Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin

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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 and so are Maryland blue crabs) at your local fish market and get ready to impress.

this is a baked jumbo crab au gratin in mini cast iron skillets


Making this dish is easy and fun! Watch us show you how to make one of the fanciest (but easiest) appetizers of all time!

We love Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin!



The ingredients in this amazing au gratin 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 Au Gratin recipe


EXPERT TIP: 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.

Lump Crab au gratin recipe

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.

Lump Crab au gratin recipe

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. To learn all about the amazing History of Cheese, read this awesome article from the National Historic Cheesemaking Center.

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!

Lump Crab au gratin recipe

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!

Lump Crab au gratin recipe

What’s not to love with jumbo lump crab meat, Gruyere cheese and a little Cayenne for good measure?  

Sinfully good!

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!  And don’t forget to take a picture, post it to Instagram and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon

this is a baked jumbo crab au gratin in mini cast iron skillets

Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin

This jumbo lump crab au gratin is decadent and incredibly delicious. Serve as a wonderful first coarse. The crab, of course, is the star here, but complimented beautifully with the Gruyere and seasonings.
4.80 from 24 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: Crab, Gruyere, Hot dip
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 243kcal


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp green onions sliced, save some for garnish
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup Fontina cheese grated
  • 1 lb 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!


Jumbo lump crab meat can be pricey.  For a more economical version, but still very delicious, we do a combination of jumbo lump and regular crab meat.
Be sure to use a good melting cheese such as fontina, gruyere, Monterrey jack, or even mozzarella. 
This au gratin is quite rich.  We serve it as an appetizer with lots of toasted baguette slices. 


Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 879mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!




  • I’m looking forward to making this this but know I’ll have leftovers. How would you reheat it? Thanks,

    • Hi Cindy! So sorry for the delayed response! You can cover with foil and then reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Hope this helps and please let us know if you make the au gratin and how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Seen your video on youtube, then looked for a crab au gratin recipe in google, read a few and ended up using your recipe. Glad i did.. it was awesome, i cleaned my crab shells, boiled them and used it for plates!! Great presentation to.

    • Hi Carol! We are so glad you saw us on YouTube! And we are THRILLED that you loved the crab au gratin! Sounds like you prepared it perfectly! Thanks so much for sharing! And if you haven’t already, we hope you will subscribe to our YouTube Channel:

  • This sounds great but my husband is deathly allergic to eggs. Can I leave them out or substitute something for them?

    • Hi Lynn! So so sorry for the delayed response! We haven’t tried doing this for this recipe, but you should be able to substitute 1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt for the egg and still have a luxurious dish. Hope this helps and please let us know if you make the au gratin and how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Imma try this. My niece made us something similar when we visited her in New Orleans. I’ve been looking for a recipe like hers. I’m still nagging her for a recipe, but she lost her sight (she’s nearly blind), so she can’t find it. I will learn this recipe, so I can serve it to her on my next trip to the Big Easy.

    • Yay!!!! That sounds spectacular! If you like crab au gratin, we really think you are going to LOVE this recipe and hopefully so will your neice! Please keep us posted! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I had some shrimp I needed to cook and was bored with the meals I normally cook. I came across this recipe and followed it exactly as written but used shrimp instead of crabmeat. I did chop the shrimp up some first. It was so good!!!!!! Definitely going to cook again with crabmeat. This recipe is a keeper!

    • Yay!!! Shrimp would be wonderful in this recipe! We’re going to do that, too!! Thanks so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • This is absolutely the best recipe I have ever done with jumbo lump crabmeat. It even beats Crabmeat Maison which was my previous favorite. It is easy to make and turns out perfectly every time. I always do it as the main entree. Crabmeaat has gotten so expensive but this casserole is worth it.

    • Hi Susan!! Woo hoo!! We are so so thrilled you are loving the crab au gratin! Crab is expensive, and we agree, it’s so worth the splurge on this dish. We can’t thank you enough for sharing with us! Stay in touch! Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Heidi! That is music to our ears!! So so happy you are having success with the crab au gratin! We love it and love that you are a rock star every time you serve it. And thank you for letting us know and for the awesome review! We appreciate that so very much! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • Hi Phyllis! So so sorry for the delayed response. We actually got those a few years back at a fun kitchen place in Princeton, NJ. However, you can find them online from Amazon…these are very similar to what we use: https://amzn.to/3IynHJ8. Hope this helps and let us know if you make the au gratin and what you think!!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hi, I made this for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! My husband felt that it was too lemony, however. Would you recommend that I decrease the amount of lemon juice or maybe substitute white wine for the lemon juice? Thanks!

    • Hi Deborah, you could cut the lemon in half, no problem. White wine would also be a great substitution. We hope that you and your loved ones had a beautiful Thanksgiving! Happy Holidays!

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