Creamed Crab Meat

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Six


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • cup dry sherry (optional)
  • 2 cups crab meat, picked over well to remove all bits of shell and cartilage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour, using a wire whisk. When blended, stir in the milk and cream, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Add the salt and mustard and bring to a boil, stirring. When the mixture is blended and smooth, add the sherry. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, place the crab meat in a saucepan. Add the onion and green pepper and stir in half the sauce. Very gently stir to blend but do not break up the crab meat. Bring to a boil.

  4. Spoon the hot crab-meat mixture into a pie plate or a similar flat ovenproof baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the mixture. Neatly arrange the tomato slices over the top and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Dot with the remaining butter.

  5. Bake just until mixture bubbles in the dish.

  6. Place under the broiler just long enough to brown the cheese.


It is very easy to vary the flavors of dishes, and all that is essential is an iota of taste and imagination. For example, the preceding creamed crab meat could be curried. To do this, omit the sherry and add curry powder to taste along with the flour before making the sauce. You would not use both sherry and curry because it would be an unnecessary complication of flavors. On the other hand, you could also make substitutions for the crab meat. Flaked cooked fish such as tuna or salmon could be substituted, or even chopped hard-cooked eggs could be used.