Crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms are a delightful appetizer that combines the earthy flavors of mushrooms with the savory goodness of crab.
These bite-sized morsels are perfect for parties, gatherings, or even as an elegant starter for a special dinner.
In this post, we’ll explore the art of making the best crab stuffed mushrooms and share a delicious recipe that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
The Magic of Mushrooms
Mushrooms serve as the perfect vessel for a delicious filling. Their earthy flavor and firm texture provide an ideal base for the rich and creamy crab mixture. Choosing large, sturdy mushrooms such as portobello mushrooms cuts down on labor and they hold up well during cooking.
This recipe can also make a batch of small stuffed mushrooms by using baby portobello, common white button mushrooms, or cremini mushrooms.
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The Crab Filling (no breadcrumbs = creamier filling)
The star of this dish is undoubtedly the crab. Stuffed mushrooms are traditionally stuffed with the same filling used in crab cakes, but with our recipe we wanted that delicious crab to shine, so I’ve stuffed these with more of a crab dip filling.
Leaving out the bread crumbs means these perfect bites have little filler. I prefer this perfectly pure filling because it’s closer to what you’ll find in fine dining restaurants and fewer carbs are always a win in my book.
Whether you opt for fresh lump crab you peel yourself or canned crab, it’s important to select high-quality crab for the best flavor.
Canned Crab Classifications:
There are many types of canned crab available in the market, with meat from different parts of the crab. This gives several options for your tastes and your wallet.
Here are some common types of canned crab:
- Lump Crab Meat: Lump crab meat consists of larger, whole pieces of crab meat. It is the most premium and sought-after type of canned crab, known for its sweet and delicate flavor. Lump crab meat is perfect for showcasing the natural taste of crab in dishes like crab cakes, crab salad, or crab-stuffed mushrooms.
- Claw Crab Meat: Claw crab meat comes from the claws and legs of the crab. It has a slightly stronger flavor compared to lump crab meat and is often slightly darker in color. Claw meat is slightly less expensive than lump meat and works well in recipes that call for shredded or chunky crab meat, such as crab dips, soups, or pasta dishes.
- White Crab Meat: White crab meat comes from the body of the crab and is typically a combination of lump and claw meat. It has a slightly milder flavor compared to lump or claw meat and works well in various recipes, including crab cakes, salads, and sandwiches.
- Backfin Crab Meat: Backfin crab meat is a mix of lump and smaller broken pieces of white meat. It is an affordable option and works well in recipes that require a combination of crab meat and other ingredients, such as crab stuffing or crab-based soups and sauces.
- Special or Flake Crab Meat: Special or flake crab meat consists of smaller, broken pieces of crab meat. It is the most economical option and is suitable for dishes where the crab meat is mixed with other ingredients, such as crab salads, casseroles, or crab dips.
When choosing canned crab, it’s essential to check the quality, expiration date, and any additives or flavorings used. Look for reputable brands, like Phillips Crab, and opt for crab meat packed in water or its natural juices for the best flavor and texture.
Portobello Crab Stuffed Mushroom Ingredients & Substitutions
Whole Portobello Mushrooms- 4-6 large portobello caps depending on size. The filling can also be used in baby portobello mushroom caps or plain white mushrooms, you’ll need about 15 of the little ones.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper- I buy these in the jar but you can use homemade roasted red bell pepper. I would not substitute fresh red bell pepper as the silky soft texture of roasted pepper is necessary to blend into the crab filling.
Crab Meat- This recipe is made with canned crab or fresh crab if you have access to it. Canned chilled crab is used in most restaurants for stuffed portobello mushrooms with crab, and can be found in the refrigerated seafood area. This recipe has not been tested with imitation crab.
Old Bay Seasoning- Old Bay Seasoning is a trademarked name but the same seasoning is often sold as Chesapeake Bay Seasoning.
Brie Cheese- Brie Cheese is a high-fat, creamy cheese that melts beautifully. If you can’t find it I recommend mozzarella cheese, which also melts well.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Crab Meat: Tips & Instructions
Easy Crab Filling Tips
- Chop the jarred red bell peppers really well so they would be distributed better throughout the filling. You can also use pre-diced pimentos, which are technically the same thing, but I find jarred roasted red bell peppers have more flavor. Then stir the creamy crab mixture until it’s fully mixed.
