Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin

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.

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 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 Au Gratin recipe


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 International Dairy Foods Association.

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!

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.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: Crab, Gruyere, Hot dip
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Kris Longwell


  • 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 jumbo lump crab meat picked over for shells and cartilage


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion, celery, green onions (white parts), and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables cook, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and evaporated milk together in a small bowl until well blended; set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Using a whisk, add the milk mixture, stirring constantly to blend into the roux mixture.
  7. 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).
  8. Remove from the heat, and fold in half the cheese; blend until it is totally melted and fully incorporated.
  9. 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.
  10. Pour the cheese sauce over the crab, and then sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese on top.
  11. 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!!).
  12. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the green onions (green parts), and serve at once!




  • I made this last night and it was phenomenal. I made the recipe exactly as it was. It was by far the best recipe for crab gratin I have ever made. It was perfectly balanced. It was not really heavy like I have found some recipes for this to be. Just the right amount of cheese!. Absolutely delicious.


  • You guys are killing me! (Not to mention my diet.) We’re heading to the gulf in August. I’m going to bring this recipe and pick up some crab at Joe Patti’s in Pensacola. It will be perfect for a night of entertaining our local friends.

  • Definatelly a comfort food. I love this on melba toast, and also excellent on thinly-sliced french bread (toasted). You gotta have fresh lump crab meat for this one. Don’t forget the Old Bay!

  • Two questions regarding this recipe…I am reading the recipe as 1/4 cup each of the two cheeses, however, in the remarks you say 8 oz. or 1 cup. Plus, are you serving it in the picture on melba toasts? (It looks so tasty!). Third question – says flour is TBL cupThank you, lidnab

    • Hi Linda! We’ve played around with this recipe, and we think 1 cup may be a little overwhelming. So, we cut the 2 cheese totals to 1/4 cup each. Which is what you’ll see in the updated recipe. If you prefer it extra cheesy, then you can go up to 1/2 cup each, and it will still be good…just super cheesy! But, hey! What’s wrong with that. That’s interesting about the flour quantity…it should definitely be 2 tablespoons. There had been an unfortunate type that showed ‘cup’…but that was fixed. Where are you seeing that? And we served them with baguette slices that we simply buttered and toasted. So good! Let us know if you have any other questions, or if you decide to make it and how it turns out!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

      • It is on my weekend make this list! (May not be THIS weekend, or may be make this weekend and see if I share this, list. but thanks for the baguette.)

  • Two questions regarding this recipe…I am reading the recipe as 1/4 cup each of the two cheeses, however, in the remarks you say 8 oz. or 1 cup. Plus, are you serving it in the picture on melba toasts? (It looks so tasty!). Thank you, lidnab

  • Me again! I’m reading through the comments…. what are the correct measurements for the cheeses? The recipe reads: 1/4 cup each of Gruyere and Fontina. But then you said it should be 1 cup, 8 ounces of the cheese? Help!
    Basking Ridge, NJ

    • Hey!! We recently updated this recipe (we’re constantly re-visiting ole recipes, and often tweak from their original recipe). It really depends on how cheesy you like the dish. I would say anywhere from 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup each of the Gruyere and Fontina. A total of a cup in the entire dish I think is the right amount, but you could pull back (which is what the recipe had shown). I’ve updated the recipe to be 1/2 cup of Gruyere and Fontina. Sorry for all the confusion in this one!! But, it’s really, really good!! Thanks for the heads up, too!! xo

  • RE: Jumbo Lump Crab Au Gratin – what size mini cast iron skillets do you use? I only seem to be finding 3 1/2 ” mini cast iron skillets, that’s too small, right?

    Thanks for your help!

    Ally-O 🙂

    • Hi Ally-O!! We have numerous single-serve cast iron skillets that we love to use. We used our circular 5 1/2′-inch skillets for this particular recipe/photo shoot. The great thing about this recipe, though, is that you can really use any size. You can find larger (but still mini) on Amazon by click here: But, if you go with the smaller, which actually be would better for individual servings, you’ll still bake at the same time and temp, just keep an eye on them so they don’t get too brown on top.

      Really hope this helps, and let us know if you have any other questions or observations!!

      Kris & Wesley

  • Divine and easy and you are right it’s all about the quality,thank you for ushering this recipe.
    Have to keep an eye on your site for more goodies

    • Oh my gosh, Linda! Thank you so much! We have since hired a recipe proofer to check all recipes, and somehow this slipped through. It should be 1 cup (8 oz.). Thank you again and I hope this didn’t mess things up for you! Let us know how it turns out if you make it. It is really delicious! Rich, but so good. 🙂

      • I plan on making this for dinner tonight, so I’m so glad you responded so quickly. I probably would have used the 2 cups, one in the mixture and one on top!! Nothing like a little crabmeat with your cheese!!! LOL

        • I know!! I so completely agree! If you love cheese, like we do, then I’d keep some extra on hand to sprinkle extra on top. I’d go with a cup in the mixture, and then sprinkle (probably another 1/4 cup, to 1/2 cup), over the tops. Sorry for the confusion!! But if you like crab and cheese, you’re going to love this!! Let us know how it turns out and have a wonderful evening!!

  • I wanted to make something special for our anniversary but we din’t have Gruyere or condensed milk so I was going to sear some scallops but Regina thought this sounded good (she loves crab) so she basically put it together and it did not disappoint! A mixture of cheddar and Monterrey jack and some half & half and we were there! Very tasty with a couple extra trays for tomorrow! Might be extra tasty with a splash of sherry but versatile no doubt! Thanks for sharing!

    • That sounds wonderful, John! And Happy Anniversary! Kuddos to Regina for making those awesome tweaks! Best to you both, and thanks so much for letting us know. Please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I stubbled upon your website when I googled “crab meat au gratin”. I made this tonight and it was yummy. I live out in the country so gruyere was no available. I substituted and Italian blend and Havarti. I love gruyere but I think the subtle flavors of the cheese worked well. I also substituted no salt Tony Chachere’s for the cayenne pepper. Everyone in Louisiana is addicted to Tonys.

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