbo lump crab meat is expensive and the challenge is stretching it into a dish that everyone can enjoy. That’s precisely how this crab macaroni and cheese came to life. The homemade cheese sauce may look involved, but it’s well worth the effort and the “oohs” and “aahs” that are sure to follow.

  • What’s in crab macaroni and cheese? For this recipe you’ll need jumbo lump crab meat, cavatappi or twisted macaroni, shredded cheddar monterey jack cheese, butter, flour, milk, dry mustard, seafood seasoning, garlic salt, black pepper and cream cheese. For the topping you’ll need: Panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, melted butter, seafood seasoning and parsley.
  • While I developed this recipe using Borden cheese, you can use other flavors of cheese to make this dish, if desired. Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, Gruyere cheese, or a mild Colby jack cheese, if that’s your preference.
  • How do you serve crab macaroni and cheese? You can serve it as a main dish or a side dish. If you like, you can divide this macaroni and cheese into single serving ramekins for a fun presentation and portion control. When doing so, make sure you adjust the baking time, smaller ramekins wouldn’t take quite as long to bake.
  • You can fully assemble this macaroni and cheese in advance then cool and cover it with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator.
  • When making in advance, allow time on the counter to bring it to room temperature. Around 15-20 minutes on the counter should work then add the breadcrumb topping just before baking.
  • How do you reheat crab macaroni and cheese? Gently reheat leftovers on 50% power in the microwave to avoid drying out the crab meat.
  • Store baked Crab Macaroni and Cheese chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

More Easy Crab Recipes to Make

Jumbo Lump Carb meat is a pricey addition to the menu and one that you’ll want to make into as many servings as possible. See these other recipes featuring crab to add to your menu plans:

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

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Disclosure – This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Borden Cheese.  The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for being supportive and allowing me to share the brands with you that I enjoy. 

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: crab-macaroni-and-cheese
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 588kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 16 oz box dry Cavatappi pasta (Twisted Macaroni)
  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp seafood seasoning divided (i.e. Old Bay, Seafood Magic, your favorite)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 oz chive & onion cream cheese softened
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 5 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese divided
  • Topping:
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp seafood seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Macaroni: Cook the macaroni in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, pick over the crab meat removing any shells and cartilage. Set aside.
  • Sauce: In a medium-size heavy bottomed saucepan melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. To the melted butter add flour, 1 1/2 tsp seafood seasoning, garlic salt, ground mustard and black pepper. Mix until the flour has been absorbed by the butter stirring constantly.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk constantly to prevent clumping.
  • Bring the milk to a boil then immediately lower the heat to low. Simmer for 3-5 minutes gently bubbling stirring periodically to prevent sticking.
  • Turn off the heat leave saucepan on burner. Add cream cheese to the sauce. Stir until melted then add 3 cups of Borden shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. Remove from the heat, stirring until melted.
  • Add the cooked pasta and crab meat to a large mixing bowl. (If you use a large pot, it can double as the mixing bowl.)
  • Pour the cheese sauce over and mix until fully coated and the crab meat is evenly distributed.
  • Pour 1/2 into the baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with macaroni then top with the final 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  • Topping: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a small microwave safe bowl.. Mix with the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 tsp seafood seasoning. (Add more or less to your taste) Sprinkle on top.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden and and the edges are bubbly.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley just before serving.


Each brand of seafood seasoning contains a different amount of sodium. Adjust the amount of salt in this recipe based on the type of seafood seasoning used.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 909mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1098IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 607mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Can you make this in advance? Say in the morning and then before dinner take it out, add toppings and bake?

    1. 5 stars
      I mixed cheese into the sauce, rather than layers and used Cajun seasoning instead of seafood seasoning and used some leftover crab from a crab boil. It worked beautifully! Delicious and beautiful. Brought it to a potluck and referred to your recipe. People ate it up!

  2. 5 stars
    Only difference was imitation crab meat (I know . . . .it’s all I had on hand) . . . . everything else was exactly as the recipe stated. This was so good. I picked this recipe because I don’t keep canned cream of X soups on hand, I prefer to make sauces from scratch. This recipe did not dissappoint.

  3. 5 stars
    I made for this for my family and friends and it was a great hit. I live in Md and always looking for new crab meat recipes.I changed a few little things but not much. Thank you for the recipe and will pass along to everyone.

    1. 5 stars
      This was REALLY good! My only con is that I wish I would have known to squeeze the excess water from the crab meat. I had to bake it a lot longer because of the water.

      1. While you do need to drain any liquid from the crab meat, I’ve never found it necessary to actually squeeze it dry. Did you drain it? If not, you should have to prevent any issues.

  4. 5 stars
    Damn this dish is the BOMB!!!! My daughter is a pescatarian so I have to make her dishes separately from everyone else’s. Everyone was tasting hers!!! She took it off of the table and hid it!! I’m wondering if I can substitute lobster or shrimp sometimes too?

  5. Just made it for dinner tonight!!! Happy New Year but no collards or black eyed peas… tasted as I cooked and know it will be great!

      1. It was wonderful… will make many more times… lots left over since we were only 3… when it cools will freeze the leftover … if you want to know how that works will let you know…?might be awhile

  6. Can you add shrimp in with the crab? I have been looking for a easy shrimp and crab mac and cheese recipe. Also can I leave out the mustard.

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious and an easy roux to make. I’m allergic to mustard (it’s also in the spice mix of Old Bay) so I just amped up the garlic and black pepper.
    This makes a crowd feeding casserole dish.
    Definitely putting in my Mac and Cheese rotations.

  8. This look amazing!!! i love mac and cheese. I am totally trying this tomorrow night! Love this recipe.It is easy and simple. I will definitely try it

  9. Have you ever tried to freeze this? Looking for recipes for my daughter to prep and take to college.
    She loves crab mac -n-cheese.

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