The concept for this recipe came from a family friend who used to make an appetizer with store-bought crab cakes that she crumbled and stuffed into mushroom caps.
We find that it’s just as easy (and more economical) to mix up a simple homemade crabmeat stuffing instead. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Cooked, pasteurized crabmeat (see below for shopping tips)
- Mild shredded cheese (Muenster or Monterey Jack)
- Panko crumbs
- Lemon juice
- Fresh thyme
Our crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can be served either as a first course or as a light dinner with a salad on the side. A light, food-friendly white wine like dry Riesling or Viognier is a nice pairing with this dish.
As written, this recipe serves two as a main course or four as an appetizer.
Shopping for Crab:
When buying the crab for this recipe, we recommend using the canned, pasteurized version found in the refrigerator case of your supermarket. Most stores carry three or four varieties, any of which will work for the crab stuffing for these mushrooms. Here’s a rundown of the different types going from most to least expensive.
- Jumbo lump: Jumbo lump crabmeat comes from the rear section of the crab that’s attached to the legs it uses for swimming. The pieces are large, delicately flavored and carry the highest price tag of the four varieties mentioned here. For a recipe like this one, where you mix the crab with other ingredients, jumbo lump is not worth the extra cost.
- Lump: Lump crabmeat comes from the central part of the crab that’s attached to the claws. It has the same delicate flavor as jumbo lump, but the pieces are smaller. It’s a good choice for both this recipe and our Linguine with Crab.
- Backfin: Backfin is crabmeat from the body of the crab. The flavor is a bit stronger than lump, and the pieces are generally small. Backfin is a good choice for these crab-stuffed portobellos, as well as crab cakes and crab dips.
- Claw: Crabmeat from the claws is darker in color, slightly oily, and has a stronger flavor than the previously mentioned varieties. Use claw meat for recipes like soups, stews, and bisques, where a bold crab flavor is desirable.
More crab recipes:
Crab-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- 4 portobello mushroom caps
- 8 oz pasteurized crab meat, lump or backfin
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1-1/2 tablespoons
- 2/3 cup mild shredded cheese, divided (see recommendations below)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Remove the stems from the portobello caps, dice them and add to a mixing bowl.
- Using a spoon, scrape the gills from the mushrooms, then brush the caps clean and arrange them on the prepared baking pan.
- Season each mushroom cap with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Add the crab, panko, onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried), and lemon juice to the chopped mushroom stems.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese and add the remainder to the crab mixture.
- Combine gently, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add more thyme if desired before stirring in the beaten egg.
- Divide the stuffing between the mushrooms and compress gently to form a slight mound.
- Bake until the crab mixture is set and light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top each mushroom with a portion of the remaining cheese and bake for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with lemon wedges and a dash of hot sauce if desired.