Crab-Stuffed Shrimp

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Crab and shrimp are delicious on their own, but, wait until you combine the two.

If you love crab cakes and shrimp as much as we do, then you are going to flip for this dish. It’s the perfect appetizer and guests always go crazy for it. And the assembly can be done hours in advance. So good!

A close-up view of a white platter filled with crab-stuffed shrimp with lemon wedges nearby.

How To Make Crab-Stuffed Shrimp


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The Ingredients You Will Need

This is one of those “special occasion” dishes, mainly because quality crab can be somewhat costly. But, the results are truly spectacular. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

Crab meat – Regular lump crab is what we recommend. Jumbo lump crab is excellent, but very pricey. You could even ‘claw meat’ crab. We don’t recommend imitation crab.
Butter – Unsalted – You’ll need about a stick and a quarter of it.
Onion – Chopped.
Pepper – We recommend poblano, which can be found in the produce section of most markets. It’s mild. A decent substitution is green bell pepper.
Garlic – Minced.
Seasonings – Salt, pepper, Creole/Cajun, Old Bay.
Egg – Lightly beaten.
Mayonnaise – We love Dukes, but go with your favorite.
Mustard – We recommend whole grain, but Dijon would be great, too.
Hot sauce – Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce is great. Add a little or a lot, depending on how spicy you want your crab cake mixture to be.
Lemon juice – From half of a fresh lemon.
Butter crackers – We highly recommend Ritz.
Shrimp – Extra jumbo is best (16/20: Shrimp count per pound).

EXPERT TIP: As mentioned, regular lump crab is perfect for this filling. All you need is 8 ounces. The filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Keep it covered in the fridge.

An overhead view of a crab and herbs mixture in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon inserted in the side.

Tips For Making Perfect Crab-Stuffed Shrimp

Be Gentle – Carefully fold the lump crab meat into the stuffing mixture to avoid breaking up the crab chunks and maintain a nice texture.

Go Big – Select large, deveined shrimp with the tails left on for an elegant presentation and easy handling.

Be Generous, But Not Too Much – When stuffing the shrimp, be generous with the crab mixture but ensure it’s compact to prevent it from falling out during cooking.

Don’t Overcook – Bake the stuffed shrimp just until the shrimp turns opaque and the stuffing is heated through to avoid overcooking the delicate seafood.

EXPERT TIP: Use a sharp paring knife to create a slit in the outside part of the tail. It should be deep enough so you can place it (tail-side down) on your baking sheet.

Two photos with the first being a person butterflying a shrimp and then the next that shrimp being placed, tail-side down, on a baking dish.

How To Serve

These make an impressive appetizer, but they are also wonderful as a main course, served with another classic Cajun dish, such as red beans and rice.

When serving to guests, you can figure typically two shrimp per person. This recipe makes approximately 18 stuffed shrimp, so plan accordingly. The recipe can easily be doubled if serving a crowd.

These are best served piping hot, right out of the oven. However, they can be assembled several hours in advance of baking. Be sure to drizzle plenty of melted butter over the tops are they are on the platter.

EXPERT TIP: When stuffing the shrimp with the crab, form a crab ball in your hand, compressing it before pressing it into the backside of the shrimp. Press the tail down onto the crab mixture to help it stay in place. As the crab cooks, the mixture will tighten up.

A close-up view of a shrimp in a baking dish that is sitting upright and its tail is wrapped around an uncooked crab mixture.

Other Amazing Appetizer Recipes to Try

There’s nothing much more festive than serving elegant appetizers to guests at a party or before a wonderful meal. Here are a few of our fancier appetizers that we’re sure will be a hit for you:

Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Oysters Rockefeller
Grilled Oysters with Roasted Tomato Compound Butter
Beef Negimaki
Bacon Parmesan Gougères
Crab Beignets
Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Hollandaise
Marinated Olives
Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)
Baked Brie with Praline Pepper Sauce
Seared Shishito Peppers

These are all classic in their own way. But, in the meantime, isn’t this epic dish catching your eye?

A close-up view of a baked shrimp that is stuffed with a crab mixture.

These are truly spectacular. When you serve them, you will undoubtedly be met with lots of “ooh’s” and “ah’s.”

And then wait until folks dig in. They are not fishy tasting at all.

Even non-seafood lovers rave about this special dish. They are buttery and over-the-top scrumptious.

Two crab-stuffed shrimp sitting on a small white plate with a tall glass of beer in the background.

Ready to make the best crab and shrimp dish this side of New Orleans? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of a white platter filled with crab-stuffed shrimp with lemon wedges nearby.

Crab-Stuffed Shrimp

Crab-Stuffed Shrimp is one of those truly 'special occasion' appetizers. No need to purchase jumbo lump crab (which is very expensive), but we do recommend regular lump crab, and then get the largest shrimp you can find, extra jumbo is perfect. The crab mixture can be made up to 24 hours in advance and the shrimp can be assembled several hours before baking. These are always a huge hit with guests!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer or Entree
Cuisine: Cajun, Seafood / Southern
Keyword: how to make crab-stuffed shrimp, how to stuff shrimp with crab
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 266kcal


  • 1 9"x13" baking dish


  • 1 lb extra-jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined, tails left on
  • 2 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning divided
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • ¼ cup onion chopped
  • ¼ cup poblano pepper seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz lump crab meat regular or jumbo
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice from one half of a lemon
  • 1 cup butter crackers crushed, usually one sleeve of Ritz
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasonings
  • 3 dashes hot sauce i.e., Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • lemon wedges for serving (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tsp Creole/Cajun seasoning until coated. Use a sharp knife to butterfly the backside of the shrimp. Set aside.
    1 lb extra-jumbo shrimp, 2 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • In a medium skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion and poblano and sauté until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
    10 tbsp unsalted butter, ¼ cup onion, ¼ cup poblano pepper, 3 cloves garlic
  • In a large bowl, add the crab and pick it over for any shells or cartilage. Add the cooked veggies, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, crackers, salt, pepper, 1 tsp Creole/Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, and several dashes of the hot sauce. Use a large wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold the mixture, until fully mixed.
    8 oz lump crab meat, 1 large egg, ⅓ cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup butter crackers, ½ tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Old Bay seasonings, 3 dashes hot sauce
  • Place the seasoned shrimp into the baking dish, butterflied tail-side down, pressing down enough so the shrimp stands with the tail sticking up above it.
  • Melt the remaining 8 tbsp butter in the microwave (or a small saucepan). Pour about half of the butter (4 tbsp) into the baking dish.
  • Divide the crab mixture into as many small balls as you have shrimp (usually 14 to 18). Carefully stuff the crab mixture into the back of the standing shrimp, pressing the tail into the crab to help secure it in place.
  • Brush (or drizzle) half of the remaining butter (about 2 tbsp) over the tops of the crab and shrimp.
  • Bake until the shrimp is pink and the crab is lightly browned on top, about 20 to 22 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and then use a small spatula to remove each stuffed shrimp to a platter. Drizzle the remaining butter all over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.
    2 tbsp parsley, lemon wedges


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
The crab mixture can be made 24 hours in advance and the crab-stuffed shrimp can be assembled several hours before baking. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.
Poblano peppers are mild and can be found in the produce section of most well-stocked supermarkets or at farmers' markets. Green bell peppers (seeded) can be substituted, or jalapeños.  
The dish is best served hot, preferably within 10 minutes of baking. 


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 594IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
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