This post is featuring my favorite onions, Vidalia onions! This Cherry Tomato Vidalia Onion Pasta is so deliciously saucy featuring summery cherry tomatoes and sweet and delicious Vidalia onions. Best part about this dish: it takes under 30 minutes to make!
I’ve been on this quest to make homemade ravioli. I usually go the super easy route and buy the pre-made ones from the store stuffed with cheeses and then just try and make the sauce as exciting as possible. Let’s be clear: I still advocate for doing just that, especially on busier nights when time is not on our side. But, on occasion, when I’m feeling artsy, I like to make my own.
For this post, I teamed up with Vidalia Onions from Georgia. These onions—if you’re unfamiliar—are so deliciously sweet and tender. Now, you’re probably going to ask me, “Adrianna, what’s the difference between a regular yellow onion and a Vidalia onion?” I’m glad you asked!
Vidalia onions are from Vidalia, Georgia. The water content in Vidalias is usually higher than a yellow onion. Their vibe is subtle and a bit more mellow. If I’m eating raw yellow onions, I usually soak them in a bit of water with salt to take their edge off; no need with Vidalias!
Their primo season is from April through September. And while they’re usually categorized as “sweet onions” not all sweet onions are Vidalias. So specifically look for Vidalias. They still have a lovely savory quality to them that makes everything more flavorful.
Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe creamy, decadent and indulgent. This mac and cheese recipe has chunks of briny lobster within a creamy cheesey sauce. Perfect for the holidays or any other special occasion.
This whole blog post is going to be me attempting to convey my enthusiasm for this Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. I have wanted to make lobster macaroni and cheese for what feels like forever. But I’ve always hesitated. I’ve always doubted myself!
Does cheese and lobster actually go together?
Will it be good?
Is the price-point going to scare me and all of you away?
The first answer is YES. I don’t typically cook any sort of seafood with cheese but in this context it absolutely works. Will it be good? Umm…yes, it’s glorious. Will the price-point be scary? Not this time!
For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where I went to get these VERY affordable and delicious wild-caught Maine lobster tails.
The Types of Cheese For Mac and Cheese
I gave a lot of thought to the other components of the mac n’ cheese. I paired the Aged Cheddar with gouda, which adds great meltability. Other options could be mozzarella or Gruyere. I also love adding Dijon mustard to a rich cheese sauce.
The gouda adds meltability and the Dijon mustard is necessary so it’s not too rich. The brininess from the lobster is so delicious in this macaroni and cheese.
How to Cook Lobster
I used 4 lobster tails, but it’s definitely doable with 2 lobster tails. The question is: how much do you love the people coming over?! I love this recipe with 4 lobster tails because it means A LOT of lobster of everyone.
Here’s an easy way to cook the lobster:
- Poach the lobster. You can cook lobster a few different ways. In this instance, I decided to poach it in salted water just until cooked. You actually want to undercook it by a bit so that it can finish cooking in the macaroni and cheese.
- Remove the lobster. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, flip the lobster over to its opposite side, and slice the shell on each side. Pull the tab back and remove the lobster out.
- Chop it up and proceed with the recipe!
How to Make Lobster Mac and Cheese
- Then there’s a roux. A roux begins with melted butter and flour. When the two have been combined, you pour in the milk.
- The milk thickens. After while, the milk will thicken as it combines with roux. A bit of whisking helps a lot!
- Cool it Down a Bit. When the roux mixture cools down a bit, you add the cheese. Mix until the cheese is all melty.
- Add the cooked pasta. Mix in the cooked pasta and give it a good stir.
- Mix in the chopped lobster. Add the chopped lobster to the cheesy mixture and pasta. Transfer it to a baking dish and top it with the panko bread crumb mixture.
- Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top!
I’m not a huge “baked macaroni and cheese” person. I usually like the creamy, stove-top version but this is with the crispy panko bread crumbs is absolutely delicious.
If you make this Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, let me know on Instagram!
What Goes Well with Lobster Mac and Cheese
The best part about this dish is that it’s great as a side dish OR as a main dish. She’s versatile! I personally like to serve this with a protein, like fish, a pot roast or roasted chicken. If you want to eat it with a side salad that’s really bright (I’m talking tons of lemon juice and red wine vinegar). OR some roasted vegetables.
Bread Crumb Topping:
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch kosher salt
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese:
- 4 lobster tails, about 6 ounces total
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups milk, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups aged cheddar, (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup gouda cheese, (about 5 ounces)
- 1 pound pasta , (I used rigatoni)
- Chives, as garnish
To Make the Buttery Bread Crumbs:
- To a small saucepan, set over medium heat, melt the butter. When melted, add the breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt. Mix until the breadcrumbs are thoroughly coated. Set aside.
To Cook the Lobster Tails:
- Bring a pot of salted water to a medium boil (should be a chill boil, nothing too aggressive). Drop the lobster tails into the water and cook for about 1 minute, until they mostly turn opaque. They will be undercooked, but no biggie, they’ll cook more in the pasta. Run them under cold water.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the shell on both sides. Pull out the lobster meat and chop it up into bite-size pieces.
