Seafood a la King With Tilapia, Shrimp, and Crab

Seafood a la King with Tilapia, Shrimp, and Crab
Doug DuCap
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
422 Calories
15g Fat
28g Carbs
45g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 206mg 69%
Sodium 1134mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 251mg 19%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 854mg 18%
*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.)

Although the familiar version of this recipe features chicken, seafood a la king is a delicious way to enjoy fish and shellfish in a delicate, creamy sauce. Tilapia, shrimp, and crab are cooked in a simple white sauce, creating a crowd-pleasing dish that's great for a quick weekday meal or for special occasions. This easy-to-make recipe is also flexible, allowing you to include other types of fish and vegetables. And, if you prefer real crab over the imitation crab, by all means, swap it in. An "a la king" dish is often served in a puff pastry shell, but it is also good over rice, pasta, grits, and biscuits.


  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Optional:

    Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 12 ounces tilapia fillets (cut into 2-inch pieces)

  • 6 to 8 ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp (medium to extra-large are best)

  • 4 ounces imitation crab (cut into 2-inch pieces)

  • 1 cup (or more) frozen baby peas

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

  2. Add the onions and cook until softened.

  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add the milk a bit at a time (start with a couple of tablespoons and increase as you go along), whisking or stirring well to incorporate.

  5. Add the seasonings and cook, stirring every so often, for 2 minutes.

  6. Add the tilapia pieces.

  7. Spoon the sauce over the fish and cook for 5 minutes, stirring very gently once or twice.

  8. Add the shrimp, crab, and peas. Cook a few more minutes until heated through.

  9. Serve over rice, orzo pasta, grits, biscuits, or puff pastry squares or shells.

Recipe Variations

  • Economical tilapia is ideal, but any firm, mild fish like catfish and red snapper will work.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables in addition to the peas; this dish is equally delicious with mushrooms, carrots, and/or broccoli florets.
  • Sprinkle in some minced parsley or chervil if you like.
  • For a bit of color and zing, add a teaspoon or two of hot pepper sauce.

What Is Imitation Crab?

Often sold as "crab stick," imitation crab is made from something called surimi, which is a mixture of finely pulverized white fish and starch. Alaska pollock is most commonly used along with wheat and egg white, as well as crab flavoring and food coloring, to create what looks like snow crab leg meat. Because it does not contain any crab, there are some places that do not allow the word "crab" in the name; imitation crab also goes by "krab sticks" and "seafood sticks."