This was the first time where I incorporated shrimp into a macaroni and cheese dish and I absolutely loved it. I just wished I had added more shrimp because it was not enough! But other than the delightful chunks of shrimp scattered here and there, I really enjoyed the creamy cheesiness to this dish. The lemon gave it that nice burst of freshness, the goat cheese produced such a smooth texture, the panko developed a nice crunchy topping, and all the cheeses and herbs came together to create such a flavorful dish.

Shrimp, Lemon and Herb Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from Annie’s Eats):

Yields 4-6 servings

  • 12 ounces fusili (spirals) pasta
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (31-40 count), peeled and deveined, cut in half
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, divided
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (I used 1 teaspoon dill weed instead)
  • 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions; drain well. Add the raw shrimp to the warm pasta and gently toss to combine. (The heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.)

While the pasta is cooking, combine a handful of goat cheese, Gruyere, and Asiago, a pinch of lemon zest, panko, parsley and 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a small bowl.

Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.

Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook, whisking constantly, until light golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Whisk in the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the remaining goat cheese, Gruyere, Asiago, remaining lemon zest, dill weed, salt and pepper.

Gently mix reserved pasta into cheese mixture.

Spoon into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with reserved breadcrumb mixture.

Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.