Crab Imperial

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Crab Imperial is a simple, classic Maryland seafood recipe that really lets the flavor of the crab shine through. It’s warm, creamy, and delicious. Serve with crackers or baguette slices for an elegant appetizer. If there are any leftovers, they make a great omelet filling.

Crab Imperial


Lump crab meat is the main ingredient in Crab Imperial. You’ll want to use 1 pound of good quality fresh lump crab meat. This dish is all about the crab flavor. The other ingredients are just there to accentuate the crab flavor. Lump crab meat comes in big chunks that have a wonderful sweet flavor.


Crab Imperial is a classic Maryland recipe


The crab is tossed with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, an egg, some lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, parsley, and shallot.

I like to add a cracker crumb topping but you can leave it off if you want.

The mixture only needs about 20 minutes to bake. Just long enough to get it hot.

Crab Imperial with a cracker topping

Try these other crab recipes

Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: crab dip
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 242kcal
Crab Imperial is a simple, classic Maryland seafood recipe that really lets the flavor of the crab shine through. It's warm, creamy, and delicious.

Print Recipe


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound fresh lump crab meat, picked over to remove any pieces of shell


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper.
  • Stir in parsley, shallot, and crab. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together Ritz cracker crumbs and melted butter. Scatter on top of crab mixture.
  • Sprinkle paprika on top. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Serve with crackers or toasted baguette.


Stir the crab in gently so you don't break it up too much.


Calories: 242kcal

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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