Once in possession of a fresh supply of Alaskan whitefish, courtesy of my husband’s recent fishing trip, my culinary creativity goes into overdrive. Among our family’s top choices is the mouthwatering macaroni & cheese with halibut. It’s a dish that never fails to impress and satisfy!
Our love for homemade macaroni & cheese runs deep, and we have cherished the same recipe for years. Since moving to Alaska, my husband’s fishing expeditions have stocked our freezer with whitefish varieties like lingcod, rockfish, and the ever-popular halibut. It was only natural to incorporate these flavorful catches into our favorite pasta dish!
Most often, I make this delectable meal by utilizing leftover fish from previous dinners. By intentionally preparing extra fish, I always have a portion on hand for this recipe. A single fillet isn’t substantial enough for our family of six, and two fillets are a bit excessive. This happy medium ensures I have just the right amount to mix into the mac and cheese, while also guaranteeing another delightful meal loved by all.
I’ve even experimented with using leftover beer-battered fried halibut, a delightful treat, especially for out-of-town guests eager to savor classic Alaskan cuisine. Rest assured, this recipe works wonders with any whitefish at your disposal.
If you don’t have any leftovers, fret not! Cooking a fresh fillet expressly for this dish is a viable option I’ve explored numerous times. Simply bake the fish, drizzled with a little olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness), until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. For those using leftover fish, there’s no need to reheat prior to incorporating it into the recipe.
Ingredients for Macaroni & Cheese with Halibut
- 1 fillet (about 1/2 pound) of halibut or other whitefish
- 2 cups of uncooked pasta of your choice (we prefer whole wheat rotini)
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of sourdough breadcrumbs
Tools You Will Need
- Medium saucepan
- Baking dish
- Large spoon
How to Make Fish Macaroni & Cheese
- Cook the pasta in a medium saucepan according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, pour in the milk and whisk in the flour.
- Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted.
- Stir in the shredded cheese and continue to cook over low heat until the cheese is fully melted.
- Meanwhile, shred the fish into small pieces using a fork or your fingers.
- Add the pasta and shredded fish to the cheese sauce and stir until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with sourdough breadcrumbs.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have lightly browned and the cheese sauce is bubbling around the edges.
- Allow the dish to cool for a few minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Seafood Macaroni and Cheese
While this dish is undoubtedly a complete and fulfilling meal on its own, it pairs exceptionally well with a side salad or other vegetable dishes. Personally, I love throwing together a quick salad using whatever greens we have available, sprinkling in some lightly toasted nuts (pine nuts and pecans are my favorites), and drizzling a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.
How to Reheat
Like many pasta-based creations, this macaroni & cheese reheats wonderfully and remains delicious as leftovers. I recommend using the oven set to 350 degrees F for reheating. It takes just 10 to 15 minutes to warm it up, making it an ideal and savory option for lunch on the following day. In the rare event any of it remains, my husband has successfully reheated it in the microwave at work.
This dish holds a special place in our hearts. It has been a tried-and-true favorite among our family for years, even before we added the fish. Furthermore, it’s a crowd-pleaser at potlucks and family gatherings, easily doubling the recipe for extra portions. Plus, most children adore mac and cheese, so incorporating a healthy ingredient like fish makes it an even more appealing choice.
If you find yourself with additional halibut, I encourage you to explore some of our other favorite recipes, such as Halibut Chowder, Pan-fried Halibut, and Baked Fish Sticks.
Alaskan white fish is an extraordinary ingredient, both delicious and versatile. I sincerely hope that you and your family thoroughly enjoy this taste of Alaska!
To learn more about BDK Restaurant, visit the BDK Restaurant website.