Want a new twist on Mac N Cheese? Have you heard of lobster mushrooms? We discovered how cool these tasty mushrooms can be for a fun vegetarian twist on Lobster Mac!

Lobster Mushroom Mac N Cheese

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I love lobster Mac N Cheese. But sometimes I want something a little different.

My daughter, Sara, discovered Lobster mushrooms and we loved the idea of using a vegetarian option for one of our favorite comfort foods. 

What are Lobster Mushrooms?

Lobster mushrooms aren’t actually mushrooms at all. The Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces Lactifluorum) is mold or a parasitic fungus that grows on other mushrooms. This mold attacks the host mushroom and engulfs them and alters the way they look and taste. It turns the host mushroom red. And when the mushroom is cooked, it has a  dark orange appearance, like a lobster.

Often mistaken for a chanterelle mushroom, the lobster mushroom even has a seafood smell!

They are excellent for sauteing or frying because they have a dense “meaty” texture.

But beware, this mold can also grow on some species of toxic mushrooms.  They are still toxic, so always get your mushrooms from a safe, experienced mushroom forager.

Lobster Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Where to find Lobster Mushrooms

I learned a lot about lobster mushrooms as I tried to discover where to find them. 

Lobster mushrooms aren’t easy to find! Because of their texture, culinary versatility, and color, people worldwide seek out these sought-after fungi.  And it’s because of their new popularity, specialty grocery markets are trying to keep them in stock if they can get them.

But you’ll only find them in the summer. And if you do find these rare treats, be prepared for the price tag that comes with them.

Photo: Mushroomsite.com

Health Benefits of Lobster Mushrooms

  • They are a great source of protein
  • They contain Vitamins B and D
  • They are high in Selenium 
  • They have healthy amounts of essential minerals
  • They boost the immune system

How to Clean and Cook Lobster Mushrooms

One of the first things you are going to need to do is to clean your mushrooms.  We suggest a clean, new, toothbrush.  Lightly brush over the mushroom to get the dirt out.  

Then take off the bottom of the stem with a sharp knife.  

We suggest cutting the mushroom into small bite-sized chunks.

For this recipe, we suggest sauteing them in butter, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. 

Fun Topping Ideas:

  • Jalapenos
  • Celery
  • Crispy Onion Straws
  • Diced tomatoes

Non-Vegan Toppings:

  • Creadcrumbs
  • Cheese
  • Croutons 

We were inspired by some great recipes online for our dish.  I especially loved watching this video about foraging for mushrooms on the Oregon coast.  

Lobster Mushroom Mac and Cheese

CategoryMain Dish

 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked
 2 cloves garlic, chopped
 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  cup all purpose flour
 3 cups 1/2 and 1/2 cream
 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
 1 cup mild fontina cheese – grated
 ¾ tsp mustard powder
 ¼ tsp nutmeg
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp pepper-ground

1

Marinate your mushrooms in melted butter, garlic, and 4 tablespoons sherry for 1 hour.

2

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water. Then drain and keep 1 1/2 cups of pasta water and set aside.

3

In a large pot, over medium to low heat, bring your marinated mushrooms to a light sizzle for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

4

Gently sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and whisk together to coat. Add in your seasonings and stir constantly for 3 minutes.

5

Add in the cream and bay leaf, increase the heat to medium and bring your cream mixture to a light simmer. Keep stirring and allow this to thicken up. (8-10 minutes) Then remove the bay leaf.

6

Reduce the heat to low and add in the mascarpone cheese and stir it all together until well blended and smooth. Then add in your other cheese and gently fold it all together until the cheese is melted.

7

Now carefully stir in your pasta and 1/2 cup of pasta water. And stir to fully coat it all together.

8

Option: Add to an oven-safe casserole dish. Top with a panko bread crumb topping, butter, and bake at 400 degrees to lightly brown the top. ( 15 minutes )

Ingredients

 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked
 2 cloves garlic, chopped
 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  cup all purpose flour
 3 cups 1/2 and 1/2 cream
 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
 1 cup mild fontina cheese – grated
 ¾ tsp mustard powder
 ¼ tsp nutmeg
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp pepper-ground

Directions

1

Marinate your mushrooms in melted butter, garlic, and 4 tablespoons sherry for 1 hour.

2

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water. Then drain and keep 1 1/2 cups of pasta water and set aside.

3

In a large pot, over medium to low heat, bring your marinated mushrooms to a light sizzle for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

4

Gently sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and whisk together to coat. Add in your seasonings and stir constantly for 3 minutes.

5

Add in the cream and bay leaf, increase the heat to medium and bring your cream mixture to a light simmer. Keep stirring and allow this to thicken up. (8-10 minutes) Then remove the bay leaf.

6

Reduce the heat to low and add in the mascarpone cheese and stir it all together until well blended and smooth. Then add in your other cheese and gently fold it all together until the cheese is melted.

7

Now carefully stir in your pasta and 1/2 cup of pasta water. And stir to fully coat it all together.

8

Option: Add to an oven-safe casserole dish. Top with a panko bread crumb topping, butter, and bake at 400 degrees to lightly brown the top. ( 15 minutes )

Lobster Mushroom Mac N Cheese

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2 thoughts on “Lobster Mushroom Mac N Cheese”

  1. Pingback: Lobster Mushroom Mac N Cheese — Dancing With Fireflies | My Meals are on Wheels

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