Lobster Nachos From Lamplight Lounge

Lobster Nachos - Lamplight Lounge - Disney California Adventure Park

When we decided to begin doing this blog, there was one recipe that I had at the top of my list. It’s a Disney Dish that we’ve ordered EVERY SINGLE TIME we’ve visited this restaurant. It’s their signature dish and is, arguably, the best plate of food you’ll get at Disney California Adventure Park. Of course, I’m talking about the Lobster Nachos from Lamplight Lounge (and, formerly, the Cove Bar).

The one issue with this Disney Dish is that it requires a lot of ingredients, steps and techniques. Becasue of that, I decided to create our Lobster Nachos over a period of 3 days. I just found that the best way to approach it. If you don’t have that kind of time, it can be created in one day but that would be an awful lot of work. I suggest you break it down into, at least, a couple of days.

Also, I suggest you make this dish exactly as the recipe states. However, there are plenty of places you can cut corners. In this recipe, I’ll be recreating this dish using all the listed ingredients and instruction. But, I will, also, let you know where it might be okay to take a little short cut here and there. You can decide what works best for you.

Let’s get to making our Lobster Nachos!
Lobster Nachos Ingredients - Lamplight Lounge - Disney California Adventure Park
The ingredients for our Lobster Nachos

The Ingredients

Let’s face it. There are a ton of ingredients you need for this Disney Dish. The good news is that most of them are easily found in your grocery store. The one item that can be really tough to track down is the Oaxaca Cheese. It’s just not something that most stores stock. You can find it a couple of places online, however it can be a little pricey. Luckily for you, it’s not absolutely necessary. Oaxaca cheese is known as “Mexican Mozzarella”. So, you can replace it with Buffalo Mozzarella with a touch of salt. What? You can’t find that either. That’s no problem. String Cheese will work, as well. (Or, you can just skip it and replace it with more Sharp Cheddar. It’s totally your choice)

Also, in some parts of the country, it is possible you could find a little issue finding the peppers. If you can’t find the Pablano Peppers, that’s fine. You can make this dish without them. If you can’t track down Serrano Peppers, Jalapenos will work, as well.

Removing the lobster meat from the shells
Removing the lobster meat from the shells

Day 1

The Lobster Stock

This is an important part of your finished Lobster Nachos. It provides a ton of depth to your cheese sauce. It’s also not terribly difficult to make. However, since it does take a little time to create and it can be stored easily, I suggest you make it at lease a day ahead of time.

Caramelizing The Shells

Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF.

Next, you’ll want to remove the lobster tail meat from their shells. This can be a little tricky. The best way to get it done is by cutting through the underside of the shell with either a small knife or cooking shears. You can then slide your fingers in between the meat and shell to carefully remove it like in the photo above. (Since you will be chopping the meat eventually anyway, you don’t have to worry if you have struggles keeping the tail meat whole) Chop the meat and reserve in your refrigerator for later use.

Roasted Shells and Vegetables
Roasted Shells and Vegetables for our Lobster Stock

Toss the Lobster Shells, chopped Carrots, Celery, Onion and Garlic with the Canola Oil and spread them on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes at 350ºF. The, carefully remove from the oven and de-glaze the pan with the White Wine, scraping as much of the stuck on “goodness” as you can from the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Lobster Stock beginning to simmer
Starting our Lobster Stock
Making The Stock

Place the Roasted Lobster Shells and Vegetables in a large pot over medium-high heat with the Water, Bay Leaf, Parsley Stems and Red Pepper Flakes. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Let the stock simmer for 60 to 90 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half.

Lobster Nachos - Reduced Lobster Stock - Lamplight Lounge - Disney California Adventure Park
Our reduced Lobster Stock

Once the Lobster Stock is done reducing, strain into a bowl using a fine strainer. Discard the leftover solids.

  • If you don’t have a “fine strainer” you can use a regular strainer lined with cheesecloth.
Strained Lobster Stock
Strained Lobster Stock

Allow the stock to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator for later use.

  • Food Safety Tip: You will want to be sure not to add hot liquids to your refrigerator. This can bring the temperature of everything inside up and spoil some of your food. You will also want to cool your stock as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is by filling a large bowl half way with ice and water. Add the hot stock to a smaller bowl and place within the ice water bath. This will allow your liquid to cool completely in a fraction of the time.

Day 2

I used the second day to create a lot of the elements that would be used within the layers of our Lobster Nachos. I figured that would help save time on serving day by having these items ready to go. This is especially important if you’re serving this for company. (Which I highly recommend) You want to be able to enjoy the party yourself and not be stuck in the kitchen all day. All of these hold well overnight. So, go ahead and knock out whatever you can ahead of time.

