Coconut shrimp and macaroni and cheese, together in this creative delicious, super sexy recipe. Learn how to make this perfect indulgence with two of our favorite foods and enjoy any day of the week. Coconut Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese is pure comfort food!
Coconut Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese
Can you just feel all the love here? Coconut shrimp plus macaroni and cheese. THIS is what cooking is all about for me. A recipe that sounds over-the-top and right out there, but in actuality is just FREAKING good. Ohhhhhh so good. Creamy cheesy pasta. Crunchy coconut shrimp. Savory comfort with just the slightest hint of coconut sweetness. This recipe is all the feelz.
There is a restaurant right around the corner from my home, and I have not been to it. It is a new restaurant, and the one that preceded it was one of my favorite lunch places. So much a favorite, that it inspired new recipes for me like my Turkey, Mushroom, and Fontina Panini with Arugula Aioli. I don’t know what all went down, but given the popularity of the first restaurant, my guess is that they were handed an offer they could not refuse.
Anyway, that first restaurant is no more, and now there is this new one. They’ve gutted the place too and made a whole new menu, which of course I had to totally stalk them online and check out the new menu. On said menu is an entire section for macaroni and cheese. An Entire. Section.
Here’s my dilemma: I want to try this restaurant, I really do. And I know I will, but I still feel a bit jilted that the old place is gone. But a WHOLE macaroni and cheese section – it is calling me. MACARONI and CHEESE is right up there in my life with pizza. And coconut shrimp macaroni and cheese is right there listed on the menu.
And so, here we are.
If you love macaroni and cheese like I do, here are other recipes to try:
- Cranberry Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese
- Pulled Pork Macaroni and Cheese
- Fried Salsa Verde Macaroni and Cheese Balls
- Plain old regular Macaroni and Cheese
- Portobello, Spinach, and Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Poblano Macaroni Bake (vegan)
- Vegan Mexican Macaroni Bake (also vegan)
- Wine and Thyme Macaroni and Cheese
- Jalapeno and Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese
- And the ever essential, Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Macaroni and Cheese
Yes I looove macaroni and cheese.
Ok, so the idea to make a seafood macaroni and cheese came from the local restaurant, but I haven’t eaten there and have no idea how they prepare it. I do know that they used sauteed shrimp and not actual coconut shrimp [Huh?], so I’m kinda feeling out front on this one.
But on the other hand, and here we go… I used frozen, purchased coconut shrimp as a total shortcut because I had no desire to make them from scratch – GASP!
And I make no apologies for it! Sometimes we want creamy cheesy comforting macaroni and cheese and we want it NOW. So we do what we gotta do, and sometimes this includes cutting a corner or two.
But if you feel strongly about the matter, just google how to make coconut shrimp and get on with your bad self. Props.
Oh man, this dish is SEXY. This isn’t just comfort food – it is outright freaking erotic that’s what it is, let’s be real. As in, you’ll moan inappropriately eating it. So, make this for Valentine’s Day. Make this for your partner’s birthday. Make this to treat yourself because you deserve it. Love them, love yourself, and eat some yummy macaroni and cheese.
And do it because with my instructions that break the whole process out, this recipe is pretty easy to make.
Steps to making Coconut Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese:
- Put your pasta to cook.
- While the macaroni is cooking, make your cheese sauce.
- Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and bake.
- While casserole is cooking, get the coconut in the oven too to toast the flakes.
- Once the macaroni and cheese is done, we cook the shrimp because they need a higher oven temperature.
See? No biggie. And the reward is sooo worth it.
All the elements here come together into such a perfect bite, I just can’t even.
What key ingredients go into Coconut Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese
- cheese sauce with coconut milk
- whole grain mustard
- coconut flakes
- coconut shrimp
By substituting some of the milk with coconut milk, that luscious flavor comes through in the mac and cheese, but it’s subtle and just right. The sweet coconut flakes, both coating the shrimp and sprinkled over the whole dish on their own, add crunch. Seafood, which oddly enough doesn’t often pair with cheese, is SO great here with the mild Italian cheese blend. Even the yummy little pearls of whole grain mustard and bit of green herbs each have their part to play, and the elements come together in crazy goodness.
So that’s it folks! A decadent, creamy cheesy, comforting pasta, worthy of anytime you want to make someone feel special or just to treat yourself. Indulgent, creative, creamy-crunchy, delicious. shrimp mac and cheese loaded with coconut and crunch!
If this recipe looks good, check out my Basic Creamy Macaroni and Cheese recipe as the essential guide for all things Mac and Cheese.
Coconut Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 (8 oz) pkg elbows macaroni
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ cup coconut milk from the can
- 2 cups Italian cheese blend shredded cheese
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp plain breadcrumbs
- ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 (18 oz) box frozen coconut shrimp
- garnish: snipped chives and Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Heat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Put the pasta to cook to al dente according to package directions.
- In medium saucepan, heat the butter and flour over medium heat whisking until smooth. Cook two minutes at a gentle simmer.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and coconut milk. Heat, stirring constantly, until just hot but not simmering.
- Remove from the heat. Whisk in the mustard and salt, then add the cheese.
- Add the cooked pasta and pour all into a 13x9 baking dish.
- Combine the 1/2 tablespoon olive oil with the breadcrumbs; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until nice and bubbly.
- Meanwhile, layer the coconut flakes on a bake sheet. Bake in the oven at 350F until browned and toasty.
- Once the macaroni and cheese is done, remove from the oven and set aside. Raise the temperature of the oven and cook the shrimp according to package directions.
- Serve the macaroni and cheese topped with coconut shrimp and coconut flakes. Garnish with chives and parsley.
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.