Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

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Turn your average macaroni and cheese into a mouth-watering Louisiana inspired dish!
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Louisiana Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Louisiana Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese Recipe - Photo David Gallent Louisiana Kitchen and Culture

Everyone loves a good macaroni and cheese but have you tried it Louisiana-style?  Louisiana style is simple, just add crawfish (and a spoonful of love) to ensure your macaroni and cheese is a memorable Cajun-inspired meal!  Recipe provided by Louisiana Kitchen and Culture Magazine.

Ingredients for Crawfish Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 1-pound package Louisiana crawfish tails
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 5 cups  shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided 
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • hot sauce (optional)

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Drain liquid from crawfish tails, saving both separately for later use. Boil the pasta in salted water until just before it’s tender (do not overboil). Drain pasta very well.

Place in a large mixing bowl with 3 cups cheddar, salt, and pepper. Wipe the pot clean, add butter and minced large garlic and return to medium heat. Sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Evenly sprinkle flour over top and whisk until well blended. Slowly pour in half and half and reserved liquid from crawfish while whisking vigorously. Bring to a boil and hold at a hard simmer for 3 minutes while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in crawfish tails. Fold crawfish and sauce into in the large mixing bowl with the pasta mixture. Taste; adjust seasonings, adding a little mustard or hot sauce, if desired.  

Spoon mixture into a buttered 13x9-inch baking dish, dot with butter, and top with remaining 2 cups cheese and bake at 350ºF, center oven, for 50 minutes or until golden. OR: Evenly divide macaroni mixture between 8 single-sized buttered baking dishes, dot the tops with butter, top with ¼ cup shredded cheddar and bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes. For a darker crust, carefully broil 1 to 2 minutes or until the top cheese is to the desired color, while watching (do not burn).  Serves 8.

Get more recipes and discover Louisiana's culinary trails packed with flavor.  Also get even more Louisiana recipes by visiting Louisiana Kitchen and Culture Magazine.

Shopping tips:
When buying seafood, make sure to check labels to ensure that you're buying domestic product, from Louisiana if available. U.S. seafood tastes better and it's regulated by the FDA, so it's always safe.