Elevate your everyday macaroni and cheese with this delicious langostino mac and cheese. 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. Langostino recipes are big around here, I hope you love this one as much as we do.
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.
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. 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.
Langostino Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese has long been one of my comfort foods. Mac & cheese has been around for a very long time, so I’m sure it has been a comfort food for many. When I was a teenager, it was my favorite after school snack. You know the one – the box with the shockingly orange powdered cheese.
I hadn’t yet learned how to make mac & cheese from scratch, so to my untrained palate it was delicious! I have since learned the delights of real macaroni and cheese. Thankyouverymuch.
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. I stumbled upon frozen langostino at the store and my original intention was a bisque. I will be making that recipe shortly, so stay tuned for that one!
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. 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.
Normally, I use extra-sharp cheddar in my mac & cheese because I like the pronounced cheesiness. However, when paired with the delicate flavor of the seafood, the cheese should complement and not overpower them so I went with a mellow cheddar. Feel free to add in other cheeses.
Play around with the recipe, swap out one for another, try different combinations… just make sure you keep the same quantity. Cooking should be fun and creative, recipes like this are a perfect place to start experimenting.
Can you substitute langostino for lobster?
Langostinos taste like lobster, so yes, you can substitute it for lobster. Keep in mind that the texture is more similar to shrimp than lobster, if you plan to make this change. The taste difference between the two, especially when mixed into a dish like this, is barely noticeable. 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 simply a matter of properly defrosting and adding to your pasta. I found mine at Costco! 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.
The best way to thaw anything frozen is in the refrigerator overnight. 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. *See above about leaving it on the kitchen counter.
Recipes for langostino
- Langostino Recipes – this is the resource page where you can find all of my langostino recipes
- Langostino Étoufée – a fun twist on classic crawfish étoufée
- Langostino lobster rolls – classic cold lobster roll with langostinos
- Warm, Buttered Langostino Recipe Lobster Rolls – a traditional warm, buttered lobster roll with langostinos
- Lobster on Thick Cut Chips with Saffron Aioli – yes, this is lobster, but you could swap it for langostino
Try substituting langostino tails in your favorite lobster dish or shrimp dish! Here are a few to try:
Don’t forget to pin it to your pasta and seafood boards!
Used in this recipe:
- Glass Baking Dish – used for everything from brownies to macaroni and cheese
- Dry Mustard – this is the best brand!
- Silicone Whisk
- 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
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 TB butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small pot, combine milk and half & half. Heat until warm, cover and set aside.
- In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Turn heat up to medium and whisk roux for 2 -3 minutes. 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.
- Continue whisking frequently until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add dry mustard, salt, pepper and 2 cups cheddar. Stir continuously until smooth and uniform.
- Spray or butter 9x13 baking dish, set aside. In a large bowl, combine: cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, bacon, langostinos and chives. Stir to combine.
- Pour into glass baking dish. Stir together 1 TB melted butter, breadcumbs and remaining cheddar. Sprinkle over macaroni and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Langostinos are most often sold frozen, already cooked.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720 Saturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 157mg Sodium: 1142mg Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Protein: 33g
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