- This filling can be covered with saran wrap and refrigerated for several days.
- Prep the mushrooms by removing the stem. Sometimes portabella mushrooms already have the stem removed but if not, you can slice them off yourself with a sharp knife. Wipe mushrooms with a clean damp cloth or damp paper towel carefully. It’s best to use equally-sized large portobello mushrooms for not only the size (more space = more cheesy filling) but because they’ll cook more evenly.
- Remove the gills (the brown bridges underneath the cap of the mushroom) with a sharp spoon. (What is a sharp spoon?!) Measuring spoons have a sharper edge than silverware spoons so those work great!
- Place the clean mushrooms in a glass baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray or greased lightly with butter. Place them gill side up, then spoon the filling into the portobello caps.
- You’ll want to use a baking vessel with sides to bake these, versus a baking sheet, because the filling and cheese tend to spill over and you’re going to want to capture every drop with your spoon after they’re baked!
- Slice the brie into manageable slices, then remove the rind with a sharp paring knife. Some people like to eat the rind, but I wouldn’t recommend that here since the rind becomes hard during baking.
- Place cheese on top of the crab stuffing on each mushroom. Cover the casserole dish with a piece of aluminum foil and bake them at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Uncover the dish and cook for 5-10 more minutes if needed to brown the tops and melt the cheese.
Serve the mushrooms warm with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or extra green onions.
These crab and brie stuffed mushrooms make a great appetizer or light main course (with a salad and a glass of white wine, of course) any time of the year!
If you grew up loving Red Lobster Crab Stuffed Mushrooms like me you’ll recognize this version has similar flavors like Old Bay Seasoning, lump crabmeat, and red bell pepper.
Although they aren’t exactly the same as the Red Lobster crab stuffed mushrooms in garlic butter (my recipe removes the breadcrumbs) these are sure to become one of your favorite mushroom recipes.
Prepping Your Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Ahead of Time
You can also prep your mushrooms early, cover them with some plastic wrap or in an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours or until you’re ready to bake them. This works great if you plan to make them for a dinner party or potluck.
How Long To Cook Stuffed Mushrooms
Crab stuffed mushrooms are covered in foil and cooked at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Then uncover the dish and cook for 5-10 more minutes if needed to brown the tops and melt the cheese.
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Crab stuffed mushrooms are a true crowd-pleaser, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Whether you're hosting a party or simply looking to elevate your appetizer game, these little bites are sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients and indulge in the delectable delights of crab stuffed mushrooms. Get ready to savor each savory bite and watch as they disappear from the plate in no time!
- 4-6 whole portobello mushrooms
- Half a stalk of celery, small dice
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 2 tablespoons jarred roasted red bell pepper, finely diced
- 8 oz. crab meat
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise
- 1/2 t. granulated garlic
- 1/2 t. Old Bay seasoning, or Chesapeake Bay seasoning
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1 t. fresh lemon juice (plus additional juice for squeezing on after cooking)
- 6 oz. brie cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Garnish: Fresh lemon wedges, parsley, additional scallions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Using a small paring knife, remove the stems of the mushrooms if they are intact. Then using a spoon, scoop out the gilled side until you see white mushroom underneath. Discard the gills and stems.
Place the mushroom caps in a large baking dish, such as a pyrex glass casserole dish. They should fit snug.
In a medium bowl combine the diced celery, diced roasted red bell pepper, crab meat, mayonnaise, all seasonings, and lemon juice. Fold the ingredient in the mixing bowl with a spatula to combine and taste for seasoning.
Fill each mushroom cap to overflowing.
For the brie, remove the rind and slice it into manageable slices.
Place the slices on top of the mushrooms.
Place 2 tablespoons of sliced butter into the dish. Sprinkle the whole dish with sea salt and garlic powder, and cover with foil.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. You may remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to melt and brown the cheese if desired.
Remove the mushrooms and sprinkle with extra lemon juice and fresh parsley or green onions. Enjoy!
This recipe can be assembled early, refrigerated, and then baked right before your party or special occasion meal.
Small mushrooms can be substituted for portobello. You'll need about 15 baby mushrooms for this recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 956mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g
This nutritional information is provided as a courtesy as an estimate only. Consult with a dietician for precise estimates.