What is Shrimp and Crabmeat Au Gratin?

Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin is a luxuriant, elegant and impressive main dish that can be prepared earlier in the day (or up to one month ahead and frozen), making it ideal for a make ahead dinner. Delicate, sweet shrimp and lump crabmeat are baked with sliced mushrooms and artichoke hearts in a velvety smooth cheese sauce spiked with sherry and mustard. This scrumptious seafood au gratin is also flexible – you can use various shellfish and cheeses, to your taste. Plus, you can bake it in either individual dishes or as one luscious seafood casserole.

There’s something so elegant about shellfish, so it’s often my go to for a special entrée. I’m particularly partial to shrimp and lump crabmeat. Their sweet, delicate flavor is extremely flexible, and lends itself to a variety of cuisines – from Southwestern, to Asian, French, Italian and even Cajun.

What is au gratin in cooking?

The term “au gratin” refers to a dish that is topped with breadcrumbs and/or grated cheese, then baked or broiled until the top is a golden brown.

Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin Recipe Ingredients

For this Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin, I pair these versatile seafoods with sautéed cremini (also known as baby bella) mushrooms, tender artichoke hearts and shallots. They’re all gently tossed with a velvety cheese sauce that’s seasoned with dry sherry (can also use white wine), Worcestershire sauce, mustard and a dash of paprika. To add a bit of color and crunch, I top it off with a panko breadcrumb-fresh parsley- butter mixture. The resulting gratin is rich yet not overpowering, super flavorful, elegant and impressive.

How to Make Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin

Preparing this elegant and impressive entrée is surprisingly easy. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Prep oven and baking dishes.
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 4 (8 ounce) gratin dishes, ramekins or shell baking dishes. I put a pat of butter on a small piece of paper towel and rub it generously around the inside of the dishes.
  2. Prep artichoke hearts.
    Place artichoke hearts in a strainer under warm running water until thawed. Gently squeeze dry with paper towel and coarsely chop. Set aside.
  3. Cook mushrooms.
    In a large heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and liquid evaporates. Using a slotted spoon remove the mushrooms from the pan and place on a plate or in a bowl. Don’t clean out the pan!
  4. Cook shallots and make cream sauce.
    In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add shallots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, around 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour; continue cooking, whisking, for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and wine or sherry, pouring liquids in a slow stream. Increase heat to medium, bring to a slow boil and cook, stirring, just until the sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Finish cheese sauce.
    Reduce heat to low and stir in both cheeses. Cook just until cheese melts, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Combine ingredients.
    Gently fold artichoke hearts and mushrooms into cheese sauce (you can uses the same spoon you used to stir the cheese sauce). Fold in shrimp and crab.
  7. Place in dishes.
    Spoon mixture evenly between prepared baking dishes (each one should be around 3/4 to 7/8 full).
  8. Prepare and add au gratin topping.
    Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small mixing bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir in bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Sprinkle over top of seafood mixture.
  9. Bake.
    Place baking dishes on a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake for around 25 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly hot and the topping is lightly browned. If top doesn’t brown, run under the broiler for a minute or two.
Shell shaped dish filled with an individual serving of Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin

How to Store Crabmeat and Shrimp Gratin

These little dishes of deliciousness can be prepared but not baked earlier in the day, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.

They can also be well wrapped and frozen, baked or unbaked, for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking or reheating.

Can I use other shellfish in Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin?

Yes! You can use all shrimp, all crab, or substitute lobster for one of the two – even crawfish would work well.

What cheeses work best in seafood au gratin?

I’m partial to a mixture of sharp Cheddar and Havarti, but you can use most any melting cheese, including Gruyère, fontina or Monterey Jack.

Can Crab Au Gratin be frozen?

Yes, you can prepare but not bake it and freeze for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before baking.

How many calories are in shrimp au gratin?

There are around 450 calories in each serving.

What goes well with Seafood Au Gratin?

This shrimp and crab dish is on the richer side and doesn’t need many sides to make a full meal. I like to serve it with a simple tossed salad and either Lemon Rice or Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice.

Shell shaped dish holding an individual serving of Shrimp and Crab Gratin

Other Delicious Shrimp and Crab Main Dish Recipes

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Shell shaped dish holding an individual serving of Shrimp and Crab Gratin

Crab and Shrimp Au Gratin

Shrimp and Crab Au Gratin is a luxuriant, elegant and impressive main dish that can be prepared earlier in the day (or up to 1 month ahead and frozen), making it ideal for a make ahead dinner. This scrumptious seafood au gratin is also flexible – you can use various shellfish (only shrimp, only crab, or lobster or crawfish), and cheeses, to your taste. Plus, bake it in either individual dishes or as one casserole!

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings – can easily be doubled 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 to 5 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (1/2 a 9-ounce package) – see Note
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms (white or cremini/baby bella), stems removed, caps sliced (larger mushrooms halved)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons dry sherry (or dry white wine)
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Havarti cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces medium-sized shrimp, cooked, peeled (tails off), deveined and patted dry
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup fresh or panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 4 (8 ounce) gratin dishes, ramekins or shell baking dishes.
  2. Thaw artichoke hearts under warm running water. Gently squeeze dry with paper towel and coarsely chop. Set aside.
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, around 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour; continue cooking, whisking, for 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and wine or sherry. Increase heat to medium, bring to a slow boil and cook, stirring, just until beginning to thicken.
  5. Reduce heat to low and stir in both cheeses. Cook just until cheese melts, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Gently fold artichoke hearts and mushrooms into cheese sauce. Fold in shrimp and crab. Divide evenly between prepared baking dishes (each one should be around 3/4 to 7/8 full).
  7. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small mixing bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir in bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Sprinkle over top of seafood mixture.
  8. Place baking dishes on a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake for around 25 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly hot and the topping is lightly browned. If top doesn’t brown, run under the broiler for a minute or two.

Notes

Note on artichokes: Can also use 1/2 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained. I prefer the texture of frozen in this dish, if you can find them.

Variation in one pan: Can be cooked in a greased casserole dish instead of individual ramekins. Takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes longer to cook.

Make ahead: Dish can be prepared but not baked earlier in the day, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking. Can also be well wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

  • Author: By Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: seafood, main dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 451
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 1040.2 mg
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 38.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 198.6 mg

Keywords: crab, shrimp, au gratin

Shell shaped dish holding an individual serving of Shrimp and Crab Gratin

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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