Creamy Seafood Lasagna

Get ready to become a family legend with this Creamy Seafood Lasagna recipe. Seafood dishes can be a little intimidating. This particular dish is so appealing because it takes some of the guess work out of cooking seafood. The creamy combination of the clam juice re-inforced bechamel and the delicious ricotta mixture makes this a can’t miss dish. Like any lasagna, this makes enough to feed a crowd. And it’s rich and filling, so a green salad or simple steamed vegetable on the side are all you need to make this a whole meal.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of this dish being prepared, from the aroma of fresh shrimp sizzling in olive oil to the butter and garlic, to the springy scent of chopped parsley and hearty aroma of fresh pasta on the boil.

This recipe shows you how to prepare fresh shrimp, but if you’d rather start with already cooked shrimp, that’s a perfectly fine substitution and certainly helps streamline the cooking process. If you purchase small salad shrimp, you can even skip the step of chopping the shrimp and just use them whole.

Cooked shrimp.

Rich crab meat makes this dish particularly indulgent. If buying a whole pound of crab meat is cost prohibitive where you live, you could simply substitute with a second pound of shrimp. Another substitution option is scallops. Fake crab meat, often marketed under the term “krab,” could also work if you like its taste. Obviously lobster would be delicious, but it’s likely to be as expensive as crab unless you live in a few very specific coastal areas.

I like to make this dish on weekends when I have time to let it bake and set up. It’s terribly important to allow time after removing from the oven for the lasagna to set so it doesn’t completely fall apart when you slice it. Normally, we portion this dish into twelve separate servings from a 9×13 pan, but portion larger or smaller as desired for your own family.

Creamy Seafood Lasagna

3 from 87 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lasagna noodles

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed

  • 1 lb lump crab meat (2 – 8oz. packages)

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1 (16-oz.) container ricotta

  • 1/2 cup clam juice

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 4 tablespoon butter

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated, divided

  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley, divided

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme

  • salt & pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions. Set aside on greased pan or baking sheet.
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt & pepper then add to skillet. Cook 2 minutes per side until opaque and cooked through. Remove from heat, place on cutting board and roughly chop into ¼-½ inch pieces.
  • In same skillet, over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add garlic, saute briefly but do not allow to brown. Stir in flour and cook until slightly golden brown, then whisk in milk, clam juice, and heavy cream. Add thyme, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook sauce until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup Parmesan, stir to incorporate. Add lemon juice.
  • Combine ricotta, egg, remaining ½ cup Parmesan, and parsley in separate bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  • In baking dish, spread sauce in thin layer on bottom, and add one layer of noddles on top. Spread ricotta mixture on noodles, then sprinkle mix of shrimp and crab on top. Cover with layer of sauce and sprinkle of mozzarella. Repeat this layer order until noodles are all used. Top final noodle layer with sauce and generous layer of mozzarella.
  • Cover with greased tin foil so cheese doesn’t stick. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover, bake 20 more minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
  • Let stand 20 minutes after removing from oven. Slice, garnish with remaining parsley, serve.

Notes

  • Possible substitutions for the crab meat include an additional pound of shrimp, scallops, or fake crab meat often marketed as “krab.” Lobster would also make a great substitution. Clams or mussels are not recommended.
  • For an even richer dish, consider substituting provolone or gruyere for the mozzarella cheese.

Everyone makes their lasagna a little differently. If you’re in the camp who doesn’t like to pre-cook their lasagna noodles, be certain to buy a brand of pasta that advertises itself as not needing to be pre-cooked. While tomato sauce lasagnas cook for a very long time and give noodles a chance to soften up, I would be concerned about this lasagna cooking a bit too quickly for uncooked noodles to soften.

Lasagna noodle sheets.

As for the sorts of noodles you can use, either the flat, wide sheet type lasagna noodles or the old school scalloped-edge longer noodles will work. I usually keep a paring knife handy and just trim the noodles to make even flat layers, but if there are gaps in your noodle layers, that’s just fine. It certainly won’t change the taste or your enjoyment of this wonderful dish.

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