Crab and Gnocchi Gratin

This fancy-fied mac and cheese casserole makes a lovely dinner party dish or Thanksgiving side dish. It’s an amalgamation of a classic gnocchi gratin and crab mac and cheese, offering a bit of cozy luxury.

Crab Mac and Cheese Casserole with Gnocchi | ASpicyPerspective.com #macandcheese #gratin #gnocchi Pin It

Several months ago I had the opportunity to visit San Francisco.

San Francisco | ASpicyPerspective.com

I adored walking the hills, observing the intricate architecture, breathing in the ocean air, and visiting quirky shops and galleries.

San Francisco, CA | ASpicyPerspective.com

Other than the ocean air, it reminded me of a larger Asheville and I felt right at home.

San Francisco Pier 39 | ASpicyPerspective.com

Of all the wonderful things I saw and experienced in San Francisco, the thing that stuck out to me the most was the incredible food culture.

San Francisco Street | ASpicyPerspective.com

Everywhere I looked wonderful things were being grown, caught, baked, churned, crafted and cured. I couldn’t possibly begin to tell you all the delightful things I tasted.

Just know, there was a lot of cheese, chocolate, sourdough bread, and an episode with salami in a cone.

San Francisco Meat Shop | ASpicyPerspective.com

I can, however, fully describe the dish that was the most memorable, Crab Mac and Cheese.

At a little waterfront restaurant, we ate the most decadent mac and cheese casserole with large succulent chunks of crab meat nestled within.

As I looked out at the bay, I savored every bite and took mental notes so I could come home and recreate such a dish.

San Francisco - Alcatraz | ASpicyPerspective.com

This fall, I experimented with various mac and cheese casseroles and finally determined I would like this luxurious dish even more, if I switched the standard macaroni noodles to gnocchi.

Creamy gnocchi gratin is another favorite splurge, so it only made sense to combine the two.

This crab mac and cheese made with tender pillows of gnocchi, sweet crab meat, gruyere, and havarti cheese, has the essence of both a well-made gnocchi gratin and a baked mac and cheese casserole.

Crab and Gnocchi "Mac and Cheese" | ASpicyPerspective.com #macandcheese #gratin #holidays

That means it delivers both the sense of intense luxury and down-home comfort. What could be better than that?

To top it all, it has a touch of warm spicy nutmeg that pairs so well with both the seafood and cheeses.

As we kick off the holiday season, I’m participating in a celebration of the “Seasonal Seven” Flavors that best capture the taste of the holidays, with McCormick Spices.

Crab Mac and Cheese | ASpicyPerspective.com #macandcheese #gratin #holidays Elegant Old Luxembourg Dishes from Villeroy & Boch.

Each week leading up to Christmas, I will highlight one of the following flavors:  cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sage, vanilla, peppermint and poultry seasoning.

So today I’ve improved this indulgent crab mac and cheese casserole by kissing it with nutmeg for a little extra zip.

This gnocchi gratin would make a show-stopping addition to your Thanksgiving table, as well as a opulent main course for an intimate holiday dinner party.

Crab and Gnocchi Gratin | ASpicyPerspective.com #macandcheese #gratin #holidays

If planning the latter, I suggest serving it with a warm spinach and pear salad and a glass of something bubbly!

For more sensational Thanksgiving dishes, check out McCormick’s Holiday Look Book.

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Yield: 8-10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Crab Mac and Cheese Recipe

Classic Gnocchi Gratin with Gruyere, Havarti and Crab Meat.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. packaged gnocchi
1 lb. cooked crab meat
7 Tb. butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cups half and half
8 oz. shredded gruyere cheese
8 oz. shredded havarti cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil, and cooked the gnocchi according to the package instructions.

Drain the gnocchi and place in a 9X13 inch baking dish. Add the crab meat and mix.

In a large sauce pot (could be the same used for pasta) melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour followed by the garlic and lemon zest. Cook for another minute, then add the half and half and whisk until smooth.

Once the mixture is warm, add the cheeses. Stir to blend, then add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once smooth, taste for salt (add more if needed) and pour the cheese mixture over the crab and gnocchi. Mix and smooth in the baking dish.

Then melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the top is golden.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve warm.

