Recipe courtesy of Un-Choppable

Spicy Shrimp Mac 'n' Cheese

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
How do you take a special occasion treat like lobster mac and cheese and make it weeknight friendly? Just swap the lobster for shrimp! This skillet mac, made with an ultra-creamy white cheese sauce, gets tender, juicy butterfly shrimp baked right on top. Since we're not sticking to tradition, we've also bumped up the spice level with some fresh chiles — a simple twist any Chopped chef would love.



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare the butterfly shrimp according to the package directions for the oven. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions for al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chile and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour until completely moistened and bubbling, about 1 minute. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the milk and continue to simmer until creamy and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the Parmesan, mascarpone, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the Muenster cheese until completely melted and smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the reserved pasta until evenly combined. 
  3. Top the mac and cheese with the remaining 1/2 cup Muenster cheese, then place the butterfly shrimp in a concentric circle on top, tails facing up. (You may need to shingle or overlap the shrimp slightly so they all fit in the skillet.) 
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese is completely melted and the shrimp are warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with another pinch of cayenne and some chopped parsley.