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Katie's Cucina

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas

Guys, Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! It is time to get serious about menu planning. Thanksgiving is a foodies dream. A holiday where we give thanks to all the people and things we have in life and celebrate by eating a big feast. Where we tend to gorge ourselves of turkey, stuffing, and countless side dishes. I have a feeling that this side dish will be on many tables come next Thursday. This dressed up mac and cheese is super special. Not only does it contain flakes of real crab meat on top, but there is a super secret flavor that no one will be expecting. I used one pound of garlic and pesto monterey jack cheese that brought this mac and cheese to the next level. Theres really no need for additional spices to be added because the cheese is so incredibly creamy and flavorful. I’m a huge fan of baked macaroni and cheese that has crumb topping. So I decided to step it up a notch and add the crab into the mix. Oh, and did I mention, there are peas in this mac and cheese? This can definitely be an optional component; however, I’m a big fan of peas in pasta. I don’t know why. I just am. People either love or hate peas (like mots foods). When I brought a plate over for my neighbor to try that was the first thing she commented on “I love the peas”. It’s a little unexpected yet another way to incorporate getting your veggies in!

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas

You may be wondering why and how this recipe came to life? The week after Thanksgiving, I’m heading up to Virginia for the first ever Mixed Conference. I’m incredibly excited and grateful that I can attend. I hope to learn many new techniques, tips, and tricks to apply to Katie’s Cucina. On the first evening of the conference  Dreamfields Pasta is hosting a midnight mac and cheese party. They have incorporated a friendly competition into the mix and asked for attendees to submit an original mac and cheese recipe. The winning recipe will be featured at the midnight mac and cheese party as well as win some pretty cool prizes. So I got to work this weekend and created this fancy mac and cheese recipe in hopes that it will be the featured recipe of the evening in just a few short weeks!

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas

In case you’ve never heard of Dreamfields Pasta it contains low digestible carbs, high fiber, and is low on the glycemic index.With Dreamfields you get the healthy advantage, making Dreamfields the perfect pasta for health conscious pasta lovers. This pasta has as much fiber as two cups of raw broccoli!  The next time your out shopping, I’d highly suggest you buy a box of Dreamfields Pasta and give it a try! Your family will never know the difference and you’ll be helping them out!

Katie Original Recipe

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 13.25 ox box of Dreamfields Elbow Pasta
  • 1 lb. Garlic & Pesto Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh crab meat
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Dash of Pepper


  1. Cook Dreamfields Elbow Pasta according to the package and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, bring the heavy cream up to a boil, then reduce to low (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the shredded garlic & pesto Monterey jack cheese to the hot heavy cream. Stir until well incorporated. Then add 1 cup of green peas. Stir well and set to the side.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a square glass baking dish, spray non-stick cooking spray around the dish. Add a layer of cheese sauce to the bottom of the dish followed by elbow macaroni. Mix well, and repeat, until all of the macaroni and cheese sauce have been incorporate.
  6. In a separate bowl prepare the topping for the macaroni and cheese. Place 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 cup crab meat, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and a dash of pepper. Mix well and carefully pour over top of the macaroni and cheese. Smooth out until all areas of the macaroni and cheese have been covered with crumb topping.
  7. Place the macaroni and cheese in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then broil on high for 5 minutes or until crumb topping is golden brown.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated to create this recipe. This recipe will be entered in a mac and cheese contest for Dreamfields Pasta. If I win I will win a few prizes as well as be featured on Dremfields Pasta social media outlets.


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12 Responses to “Crabby Cheese with Mac and Peas”

  1. Steph Byrd posted on November 12, 2012 at 7:59 am (#)

    This looks delish!! I think I’ll make this for thanksgiving dinner – who wouldn’t like it! I have my fingers crossed that you win the contest!!! 🙂

    • Katie replied on November 12th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Steph! You can find the cheese in the cheese case near the deli. I bought 2 blocks and that equaled a pound. I think it was like $3.50 each. Great cheese that I plan to buy for the holidays to serve with crackers!

  2. Shaina posted on November 12, 2012 at 8:19 am (#)

    Not only does it look great and probably tastes even better, but the name of the dish is too cute!!! Gotta love when you can rhyme your food! I hope you win. I think I’m making a dish from my Thanksgiving issue of Food Network for my Turkey day dinner…Guy Fieri’s whiskey glazed sweet potatoes. Look it up on their site (or in the mag) it looks PHENOMENAL!

    • Katie replied on November 12th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Shaina! I tossed around a few names and this was the name that my taste testers liked best! 🙂 If you lived closer you could be a taste tester! 🙂 I’m going to look up the recipe now!

  3. Christine (Cook the Story) posted on November 12, 2012 at 11:52 am (#)

    I like peas and pasta together too! With the crab I bet it’s amazing!

    • Katie replied on November 12th, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Glad to read we are not alone!

  4. addie | culicurious posted on November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm (#)

    This looks so good. I love cheesy carbs and adding in crab and peas really take it to another level 🙂

  5. MommyNamedApril posted on November 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm (#)

    your photography is stunning in this post! makes me wish i wasn’t allergic to shellfish! 🙂

    • Katie replied on November 15th, 2012 at 7:47 am

      Awe thanks April for the kind compliments. I couldn’t imagine being allergic to shellfish!

  6. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) posted on November 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm (#)

    What a great take on Mac and Cheese! Well done 🙂

  7. Carrie's Experimental Kitchen posted on November 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm (#)

    I have featured this recipe on my blog for my weekly seafood round-up and have linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link:

    • Katie replied on November 23rd, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Thanks for the feature Carrie!

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