These decadent crab stuffed shrimp are stuffed with sweet lump crab meat, fresh herbs and Old Bay Seasoning, then baked until golden brown. While they look impressive, these stuffed shrimp are actually a super easy appetizer that is ready in just 30 minutes!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Crab Stuffed Shrimp Recipe
- What Are Baked Stuffed Shrimp Made Of?
- What Kind of Shrimp Should I Buy?
- How to Make Stuffed Shrimp
- What Kind of Crab Should I Use for Stuffing?
- How Do You Butterfly Shrimp?
- Cook’s Notes
- Can I Prepare These Ahead?
- How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers
- Can I Freeze Crab Stuffed Shrimp?
- More Easy Shrimp Recipes
- Get the Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Crab Stuffed Shrimp Recipe
No one can resist these appetizing little golden baked stuffed shrimp bursting with sweet lump crab and fresh herbs. Here’s why you’ll want to make them again and again:
- Easy: Don’t be intimidated by this restaurant quality recipe, it’s actually very simple to prepare and the oven does the rest of the work. You can even prep them ahead and pop them straight into the oven when guests arrive for an easy party appetizer!
- Scrumptious Flavor Combo: Sweet and tender shrimp harmonize perfectly with savory, well-seasoned lump crab meat. It’s a taste experience you won’t want to miss!
- Pretty Presentation: This dish is not just delicious; it’s also visually stunning. So easy to make, but perfect for special occasions or upscale dinners.
- Versatile: This dish can work as a light main course, a succulent side dish, or a mouthwatering appetizer. Your call!
What Are Baked Stuffed Shrimp Made Of?
Aside from the shrimp and crab, the other ingredients are simple ingredients you may already have on hand. For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Jumbo Shrimp or Colossal Shrimp: These are large-sized shrimp with the tail left on. They should be peeled, deveined, and butterflied (more on that later!).
- Lump Crab Meat: This is high-quality crab meat that comes in chunks or lumps. It’s sweet and tender, making it perfect for the stuffing.
- Large Egg: The egg will help bind the other ingredients together.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise adds creaminess and moisture to the crab stuffing.
- Parsley: For a burst of herbal flavor, freshly-chopped parsley is just the thing.
- Green Onions: Finely sliced green onion (AKA scallion).
- Lemon Juice: Fresh is best, but bottled works, too!
- Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay is a blend of spices that adds a unique, slightly spicy taste to the dish. You can use store-bought, or make your own copycat Old Bay Seasoning.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is strong, so measure carefully!
What Kind of Shrimp Should I Buy?
Fresh or frozen shrimp both work in this stuffed shrimp recipe – if you have frozen ones, just thaw them in your refrigerator overnight before cooking them. It’s also helpful to know that frozen shrimp are often as good or better quality than the ones that have been on display behind the fish counter!
We also recommend buying shrimp with the tails on for this recipe, because it gives you something to hold on to while butterflying the shrimp, stuffing the shrimp, and picking them up to eat! And while it’s not necessary, choosing already peeled and deveined shrimp makes this recipe easier and quicker.
How to Make Stuffed Shrimp
Now for the cooking method – or as we call it, the fun part! This is super simple and doesn’t take long, once you get the hang of it. Here are the steps:
- Prep the Shrimp: Butterfly the shrimp and leave the tail on for easy grabbing. Place shrimp on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle them with Old Bay seasoning.
- Make the Stuffing: In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (crab meat, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, green onion, lemon juice, Old Bay Seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce). Mix to combine.
- Stuff the Shrimp. Top each butterflied shrimp with a spoonful of the stuffing mixture.
- Bake! Bake them for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and the shrimp reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!
What Kind of Crab Should I Use for Stuffing?
Lump crab meat comes in a few varieties, We like wild lump crab meat, but there are also claw crab meat and colossal lump meat. Lump crab meat comes from the body of the crab. It is smaller pieces than jumbo, colossal, or claw meat. Lump crab meat has the best flavor for stuffing and is used primarily for stuffing shrimp or making crab cakes. Of course, you can use whatever your favorite crab meat is.
How Do You Butterfly Shrimp?
So just how do you butterfly a shrimp? Butterflying means that you cut into the meat, but not all the way through it. You want to be able to open it out, like a book or a pair of butterfly wings. Here’s how:
Use a sharp paring knife or a filet knife. Lay the shrimp on its side on a cutting board, and gently cut from the tail to the end, as if you were deveining. Don’t cut all the way through. You are making a pocket, not cutting it in half. Then use your fingers to “open up” the shrimp and lay it out flat on the pan.
We just have a few more quick tips to share to help guarantee success:
- Pick Over the Crab Meat: This may go without saying for some of you, but if you’ve never used crab meat before, we recommend picking through it before you add it to the recipe. Sometimes there are little bits of shell in the meat that may have been missed during packing.
- Leave Time for Butterflying: This is relatively easy to make, but you do want to leave yourself enough time to prep the shrimp. That is the only thing that takes a bit of time.
- Fillers: A lot of recipes use “fillers” like breadcrumbs, but this recipe does not. We skipped the crackers and breadcrumbs because, after testing, we decided that they take away from the flavor of the crab meat. Plus, without fillers, this recipe is gluten-free and low-carb! A great appetizer option if you are having guests with limited diets.
- Cajun Seasoning: If you want a little more heat, you can swap the Old Bay Seasoning for Cajun seasoning! If you want to really make them spicy, add a little extra cayenne pepper, to taste, to your crab filling.
Can I Prepare These Ahead?
Absolutely! You can fully prepare the crab stuffed shrimp and place them on a baking sheet. Instead of putting them into the oven, cover them and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge, uncover and bake as directed.
How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers
These are best fresh, but you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on 70% power for 2 to 3 minutes, or for best results, reheat in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 330°F.
Can I Freeze Crab Stuffed Shrimp?
Yes, you can! Place the un-baked stuffed shrimp on a clean baking sheet or plate and flash-freeze until they’re firm. Then carefully move them to an airtight freezer container, and you can keep them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw them in the refrigerator, and bake as directed.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Shrimp Scampi
- Shrimp and Grits
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp Boil
- Shrimp Creole
Crab Stuffed Shrimp
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Coat a baking sheet tray with olive oil and set the butterflied shrimp on the pan. Season the shrimp 1 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix to combine the crab meat, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, green onion, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce.
- Top the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the crab mixture. Use your hands to form a little ball of the crab mixture and place it onto the butterflied shrimp. Continue until all of the shrimp are stuffed.
- Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until a light golden brown and the shrimp reach an internal temperature of 145°F.