Cutting our Tortilla Chips
Cutting our Tortillas for the Chips
Tortilla Chips

If you can find good quality, restaurant-style chips somewhere, you can skip this step. That being said, you will never taste better chips than these, so why not make them for yourself?

Start by using a knife to cut the Corn Tortillas into triangles like in the photo above.

Meanwhile, heat the Canola Oil in a large pot or deep-fryer to 350ºF.

Frying Our Tortilla Chips for the Lobster Nachos
Frying the Tortilla Chips for our Lobster Nachos

Carefully add the Tortilla triangles into the oil and deep-fry until they are golden brown. (Don’t worry if they look a little lighter than you’d like when you remove them. They’ll brown more when they hit the air) Carefully remove the fried chips, place on a pan or plate lined with paper towels and immediately sprinkle with Kosher Salt.

  • You notice I mentioned being careful a couple of times in this last paragraph. I’m very serious about that. Hot oil can be dangerous. You want to be careful it doesn’t splash on to your skin. When laying the tortillas into the oil, do it with a motion going away from your body. That way, if there is any accidental splashing, it happens away from you.
Our Finished Tortilla Chips
Our finished Tortilla Chips
  • One More Warning: Once you’ve fried these chips, you are going to want to taste them. You definitely should! However, this is where the warning comes into play. These chips are just so darn good that, once you taste one, you may not be able to stop. Just be prepared for that and, remember, you will need some leftover for your Lobster Nachos.
The Chipotle Crema for our Lobster Nachos
The Chipotle Crema for our Lobster Nachos
Chipotle Crema

This is a part of the dish that you do not want to cut corners on. If really does make the Lobster Nachos something special. There, also, isn’t a really good replacement for it to be found anywhere.

Poaching Garlic
Poaching our Garlic Cloves

Begin by roasting the Garlic. This can be done in a couple of ways. The most common is to place the Garlic Cloves and a little oil into an aluminum foil pouch. Then add it to a 400ºF oven and roast for about 35 minutes. You can also follow this recipe and, essentially, poach the garlic in oil on the stove top. Just add the Garlic Cloves to a small pot and cover with Canola Oil. Poach over medium-low heat until the garlic becomes soft at brown. Then carefully remove the cloves. (You can also reserve the “garlic oil” and use it to cook other dishes)

Next, add the Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Peppers to a food processor and puree. Then add the Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, Cumin, Salt & Pepper and puree until well blended. Pour the completed Chipotle Crema into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate for later use.

Pico de Gallo for Lobster Nachos
The Pico de Gallo for our Lobster Nachos
Pico de Gallo

This is a element that you can definitely cut a corner on if you want. I you have a great, fresh salsa that you serve regularly, feel free to skip this step. However, there really is nothing like a fresh Pico de Gallo. I suggest you make it for this and remember this part of the recipe just for use on its own.

To create your Pico de Gallo, you simply add the Diced Tomatoes, Serrano Pepper and Red Onion to a bowl. Mix with the Chopped Cilantro and Lime Juice. Then season to taste with Kosher Salt.

Boom! Pico de Gallo!

Once again, go ahead and refrigerate for later use.

Seasoned Black Beans for our Lobster Nachos
Seasoned Black Beans for our Lobster Nachos
Seasoned Black Beans

This is another aspect of the Lobster Nachos recipe that you can skip. They add an extra “meatiness” to the dish but they aren’t absolutely necessary. I like black beans and think they’re a great addition but they’re not for everybody.

Again, the good news about this part of our Disney Dish is they are really simple to put together. All you have to do is drain and rinse the Black Beans and add them to a bowl. Add the Chopped Cilantro, Cumin, Salt & Pepper and mix together.

There’s only one more step after that. Yep, you guessed it! Refrigerate and reserve for later use. (I’m like a broken record, right?)

Day 3

We’ve arrived at the big day! That’s right! It’s time, to finish up the last components, put together our Lobster Nachos and enjoy.

Trust me when I say that all the work you’ve done over the last day or two is about to be paid off.

But first…

The Cheese Sauce

This is another component that is necessary to make this dish everything it is. What we’re about to create is a (Fancy French Term Warning) Bechamel Sauce. It’s one of the 5 Mother Sauces used in French cuisine because of its versatility. It’s also a recipe you’re going to want to know because it’s going to play a part in future Disney Dishes.

Let’s get to work on this important part of our Lobster Nachos!

