Give your macaroni cheese a new spin and a touch of luxury with this crab pasta bake.
Whether you're looking for a comfort food recipe or a quick and easy supper, pasta bake is a great choice. Sometimes it doesn't feel quite classy enough so we've made it truly luxurious by using crab meat. Once you've bought your crab, if you have any left over, try one of our other crab recipes.
We've used brown crab meat - this comes from the body of the crab and is the most flavoursome bit. It will hold up to the strong cheese flavour of the sauce. Brown meat is also cheaper where as the white meat is more delicate in flavour and slightly more expensive.
If you're looking for child friendly ways to incorporate fish in to their diet, a pasta bake is a great way - crab can be quite an intense flavour so tinned tuna works well too or try one of our child friendly fish recipes.
- 600g pasta, such as macaroni or penne
- 500ml milk
- 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 50g flour
- 150g grated mature Cheddar
- 1tbsp cheese spread (we used Seriously Spreadable)
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 1tsp tomato puree
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 100g fresh, brown crabmeat
- 75g breadcrumbs
- Small handful of chopped parsley
You will need:
- Large ovenproof dish
- Heat oven to 200C/Gas 6. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the milk in the microwave. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and heat for 1 min – a thick paste should have formed. Stir in the hot milk a little at a time, stirring constantly (if it starts to go lumpy you can use a whisk). Continue until all the milk has been used. Bring to a simmer and stir while on the heat for 1 min.
- Remove from the heat, add 100g Cheddar, the spreadable cheese, mustard, tomato puree and smoked paprika, and stir until smooth.
- Drain the pasta, place back in the saucepan, then mix in the cheese sauce and fold in the crabmeat. Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish.
- Mix the remaining Cheddar, breadcrumbs and parsley, and sprinkle on top of the macaroni cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until the breadcrumb mixture is golden. Remove from the oven and serve.
Top Tip for making Crab Pasta Bake
If you can’t find brown crabmeat on its own, some supermarkets do a mix of white and brown meat, which will also work fine.
Parenting advice, hot topics, best buys and family finance tips delivered straight to your inbox.
Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.
Meatball pasta bake
This cheesy, meatball bake will leave the entire family with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Try the easy recipe for dinner today.
By Jessica Dady Published
Tomato and chorizo pasta bake
A simple tomato pasta bake is always a handy recipe to have. This classic recipe includes chorizo and sun-dried tomatoes for an extra rich flavour
By GoodtoKnow Published
Carbonara pasta bake
This carbonara pasta bake recipe uses eggs to create a thick, rich sauce. Serve as it is or pop it under the grill - the family will love this easy dish
By Jessica Dady Published