Deviled Crab, A Favorite Seafood Recipe

deviled crab

This easy to make deviled crab recipe needs to be part of your summer casual dining. Deviled crab, similar to crab cakes, is very popular in beachside towns along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. Recipes are often passed down for generations and while the ingredients may vary from cook to cook, each version is delicious. Meat from succulent Blue Crabs is mixed with seasonings, onions, peppers, bread or crackers crumbs and stuffed into a crab shell or individual casserole dishes and is then baked, instead of fried, until crispy and golden brown on top.

Deviled” when referring to a food means that spicy ingredients such as cayenne, hot sauces or peppers were used in their preparation or a dish that has a tanginess that comes from using vinegars, mustards or Worcestershire sauce. When temperatures start to rise, one taste of this deviled seafood dish will remind you of summer itself.


deviled crab
This Deviled Crab Will Remind You Of Summer Itself

Deviled Crab

Serves 2 generously as main or 4 – 6 as a first course.

  • 8 oz. crab meat (I used jumbo lump)

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 1/2 c. sweet onion, diced

  • 1 stick of celery, diced

  • 1/4 c. bell pepper, diced (I used red, yellow and green)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. hot sauce (1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper may be substituted)

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

  • 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted

  • 1 – 2  Tbsp. butter, melted

  • 1/4 c. panko or Italian breadcrumbs for topping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a small sauté pan, add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened but not brown. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk and taste, adjust the seasonings if necessary. Add the egg, crab, parsley, breadcrumbs and the onion mixture. Fold gently, avoid breaking up the crab lumps too much, until evenly mixed.

Add the melted butter to the panko breadcrumbs and mix. Place the crab mixture into buttered individual baking dishes and top with the buttered breadcrumbs. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crab mixture is warmed through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown,  about 15 to 18 minutes.

Tip – If you are in a region of the country where this dish is popular, you may be able to buy crab shells for the presentation of this recipe. If not, you can bake the crab in ceramic or little foil crab shell trays, ramekins, individual casserole dishes like I did or it can be baked in a regular casserole dish and served family style.


Summer is all about casual dining. Lobster rolls, fried clams and chowders, oysters on the half shell and down home crab boils preferably with an ocean or bay view is what everyone enjoys. The memories of these summer meals can remain with us for years.

I remember when I was young, going crabbing with my father along Galveston Bay. A chicken neck was tied to a string along with a heavy washer at the end…nothing fancy needed. I lowered it over the edge of an old wooden dock and waited for the line to start jerking. I slowly pulled up the string as my father dipped a net under and with a quick jerk, he brought up a large blue crab.

I don’t go crabbing anymore, instead I buy a container of jumbo lump crabmeat from our grocery store. It’s certainly much easier than catching and cleaning a bunch of crabs but not nearly as much fun. At least it was as a child and you were part of an adventure with your father.

I hope that you will make this devilishiy delicious deviled crab recipe (try saying that). The dish is perfect when entertaining friends as it can be prepared earlier in the day and then put in the over right before your guests arrive.

Happy Summer



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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

97 thoughts on “Deviled Crab, A Favorite Seafood Recipe

  1. I love deviled crab! Your recipe is very similar to the way I make them. I love catching fresh Georgia blue crabs off my dock. I used to do it with hand held traps but now take the easy way and put bait in a trap and pull it up hours later. If I’m lucky I cook my catch and we have a feast. I pick the leftover crabs and freeze it for later. Yum!

  2. I have never had deviled crab. And that most certainly needs to change! It sounds absolutely delicious.Thanks for the recipe. Love your new blog look Karen. That photo makes me want to meander down that back road.

    1. Thank you Lea Ann for the compliment about the recipe and the new look of my blog. It is still a work in progress but getting there. 😘

  3. I live in the Southwest and it is hard to find good crab meat. So… when I head to Pennsylvania soon… I will look for it there. And I’ll be making this!

  4. It definitely needs to be part of my eating – how delicious!
    I don’t think I’ll get blue crabs from the fishmonger, but he does have several other types, which I’m sure will make good substitutes.

    1. Thank you Penny for you compliment about the deviled crab as well as the hew header. The header is actually two, that randomly change…one of the veggies and one of a road through the French vineyards. I thought since I write about food and travel that they would be appropriate. 😘

  5. I haven’t had deviled crab in years! It’s wonderful stuff — amazing flavor. Your recipe looks excellent. Thanks!@

    1. You know John, it had been a long time since I last made deviled crab as well. It is actually so much easier than making crab cakes. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you for both of your complements Kay. There are actually two header photos that randomly change but whichever one you saw, I’m glad you like it. 😘

  6. Saved. This sounds fabulous, we both love spicy food. Hope that you are well. Stay safe, cheers Diane

  7. Love your new website theme, Karen! This is just the kind of recipe you need for a quick and delicious summer appetizer. We could certainly make a meal out of this with some toast points and a glass of wine. Take care

    1. I agree with you Bobbi, this is an easy summer recipe. I’m glad you like the new theme…it is the beginning of taking my blog to a Thank you for your nice compliments.

    1. Gary, I know you have great crabs available in your part of the world. I hope you get a chance to try a version of the deviled crab. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Thank you for the compliment and the pin Abbe, they are much appreciated. I do hope you and Manservant enjoy the deviled crab.

  8. This certainly looks to die for and what’s not to love about crab? I adore it. Now, the problem here will be finding a spot where I can buy fresh lump crab instead of canned. But we shall see!

    1. Hi Jeanie, I’m happy to know that you like the deviled crab recipe. I buy a container of refrigerated crab in the fresh seafood section at our market…it has wonderful lumps of crabmeat. Perhaps your market might be able to order some for you.

