If you've ever eaten crab and artichoke dip, then you'll have a good idea of where this recipe is going. That dip is a classic for a reason, and when it's turned into a mac & cheese, it's even more memorable. Instead of just the jewel on a cracker, the cheesy mixture becomes the crowning glory on a fork, yielding huge gustatory dividends. Note that this dish necessitates a longer wait time between oven and fork than the others in this book. This is because the ingredients simply need a bit more time to marry.


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces orecchiette pasta (or use medium shell pasta)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cups toasted or stale sourdough bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about Vi medium onion)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces Swiss, Jarlsberg, or Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (6.5-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces crabmeat (preferably fresh), picked through for bits of shell


Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot about three-quarters full with water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, 8 to 9 minutes, and drain. Reserve the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, in a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Turn off the heat and add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined. Set aside.

Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the flour and stir constantly until a paste forms, 30 to 45 seconds. Continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and the remaining 1 teaspoor salt and cook until the mixture starts to thicken and is just beginning to bubble around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add 2 1/2 cups of the Swiss, the ricotta, mustard powder, and black pepper to taste and stir until the sauce is smooth but not too runny. It should be similar in texture to cake batter. If it's soupy, continue cooking until it thickens.

Add the pasta, artichoke hearts, and crabmeat and stir just until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and top with the bread crumb mixture. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Print this recipe

Submitted 5/5/14.
Source: Mac & Cheese, Please!: 50 Super Cheesy Recipes by Laura Werlin
Submitted By: b smith

Crab, Artichoke, and Swiss Mac & Cheese