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Crab Imperial

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[[ recipeID=recipe-8kwe0wf5h, title=Crab Imperial ]]


Crab Imperial is a flavor-packed Maryland classic, perfect for when that seafood craving hits. The star of the show is undoubtedly the Jumbo Lump crab meat bathed in a creamy, luxurious sauce. But it's the simplicity of this recipe that is truly special.

Whether you call it crab imperial or imperial crab, this recipe is pure goodness from the sea enhanced with only a few sauces – or more additions if you’re feeling creative. Crab Imperial is an impressive yet approachable recipe, great for a special occasion or a cozy weeknight treat.

Here are some more tips for nailing this seafood staple.

What type of crab meat should I use?

Since crab is the star of this recipe, it’s important to choose high-quality crab. Super or jumbo lump crab meat ideal because of their impressively large lumps of meat. and sweet, clean, buttery flavor and delicate, flaky texture.

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, in particular, consists of the two large unbroken muscles connected to the swimming legs of the crab and is best used for upscale recipes like crab imperial and crab cocktails where the size of the lumps can really be appreciated.

Customize your Crab Imperial

This recipe for Crab Imperial is a great place to start – but it’s also versatile enough to make your own!

Put your own delicious spin on this recipe by adding chopped bell peppers or celery, panko breadcrumbs for an added crunch on top, or a splash of sherry to the sauce for more depth of flavor. We also love this recipe topped with parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added zest.

And, of course, we can’t forget the sides. Add baked Crab Imperial to your seafood feast along with sides that complement its rich depth of flavor, such as steamed veggies, a fresh salad, or roasted asparagus.

To get your creative culinary juices flowing, check out this mouthwatering recipe using our Culinary Reserve Pasteurized Crab Meat!

Crab Imperial

Crab Imperial is a simple, classic Maryland seafood recipe that allows the fantastic flavor of crab to shine through. The rich, creamy sauce is combined with the crab meat and then baked to golden perfection. Each bite offers a delightful contrast between the smooth sauce and the tender crab, bursting with flavor.

Servings: 4 people

Keywords: Crab

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins




  • 1 lb. can Super Lump crab meat or Jumbo Lump crab meat
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Coleman's Dry Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Sugar
  • ½ Lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon Wondra flour
  • Sprinkle of Paprika, for topping Imperial


  1. Mix all ingredients, except Crab Meat, and reserve chilled until ready to cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F
  3. In a large bowl, gently fold crab meat into ½ of the imperial sauce base, being careful not to break up the crab meat.
  4. Add more sauce until you have a loose, but not soupy, consistency. *This may not require all the sauce*
  5. Allow to chill for 15 minutes. Then divide into small buttered casserole dishes.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove and allow to cool slightly (so you are not serving Molten Crab Lava).
  8. SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Go old school and serve with warm toast points (crust removed of course). OR: Serve with an Italian Tricolore salad with shaved parmesan cheese.