15 Canned Crab Recipes

From dips to bakes to fancy appetizers

Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

If you don't already keep canned crab on hand as a pantry staple, we humbly suggest you start. While canned tuna takes the spotlight in most pantries, canned salmon, chicken, and crab are just as versatile, bringing a hearty element to dishes. And although we love a good bake, they don't always have to come in a casserole dish with breadcrumbs on top. Let this list of options show off the versatility of a can of crab meat, for when you want a taste of the ocean without a trip to the fishmonger.

  • 01 of 15

    Seafood Casserole

    Seafood Casserole

    The Spruce Eats-Julia Hartbeck

    For those of us who like to choose our own adventure, swap in your favorite seafood in this simple casserole. Shrimp, lobster, and crabmeat taste great, but you can also add scallops, haddock, or another firm white fish.

  • 02 of 15

    Creamy Crab Dip

    Creamy Crab Dip With Cream Cheese

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Start off a party, game watch, or multi-course meal on the right foot with this warm and gooey crab dip. Serve it with crudites, pita chips, crackers, or toast points for dipping, or a mix of options to create a pretty platter.

  • 03 of 15

    Crab Rangoon

    Crab Rangoon

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    Make your favorite Chinese appetizer at home with a crab rangoon recipe that's easier than you think. The little pockets of crab and cheese come out crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and the perfect start to your meal.

  • 04 of 15

    Crab Quiche with Cheese

    Crab Quiche With Cheese

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Quiche makes a great breakfast or brunch dish for a special occasion because you put it together, bake, and then serve instead of standing over the stove while everyone else hangs out. Crab meat and cheese make a classic combination, and work well with either homemade pastry or a store-bought crust.

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  • 05 of 15

    Shrimp and Crab Bisque

    Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    For a creamy seafood bisque with lovely pieces of shrimp and crab, try this hearty version. Unlike many soups that simmer for hours, it takes just 15 minutes from prep time to table. Serve it with a green salad and some crusty baguette for sopping.

  • 06 of 15

    Fried Crab Balls

    Serve hot

    The Spruce

    Similar to hush puppies, fried crab balls make a crispy-coated appetizer with a flavor that would taste right at home at a seaside shack. You can roll them ahead of time and fry just before serving, perfect for a party appetizer, side, or make-ahead snack. Serve with remoulade or just a squeeze of fresh lemon.

  • 07 of 15

    Creamy Seafood Newburg

    shrimp and scallops newburg
    Diana Rattray

    With a rich, mild-flavored, creamy sauce, seafood newburg makes a lovely elegant meal for Valentine's Day or any time you want to serve something a little elevated. It works with lobster, shrimp, crab, or really any seafood you like best. Spoon it over rice or pasta to serve.

  • 08 of 15

    Imitation Crab Salad

    Imitation crab seafood salad recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    While this fresh, cold seafood salad calls for imitation crab, it also works with canned. With a simple dill, mustard, and mayonnaise dressing, it makes a lovely lunch inside a seeded avocado, over a bed of greens, or on a roll as a sandwich.

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  • 09 of 15

    Seafood Pasta Salad

    Summer Seafood Pasta Salad, topped with cheese and tomatoes

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Bring something different to the barbecue with a zippy seafood pasta salad. Canned crab does the job perfectly here, especially when mixed with shredded cheddar cheese, your favorite shaped pasta, green and red bell peppers, peas, and halved cherry or grape tomatoes.

  • 10 of 15

    Crab Rangoon Dip

    crab rangoon dip

    Leah Maroney 

    If you love the cheesy seafood flavor of crab rangoon but don't have the patience to fold a bunch of crispy bundles, serve this flavorful dip instead. It tastes just like the Chinese takeout appetizer, but as an easy dipper. Serve with fried wonton wrappers, pita chips, baguette toasts, or crackers.

  • 11 of 15

    Crab Stuffed Potatoes

    Crab stuffed potatoes recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    For a game-day snack, tailgate treat, or even a hearty seafood side, scoop out baked potatoes and fill them back up with sour cream mashed potato, crab meat, and some fresh chopped chives. Think of it like the seafood version of potato skins.

  • 12 of 15

    Easy Crab Cakes

    Crab Cakes

    Diana Rattray

    While crab cakes taste best with fresh crabmeat, sometimes you just can't get it or you're short on time. In that case, canned crab works just fine, but reach for the highest-quality you can find. Serve with aioli or remoulade, a squeeze of lemon, or some cocktail and tartar sauce.

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  • 13 of 15

    Creamy Slow-Cooker Crab Soup

    Slow Cooker Crab Soup
    This crab soup is a simple preparation in the slow cooker. Diana Rattray

    Because this simple, slow-cooker crab soup features very few ingredients, get the best canned crab you can. Stir in some sherry just before serving to give it a fragrant elegance and serve with saltines, oyster crackers, or some crusty bread.

  • 14 of 15

    Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Crab

    Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    Garlicky, seafood-scented, and super easy, Filipino fried rice makes a great fridge-cleaner. If you have leftover rice on hand, use that. If you like fried rice with diced veggies, toss some in. It works great with some canned crab for extra protein, which also brings out the seaside scent of the crab paste.

  • 15 of 15

    Crab Salad with Mayonnaise

    Simple crab salad recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    For a basic crab salad that tastes perfect for summer, look no further. Fresh lump, imitation, or canned crab works well in this recipe that you can also adapt pretty much endlessly. Try as a salad, a sandwich, or on baguette slices as a starter.