Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab is the perfect easy appetizer or side dish recipe for your next gathering!
It’s a great make-ahead dish, as the filling and mushrooms can be made the night before. You can simply pop them in the oven right before your guests arrive.
Ingredients like cream cheese, crab, basil, parsley, shallot, and garlic are combined then stuffed into baby portobello (or cremini) mushroom caps, and topped with buttery, golden brown toasted panko breadcrumbs. A squeeze of lemon juice, and you’ve got yourself the most amazing amuse-bouche!
Plus, your guests or the host of the party are bound to be impressed when you show up prepared with lemon wedges as a garnish. I know I would be if the roles were reversed. 😉
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Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab
I like to get all my ingredients out at the beginning of the process so they’re ready to go when I need them.
To make the stuffed mushrooms with crab, you’ll need:
- Baby Portobello (also known as cremini) Mushrooms
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salted Butter
- Garlic Cloves
- Crab Meat (Lump or Claw)
- Whipped Cream Cheese
- Italian Blend Cheese (I like Tillamook which has Mozzarella and Parmesan)
- An Egg
- Fresh Parsley & Basil
- Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes
- Panko Breadcrumbs
- Lemon Wedges
This flavor combination can’t be beaten! It’s got it all: creamy, earthy, fresh, citrusy, a little spicy. So good!
If you don’t have access to fresh crab meat near you, try to find the best supermarket crab meat (canned). It is cheaper, but to be honest, it usually tastes a bit watered down. I always opt for wild-caught when it comes to any seafood; whether it’s fresh or canned. If you’re wondering why, simply put; wild-caught seafood is caught naturally from a lake, ocean, or river, whereas farmed seafood is raised in tanks. Wild-caught fish have a more diverse diet than farm-raised fish, which gives them a better flavor. Also, farm raised fish can have higher amounts of saturated fats and contain contaminants.
The Process: How to Make Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab
Wash and Prebake the Mushrooms
First, remove the mushroom stems, then thoroughly wash the mushroom caps.
Instead of discarding the mushroom stems, I like to store them in the freezer to use to make stock at a later time. I’m trying to be more mindful when it comes to reducing food waste, and this is a fantastic way to contribute to that. I’ve started collecting everything, from beef bones, and chicken carcasses, to corn cobs and onion scraps. I should have been doing this all along, but you have to start somewhere, right?
Once the mushrooms are washed and ready to go, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Place a baking rack over a sheet baking pan, then line the mushrooms in a row, cap-side down. Prebake them in the oven for three minutes to remove any excess moisture. They should be dry, smooth, and shiny when removed from the oven.
Prepare the Filling
First, sauté the shallots and garlic in butter. While that’s cooling, gather the cream cheese, Italian blend cheese, minced basil and parsley, crab meat, egg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Give that a good mix, then fold in the shallots and garlic once it’s cooled.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least one hour, and up to twenty-four hours. The longer the better, so the flavors have time to meld together!
Brush the Mushrooms with Olive Oil
Brush the inside and outside of each mushroom with olive oil, then line them in your baking dish(es).
Best Olive Oil for Cooking: Carapelli Olive Oil Review
This is not a sponsored review. I just wanted to share how much I love Carapelli! When using olive oil in a recipe, I always turn to Carapelli Organic Extra-Virgin Olive oil. The flavor and quality are unmatched. They’ve been making olive oil for over one hundred and twenty-five years, so they know a thing or two about the process! Their website states “Carapelli tells the classic Italian love story. Love for the land, for olive trees, for olives, for tradition, for oil and for art”. I love that! They also have a section that teaches you how to do an olive oil tasting at home, which I thought was super cool.
In short, Carapelli extra-virgin olive oil is perfect for this stuffed mushrooms with crab recipe!
Finish Preparing the Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab Recipe
Scoop or spoon the crab and cream cheese mixture into each mushroom cap. Mushrooms come in all different sizes, so you be the judge on how much filling each one gets. In the biggest ones, I usually put about a tablespoon. A tiny bit less for the smaller mushrooms. It’s not the end of the world if some of them are stuffed a bit more than others. Life will still go on. 🤣
Now, heat a pan over medium heat, then melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the pan, stirring constantly. This is your warning: the breadcrumbs will burn quickly if left unattended! Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper.
Spoon the breadcrumbs over each mushroom and bake in the preheated three hundred seventy-five-degree oven for approximately twenty minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through.
Pro tip: I recommend serving lemon slices with stuffed mushrooms with crab. It adds a lot of flavor and acidity. I also garnish the stuffed mushrooms with minced fresh parsley and basil. Toothpicks on the side are helpful when serving as an appetizer to a crowd.
