Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods. So when I ran into the 30 Days, 30 Ways for Mac and Cheese blog I was excited to find some good variations on this favorite dish. This recipe came from that project, and was reposted on a recipe blog I follow. It turned out really delicious and was a fun, "gourmet" twist on an old favorite. It would be amazing (although not exactly light) served with my favorite breadsticks, and maybe a spinach salad.

And let's be honest, this is me we're talking about here, so I did not buy fresh herbs to use in this dish. I used dried and cut down the measurements slightly. Oh and I used splashes of bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon zest. I am so naughty. The original recipe is posted below with lemon zest and fresh herbs, but if you use dried herbs, just use about 2/3 the amount called for.

Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

1 lb. pasta shapes {I used whole wheat fusilli}
1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp (31-40 ct.), thawed and cut in half (if desired)
10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
5 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. Drain well; set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In a small bowl, combine a handful of the feta, a pinch of the lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted. Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until light golden brown. Whisk in the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pasta, add the shrimp; toss well to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 2½ or 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, this looks delicious. I doubt it's very figure-friendly but it looks really good! Perfect comfort food.