Delicious and Easy To Make Crab Stuffed Shrimp

This easy to make delicious crab stuffed baked shrimp recipe brings a touch of your favorite coastal seafood restaurant to your dining room table. With minimal ingredients this dish can be made in less than hour and you don’t need to be a trained Chef to pull it all together.

My first experience with fresh crab was when I was a teenager visiting a friend in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I can remember (not too fondly) standing at the kitchen sink for what seemed like an eternity going through lumps of fresh crabmeat and picking out the shell. Fortunately, I no longer have to do that as my local grocery store carries both canned crab and fresh shrimp in their seafood department. If they are ever out of Jumbo shrimp, frozen is the next best thing.


This recipe is so simple to make you can create the entire meal in less than an hour-and that includes baking the finished product of crab meat stuffed shrimp. For the shrimp part of the recipe, you will want to get large or jumbo shrimp if you can find them. The easiest ones to use for this recipe are the shrimp that are already peeled and deveined with the tail still on. Leaving the tail on helps you to hold onto the shrimp when stuffing them as well as balancing the shrimp while you place them side by side in the baking dish. Also, if by chance, you happen to cut all the way through the shrimp when you are butterflying them, the tail will keep the shrimp intact.

After butterflying the shrimp (directions for that are included in the recipe) you can move on to preparing the crab stuffing, which is my favorite part of this dish. Let’s face it, if you love crab, you know what I mean when I say it is one of the richest foods on the planet in my opinion. From Crab Bisque to steamed Alaskan King Crab legs dipped in butter, there is not a crab recipe I don’t like. Deviled Crab from Ybor City, Crab Chilau from Tampa, Crab Bisque from Virgina, Crab Salad and of course my favorite crab cakes I make with my own recipe, the list goes on and on.

One of the biggest tips I can share with you is that when you are working with crab, especially Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, be gentle. Gentle, gentle, gentle. If you mix the crab too much you will break apart the delicate lumps and that is one thing you don’t want to do. The large lumps give you the delicious flavor of crab in every bite so be careful when mixing!

After checking the crab for shell, which depending on the brand you purchase you really shouldn’t have to do, place the crab in a bowl for mixing. In a separate bowl you want to mix all of the wet ingredients and then pour them into the crab meat. Before you start to mix add the last ingredient, the crushed saltine crackers. Now I know this is a Keto recipe and I am sure some of you are horrified that I am adding crackers, however, when you disperse the cracker crumbs throughout the entire pound of crab the overall carb count per piece of stuffed shrimp is about 3\4 of 1 gram of carbs per shrimp. Besides, the cracker crumbs are what helps to bind the recipe (hold the crab together) while cooking.

When the crackers are sprinkled on the top of the mixture it is time to fold everything together. I prefer to use a spatula and I would suggest you use one too while mixing. I was taught that the proper way to fold any ingredients is to slide the spatula from one end of the bowl to the other through the middle of the ingredients then go around the perimeter of the bowl only halfway. Pull the spatula through the middle again and again slide around the perimeter of the bowl. As you are sliding the spatula around the perimeter of the bowl, gently lift up the mix and turn it over on itself. It is almost as if you are picking up the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and replacing them with the ingredients on the top. See my video for helpful tips on folding the crab in this recipe.

As soon as it appears that all ingredients are folded together nicely it is time to stuff the shrimp. As it states in my recipe below, once the shrimp are placed in a foil lined man, take a tablespoon and start stuffing the shrimp. Please remember, this will not look pretty before you bake it. The crab on the stuffed shrimp should be touching each other and that is fine. If for some reason you have a bigger pan and the crab isn’t touching the other shrimp that is fine too. If you have extra crab mix, drop a spoonful or two in the corner of your pan. You can never have too much cooked crab!

Before popping this into the oven you will want to add the secret ingredient for color, my favorite go-to spice, paprika. Yes, paprika. I use paprika to color a lot of different foods from gravies, to roast to even, yes, stuffed shrimp. The paprika doesn’t affect the flavor at all but does bring a rich deep color to the crab. Don’t overdo the Paprika but do give it a good enough covering that you can tell the crab will brown nicely in the oven.

To finish this rich dish, I like to melt about two tablespoons of butter along with some minced garlic in the bottom of a gratin dish before plating the finished shrimp. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top and you have a dish that will not soon be forgotten. If you really want to take this to a new level add a grilled filet into the mix for a delicious surf and turf meal. Your guests, family or whoever you are serving will be impressed with your culinary skills once they taste this amazing dish. Enjoy!

Decadent Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

Lump Crabmeat mixture piled high on Butterflied Shrimp. Baked then cradled in garlicky butter sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pound Lump Crab Meat Found in most seafood departments
  • 1 Pound Jumbo shrimp. Peeled, deveined, tail left on
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ Tsp Hot Sauce
  • Paprika, Salt, Pepper As needed
  • 1 Lemon Wedge
  • 5 Saltine crackers

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tinfoil in a 9" x 13" pan.
  • Place shrimp in a colander, rinse and make sure the shell is removed. Leave the tail on.
  • Place crab meat in a small bowl and check for any shell that might still be mixed in with the meat. Be careful not to break up too much of the crab, you want to leave it in as many large pieces as possible.
  • In another small bowl beat one egg. Add remaining wet ingredients to the beaten egg and mix well.
  • Pour egg mixture into the crab and gently stir until crab meat and egg mixture are incorporated.
  • Crush with your hands the saltine crackers and sprinkle over the. Gently fold into the mixture.
  • On a cutting board, take each individual shrimp and cut through the top to split each one open. Try not to cut all the way through-you basically want to form what looks like a cradle to place the crab mixture in. If your shrimp is deviened there should already be a cut going down the top of the shrimp. Just open this up a little more so the shrimp can lay flat in the pan.
  • Place the shrimp into the pan with the flat, opened part of the shrimp facing up.
  • With a teaspoon, place a heaping scoop of crab mixture onto each butterflied shrimp. Don't be afraid to make nice, large mounds. If you have extra crab at the end, pile it into the corner of the pan to bake along with the shrimp (you can never have too much crabmeat)!
  • Lightly sprinkle the shrimp and crab with salt and pepper. Shake paprika over each mound of crab.
  • Place in the oven and bake until the top of each shrimp is browning nicely. Don't overcook or you will have blackened crabmeat.
  • In a small gratin dish place 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Heat in the microwave until the butter is melted. If you don't have a gratin dish, mix the butter and garlic in a small cup and melt the butter. You can pour this mixture over the shrimp if using a plate.
  • Gently remove shrimp from pan and place in gratin dish. Squeeze the juice of one lemon wedge over the shrimp. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you accidently cut all the way through the shrimp while prepping this will not be a problem. The tail shell will keep the shrimp together while baking.
  • If you don’t have a gratin dish you can use a plate for serving, or even a bowl. 

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