I hope you love the recipe as much as we do! 🍄
🖤 Recipe Backstory
Stuffed mushrooms have been a staple at my family holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my grandma used to make a version of them. I seem to remember her recipe having sausage and stuffing, but I could be wrong. Sadly, none of us thought to ask her for her stuffed mushrooms recipe. I guess it felt like she’d always be around to make them.
It must have been one of those recipes that she had in her head and didn’t feel the need to write it down, because when my mom and Aunt Lynn went through my grandparents’ things after they passed away, they couldn’t find it in any of her books.
The same thing goes for her stuffed cabbage rolls recipe that my family always loved. I had to create my own version of that recipe too. When I think about it now, I wish she had written her recipes down, but more importantly; I wish I had asked more questions! Do you ever feel that way?
My mom also makes a different version of stuffed mushrooms. They’re Red Lobster style if you’ve ever had those before. They have ingredients like crab, old bay, oyster crackers, etc. She started making them that way because my dad loves his seafood, being from Mississippi. She seems to think mine are going to be “a million times better”, but she doesn’t realize how good hers are!
Apparently, a new stuffed mushrooms recipe is becoming a generational thing, and it’s my turn now! I knew I wanted to do something different, so like I always do when I’m looking for inspiration for a recipe, I turned to my Flavor Bible book. And that’s the story of how my Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab recipe came to fruition!
As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. Please leave a review/comment/question below, reach out via email, and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below. Take care! – Jenna 🖤
MORE APPETIZER INSPIRATION:
Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab is the perfect appetizer or side dish recipe for your next holiday gathering. Ingredients like cream cheese, crab, basil, parsley, shallot, and garlic are combined then stuffed into baby bella (or cremini) mushroom caps, and topped with buttery, golden brown toasted panko breadcrumbs.
STUFFED MUSHROOMS WITH CRAB:
- 24 ounces baby Bella/cremini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1/4 cup shallot, small dice
- 4–5 cloves (1 tablespoon) fresh garlic, minced
- 8 ounces fresh crab meat, lump or claw works
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian blend cheese (any combination of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
PANKO BREADCRUMB TOPPING:
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- lemon slices, for serving
- minced parsley and basil, for garnish
1.PREPARE THE MUSHROOMS. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Remove the mushroom stems (any stems and pieces can be frozen to use for stock later). Thoroughly rinse the mushrooms under cold water then pat them dry. Place the mushrooms cap side down on a baking rack placed over a sheet baking pan. Prebake them in the oven for 3 minutes to remove most of the excess moisture. You can turn the oven off for now.
2. SAUTE THE SHALLOTS AND GARLIC. Heat the pan over medium/high heat. Add the butter, and when it’s melted, sauté the shallots for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Set this mixture aside to cool.
3. OIL THE MUSHROOMS. Pour some olive oil into a small bowl, and using a basting brush or your hands, lightly coat each mushroom cap with oil (inside and outside). Place the prepared mushrooms into the biggest baking dish you have (you may need to use two depending on the size, which is okay).
4. COMBINE FILLING INGREDIENTS. To a medium bowl, add the crab meat, cream cheese, Italian blend cheese, egg, fresh parsley, fresh basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Once the shallot/garlic mixture is cooled, fold that into the crab mixture. Chill this in the fridge for an hour to 24 hours, to allow the flavors to meld together.
5. STUFF THE MUSHROOMS. Fill each mushroom with about a tablespoon of the filling (this small scoop makes it easy). Use more or less of the filling depending on the size of each mushroom.
6. TOAST THE BREADCRUMBS. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Melt the butter, then sprinkle in the panko breadcrumbs. Continue stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
7. TOP THE MUSHROOMS WITH BREADCRUMBS AND BAKE. Preheat the oven again to 375° F (190° C). Sprinkle breadcrumbs on each mushroom, then bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. The mushrooms should be tender, and the filling fully warmed through.
8. SERVE AND ENJOY! I recommend serving lemon slices with stuffed mushrooms with crab. It adds a lot of flavor and acidity. I also garnish the stuffed mushrooms with minced fresh parsley and basil. Toothpicks on the side are helpful when serving as an appetizer to a crowd!
The extra 1 hour in the prep time is the time it takes for the mixture to chill in the fridge. If you absolutely don’t have the time for this, you can stuff the mushrooms right away. I like to chill the mixture in the fridge overnight to really have the flavors meld together!
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Time in Refrigerator: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Appetizers, Side Dishes
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
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