Roasted Vegetables for our Cheese Sauce
Roasted Vegetables for our Cheese Sauce
Pepper Puree

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Toss the chopped Poblano Peppers with Canola Oil and place on a sheet pan. Roast them for 15 minutes at 350ºF. Then add the chopped Shallots and Garlic Cloves and roast for an additional 25 minutes.

Pepper Puree for Cheese Sauce
Poblano Pepper Puree for Cheese Sauce

Once the peppers have completed roasting, add them to a food processor and puree.

  • I scraped the sides several times and added about a tablespoon of the Lobster Stock to help ensure the puree was as smooth as I preferred.
The Roux for our Cheese Sauce
The Roux for our Cheese Sauce

Your next step is to create a (Fancy French Term Alert #2) Roux. Melt the Butter in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 to 5 minutes until the roux turns a light-golden brown.

  • As you can see from the photo above, my roux was a little darker. That’s because I used unbleached flour which starts a little more on the brown side. If you use bleached flour, your roux will be a bit lighter

Add the Heavy Cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, add the Lobster Stock and Poblano Pepper Puree. Bring the mixture to a simmer stirring occasionally.

Finishing our Cheese Sauce
Finishing our Cheese Sauce

Once the sauce has somewhat thickened again, it’s time for the good stuff; the cheese!

Lower the heat to low and gradually add the grated Sharp Cheddar and Oaxaca (if you can find it) Cheese. Mixing until well blended before adding the next batch. Once the cheese is fully incorporated, season to taste with Salt & Pepper. Keep the completed sauce warm for use.

Cooked Lobster for our Lobster Nachos
Cooked Lobster for our Lobster Nachos
Cooked Lobster

Melt the butter over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Add the chopped Lobster Meat, Lime Juice, Lime Zest, Salt & Pepper. Once the lobster is cooked completely, remove from the butter with a slotted spoon.

Assembling the layers of our Lobster Nachos
Assembling the layers of our Lobster Nachos
Assembling Our Lobster Nachos

Here it is! The moment of truth!

On an oven-safe serving plate or pan, begin layering your nachos. Begin with a layer of Tortilla Chips, then a layer of Cheese Sauce, Seasoned Black Beans and Shredded Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheese. Continue to add more layers until you reach the desired amount of nachos you plan to serve.

Place the entire plate under a broiler set on high, until the shredded cheese has melted.

  • Be sure to watch carefully while broiling to make sure your plate of nachos doesn’t go from melted and yummy to charred and ruined. It can happen quickly. So keep and eye on them!

Top the plate of nachos with the Chipotle Crema, Pico de Gallo, Cooked Lobster Meat and a few sliced Serrano Peppers (if desired).

Serve warm and enjoy!

Our completed Lobster Nachos - Lamplight Lounge - Disney California Adventure Park
Our completed Lobster Nachos

The Conclusion

I can’t start to explain to you how wonderful these Lobster Nachos are. If you’ve had them at the Lamplight Lounge, or previously at the Cove Bar, you know these are not to be missed. Well, this recipe brings it all right into your own home.

Every bite is an absolute fiesta in your mouth!

The chips are sweet, salty and crisp. The sauce brings all the cheese you’d expect in a plate of nachos with an amazing amount of depth provided by the lobster stock and roasted poblanos. You get some of the chipotle crema and that adds an extra, smoky richness with just a hint of spice. That is all broken up by the freshness of the pico de gallo and a bit of extra heat from the sliced serrano peppers.

It is absolutely phenomenal!

Yes this dish is a lot of work. However, when you take your first bite of this wonderful plate, you’ll know it was all time well spent.

Please, please, please, make this Disney Dish!

If you have any questions about this or any of our recipes, just hit us up below in the comments. You can also reach us through our Contact Us page or through email.