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63 Responses to “Crab and Gnocchi Gratin”

  1. #
    1
    Belinda @zomppa — November 5, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    Definitely a grown-up mac and cheese – fantastic! Love SF – those are beautiful photos.

    Reply

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    2
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — November 5, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    I just adore that city… love how you captured it! And, yeah, crab mac and cheese will definitely hit the spot!

    Reply

  3. #
    3
    Andi Houston — November 5, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    That looks like an amazing casserole! I love gnocchi so much.

    Beautiful photos!

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 5, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    How decadent! I am keeping this in mind for this weeks menu!

    Reply

  5. #
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    marla — November 5, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    A beautiful post & this mac ‘n cheese looks amazing!

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    Jessica @ Portuguese GIrl Cooks — November 5, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    This mac and cheese looks absolutely incredible! This is truly fancy comfort food at its best.

    Reply

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    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — November 5, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    looks like awesome gourmet comfort food to me!

    Reply

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    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — November 5, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    I just adore San Francisco! We even considered moving to the Bay Area. Although I won’t be adding crab, the idea of using gnocchi in mac & cheese is genius!

    Reply

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    Paula - bell'alimento — November 5, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Oh Sommer. Just Yum.

    Reply

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — November 5, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    Oh man, I am such a sucker for gnocchi and then you had to add the gruyere and your kiss of nutmeg, not to mention your trip to SF. My heart, my heart!

    Reply

  11. #
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    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 5, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    I love gnocchi! Even better than it involves crab and cheese!

    Reply

  12. #
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    Cookin' Canuck — November 5, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Holy cow! That casserole is a thing of beauty! I would be so happy to spend about a month in SF, just exploring all of the restaurants and markets.

    Reply

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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — November 5, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    YESSSSSSS. SF is a wonderful mecca of awesome food–especially the crab! I love that it’s only an hour away–makes it easy for a tasty day trip :) next time, I’m going to have to hunt down this mac and cheese. Or make your version since it’s perfect. Looks SO delicious! And I love that you used gnocci. Drooling.

    Reply

  14. #
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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 5, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    These photos are breathtaking. And this dish – totally amazing. So hearty but unique!

    Reply

  15. #
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    JulieD — November 5, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Looks absolutely wonderful, Sommer!

    Reply

  16. #
    16
    Shaina — November 5, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    Holy amazing. Macaroni and cheese to the infinite.

    Reply

  17. #
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    Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 5, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmgggggggggggg.

    Reply

  18. #
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    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — November 5, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    This mac and cheese looks AMAZING

    Reply

  19. #
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    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 5, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    I love San Francisco and love how you captured it in your photos and through this delish dish!

    Reply

  20. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 5, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    Yum, this is pure comfort food! Great pics of SF!

    Reply

  21. #
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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 5, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    Wow, what a great Mac & Cheese. But I don’t think my family would eat it because it’s not in the Blue Box. lol I love the recipe!! Going to make a small portion for me!! Great picks of SF!! I love the city! Glad I live so close to it!!

    Reply

  22. #
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    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — November 5, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

    Great pictures of SF! I love that city. I also feel like that mac n’ cheese has to be at my Thanksgiving table. Gnocchi andddd crab?! delish.

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 5, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    I think I just died and went to heaven!! Holy cow, woman! This looks so comforting and delicious!

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Bonnie K — November 5, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    Comfort food at its best.

    Reply

  25. #
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    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — November 5, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    This looks like heaven on a plate…crab & gnocchi in mac & cheese form…I CANNOT wait to give it a try! Also, can’t wait to make a trip to San Francisco in the near future.

    Reply

  26. #
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    Megan Pence @ Wanna be a Country Cleaver — November 5, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

    San Francisco, crabs, carbs, mac and cheese and OMG!!! Let me pause, take this in, and drool a little more…

    Reply

  27. #
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    Vyvacious — November 6, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    This reminds me of one of my favorite dishes from Mastro’s (my favorite steakhouse)!! I’m so so excited to try this one of those days when I want to be completely gluttinous. Also, I got really excited when I saw your SF pictures before reading your post because I was just there this past weekend. Haha.

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Ruth — November 6, 2012 @ 5:58 am

    What a gorgeous post and a truly delicious looking mac ‘n cheese. I can’t wait to give it a try. This would be perfect to share with Presto Pasta Night Roundups – http://www.prestopastanights.com The weekly event is ending next week after over five years. It would be awesome to have one of your spectacular pastas to participate..

