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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Cajun Shrimp Skillet Mac and Cheese

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Cajun Skillet Mac and Cheese

My Aunt Noni got this recipe from a Cajun chef friend of hers that worked in a big hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi. As Aunt Noni put it, “Darlin’ you don’t need to add nuthin’ to this here recipe, except an ice cold beer! Oh, and maybe a little ol’ piece of your Aunt Jean’s Buttermilk-Lemon Pie.”

And baby, she was right! It’s like a meal-in-a–skillet. I’ve also tried makin’ it with some chunks of andouille sausage, and that was dee-lish too! It’s like Mac & Cheese with a good ol’ Southern kick!!!

Cajun Skillet Mac and Cheese

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Entree

Cuisine: Southern/Cajun

Serves: 4


20 mins


45 mins


1 hour 5 mins


Mac and Cheese:

1 pound cavatappi pasta

9 tablespoons butter ( cut into tablespoons)

1 pound fresh shrimp (peeled, deveined and cut in half)

1 ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (your store-bought favorite or see my recipe below)

1 tablespoon white onion (grated)

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups evaporated milk

2 ½ cups Monterey jack pepper cheese (grated)

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

½ cup Gruyere cheese (grated)

½ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper ( or to your taste)

¾ cup Panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Cajun Spice Mixture:

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 ½ teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1¼ teaspoons oregano (dried)

1 ¼ teaspoons thyme (dried)

1 teaspoon onion powder


For spice mix:

  1. Git yourself a little bowl.

  2. Stir together all the ingredients until evenly blended.

  3. Now, stick the mixture in an old spice jar or one of those little biddy Tupperware containers, so long as it’s airtight.*

For Mac and Cheese:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.

  2. In a sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the shrimp.

  3. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning, stir until shrimps turn pink , no longer than 3 minutes. (They’ll cook longer in the mac and cheese mixture.)

  4. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

  5. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.

  6. Drain pasta in a colander and leave it there while you make the mac and cheese sauce.

  7. Now, git your cast iron skillet on the burner.

  8. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat and add the grated onion. Stir it a few seconds and then add the flour.

  9. Whisk the flour into the butter mixture until it barely browns and then add the evaporated milk, a little at a time, and whisk constantly until you have a nice sauce.

  10. Bring it to a simmer and then add 2 ¼ cups of jack cheese (one handful at a time) and 1½ cups of the cheddar cheese and the Gruyere cheese until nicely blended, stirring it the whole time to keep it smooth.

  11. Now, add the rest of the Cajun seasoning and extra salt and pepper to your taste.

  12. Turn off the heat.

  13. Add the cooked shrimp and drained pasta to the skillet and stir until the ingredients are all nicely coated.

  14. In a little sauce pan, melt remaining butter.

  15. Pour it into a bowl, add the Panko crumbs and mix it well.

  16. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheeses on top of the macaroni mixture in the skillet and sprinkle the Panko crumbs on top of that.

  17. Now, stick that delicious mixture you’ve got in your cast-iron skillet into the oven and bake it for 30 minutes until browned and bubbly.

  18. When you take it out, let it sit for about 10 minutes.

  19. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve that good stuff up. YUM!


*You can use this spice later for all kinds of dishes that need a kick!!!


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