Deviled Crab

Deviled crab
Paul Poplis / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
401 Calories
30g Fat
29g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 401
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 526mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 80mg 399%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 367mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Deviled crab recipes have been around for generations, and this Lowcountry dish is a delicious way to enjoy the Blue crab from the South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coasts. Similar to crab cakes, deviled crab combines fresh crabmeat with a range of seasonings, but instead of including breadcrumbs in the mix and forming into patties, the mixture is topped with buttery breadcrumbs and baked in an open crab shell.

Along with the crabmeat—which can be fresh or canned pasteurized crab—minced onion, green pepper, and parsley are combined with mayonnaise, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, along with a little Tobasco sauce and cayenne pepper, which is what gives this Southern dish its name. The mixture is traditionally spooned into a crab shell and then topped with buttered breadcrumbs and baked, but ramekins can also be used.

Deviled crab is wonderful as a first course, or can be enjoyed as an entrée when served with a fresh salad or green vegetable.


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion

  • 2 tablespoons minced green pepper

  • 2 teaspoons minced parsley

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Dash of black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 pound fresh or pasteurized crabmeat, select or lump

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and whisk in the onions, green peppers, parsley, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, cayenne, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl and put aside for about 15 minutes so for the flavors can marry. 

  3. Gently fold in the crab.

  4. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet and add the breadcrumbs. Cook over low heat until just golden, adding a little more melted butter if it seems too dry. Scrape into a bowl and let cool.

  5. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Arrange the natural or ceramic crab shells or ramekins on a baking sheet.

  6. Divide the crab mixture among the containers, mounding it a bit in the center so that each serving looks generous.

  7. Divide the buttery breadcrumbs evenly over each serving.

  8. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake until bubbly and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Serve hot with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges.

  10. Enjoy.


You can make this dish in advance and refrigerate; place the crab mixture in the refrigerator and when ready to bake it, spoon into individual dishes, make the buttered breadcrumbs, add to the top of each serving, and bake until hot and bubbling.

Source: by Bruce Beck (E. P. Dutton). Reprinted with permission.