    Reply

  29. #
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    Jersey girl cooks — November 6, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    This is a great dish with all my favorites. I love San Fran!

    Reply

  30. #
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    Nancy Long — November 6, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    sounds scrumptious and shrimp would probably be good in it too. have very fond memories of doing San Francisco w/#3 son and his wife when he was stationed in Monterey and yes, we drove down Lombard Street. Had a poster of it hanging in my office for years.

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — November 6, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    Sommer this looks awesome!! Totally putting it on our holiday menu, thanks!!!

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Angie — November 6, 2012 @ 8:15 am

    I could eat my weight in this!

    Reply

  33. #
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    Culinary Collage — November 6, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    This looks amazing! I can tell that this would be one of those dishes that I would find hard to stop eating…….yum.

    Reply

  34. #
    34
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — November 6, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    This sounds incredible!!! I don’t know if I will be able to stop eating it once I start:-)

    Reply

  35. #
    35
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — November 6, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    San Fran is Ah-mazzing! And this dish looks out of this world yummy!!!

    Reply

  36. #
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    Tara @ Unsophisticook — November 6, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    Sounds divine!

    Reply

  37. #
    37
    Jeanette — November 6, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    What gorgeous photos Sommer – I’ve never spent much time in San Francisco, but hope to one day. As for your mac and cheese, oh my! My oldest son would love this – he loves crab!

    Reply

  38. #
    38
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 7, 2012 @ 3:36 am

    So glad you got a chance to visit SF. Isn’t it the best?! And I’m so thrilled that you recreated the crab mac and cheese. Your version is amazing, especially with all that gnocchi goodness!

    Reply

  39. #
    39
    vianney — November 7, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    Love SF!! beautiful photos. Crab with gnocci, my daughter would love this~~

    Reply

  40. #
    40
    Wizzy — November 7, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    Really there are no words for how good this looks. Wow.

    Reply

  41. #
    41
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — November 8, 2012 @ 8:44 am

    Oh, how I love me some crab. And gnocchi. This looks like a beautiful dish.

    Reply

  42. #
    42
    Shut Up and Cook — November 8, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    This looks positively sinful and oh-so-delicious. Sign me up!

    Reply

  43. #
    43
    Jamie — November 9, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    This looks incredible. Follow you on Pintrest, thank you!

    Reply

  44. #
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    Aggie — November 12, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    You are killing me with this one. I LOOOOOOVE gnocchi!

    Reply

  45. #
    45
    Shari-Tickled Red — November 15, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Loved walking through your photos of San Fran but I have to admit I am a HUGE fan of crab mac ‘n cheese. Can’t wait to try yours love.

    Reply

  46. #
    46
    Bee — November 18, 2012 @ 12:21 am

    You, my good woman, have the culinary decadence that a mere student such as myself may only dream to one day aspire to.

    When I return home for Christmas I will attempt to recreate this dish in order to prove to my mother that I do not survive on supernoodles alone and can in fact fend for myself :)

    Thank you – it looks delicious!

    Reply

  47. #
    47
    Rosa — November 18, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    What a fabulous casserole! Really droolworthy and so comforting. Now I’m craving your gnocchi gratin.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply

  48. #
    48
    Michelle — November 22, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    I made and ate this last night, and had the leftovers tonight. This was so YUMMY! A couple of things I did (if you are a foodie, you might want to cover your ears here!) I used imitation crabmeat, my local grocery store did not have the real stuff, and they also didn’t have the gruyere or havarti cheese. I am not familiar with those cheeses (although I will attempt to find them and use them next time, and there will be a next time) so I just used a combination of mozzarella/parmesan/asiago because that’s what I had on hand. I almost skipped the panko breadcrumbs on top to save on calories, and that would have been a HUGE mistake. Something about the decadence of the sauce coupled with the crunch of the panko – awesome. It was better tonight as leftovers, if that’s even possible. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

  49. #
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    Carrie's Experimental Kitchen — November 23, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    I have featured this recipe on my blog for my weekly seafood round-up and have linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/11/seafood-frenzy-friday-week-42.html

    Reply

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    Faja — December 11, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    Your crab mac and cheese looks mouthwatering. I’m sure that my husband would go crazy over these when I try making this next week.

    Reply

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