Skip to Content

Seafood Shells and Cheese

This seafood shells & cheese recipe is basically fancified mac & cheese. Make it as Shrimp Mac & Cheese, Lobster Mac & Cheese or Scallops Mac & Cheese! Smoked cheese in the sauce and ground almonds in the crumb topping makes it extra special.

Seafood Shells and Cheese

Seafood Shells and Cheese

This seafood shells recipe is comfort food elevated to a whole new level. This is a versatile dish that can be used with any seafood you like really.

I most often make it very simply with shrimp for an inexpensive indulgence but you could easily use lobster, scallops or crab as well. For special occasions, a combination of any of those would be incredibly delicious.

Raw shrimp in a white bowl

Shrimp is my favourite choice for this recipe.

I love the slightly smoky note of the smoked cheese in this recipe but if that isn’t to your taste, just use an un-smoked variety. Mild cheeses will work best in this recipe, so substitute another that you may like better too.

This is quite a rich and indulgent dish, so a little goes a long way. One of my favourite ways to serve it is in individual small gratin dishes as the first course at a celebration dinner party, where it can be enjoyed to it’s fullest when serving something a little lighter as the main course. 

Seafood Shells and Cheese

Seafood Shells and Cheese

If you liked this recipe, you may also like to try our famous Cod Au Gratin:

Cod au Gratin with title text

Cod au Gratin

You’ll find many more traditional and Newfoundland inspired recipes in our Newfoundland section and even more great dishes in our Fish & Seafood Category

Like this Seafood Shells and Cheese recipe?

t’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on InstagramPlus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Seafood Shells and Cheese image with title text

Seafood Shells and Cheese

You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter to know immediately when new recipes are added. You’ll get weekly suggestions for great family friendly meals and desserts too!

Originally published Oct 20, 2007.

Seafood Shells and Cheese
Yield: 4 servings, or up to 8 as an appetizer course.

Seafood Shells and Cheese

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Seafood Shells and Cheese. A rich, indulgent version of mac and cheese ideal for a celebration dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups medium sized shell pasta, uncooked
  • 1 pound shrimp, or other seafood, either Lobster, Crab, Scallops
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 ounces smoked Gruyere cheese, grated (You can substitute Asiago, Parmesan or Romano.)
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon or dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain
  • 4 ounces mozzarella
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack, Emmental, Swiss or Jarlsberg Cheese, your preference.

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup cracker or bread crumbs, I use Ritz cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp tarragon, chopped
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water to al dente. Do not over cook it. Slightly undercooked would be preferable.
  2. Begin by lightly steaming the seafood. It is important not to over cook the seafood for this recipe. Under cooking it by 5 minutes or so is preferable because the seafood does get reheated and cooks somewhat in the oven as well. Shrimp and scallops can be used uncooked if you prefer. Uncooked large shrimp or medium size scallops or large chunks of cooked lobster, crab or cod or a combination of all work well.

To prepare the sauce

  1. Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to almost boiling.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook together the 3 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp flour, salt and pepper for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in scalded milk. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the Gruyere cheese, tarragon and Dijon mustard. Set aside
  5. Grate the other cheeses, mix them together and set aside.
  6. Grease an 8-10 cup casserole dish well with butter (or 4 large individual gratin dishes)
  7. Place 1/3 of the pasta in the bottom of the dish.
  8. Pour on 1/3 the sauce.
  9. Scatter half the seafood over the surface.
  10. Repeat the layers ending with the grated cheese on the top.
  11. Mix all of the ingredients for the crumb topping together and sprinkle evenly over the grated cheese.
  12. Cover casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes longer.

Notes

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

serving

Amount Per Serving Calories 548Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 222mgSodium 1206mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 40g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

 

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Visit my Amazon Store for my favourite kitchen gadgets and appliances, plus recommendations from my personal cookbook collection.
Nutella Crunch Cookies drizzled with chocolate
← Previous
Nutella Crunch Cookies
Lamingtons. An aunsralian favourite with chocolate and coconut surrounding homemade white cake.
Next →
Lamingtons! a.k.a. Chocolate Coconut Cake Squares

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sarah Machinek

Saturday 13th of February 2021

I made this recipe tonight and I was very happy with it! I used lobster and substituted parm for the gruyere. I love that I can trust your recipes!

Judy MacLean

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Hello Barry, Love your recipes. If making this as individual gratin dish servings should I decrease cooking time?

Harold MATTHEWS

Thursday 7th of November 2019

Barry, your cookbooks are a weekly part of our love of growing up in NL, would it be OK to mix up the shrimp lets say with scallops or lobster or cod? just thinking of how this would be a real treat for Xmas Eve when I always do sea food in some shape or form.

Suzanne

Monday 22nd of May 2017

I made this, exact to the recipe, ritz crackers and all, used lobster and scallops and smoked cheeses...cannot tell you how good this is!!! It really is such a great comfort food recipe. Definite keeper.

Candee

Saturday 7th of January 2017

This recipe is awesome... don't skip the smoked cheese... It makes it very special!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!