With a bit of crab and shrimp in each bite, this Mid-Atlantic seafood stuffing (dressing) is a delicious way to bring coastal flavors to the holiday table, or just a great dish to enjoy anytime!
I joke that food bloggers think three months in advance for holidays, and normally I wouldn’t be posting the Thanksgiving stuffing recipes in the middle of the summer, but I couldn’t resist. Also, I’m squarely blaming Paige from Where Latin Meets Lagniappe for these shenanigans. Feel free to go thank her after you try this dressing recipe, because I know you probably won’t be able to wait until Thanksgiving either.
Before we go on, I’d like to share with you a little lesson on Thanksgiving menu language that I learned years ago. Unless Thanksgiving stuffing is actually stuffed into the bird, the proper term to use is Thanksgiving dressing. So this shrimp and crab stuffing recipe is actually a shrimp and crab dressing recipe. Personally, I wouldn’t stuff this recipe into a bird for cooking, though. While it would make a lovely pairing with turkey, I don’t think the flavors are best blended. Also, the Godfather smokes his turkey, and it’s logistically difficult to stuff on the grill. So when you’re planning your Thanksgiving menu this year, be sure to note “seafood dressing” for this dish.
I’ve been meaning to make a dish from Paige’s blog in my own style to share here for a while, and I really wanted to make zucchini fries based off this recipe and using my zucchini from the garden… which I cannot seem to successfully grow. So I needed another plan. As I looked around more, I remembered her recipe for sausage stuffing from scratch, and decided it was time to face one of my personal kitchen challenges. You see, gentle reader, I hadn’t been successful at making Thanksgiving dressing from scratch ever. I’ve been doctoring box mixes every year, and mastering a from scratch recipe has been on my list of “things to accomplish”. Check!
Taking inspiration from our current location, and lifelong love of seafood, I decided to skip the sausage and make this dressing recipe decidedly mid-Atlantic with lots of crab and shrimp. I also cut the liquid a bit so I could reduce the baking time, and added a little heavy cream because it felt like the right thing to do (any non-dairy cream works as a substitute for those who can’t have dairy). Seafood recipes benefit from a little creaminess for balance.
Not only was this one of the prettiest dressings I’ve seen in the pan, it was home at first bite. It tasted like it should have always been on my Thanksgiving table. I’m a Florida girl, why wouldn’t there be seafood at Thanksgiving? This is a dressing hearty enough to stand on its own for those who make a meal of the “sides”, yet complimentary enough to pair well with everything else. We ate it for dinner, alone, with a green salad, and the leftovers are just as wonderful reheated.
Thank you, Paige, for inspiring me to create a dish that I know we’ll enjoy for many holidays to come! <3
- 16 oz baguette bread, cut into 1/4" cubes
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 cups stalks celery, diced
- 4 cup carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb crab meat, picked over to remove any shells
- 1 lb raw shrimp, tails removed, chopped
- 3 1/2 cups broth
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp crab seasoning, ex - Old Bay
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (177 C) and place your bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 10-12 minutes to toast, then remove and set aside. Turn off the oven.
- Melt the butter in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute longer.
- Add the chopped shrimp and cook until they just turn pink. Stir in the crab meat, then remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the toasted bread cubes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the broth, eggs, whipping cream, sherry, spices, parsley, and hot sauce. Pour over the bread and seafood mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Transfer all the stuffing into a buttered 11x13" casserole dish, then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to blend, you may refrigerate overnight (I did).
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F and place the dressing, still covered in foil, into the oven. Bake 30 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake another 30-40 minutes until the top has slightly toasted.
- Remove and serve warm. Enjoy!