Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp

You can feel good about splurging on Creamy Gourmet Mac and Cheese topped with Rock Shrimp. It’s full of healthy ingredient swaps…but your taste buds will never know!

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp Recipe

Have I mentioned that a macaroni and cheese obsession has been going on at our house…since I can’t remember when? Yep. We have it several 4-5 times a month…at least. And, we’re not talking about the 3-minute deal with questionable cheese. We like the real stuff!

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp Recipe

The creamier and cheesier the better. We’ve been playing around with the cheese choices. Our favorite combination is sharp cheddar, fontina and Parmesan cheeses.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese Recipe with Three Cheeses

Since this family favorite is here to stay, my only choice in the matter was to join the party and make things as healthy as possible.  The easy switch was exchanging white pasta for a high fiber alternative. To that end, I have boxes and boxes (and boxes) of high fiber pasta shells in my pantry so I can whip up a batch at a moment’s notice (or make some Pantry Pasta Fagioli Soup.)

Other swaps include less cream and more skim milk, whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and a combination of cheeses including some lower in fat.

Healthy Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp

It seemed like the perfect time to share this recipe because my healthy foodie friends in The Recipe Redux are mining treasures from their pantry, cupboards, freezer or fridge and sharing healthy recipes made with the prize! (Check out the links below!) The stash of whole wheat pasta shells with extra fiber in my cupboard definitely fit the bill.

This version is extra-special since Mother’s Day and the summer holidays are coming up…and because rock shrimp was on sale at the grocery store.

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp – indulgence you can feel good about!

Rock Shrimp

In fact, this recipe is kind of a bogo when it comes to hidden treasures. The final dish is even more special topped with rock shrimp. I always have shrimp in the freezer. But, I don’t always have rock shrimp. In case you’re not familiar with this variety, it tastes a bit like lobster and looks like a little baby lobster too with it’s hard outer shell. In some circles Sometimes, I refer to this recipe as my fake-out lobster mac and cheese!

Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp Recipe

So, this particular recipe has been named Gourmet Mac and Cheese because of the three creamy cheeses and because of the tasty rock shrimp topping. There’s no need to mention that it’s a bit healthier than what you might find when dining out at a fancy restaurant. Your taste buds will never know!

Rock Shrimp Mac and Cheese Recipe
Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
You can feel good about splurging on Creamy Gourmet Mac and Cheese topped with Rock Shrimp. It's full of healthy ingredient swaps...but your taste buds will never know.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 721 kcal
Author: Marjory Pilley
  • 1 pound pasta elbows or small shells (We used shells that were high in fiber)
  • 1 pound rock shrimp peeled, deveined and tail off
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour We used whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese 4 ounces (We used low-fat cheese)
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese 4 ounces
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Bring a second pot of water to a boil, add the shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until shrimp is pink. (Rock shrimp cooks more quickly than other types of shrimp.)
  3. Drain the pasta and shrimp and set aside.
  4. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook for about one minute to form a roux. (I use the same pot that I used to cook the pasta.)
  5. Add milks, salt, white pepper and dry mustard to pot and stir to combine.
  6. Raise heat to medium-high and continue whisking until mixture just begins to bubble and sauce has thickened.
  7. Add cheeses to the pot and stir until melted.
  8. Add pasta and shrimp to pot and stir to thoroughly coat with cheese.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 721 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 281mg 94%
Sodium 1409mg 59%
Potassium 387mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 46g 92%
Vitamin A 19.4%
Vitamin C 3.8%
Calcium 70%
Iron 17.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Healthy Gourmet Mac and Cheese with Rock Shrimp Recipe




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  1. Sounds & looks great! I don’t think I’ve tried rock shrimp, will have to keep my eyes open for some.

  2. This looks like the best mac n cheese ever! I am always looking for new ways to make it as it’s my favorite food.

  3. I’d gladly eat mac & cheese EVERY day! Love the idea of adding shrimp

  4. I’m with you the creamier and cheesier the better

  5. I absolutely love the healthy changes that you made…whole wheat pasta, ww pastry flour, etc. That’s exactly how we like to eat pasta and I know my family would love this recipe.

  6. The healthy substitutions are practically irrelevant because this mac and cheese looks so creamy and delicious that I doubt their full fat counterparts are even missed. My family would love this one!

  7. I really like all the healthy subs…from looking at the photos and how creamy it is, you’d never know! The photos with the shells are so pretty and Florida, Marjorie!!

  8. How cute to serve it in a shell, love it! Love the hidden treasures of shrimp too!

  9. Hello gorgeous. You can never go wrong adding shrimp!

  10. This is such a decadent looking mac and cheese, I can’t believe there are so many healthy swaps!

  11. This is suome of the best looking mac and cheese that I’ve ever seen. I especially love that you’ve added the shrimp. I adore shrimp, pasta and cheese!

  12. This mac and cheese recipes looks great! A very nice way of making it. I adore shrimp so I really love this. It is very fascinating!

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