Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp


To me seafood is synonymous with summer, and since it's almost April, it feels like summer is right around the corner. I'm already dreaming of oysters, calamari, lobster, and all the other delicious summer seafoods. For years I always felt like seafood was something fancy I could get out in a restaurant or that our mom would make us for a special dinner, but over the years I've realized that it's actually one of the quicker and easier things to make for dinner. Although it can seem expensive, a little goes a long way and it can be absolutely worth it.

So it seems like the perfect time for these crab meat stuffed shrimp. The perfect dinner for when you want something a little fancy but don't feel like going out or don't have much time to make something. I'm also a firm believer in having delicious dinners during the week to help make the more mundane days a little more special. Ready in just 45 minutes, these delicious shrimp are the perfect spring or summer dinner to pair with a nice side salad and cold drink.

You'll start by preparing the shrimp!

You'll want to use the largest size you can find, such as 8/12 count, as this makes them much easier to stuff. The whole cutting of the back of the shrimp is basically to allow them to stand on their backs while creating a little pocket for the stuffing. Once you get them standing up in the little flash mob formation like they are below, and you're ready to stuff them, you'll just lift the tail up for a second and put the stuffing in.

Next you'll want to make the stuffing. The stuffing is super simple and comes together quickly. The Ritz crackers are a must as they add the best buttery flavor and are the perfect consistency to help hold the filling together. Combined with the thyme and paprika, (and of course the parm), the flavors are a match-made in heaven with the crab meat. Crab meat can seem like an intimidating purchase but you can go for the packaged tins that usually are right in front of the seafood counter at the grocery store. Since the crab meat is combined with all the other delicious filling ingredients, you don't need to buy the priciest type, as it doesn't matter too much which part of the crab the meat comes from.

Then for the fun part, stuffing these little (big) guys. If you have a small sized ice cream scoop it is super helpful in getting evenly sized and nicely shaped balls of filling. If you don't have one on hand you can use a spoon and gently use your hands to form and compact the filling slightly.

Once you pop your shrimp in the oven, the only other step is making a quick lemon butter, which is as easy as melting some butter in a small saucepan, removing it from the heat, and adding some fresh lemon juice. This extra step is so worth it when you're drizzling this light and lemony butter over your cooked shrimp. Don't forget to peak in the oven and watch with amazement as the shrimp literally turn pink before your eyes.

And last but not least...

Remove the shrimp from the oven, drizzle with the lemon butter, and be sure to top with chopped parsley. For a 45 minute meal, these stuffed shrimp are delicious, much easier than they look, and will make you feel like you're at your favorite summer seafood restaurant.

Serve these fresh out of the oven with a little arugula and parmesan, a side of broccolini, or as the main course. Squeeze on some extra fresh lemon juice and get excited for all the summer food to come.

Crab Meat Stuffed Shrimp

A little fancy, a lot easier than you'd think, and the delicious pre-summer seafood stuffed shrimp dinner you absolutely need.



Servings: 4

  • 16 shrimp, 8/12 count, with shells
  • 4 tbsp butter divided
  • ½ medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 ounces white wine dry
  • 12 ounces crab meat
  • ½ cup Ritz crackers crushed
  • ¼ cup parmesan grated
  • 2 tbsp thyme chopped
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • parsley chopped, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. If shrimp are frozen let them defrost in the fridge overnight or run them under cold water until they are no longer frozen.

3. Remove shell from shrimp, leaving tails on. Using a sharp knife, cut along the back of each shrimp to remove the vein. Continue cutting deeper, about 3/4 of the way through. Flip the shrimp over and make a small slit on the top. Stand up shrimp on a baking sheet.

4. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high and add the wine, simmering for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Stir in the crab meat, crushed Ritz, grated parmesan, thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika.

6. Using a small scoop, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the stuffing and place it onto each shrimp. If you are not using a scooper you may need to gently shape the stuffing into a ball.

7. Bake for 10 minutes or until stuffing is golden.

8. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice and remove from heat.

9. Remove shrimp from oven, and top with lemon butter, additional salt and pepper, and parsley. Enjoy!


It's really helpful to use the biggest shrimp you can find.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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