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5 Great Crab Starters

Updated on June 16, 2010
We love catching our own crabs, and the kids help!
We love catching our own crabs, and the kids help!

We love seafood! Most of our friends do, too, so I often serve it at parties in the form of appetizers or starters. We sometimes catch our own crabs, and these dishes are a great way to utilize fresh crabmeat. If you're not so fortunate, use canned refrigerated crabmeat.

Below are five of my original crab recipes. I think you’ll like them!

Holle’s hot crab dip

1 pound refrigerated crab meat, flaked

8-ounce block cream cheese

1 stick butter, melted

1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup grated cheddar

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Tabasco sauce to taste

Directions: Soften cream cheese in microwave. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Heat in microwave until the cheese has melted and mixture is smooth. Keep the dip hot in a chafing dish. Serve with crackers, bagel chips, or toasted baguettes.

hot crab dip
hot crab dip

Holle's mini crab cakes

1 pound refrigerated crabmeat

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup diced bell pepper

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon OldBay seasoning

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/3 cup crushed buttery crackers (like Ritz)


Peanut oil

Directions: Flake crab meat and mix with mayonnaise, onion, bell pepper, garlic salt, and Old Bay. Set aside.

Mix together egg, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Add crackers and allow to soften for 10 minutes. Add mixture to crab and blend well.

Form mixture into one-inch balls and dredge in flour. Press balls gently with the bottom of a glass to make small cakes.

Fry the cakes in ¼-inch of oil over medium-high heat until both sides are brown.

Serve with remoulade sauce. Need that recipe? Click here.


mini crab cake
mini crab cake

Holle's fried crab claws

1 pound blue crab claws

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup cream


Peanut oil

Directions: Sprinkle claws with red pepper. Mix together egg and cream and pour over crab claws. Remove the claws from the egg wash and shake in flour. Fry at 350-360 degrees until golden brown. Drain and serve with remoulade sauce, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce.

If you want a thicker coating of breading, dredge the claws in flour first, then into the egg wash, then back into the flour. You can actually repeat this process if you want really thick breading!

fried crab claws
fried crab claws

Holle's tropical crab salad

1 pound refrigerated lump crabmeat

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup diced red and/or green bell pepper

½ cup sliced green onion

1 tablespoon lime juice

paprika to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large pineapple

Directions: Squeeze crabmeat in paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Toss with remaining ingredients except for pineapple. Split and core pineapple and cut edible fruit into small chunks. Add the pineapple to the crab mixture. Serve in the pineapple shell.


tropical crab salad
tropical crab salad

Holle's crab spread

1 pound refrigerated crab meat, well drained

2 blocks cream cheese, softened (8 ounces each)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 packet dry spicy or fiesta ranch dressing mix

2 tablespoons cocktail sauce

Directions: Mix everything together and refrigerate. Once the spread is firm, you can shape it into a ball or log. If we’re having a big party, I often double or triple the recipe and form it into a crab shape. Serve with crackers or sliced baguettes.


crab spread
crab spread

More crab starters?

 If you'd like more recipes for crab appetizers and starters, check out the following videos!

Crab-artichoke dip

Crab-stuffed mushrooms

Crab-stuffed wontons


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