Crab Bisque with Snow Crab Legs

Crab Bisque
Crab Bisque. Photo: Diana Rattray
Ratings (8)
  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 85 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
685 Calories
51g Fat
49g Carbs
14g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This crab bisque starts with a delicious but simple blonde roux.  The creamy bisque gets color and flavor from the tomato paste, vegetables, and fish stock or clam juice. This succulent afternoon dish is ready in just over an hour.

The shells are simmered with the vegetables to make a flavorful broth. 


  • For the Roux:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • For the Bisque:
  • 1 pound snow crab legs
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 rib celery (diced)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 16 ounces clam juice (or 2 cups fish stock)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or light cream)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • Garnish: chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Make the roux: In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour and cook until blonde (pale gold) in color.

  2. Split crab legs down the middle and remove meat. Reserve large pieces of crab shell and set meat aside for garnish.

  3. In a skillet over medium-low heat, sauté carrot, onion, garlic, celery, green onion, and tomatoes in oil until vegetables are tender. Stir in dry sherry and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze skillet; cook liquid down over high heat. Add stock and crab shells; bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook for one hour.

  4. Strain and discard crab shells and vegetables. Thicken soup with the roux and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add tomato paste, half-and-half, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for five minutes; strain. Garnish with crabmeat and parsley.

Reader Comments

  • "I love this recipe! It is by far the best crab bisque I've ever had. Paired with some cheddar-garlic biscuits, it makes for a great hearty meal. Thank you for sharing." Didi

  • "I love to cook and decided to try something new. I love lobster bisque but this was the first time I attempted any Crab/Lobster bisque and I have to say it was very easy to follow. The taste was great and my friends enjoyed it. I truly wanted to make lobster bisque but couldn't find a recipe that sounded as good as yours. I added lobster in with the crab and it was delicious." B.B.

  • "I am retired in Baja Mexico and there is a favorite restaurant I like that has a lobster bisque which I love. Your recipe for Crab Bisque is so much better. I have made Lobster Bisque before so I was not intimidated by boiling the shells with veggies because there is so much flavor in them. I checked out many sites and yours is the only one with this technique and its a Winner. What a special treat for my New Years Eve dinner." Pamela

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