You can actually prep these ahead and bake before that romantic, possibly Valentine's, dinner. You probably want to take them out and let them warm up for 30 minutes before baking. By the way, only bake these until the tops are browned and the inside is just hot.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings
Advertisement

Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Crumbs:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter 2 gratin dishes.

    Advertisement
  • Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook lobster tails in skillet until slightly golden and about halfway cooked-through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer tails to a plate to rest. When cool enough to handle, remove lobster meat from shells and chop meat. Reserve shells.

  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook and stir until a paste forms and flour taste cooks off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cold milk to flour mixture; whisk until completely incorporated. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and stir in paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

  • Stir Cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese into milk mixture until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir Worcestershire sauce into cheese sauce.

  • Bring a large pot of water with reserved lobster tails and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Remove and discard lobster shells, drain pasta.

  • Stir macaroni into cheese sauce with thyme leaves. Divide macaroni mixture between the 2 prepared gratin dishes. Top macaroni with chopped lobster meat, poking meat down into macaroni mixture with a fork.

  • Stir bread crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Top each gratin dish with bread crumb mixture.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Make sure your mac and cheese mixture is wet and saucy in the pan, otherwise it might get dry when it bakes. Don't be afraid to add a splash of the pasta water to loosen things up.

Nutrition Facts

975 calories; protein 63.3g 127% DV; carbohydrates 61.8g 20% DV; fat 53g 82% DV; cholesterol 282.6mg 94% DV; sodium 1767.3mg 71% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (50)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2016
I added the Lobster chunks into the skillet then I loaded up the two boats..Absolutely delicious..And plenty cheesy...Defintely will make many times. Thanks Chef John. By the way, after going through the reviews concerning Chef Johns Lobster Mac and Cheese, and people had the nerve to completely tweak Chefs recipe, and then only give it 3-4 Stars? Don't understand.. So basically you change the recipe, like using Crab Meat versus Lobster, and then you give it 2 -4 stars..People give me a break.. Read More
(54)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/13/2020
I had high expectations for this recipe. I went to our local lobsterman, a guy from Maine who knows lobster like few others (outside coastal Maine, of.course). While I waited, he steamed up, cracked and picked some fresh lobster meat for me. I folded it into the mac & cheese, and baked it, according to the recipe. Now, it was good, but it was not wonderful, befitting the fresh lobster meat that went into it. Suffice it to say, I will not waste any more lobster meat, nor foul up any more mac & cheese, by putting them together. Each is wonderful, in its own realm, but the two are not meant for each other, in my humble opinion. Read More
(3)
74 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 64
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2016
I added the Lobster chunks into the skillet then I loaded up the two boats..Absolutely delicious..And plenty cheesy...Defintely will make many times. Thanks Chef John. By the way, after going through the reviews concerning Chef Johns Lobster Mac and Cheese, and people had the nerve to completely tweak Chefs recipe, and then only give it 3-4 Stars? Don't understand.. So basically you change the recipe, like using Crab Meat versus Lobster, and then you give it 2 -4 stars..People give me a break.. Read More
(54)
Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2017
I loved this recipe and I am a huge Chef John fan. I'm not a chef by any means but I do love to cook. One concern I had with this recipe was the lack of lobster throughout the dish. The second time I made this dish I used a little more lobster and mixed it into the mac and cheese. In my totally unprofessional and extremely humble opinion the changes I made improved the dish. But I realize everyone's palate and style is different. It just didn't make sense in my mind to have all the lobster on top of, and none throughout, the dish. Read More
(18)
Rating: 4 stars
08/30/2015
Excellent recipe! Nice flavor! I made a couple adjustments along the way; I used half n half instead of milk and I added an extra 1/4 cup to ensure the pasta didnt get too dry. I didn't put it in small dishes to bake, just put it in a large Pirex dish. I also doubled the panko/parmesan topping to cover the entire dish. I will definitely make this again but am going to try it with crab next time. Read More
(15)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
07/24/2015
Very good A little dry I could have added a bit more of the pasta water I would make this again in a heartbeat! love this recipe! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
04/14/2015
I love this classic! Especially appreciated the tip on adjusting the vollume of pasta to customize the creaminess of the sauce!! I've been trying to get a creamier texture for years and I have been going about it all wrong! Thanks John!!! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2016
Delicious! Made this dish for my hubby and I...and wowzers! it was incredibly tasty to us. Perfect with lobster. I really enjoy Chef John's recipes. I've made several of them and have 5 star ratings for all. Here's another 5 star dish to add to my recipe box. Thank you Chef John for sharing your amazing recipes! I will be making this again...and again... Read More
(6)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
02/15/2017
Always turns out perfectly. Nice balance of mild spices to balance out the creamy cheese sauce and keep it from being bland. Don't skimp go with a nice greyure cheese in the cheese blend if you can. Photo taken before baking) Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
02/13/2020
I had high expectations for this recipe. I went to our local lobsterman, a guy from Maine who knows lobster like few others (outside coastal Maine, of.course). While I waited, he steamed up, cracked and picked some fresh lobster meat for me. I folded it into the mac & cheese, and baked it, according to the recipe. Now, it was good, but it was not wonderful, befitting the fresh lobster meat that went into it. Suffice it to say, I will not waste any more lobster meat, nor foul up any more mac & cheese, by putting them together. Each is wonderful, in its own realm, but the two are not meant for each other, in my humble opinion. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
12/26/2015
Could not find gruyere at the grocery store (don't shop on Christmas eve...) so substituted havarti. Not a great substitution the sauce was yummy but the texture was not creamy. Otherwise a total success easy to prepare spectacular and delicious. Putting the lobster shells in the pasta water was a great technique gave the pasta a subtle lobster taste and aroma. Read More
(3)