Dungeness crab stuffed mushrooms make for a really delicious appetizer for a special occasion. White mushrooms are filled to the brim with Dungeness crab that we caught over the summer. If you have cooked crab meat in the freezer, this is a great recipe to try. It’s similar to a crab cake but enriched with creamy mascarpone cheese. You can use any kind of cooked crab meat in this recipe or try a combination of Dungeness and snow crab.
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Are you a fan of crab?
Each summer we are fortunate to catch and enjoy our local Dungeness crab. Gathering a pound of crab meat can be quite a process. But it is an enjoyable experience out on the water, enjoying the scenery and foraging. After a day of fishing, we come home, clean and cook the crab in a very large pot of salted water. The next step involves painstakingly cracking them open and removing the delicious flesh. The crab is then portioned out, vacuum sealed and frozen for use later. Dungeness crab are named after the port Dungeness in Washington. They can be found all up and down the West coast from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Santa Barbara California.
I use mascarpone cheese in this recipe which is a mild soft spreadable cheese similar to an American cream cheese. It can be found in the grocery store in the finer cheese section of your deli. If you have any left over, it’s also delicious spread on crackers or toast. After the mushrooms are filled with the crab stuffing, they are baked in the oven until the mushrooms begin to sweat and the crab meat turns a nice toasty golden brown. I love to finish the crab stuffed mushrooms with a slight drizzle of spicy hot sauce prior to serving. I prefer to use either Mae Ploy Thai Sweet Chili Sauce or Valentina Picante Mexican Sauce. You’ll experience a flavor burst of rich crab, savory mushrooms and a slight bite of spice.
This recipe should serve about four to six people with medium to golf ball sized mushrooms. While the mushrooms cook, they shrink a little. If you choose large mushrooms and stuff them up to the brim (as I have done here for the photos) you may find it serves four people a very generous appetizer. If you want a smaller passed appetizer, I suggest choosing small to medium sized mushrooms which will be easier to pop in your mouth.
Gluten free guests?
No problem. I often make these crab stuffed mushrooms gluten free. Instead of Panko bread crumbs, I make my own gluten free bread crumbs in the food processor. Simply use your favorite gluten free bread to make the crumbs. I find either day old Udi’s Gluten-Free MultiGrain Bread or La Brea Gluten Free white bread (found at QFC) work best for crumbs.
If you are looking for a delicious first course or appetizer for the holidays, I think you’ll love these crab stuffed mushrooms. Leave me a comment below about your thoughts and experiences with this recipe.
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Dungeness crab stuffed mushrooms make for a really delicious appetizer for a special occasion. It's similar to a crab cake but enriched with creamy mascarpone cheese.
- 1 lb cooked Dungeness crab meat (about 2 cups)
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 large egg white
- 2 scallions diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
- 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley minced
- 1/4 cup Panko or plain bread crumbs
- 12-15 golf ball sized white mushrooms stems removed
- tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- non-stick cooking spray
- hot sauce for topping, optional
- additional fresh parsley leaves for garnish
- lemon wedges, optional for garnish
Use paper towels to gently dab out any excess water from your crab meat. Chop any large pieces of crab into bite sized pieces. Use a large bowl. Combine together the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, seasoning, salt, pepper, scallions, bell pepper and parsley and egg white. Stir in the crab meat and the Panko crumbs. The mixture shouldn't be too wet. Add in a little more Panko if necessary. Set aside. It can be refrigerated about 30 minutes if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet or broiler pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Do this by gently pushing the stem with your thumb to one side and back to the other. It should pop out. Fill each mushroom cap with the crab mixture. (I fill them up high). Place the stuffed mushrooms on the baking sheet and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil all over the sides of the mushrooms. Bake the mushrooms for about 12 minutes or until the crab turns a golden brown and the mushrooms begin to sweat. They will shrink in size a little as they cook.
Transfer the mushrooms to a platter. Drizzle the tops with a little hot sauce and parsley for garnish. Serve hot. Lemon wedges on the side are also a nice garnish.
This recipe will serve four to six people generously using medium golf-ball sized white mushrooms. If you want a smaller passed appetizer, I suggest choosing small to medium sized mushrooms which will be easier to pop in your mouth. The filling will also go further in this case.
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