Lobster Nachos from Lamplight Lounge

Lobster Stock
  • 5 – Medium Lobster Tails – Shelled
  • 1 – Medium Carrot – Chopped
  • 1 – Celery Stalk – Chopped
  • 2 – Large Garlic Cloves – Chopped
  • 1 – Small Onion – Chopped
  • 1 tsp – Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup – Dry White Wine
  • 8 cups – Water
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 cup – Parsley Stems
  • 1 pinch – Red Pepper Flakes
Tortilla Chips
  • 3 cups – Canola Oil
  • 48 – 6″ Corn Tortillas
  • Kosher Salt
Chipotle Crema
  • 1 1/2 tbls – Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 2 – Garlic Cloves
  • 8 oz – Sour Cream
  • 3 tbls – Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 tsp – Ground Cumi
  • 1/4 tsp – Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp – Kosher or Sea Salt
Pico De Gallo
  • 5 – Roma Tomatoes – Diced
  • 1/2 – Medium Red Onion – Diced
  • 1/4 cup – Fresh Cilantro – Chopped
  • 1 tsp – Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tbls – Fresh Lime Juice
  • Serrano Pepper – Seeds & Ribs Removed – Minced Finely
Seasoned Black Beans
  • 15 oz can – Black Beans
  • 2 tbls – Fresh Cilantro – Chopped
  • 1 tsp – Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp – Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp – Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Lobster Cheese Sauce
  • 3 – Poblano Peppers – Roughly Chopped
  • 1 tsp – Canola Oil
  • 3 – Large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 – Shallot – Roughly Chopped
  • 2 tbls – Butter
  • 2 1/2 tbls – Flour
  • 1 cup – Lobster Stock
  • 2 cups – Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup – Oaxaca Cheese – Grated
  • 2 cups – Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Grated
Cooked Lobster
  • 4 tbls – Butter
  • 5 – Medium Lobster Tail Meat – Chopped
  • 1/2 tsp – Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp – Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tbls – Fresh Lime Juice
  • Pinch – Fresh Lime Zest
Shredded Cheese
  • 1/2 lb – Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 lb – Monterey Jack Cheese
For the Lobster Stock:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Coat lobster shells, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic with canola oil and place on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned
  • Carefully remove from the oven and de-glaze the baking sheet with white wine.
  • Add baking sheet ingredients with liquid to large stockpot.
  • Add water, bay leaf, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
  • Bring lobster stock to boil over medium-high heat, then lower to medium low heat.
  • Let stock cook slowly until stock reduces by half, 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Carefully strain stock
  • Set aside, cover and refrigerate. (May be made up to 2 days in advance)
For the Tortilla Chips:
  • Preheat canola oil to 350°F
  • Cut tortillas into 6 triangle-shaped pieces
  • Once the oil is hot, add tortillas in small batches until lightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes
  • Remove from fryer and immediately season lightly with salt
  • Continue until all tortillas are fried and salted
  • Set aside (May be made 2 days in advance; store in sealed plastic bag.)
For the Chipotle Crema:
  • Remove tips from garlic cloves
  • Add garlic to small pot and cover with canola oil
  • Gently poach garlic on medium-low heat until lightly browned and soft
  • Remove garlic and purée with chipotle in a food processor
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour crema in squeeze bottle or plastic zip bag.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use. (May be made 2 days in advance)
For the Pico de Gallo
  • Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl
  • Season to taste with salt
  • Set aside (May be made 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate)
For the Seasoned Black Beans
  • Rinse beans in colander until water runs clear
  • Place beans in medium mixing bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients until just combined
  • Set aside (May be made 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate)
For the Lobster Cheese Sauce
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Lightly coat poblanos with canola oil and place on a baking sheet; roast for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly coat shallots and garlic with remaining canola oil and add to the poblanos on the baking 
sheet; roast for an additional 25 minutes
  • Purée roasted garlic, shallots, and poblanos in food processor until smooth
  • Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.
  • Add flour to make a roux, stirring constantly until smooth and light-golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes
  • Add cream and bring to boil, stirring constantly; continue to stir and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the lobster stock and poblano purée; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Slowly add Oaxaca and cheddar cheeses.
  • Stir constantly until all cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth
  • Set aside and hold warm.
For the Cooked Lobster
  • Ensure lobster meat is cleaned with any veins removed
  • Chop the lobster into large, bite-size pieces
  • Heat butter in large sauté pan over medium heat
  • Add lobster pieces, salt, pepper, lime juice, and zest to pan
  • Once fully cooked, remove lobster pieces with a slotted spoon.
  • Set aside and hold warm.
To Serve the Lobster Nachos
  • Preheat broiler on high
  • Spread chips on one large or 2 medium oven-safe plates or nice baking sheet
  • Layer with black beans, lobster cheese sauce, and mixed cheddar/jack cheese
  • Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, watching carefully, 2 to 4 minutes
  • Carefully remove plate/sheet, add pico de gallo; top with lobster
  • Drizzle chipotle crema and garnish with sliced serrano peppers (optional)
  • Serve immediately

Be sure to check out our other Disney Dishes

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter

S.E.A. Shu Mai from Jungle Navigation Company LTD Skipper Canteen

Hoisin Sticky Spare Ribs from Morimoto Asia

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb from Blue Bayou Restaurant

Ratatouille from Ratatouille

Peanut Butter Blondies from Sweet On You



2 thoughts on “Lobster Nachos From Lamplight Lounge”

    1. Hi Leah! Thank you so much for your question. This recipe should make about 2 platters full which should be enough for approximately 8 to 10 people depending on their appetites. We hope you enjoy it!

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