Looking for a unique chili that’s sure to please, then you've got to try this creamy white crab chili. Take cream of crab to a new level.
Cream Of Crab Recipe
Looking for a unique chili that’s sure to please, then this creamy White Crab Chili needs to be on your to-do list this weekend!
From big crab flavor, white beans, fresh corn, and a slight jalapeño kick, this chili is an absolute crowd-pleaser.
If you love cream of crab soup you will be quite pleased with this amped-up Chesapeake crustacean creation.
BONUS: This recipe is perfect for taking your Football Sunday appetizers and snacks to the next level.
If you like Cream of Crab you'll LOVE Creamy White Crab Chili
I have always loved white chicken chili so as a Marylander I obviously had to create a white crab chili recipe.
The flavor profiles are similar to its chicken counterparts but instead of chili powder and paprika I used a staple Maryland ingredient: Old Bay Seasoning as my base seasoning.
Old bay is an incredibly versatile seasoning that is synonymous with seafood but also pairs great with a variety of dishes.
Corn is something that is commonly seasoned with old bay especially in the Mid-Atlantic area so combining corn, crab and old bay was a no brainer.
Ingredient List For Cream Of Crab
Crab meat: 1 pound of fresh crab meat from your local fish market or store is best. You can also use frozen crab if that is what you have.
However, I would advise staying away from imitation crab; the flavor and texture are not the same.
Beans: 1 can of both Cannellini and pinto beans.
Corn starch: ⅓ cup of corn starch.
Cream: 1 quart of half and half and 1 pint of heavy cream.
Vegetables: 1 cup of corn, 1 cup of diced white onions, 1 cup of diced bell peppers, ¼ cup of diced jalapeños (2-3 peppers), ½ cup of garnished diced tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley.
Condiments/sauces: 1 tablespoon of old bay, 2 teaspoons of dry mustard, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire.
Butter and oil: 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 ounces of dry sherry.
Cheese: ½ cup of shredded cheddar.
Scallions: ½ cup of scallions.
How To Make Cream Of Crab
Dice. Start off by dicing up your jalapeños, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. Chop up the parsley and shave the corn off the cob. Drain and rinse the canned beans.
Sauté. Next, in an 8 quart dutch oven, sauté your onions, jalapeños, bell peppers, and corn with butter over medium-low heat until veggies begin to soften. Deglaze with dry sherry and Worcestershire.
Add spice and cream. Add dry mustard and old bay to the pot and then stir in half & half and heavy cream.
Simmer. Continue to simmer until the cream is warm and then stir corn starch together with a ½ cup of water before whisking into the cream.
Stir. Stir frequently making sure not to burn the bottom of the pot. Once the cream begins to thicken, add the beans and crabmeat. Continue stirring until it reaches a simmer, but do not bring to a boil.
Remove. Remove from heat and serve!
Garnish. Garnish with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeños, scallions, and diced tomatoes!
- Cannellini Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Corn Starch
- Half & Half
- Heavy Cream
- Old Bay
- White Onion
- Bell Peppers
- Dry Sherry
- Dry Mustard
- Chopped Parsley
- Shredded Cheddar Garnish
- Scallions Garnish
- Diced Tomato Garnish
What To Serve With Cream Of Crab
A leafy, healthy side salad is a staple of a side for soups. Plus, a salad will add a healthy nutritional balance to your meal.
You always need something to dip out your soup with, so why not a sandwich or a good slice of Artisanal bread. This will help you soak up every last drop of your creamy white crab chili!
What kind of crab should I use in soup/chili?
When I make Maryland crab soup I prefer to use a combination of claw and backfin crabmeat.
I think that jumbo lump is just a waste because the lumps will just get broken up in the soup.
Cream of crab is different because most of the time the crab is added to each individual bowl and the lumps remain in tact.
For this creamy white chili, I went with the claw/backfin combo because I wanted the crab stirred throughout the chili.
