Maryland Crab Imperial Recipes

Maryland's Crab Imperial is a dish that, like crab cakes, is renowned throughout the world for its delicious taste.  A perfect entree for a casual meal as well as a formal dinner.  Impress your family or guests with one of these classic recipes!

Crab Imperial

1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 pimientos, chopped
1 Tbsp. English mustard
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
3 lbs. crab meat (backfin or lump)
paprika or Old Bay Seasoning

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except crab meat and paprika and mix well. Add crab meat and mix gently. Spoon into baking shells. Top with additional mayonnaise and paprika or Old Bay Seasoning. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes. 12 servings.


Simple Crab Imperial
Courtesy Queen Anne Goes To The Kitchen Cookbook by The Episcopal Church Women of St. Paul's Parish

4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
1 lb. crabmeat
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup pimiento
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dry mustard
salt and pepper
bread crumbs

Make a white sauce with the butter, flour, and milk. Cool Slightly. Mix the next five ingredients with the white sauce and season with salt and pepper. Put into crab shells, scallop baking shells, or a baking dish. Sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs, dot with butter, and brown in a 350º oven. Freezes well. Makes 6 servings.


Baltimore Crab Imperial
Courtesy The Chesapeake Bay Cookbook by John Shields

A version of the famous Baltimore dish!

1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp. diced green bell peppers
2 Tbsp. pimentos or red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 lb. lump crabmeat

Imperial Topping: In a small bowl, combine the following ingredients and mix well
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise
pinch paprika
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°. In a skillet melt the butter and sauté the bell pepper, pimentos and mushrooms until soft and set aside. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except the crabmeat and topping, in a small bowl and mix well. Add the sautéed peppers and mushrooms to the mixture. Place the crabmeat in a mixing bowl and pour the pepper mixture over it. Toss gently. Spoon the mixture into 4 small individual casserole dishes or well cleaned crab shells or aluminum crab baking shells. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. While baking prepare the topping. After baking remove the casseroles from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Spoon the topping evenly over each casserole. Place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Blair Mansion Inn Crab Imperial
Courtesy A Taste of Maryland History Cookbook by Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott

1 egg yolk
6 1/2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, divided
1/8 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp. capers
1 pound backfin crabmeat, picked
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 375°. Add egg yolk, 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, Old Bay, and capers to crabmeat. Mix until well combined. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff, then gently fold in remaining mayonnaise. Stir until mixed. Divide crab mixture into 6 equal portions and place on a greased cookie sheet. Ladle egg white mixture evenly over crabmeat and bake for 10 minutes. Serves 6.