This Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin recipe is incredible. Rich and a bit decadent…and all about the crab.
Pick yourself up some good quality lump crab meat (Gulf crab is amazing) at your local fish market and get ready to impress.
The ingredients in this amazing appetizer really help to elevate the star of the dish, which of course is the crab.
Every time we serve this dish to guests, it gets nothing but rave reviews. It’s really, really good.
Lump crab meat is a bit pricey, so I usually go with a mix of lump crab and regular crab meat.
But, always go with quality.
Be sure to pick the crab over to remove any excess cartilage. I usually do this twice, just to make sure.
This sauce is rich and creamy, and the perfect compliment to the fresh crab.
Just place the crab in the bottom of the pan, and then pour that amazing sauce right on top.
Oh, yes…here we go.
Top it off with a combination of your favorite types of creamy, melting cheese.
Our favorite is a blend of Gruyere and Fontina. But, Monterey Jack, or Emmentaler, or even mozzarella will work.
And we love to serve these in individual cast iron skillets. But you can also use 1 large skillet when serving a group. It’s is beautiful in presentation, too!
Make this dish and be prepared for lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahh’s’. It’s not for the faint of heart, and one serving is a wonderful appetizer, probably for 2 – 4 people.
But, boy oh boy, is it good.. Crab lovers rejoice!
What’s not to love with jumbo lump crab meat, Gruyere cheese and a little Cayenne for good measure?
Another one of our most favorite crab dishes is our incredible Southern Crab Cakes. It’s one of our most popular dishes on the site!
Now, it’s time to make this amazing Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin recipe!
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon chopped green onions (mostly just the white parts), plus another 1 tablespoon of minced (green parts...for garnish)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Juice of one lemon (about a tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (i.e., Tobasco)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- ½ cup Fontina cheese, grated
- 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, celery, green onions (white parts), and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- While the vegetables cook, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and evaporated milk together in a small bowl until well blended; set aside.
- Add the flour to the skillet, and blend well into the vegetables to create a white roux; be sure to not let the flour brown. About 2 minutes.
- Using a whisk, add the milk mixture, stirring constantly to blend into the roux mixture.
- Stir in the lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, and continue to stir for another 4 - 5 minutes. (if sauce seems too thick, add a little water or milk to thin...should be the consistency of thick creamed soup).
- Remove from the heat, and fold in half the cheese; blend until it is totally melted and fully incorporated.
- Gently divide the crab meat among four mini oven-proof casseroles, or iron serving dishes; trying not to break up the crab lumps. Or, pour into 1 large cast iron skillet, or 8"x8" baking dish.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the crab, and then sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese on top.
- Bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes, then reset the oven for broil, and broil until the cheese begins to brown, about 5 minutes (keep an eye on this...don't let it burn!!).
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the green onions (green parts), and serve at once!