This lobster mushroom mac and cheese is easy, creamy, cheesy, salty, goodness. In this recipe you will infuse the lobster mushrooms in butter to then add to the cheese sauce. Not only will you get bites of lobster mushroom but the sauce itself will taste lobstery, creamy, and cheesy!
Not familiar with lobster mushrooms? They are a wild mushroom that smells and tastes like lobster!
Fresh or Dried Lobster Mushrooms?
This recipe can be used with dried or fresh lobster mushrooms!
While fresh lobster mushrooms will offer a more powerful shellfish flavor the dried lobster mushrooms are much more accessible, and still offer the flavors you need. When using dried lobster mushrooms simply rehydrate them in cool water before adding them to the butter on the stove.
Fresh lobster mushrooms are not the easiest mushrooms to find.
They are a wild mushroom that can’t be cultivated, and they only pop up in certain times of the year in selective locations. Because of this scarcity, they are not the cheapest mushroom to find. Dried mushrooms are going to be the most economical route, where the fresh ones will be the most powerful in flavor.
Where to Find Lobster Mushrooms
Finding fresh lobster mushrooms can be tricky since they must be foraged and cannot be grown.
The mushrooms grow in conifer forests with moisture, they grow in similar conditions to chanterelles and Chicken of the Woods. They can be found growing out of the ground under pine needles- they are bright red/orange, they stick out!
Lobster Mushrooms can be found in coastal areas of the PNW, along the East Coast, in the mountains of Colorado, or in the forests of Minnesota. They grow all cross North and Central America, unfortunately they do not grow in South America, Europe, Asia, or Australia.
To see if they grow in your area check out INaturalist. It’s a website and app created by environmentalists to help log plants, animals, and fungi across the world. It’s a tool that foragers like myself use regularly!
Foraging is the budget way to get these wonderful mushrooms
Buy Them Locally
Your local farmers market is the best place to buy fresh lobster mushrooms.
Check your local farmers market to see if there are any wild mushroom vendors! I’ve been able to find lobster mushrooms at numerous farmers markets in Denver and Seattle.
Even if lobster mushrooms don’t grow in your area many mushroom vendors will ship out foraged mushrooms to other vendors. The mushroom foraging community is a tight knit community- they will be able to point you in the right direction of finding fresh mushrooms! If you live in Seattle, Pike Place consistently sells them fresh in the late summer to early fall.
The easiest option is to order dried lobster mushrooms online.
Places like Whole Foods or other gourmet cooking stores will carry lobster mushrooms, but at a dramatically higher price. Etsy is where I order my dried mushrooms since you are buying directly from the mushroom picker. However, I’ve seen some options available on Amazon as well.
Infusing the Lobster Mushrooms in Butter
The first step of this recipe is to slow cook the lobster mushrooms in butter.
You can also use refined coconut oil in place of butter, however you cannot make this recipe oil/fat free. Lobster mushrooms flavoring is fat soluble- meaning cooking it in a butter or a fat helps enhance the flavors. The process to do this is very similar to making a garlic confit- think of this as a lobster mushroom confit. You slow cook the mushrooms with enough fat to fully cover them, then you will strain the mushrooms from the fat.
You’ll use some of the infused butter for the cheese sauce but will be left with some leftover lobster mushroom infused butter.
This is one of the best parts of this recipe!
This lobster flavored butter is absolute perfection with any kind of sea food recipe. It is fantastic with pasta, it’s pairs beautifully with any creamy dish. Last year I added a tbs of this infused oil to my Pumpkin Sauce and it added this umami depth that was very delightful. It works well in most savory, creamy dishes.
The Cheese Sauce
This lobster mushroom mac and cheese recipe uses a basic cheese sauce that is made from a plant-based cheddar. The brand of cheddar doesn’t matter too much for this recipe- use your favorite. Better yet, make your own!
To make this sauce you’ll start by making a roux with flour and the infused butter, this helps the sauce have that perfect rich and creamy texture.
From there you’ll add milk and your seasonings. Soy Milk is a great option as it thickens well under heat due to it’s high protein content. However, any type of milk you prefer will work here as long as it is unsweetened. Even aquafaba works amazingly in mac and cheese sauce- the high protein content with the neutral flavor can be a game changer in cheese sauces! Try to avoid using black or pinto bean aquafaba as the coloring of it is less appealing for this recipe.
One key to sucess is to use a whisk with this recipe! A whisk will help prevent clumps; you will want to stir this consistently to prevent any clumping.
After you dish up the Lobster Mushroom Pasta, garnish it with thinly sliced green onions. If you like a little bit of heat sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. A drizzle of Calabrian Oil is another fantastic option to add some spice. Try saving a few pieces of lobster mushroom to sprinkle over the top before serving!
Vegan Lobster Mushroom Recipes
Looking for more Lobster Mushroom recipes?
Once you try these mushrooms you will understand how special and unique they are!
They can be simply addicting!
- The Lobster Mushroom Roll takes inspiration from New England that is a plant-based version of the classic lobster roll.
- These Lobster Mushroom Wontons or Lobster Mushroom Rangoon has a filling of vegan cream cheese, scallions, and lobster mushrooms.
- For another lobster mushroom pasta recipe, try Lobster Mushroom Stuffed Shell! It has a creamy alfredo sauce that has a filling of vegan cheese and lobster mushrooms, baked to perfection.
- What could be better than lobster mushrooms in sushi?! Try lobster mushrooms in your sushi roll!
Lobster Mushroom Mac and Cheese
- 4 Ounces Fresh Lobster Mushroom* (or .5 ounce dried lobster mushroom)
- 4 Ounces Butter or Coconut Oil (1/2 cup)
- 1 Cup Cheddar Violife, Miyokos, Follow Your Heart, Ect
- 1 Cup Soy Milk Or unsweetened milk of choice, or aquafaba works well too
- 1 tbs All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 8 oz Macaroni Noodles
- If using dried lobster mushrooms, soak them in cool water for about 20 minutes. Rinse off any clinging dirt to ensure they are fully cleaned! Wild mushrooms are not cleaned before they are dried, this is an important cleaning step!
- If using fresh lobster mushrooms use a dry brush to clean out any residual dirt, try not to remove any of the red coating if possible. Cut off any bits that look old or buggy.
- Either break up with your hands or roughly chop with a knife the lobster mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
- In a medium sauce pan melt your butter on low heat, add the lobster mushrooms and add 1 tsp saltStir to completely cover the mushrooms in the butter. Leave on a very low simmer for 40 minutes (barley bubbling)
- While your lobster mushrooms are infusing in the butter, add salted water to another pot and prepare your pasta according to your packaged instructions
- Strain the mushrooms from the butter, reserving both.
- On medium/high heat add 2 tbs of the infused butter to a saucepanWith a whisk add in 1 tbs of the flour, whisk for 2 minutes
- Pour in the soymilk, garlic powder, and onion powder. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk for 3 minutes
- Add in the cup of cheddar and whisk until fully combined.Add in the lobster mushrooms and cooked pasta
- Garnish your pasta with fresh green onions
@jess.flowers Imagine a mushroom that tastes like lobster- that is then infused with oil. Then you make a cheese sauce using the lobster mushroom infused oil. The flavor is insane! I made this mac and cheese vegan by using a plant based cheddar cheese. Its so creamy, so flavorful- its my new favorite lobster mushroom recipe #wildmushrooms #lobstermushroom #macandcheese #veganmacandcheese #veganfood #foodtok #veganrecipes ♬ Darling – Trees and Lucy
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