To Make the Macaroni + Cheese:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- To a medium pot, set over medium heat, add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the flour and mix it together and cook the flour butter mixture for about 1 minute. Pour in the milk in two batches, stirring continuously in between additions. Cook until it thickens up, about 2 to 3 minutes. It’ll start to bubble up and thicken. Give it a good whisk and be sure to get in those corners of the pan to get any floury bits up and mixed in. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the kosher salt, crushed red pepper, Dijon mustard and a few rounds of pepper. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to taste. Add the grated cheeses and mix them in until they’re melted. Cover the pot with a lid and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions, about 9 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and then immediately add it to the pot with the cheesy sauce, along with the reserved lobster. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to a 9 x 11-inch baking dish (or one that is comparable). Smooth it into an even layer and then top it with the reserved breadcrumbs.
- Transfer it to the oven to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown.
(This post is sponsored by ALDI. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)
Looking for more macaroni and cheese recipes? Here are some favorites:
I’m currently sipping tea, attempting to heal my sore throat that is feeling all raspy and weary. On Saturday night I went to Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios and screamed like the gigantic baby that I am.
Why is that we know it’s fake but believe it’s real. Lol. Our brains are so complicated.
Monsters and gremlins jumping out at me really drained my energy too because I’m currently a lil’ bit exhausted. Luckily I healed my self with a big Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a batch full of shells I had waiting for me in the freezer.
Let’s talk about shells today. Beautiful, big, glorious shells. I honestly have no idea why I don’t make them more. Whenever I make them,I’m like, why don’t I do this needs to be on a weekly rotation.
They’re also an amazing thing to gift. If you have someone in your life who is having a surgery, is sick, having a baby, etc., this is a great thing to drop off their house. They will love you forever.
You can also make this batch and eat half and freeze half.
This Vegetarian Bolognese is full of hearty vegetables that cook down into a rich sauce very similar to the meat filled version. It’s a perfect replacement for the classic over pasta or gnocchi. Of course this isn’t traditional “bolognese”; instead it’s a vegan and vegetarian version that is so flexible depending on what vegetables you might have on hand!
I spent the weekend celebrating my mama’s birthday and took her to see The Waitress—which was SO good. I loved the movie but the play was WAY better so I highly recommend if it comes to your town.
Let’s talk cauliflower gnochhi. I’ve been seeing it all over the internets lately so I wanted to give it a try. I was stunned that they were so delicious!
I’ve now been keeping a bag or two in the freezer and it’s great to have on hand when you need a quick meal.
This late summer veggie “bolognese” is my favorite. It’s so good and fresh and light. This makes a decent size batch and it’s totally great to freeze so you can use it later. I used to be pretty lukewarm on the freezer but it’s recently become my best friend.
How to Make Vegetarian Bolognese:
- Prep the veggies. The texture we want with the vegetables is as close to ground meat as we can get, so I like to chop each vegetable with a food processor to get it that fine. If you don’t have a food processor just use a knife to chop up the vegetables as fine as you can get them.
- Cook the veggies. Cook the veggies in batches until they’ve softened significantly and have sweated out all their liquid. Salting the mushrooms early can make them waterlogged, so wait until this step to salt them.
- Add everything else and simmer. Once the veggies are cooked, add the tomatoes with the spices and cheese and simmer just enough to get the canned flavor out of the tomatoes. Taste and add salt if needed then serve over whatever you’d like!
How to Freeze Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce:
- It’s very easy to freeze this sauce. Just let it cool completely then place in a freezer safe bag (I like to freeze it flat on a baking sheet first so it’s easier to store). Once it’s frozen, remove the baking sheet.
Tips and Tricks:
- This is a perfect make-ahead meal! The sauce will last for a few days at least, tightly sealed in the fridge.
- If you wanted to use other vegetables that you have on hand that’s fine! I will say that the only vegetables that can’t be swapped out are the mushrooms, they give the sauce that hearty meat like base that makes a bolognese.
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled and minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed
- 1 (26-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more as garnish
- 1 pound of cauliflower gnocchi OR regular gnocchi
- Pull out your food processor. If you don’t have one, you can just minced everything with a knife. But I do love the fine mince that is provided by the food processor because it makes it almost “ground.” Add the onion and garlic and pulse until diced. Repeat with the carrot, cremini mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper.
- In a medium Dutch oven, set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. When warm, add the minced onion, garlic and carrot; cook until softened about 10 minutes.
- Then add the mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper, adding a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed (I needed it). Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has released from the vegetables and evaporates and they’re totally softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, water, salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and finely grated Parmesan. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, just until the flavors have married together. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Turn the flame to low to keep warm while you cook the gnocchi.
- To cook the cauliflower gnocchi, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick skillet. When warm, add the gnocchi and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown. Add a ladle or two of the sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Divide amongst bowls and top with another spoonful of “bolognese.” Garnish with parmesan cheese, basil leaves, more crushed red pepper…if you’re into that sort of thing.
- You’ll end up with leftover ‘bolognese’—good! This freezes so well. Add to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. To thaw, transfer to the fridge or leave out on the counter.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? here are some of my favorites:
- Grilled Corn with Chipotle Bourbon Butter
- Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Vegan Chili
- Jackfruit Tinga Tacos
- Grilled Veggie Sandwiches
- Vegetarian Pot Stickers