If you happen to have jumbo lump feel free to garnish with a few lumps on top. I chose to just varnish with a few large claw pieces on top and I feel that worked out just fine.
What kind of beans are best for cream of crab?
You can really use any beans you like for this white crab chili recipe. I used Cannellini and pinto beans because they have a creamy texture and are lighter in color.
Butter beans, chickpeas, or navy beans would also be great options.
I try to stay away from the darker beans like kidney and black beans only because I wouldn't want them to discolor the White crab chili.
Fresh or Frozen Corn?
I personally love nothing more than fresh corn shaved right off the cob. If it’s not available you can substitute frozen corn but I would try to avoid canned corn.
Canned corn has a mushy texture and is brined in a solution that can affect the flavor of your chili.
If possible I always keep an eye out for roadside produce stands selling fresh local corn. It’s definitely an ingredient that can boost the flavor of the dish by using fresh corn.
I use the fresh shaved corn in the white crab chili as well as a garnish on top.
Turn up the heat ... or don't, it's up to you!
When it comes to the heat level of chili you definitely have two different camps. Some want chili so hot you’ll shed a tear while others prefer a subtle kick.
I find that subtle is best for white chili so I let the heat come from the fresh diced jalapeño. To reduce the heat even further remove the seeds from the jalapeño.
Serve the chili with sliced jalapeño as an extra old bay because it's a Maryland thing!
Go slow, don't burn the bottom of the pot. Your chili will thank you
One of the biggest mistakes I see when making any cream-based soup is to have the heat too high on the burner. For this recipe, you should never raise the heat above medium.
Most of the cooking process should be done over medium-low heat and at no point should this crab chili come to a boil.
If it does you run the risk of the soup breaking or burning the bottom of the pot leaving a bitter burnt flavor. Use a wooden spoon and stir frequently.
You are not trying to caramelize your veggies so go slow and gently soften the peppers and onions just until opaque.
Once it’s time to add the cream you will slowly warm it up just below a simmer and then add your cornstarch slurry.
Be sure to mix the cornstarch with water or you’ll have clumps in the chili. After the chili has thickened you can gently fold in the beans and crab.
They only need to be warmed through because the crab and beans are already cooked. Reserve just a bit of extra crab to garnish on top of the chili.
More Crab Inspiration
- Chesapeake Crab Butter Sauce
- Cedar Plank Smoked Crab Cakes
- Ultimate Guide To Steamed Blue Crabs
- Jumbo Lump Crab Burgers
- Crab Mac and Cheese Hot Dogs
Creamy White Crab Chili
- 1 lb Crabmeat
- 1 can Cannellini Beans
- 1 can Pinto Beans
- ⅓ cup Corn Starch
- 1 Qt Half & Half
- 1 Pint Heavy Cream
- 1 tbsp Old Bay
- 1 cup Corn
- 1 cup Diced White Onion
- 1 cup Diced Bell Peppers
- ¼ cup Diced Jalapeno 2-3 Peppers
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 oz Dry Sherry
- 2 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- 2 tbsp Chopped Parsley
- ½ cup Shredded Cheddar Garnish
- ½ cup Scallions Garnish
- ½ cup Diced Tomato Garnish
- Dice up Bell peppers, jalapenos, onions and tomato. chop parsley and shave corn off the cob. Drain and rinse canned beans
- in a 8 Qt. Dutch oven saute onions, jalapeno, bell peppers and cor with butter over medium low heat until veggies begin to soften. Deglaze with Dry sherry and Worcestershire.
- Add Dry mustard and Old Bay to the pot and then stir in half & half and Heavy Cream.
- Continue to simmer until the cream is warm and then stir corn starch together with ½ cup of water before whisking into the cream.
- Stir frequently making sure not to burn the bottom of the pot. Once the cream begins to thicken add beans and crabmeat. Continue sturring until it reaches a simmer but do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and Serve. Garnish with cheddar cheese, scallions, sliced jalapeno and diced tomato.