  9. I love anything with crab, Karen, so I can’t wait to try this recipe. Summer is such a great time for seafood and relaxing with family. Thanks so much for sharing, CoCo

    1. Hi Tina, Yes I’m for simplifying my life as much as possible and no picking crabmeat anymore is now a priority. 😊 Thank you for your nice comment and visit, they are both appreciated.

    1. Thank you Anna & Liz, I do hope you get a chance to try the deviled crab. Our food tastes are very much alike so I believe that you would enjoy the dish.

    1. Hi Denise, I do hope you get a chance to try deviled crab. It used to be a very popular item at seafood restaurants in Texas. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Hi Janis, I do hope you are able to find a source for lump crab meat. I buy a refrigerated container of crab from the fresh seafood department of our local grocery store. Their product is very good, if your market doesn’t carry it, I bet they can order it for you. Thank you for your visit and nice compliment.

  10. Altho’ Australia is hugely rich in both fish and seafood varieties your kinds of crab are not always accessible where I am domiciled. With apologies have to admit having made this quite oft with frozen lump crab from other parts of the country . . . use it more as primo piatti. There are quite acceptable ‘curried’ variations possible also altho’ one has to be very careful with the origin so as not to diminish the taste of the crab . . . I love Indonesian and certain coastal Malaysian modes . . .

    1. I agree with you Eha, that when fresh crab is not available, pasteurized refrigerated or frozen work…especially in recipes like this one and the ones you mentioned.

  11. oh yum! this looks soooo good. i love anything devilled. and crab is one of my faves. Right, i’m on the way … oh wait … COVID… Is that a new banner photo? It’s such a lovely view.

    1. Hi Sherry, it sounds like my recipe would be perfect for you…thank you. Oh and yes, that is a new banner for my blog. There are two, the one of the road through the vineyards in France and one of fresh vegetables…they randomly change during the day. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Larry, I know what you mean…it had been a long time since I made deviled crab. I’m glad you like the looks of the dish. Thank you.

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m glad that you enjoyed the story of crabbing with my father, it is funny this things you remember so vividly. Thank you for your compliment about the recipe.

  12. How delicious is this?!! Oh, crabbing. I lived on Long Island for a couple years, and got to do the east coast beach thing, but not quite like a la Martha Stewart. Now, I really can’t get anything but canned crab, which is icky. But damn, if I ever do, I am making this!!!

    1. Hi Mimi, I bet you really enjoyed your time on Long Island. I buy refrigerated pasteurized jumbo lump crab from the fresh seafood department of my local grocery store…it is their own brand but very good. Perhaps you could inquire at your market, maybe they could order you some.

      1. I’ll ask. They’ll probably look at me like I’m crazy. I have very fond memories from Long Island. I went to school in Cold Spring Harbor, which was beautiful.

  13. Karen, thanks for the wonderful memories you brought to my mind with your post. I loved your description of crabbing in Galveston bay. You see, when I was young we had a weekend place in Kemah and me and my brother spent our summers there. We tied many a chicken neck on a string and pulled up many blue crabs.
    Oh, and did we eat deviled crab, usually (like you mention) cooked in a shell. Another favorite was to stuff a big fat flounder with the deviled crab mixture and bake both. Man, now I’m hungry for deviled crab, boiled shrimp, and a cold Pearl beer. Do they even make Pearl beer now?? Did you ever go to Jimmy Walker’s Edgewater Restaurant in Kemah?

    1. Ron it is like deja vu with your comment…it really is amazing. When I wrote about going crabbing with my father, it was to Kemah. And yes, I too have eaten at Jimmy Walker’s Edgewater Restaurant. It is a small world isn’t it. Pearl Beer bought Pabst Brewing and stopping Pearl but they are relaunching Pearl with a new look to be sold in Texas. 😁

  14. Hi Karen, I haven’t visited in a while – I love the new blog header Picture! This recipe sounds delicious. I love that I always learn something new when I read your posts! I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on some crabmeat for this lovely treat (not as common to get at the grocery store here)!

  15. Somehow I missed this one, Karen! We love crab though I have never had deviled crab. Something I want to try – we have a ton of crab in our freezer and all the other ingredients are on hand or coming from teh farmers market bag this weekend. Seriously, I am thawing a pound of Dungeness crab on Friday to make Crab Louie – and I will only use half. This leaves me perfectly poised to make deviled crab with teh remaining 8 ounces!

    1. Karen — I sent you a photo on Messenger. Made this last evening and it was fantastic. Of course, still in lockdown and not shopping till today, I didn’t realize I was out of eggs! So I used an egg white and a tablespoon cream (to compensate for the yolk). It worked beautifully! Thanks for a new favorite — I may never make crab cakes again!

  16. Hi again Karen, We made this tonight and it was a HIT with all of the family! We served it as a side dish with baked cod and green bean almondine. A very special mid-week dinner 🙂

  17. Thank you so much Dana, for coming back and letting me know that you made and enjoyed the deviled crab. It always makes me happy to know when someone likes one of the recipes I’ve created.

  18. Karen, I LOVE deviled crab. It’s been way too long since I’ve had a dish like this. Your recipe sounds amazing! It’s awesome how the memories of going fishing/crabbing are likely forever tied to any dish made with crab. I have certain desserts or casserole I bake that will forever be linked to being in the kitchen with my mom when I was a kid! 🙂

    1. Hi Inger, I made green beans almandine to go with the crab. They add nice color to the plate plus I like the crunch from the almonds. Parsley potatoes, corn or a crunchy coleslaw goes well too. My husband always likes me to make a spicy mustard or sriracha dipping sauce as well. I hope you enjoy your meal. 😘

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