Lobster Mac & Cheese

In this healthy twist on lobster mac and cheese, we add a secret ingredient to the cheese sauce: cauliflower. The cauliflower blends into the cheese sauce so you won't even realize you're eating a vegetable. Serve this impressive main dish for a dinner party or holiday meal.

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta or chickpea cavatappi pasta

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads or smoked paprika

  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 pound fresh or thawed frozen cooked lobster meat (from tails, claws and/or knuckles)

  • ½ cup whole-wheat panko or cauliflower breadcrumb substitute (such as Ronili Cauli Crunch)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack about 10 inches from heat source. Coat a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large heavy pot of water to a boil; cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain; return to the pot and set aside.

  2. Combine milk, cauliflower and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in saffron (or paprika), and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids). Secure the lid on the blender and remove the center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over the opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to process the mixture in the pan until smooth.)

  3. Return the pureed cauliflower mixture to the pan; bring to a simmer over low heat. Add Cheddar and mozzarella; cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and the cheeses are completely melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in pepper, salt and crushed red pepper.

  4. Pour the cauliflower sauce over the pasta in the pot; stir until evenly coated. Stir in lobster. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Stir together panko (or cauliflower crumbs) and oil in a small bowl; sprinkle over the pasta mixture. Cover the baking dish with foil.

  5. Bake until bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes Remove from oven and carefully remove foil. Set oven to broil. Broil until the panko is crispy and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    Lobster Mac & Cheese
    Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Styling / Ruth Blackburn

To make ahead:

Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, proceed with Step 5.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

534 Calories
19g Fat
57g Carbs
34g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 534
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 34g 68%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Vitamin A 757IU 15%
Sodium 652mg 28%
Potassium 798mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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