Crab Meat au Gratin is a hot and cheesy crab dip loaded with succulent crab meat. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it makes a great appetizer for game day and holiday parties.
This recipe was inspired by Val's Marina, a simple little seafood restaurant that was located on the Amite River in Maurepas, LA for over 50 years until Hurricane Katrina hit.
Crab Meat Au Gratin was their version of hot crab dip and it was my favorite item on the menu.
This is my version and I know you're going to love how easy it is to make.
How to Make Crab Meat au Gratin
Start out by making a roux which is a combination of flour and fat, in this case butter, used to thicken a dish and give it an extra creaminess.
Heat the butter and flour in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until it's a light brown color.
Add the vegetables and sauté until they are soft. Next add the cheese and seasonings and stir until melted.
Now you're ready for the star of the show ... White Lump Crab-Meat ... um yes please!
Gently stir in the crab-meat and then transfer the mixture to a small baking dish or a large ramekin. Top with shredded cheese, green onions and paprika.
Put the dish on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the top is starting to turn brown and all the cheese has melted.
This dip tastes great with saltine or butter crackers, but, you could literally eat this stuff by the spoonful. No crackers needed!
Once you take a bite of this Hot Crab Dip, you'll be hooked!
6 easy party appetizers to make during the holidays
- Pink Shrimp Dip
- New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
- Easy Hummus Recipe
- Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp Dip
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Goat Cheese Truffles
Crab Meat au Gratin
- large ramekin or small baking dish
- 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3 teaspoons flour
- ½ cup onion chopped
- ¼ cup celery chopped
- 5 oz. can of evaporated milk
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- ¾ cup Swiss cheese shredded, reserve 3 tablespoons for topping
- 8 oz. white crab meat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup green onion chopped
- dash of paprika
- In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and stir until combined and lightly browned. Add the onion and celery to the mixture and cook on low-medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the evaporated milk, egg yolk, cheese, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, and stir continuously until the cheese has melted.
- Gently stir in the crab meat and cook on low heat for 5 minutes to heat through. Turn oven broiler on to HIGH. Scoop the mixture into a small oven-safe baking dish and top with reserved Swiss cheese, green onion and paprika.
- Place the baking dish onto a cookie sheet and place under broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and started to turn brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve warm with crackers.
Hi sounds delish. Can I use a torch instead of broiler to brown the top?
Hi, just cooked the crab dish and loved it! However, I think I will cut back on the butter next time.
Doubled the recipe, put into 2 separate dishes and froze them. Took one out the day before Thanksgiving, let thaw in the fridge, cooked Thanksgiving to serve, looked just like the picture, everyone loved it. Absolutely delicious, will definitely make again.
Such an easy recipe. Working through ideas for the holidays!
What size dish / ramekin to not overflow?
Amy Duska says
Hi Akaish, I used a large 6 oz. ramekin, but you could use a 2 cup sized oven-safe baking dish. This is a smaller sized appetizer!
paula mcwhirter-buck says
can you use imitation crab meat? im allergic to shellfish....
Amy Duska says
I've never tried it with imitation but I think it would work!
Sunni Schoenauer says
Thank you, Amy! I made this a Christmas gift for my dad. It was a hit with everyone. (This is an understatement.) I accidentally cut a few more green onions than I needed so I included a small amount of the bottoms (white portion) in with the onions and celery, but to be frank, I don’t think the recipe needed a single tweak. Thank you again for publishing such a reliable recipe.
Brenda Stringer says
Can you make this a day ahead?
Yes, just put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it!
Absolutely spectacular! Thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous recipe!!
Pat Boggan says
This was absolutely spectacular! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!
Thanks for letting me know! I'm so glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Heather Rose says
Omg Vals had the best crab meat augratin and fried shrimp...ever!!! This is awesome I would definitely keep this recipe alive. Thank you!!!!.
You're so welcome! 🙂
This dish was unbelievable easy and good. I used garlic as well the other ingredients,. So wonderful. Thanks Amy for sharing this recipe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's always been a favorite of mine ?
7 Dec 2016....just came across your recipe from Delish. Cant wait to make for snackies Xmas Eve! I have a question for you crab eating lovers tho...I buy frozen crab meat at grocer. When opening pkg very strong"sea salt" smell. I always rinse and squeeze dry crab meat in strainer. Is that the proper way to do crab meat....or am I ruining the taste of the crab????
Hi Caraline, I never rinse my crab meat but I'm sure it doesn't hurt anything. I think it's just a matter of personal preference 🙂
I love the crab meat at Costco. It is pasteurized and has a long shelf life in the fridge. I buy 2 to 4 at a time because you can have it for around a year unopened. It's not a s sweet as Maryland crab so sometimes I add a little sugar. Never has shell in it. I may have gotten 3 pieces of shell out of 50 containers!
Question: if I’m doubling or tripling the recipe, do I do the same with the rest of the ingredients? And can I use a large baking dish?
Amy Duska says
Yes and you can use a medium baking dish.
If I can not get fresh crab can I use canned
Yes you can!
I love this too, but crab is to nice too nice to put American cheese on.; it isn't even cheese. Provolone is better or Any real cheese. Panko bread crumbs are a nice little crunch on top.
Hi Blake, 🙂 you gave me a chuckle. I remember when I first found out that Val's used American cheese in the crab dip. I thought the same thing! I bet the Panko bread crumbs do add a nice touch!
M Darlene says
Hello, Amy!!! I so remember Val's Marina - had many a Sunday lunch there after church. LOL Some the best seafood to be had - even in South Louisiana. Crab cooked anyway is my absolute favorite seafood and Val's AuGratin was my main course more time than not.
Can't wait to try this recipe - I am so missing Val's. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Darlene! I miss it so much! If you are still in Louisiana, I hope you are doing OK and staying high and dry!!!