The trio of onion, celery, and bell peppers in this Creole Macaroni and Cheese enhances the sweet flavor of the fresh crab.
Creole Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 10 to 12 servings
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ⅓ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 2½ teaspoons Creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (16-ounce) package medium or large pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
- 1 (8-ounce) container lump crabmeat, picked free of shells
- 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and bell peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in Monterey Jack, Swiss, Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper until melted. Gently stir in pasta and crab. Spoon half of mixture into prepared pan, and top with half of Cheddar. Repeat layers.
- Bake until top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Kitchen Tip: Shrimp or crawfish can be used instead of crab.
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