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The best langostino mac and cheese

Elevate your favorite comfort food with this delicious langostino mac and cheese. Langostino recipes are big around here, I hope you love this one as much as we do.

plate of langostino mac and cheese with gold fork

Langostino are the perfect compliment to this macaroni and cheese dish. The saltiness of the bacon and creaminess of the pasta sauce play perfectly against the delicate, buttery seafood.

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Langostino Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is perfection. Pasta mixed with a creamy cheese sauce, topped with a layer of (even more) cheese & breadcrumbs and baked.

It’s so simple and satisfying, much like this langostino pasta for two.

plate of langoustine mac and cheese with gold fork

While I still enjoy plain macaroni and cheese (probably more than I should), I wanted to “fancy it up” a bit and decided to add in sweet langostino with a handful of crispy bacon.

Langostino can be substituted anywhere you’d use lobster, like in this langostino chowder recipe. All that amazing seafood flavor without any of the hassle of cracking shells and cleaning lobsters.

Baked langostino recipe

Macaroni and cheese has long been one of my comfort foods. When I was a teenager, it was my favorite after school snack.

You know the one –  the box with the shockingly orange powdered cheese. 

langostino casserole in glass baking dish

My 14-year-old self hadn’t yet learned how to make it from scratch, so to my untrained palate it was delicious. I have since learned the delights of real macaroni and cheese.

I have always been a fan of seafood, so marrying these two together was obvious. There are no shortage of lobster mac and cheese recipes out there, but I wanted something a little different.

When I stumbled upon frozen langostino at the store and my original intention was a langostino bisque, but then this happened.

spoonful of baked langostino mac and cheese recipe in glass dish

I used both white and yellow cheddar in my langostino mac and cheese recipe. Feel free to add in other good melting cheeses that you like.

Play around with the recipe, swap out one for another, try different combinations – just make sure to keep the same quantities.

Cooking should be fun and creative, and recipes like this are a perfect place to start experimenting.

Are langostino and crawfish the same thing?

While they may look similar, they are in fact not the same thing at all.  Crawfish, also called crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs, are more closely related to lobster than langostino. 

langostino lobster mac and cheese on white plates

Here’s where it gets a little confusing: Langostino look like tiny lobsters, but are actually more closely related to certain species of crab.

And although they taste very similar to lobster, the texture is more like shrimp than lobster.

Can you substitute langostino for lobster?

Langostinos taste like lobster, so yes, you can substitute it. The taste difference between the two, especially when mixed into a dish like this langostino mac and cheese, is barely noticeable.

langostino mac and cheese in pot

Because lobster meat is a bit pricier, this can be a good swap for pasta recipes like this or even something quick and easy like this garlic butter langostino recipe.

How to defrost langostino tails

Langostino tail meat is most often found frozen and already cooked, so it is simply a matter of properly defrosting and adding to your pasta. 

The best way to thaw anything frozen is in the refrigerator overnight. Put the langostinos in a colander, place a bowl underneath to catch the water and cover it.

langostinos thawing in colander

If you forgot to pull it out of the freezer and you’re in a rush (we’ve all been there), put the package in a bowl inside of the sink with cold, running water. 

Leave the tap running in a pencil-thin stream into the bowl until it is thawed enough to use. Never, ever use warm or hot water to speed up the process. 

As is the case when defrosting anything, never and I do mean never, leave the frozen item on the counter to thaw. I won’t bore you with the details, but that makes a lovely environment for bacteria to breed.

How to make langostino mac & cheese

The only bit of real cooking with this recipe is making the cheese sauce. I like to add mustard powder to my cheese sauce, it gives it amazing flavor.

cheese sauce in pot

To make the cheese sauce, first we need to make a roux by combining butter and flour. Warm milk is whisked (I like these silicone whisks) in to make it a sauce, then we add a couple of handfuls of cheese and whisk until smooth.

The cooked macaroni and thawed langostino tails are added to the warm cheese sauce and then it is baked in a glass baking dish just long enough to brown the top.

Langostino recipes

Try substituting langostino tails in your favorite lobster dish or shrimp dish! Here are a few to try:

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Yield: 9 people

Langostino Mac & Cheese with Crispy Bacon and Chives

plate of langostino mac and cheese with gold fork

Langostino mac and cheese is a delicious way to make your favorite comfort extra special.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  • 5 TB. unsalted butter
  • 4 TB. AP flour
  • 2 C. whole milk
  • 1 C. Half & Half
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 C. langostinos, cooked
  • 1 C. cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 TB. chives, chopped, optional
  • 1/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 TB butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a small pot, combine milk and half & half. Heat until warm, cover and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepot, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Turn heat up to medium and whisk roux for 2 -3 minutes.
  4. Add milk mixture and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, go around the edges of your pan to make sure all of the flour gets incorporated.
  5. Add dry mustard, salt and pepper. Continue whisking frequently until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, and is smooth and uniform. Add cheese and give it a good stir.
  6. Add cooked macaroni, bacon and langostinos to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour into glass baking dish.
  8. Stir together 1 TB melted butter, breadcrumbs and remaining cheddar.
  9. Sprinkle over macaroni and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top. (You can also use the broiler - just watch it carefully)
  10. Top with chopped chives, if desired.
  11. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Langostinos are most often sold frozen, already cooked.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1/9 th of pan

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 797mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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Recipe originally published May 2016, most recent update 9/22/20.

9 Comments

  1. I made this mac and cheese as a surprise for my mac and cheese obsessed husband on New Year’s Eve. It was a huge hit! The best mac and cheese either of has had. And even better, it is easy to make. It will definitely be in rotation at our house from now on!

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