Cajun Shrimp Mac N Cheese
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 box penne pasta (1 lb)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- Shredded pepper jack cheese (12 oz)
- shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz)
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Adapted from navywifecook.com
1. Heat oven to 400. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the chopped shrimp and 1/2 a teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to come to a simmer (3-4 minutes).
4. Stir in the Pepper Jack and the cheddar cheese, adding a handful at a time and stirring with a wooden spoon until completely melted before adding the next handful. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, a little salt and pepper, and turn off the heat.
5. Add the pasta and shrimp to the sauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is completely combined and evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
6. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over top the mac n cheese.
7. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until panko is golden brown. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.