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Crab Imperial is a delicious dish made with lump crabmeat baked in a creamy and flavorful old bay seasoned sauce. This crab imperial sauce recipe can be a delicious entree or a crab dip served with toasted baguette slices. Bring a touch of the Maryland shore to your dinner table, wherever you live.

Crab imperial in a ramekin.

Baked crab imperial is a truly decadent dish. It’s almost like a crab cake in a baking dish – without the bread crumbs – just all crab and flavor. Lump crab meat is tossed in a delicious imperial sauce – flavored with garlic, old bay seasoning, and lemon – and baked until warm and delicious. As a meal, as an appetizer, or even as an accompaniment to a grilled steak, you will love this versatile crab sauce recipe.

Lump crab and Old Bay Seasoning are a match made in heaven. Tossing a bushel of freshly boiled blue crabs out on a paper-lined table and hammering out the delicious meat has its place. It’s fun and festive. But it is so much work. This sauce recipe gives you all the flavor and reward with none of the hassle.

This crab imperial recipe would be, well, just crab, without the imperial sauce. Somehow the mixture of simple everyday ingredients together as a whole take

If you haven’t tried my boiling crab sauce, it’s delicious with shrimp. And my fish taco sauce is an easy way to add restaurant flavor to fish tacos.


This is another recipe where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. These everyday simple ingredients are combined together to create a sauce worthy of it’s “imperial” name.

Ingredients for imperial sauce.
  • Mayonnaise – My go to mayo is Helman’s. It really is better in my opinion.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This gives a little bite and richness to the sauce.
  • Dijon mustard – Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?
  • Old Bay seasoning – The everything seasoning for crab. If you can’t find it (please try) you can use cajun seasoning as a substitute.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Italian parsley – For garnish.
  • Large egg – to hold the crab mixture together and to add richness.
  • Lemon juice – Just a squeeze for brightness and kick.

Instructions

What I love about so many of our sauces is that they are crazy easy to prepare. You take regular ingredients, mix them together, and end up very quickly with something special that tastes as if you have put in far more effort. This is another one of those recipes. A quick mix of all ingredients and it is ready to use. It’s that easy.

  1. To make Imperial Sauce – in a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, sugar, parsley, egg, and lemon juice until well combined. Use right away.
  2. To make Baked Crab Imperial – bake the mixture in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. I like to bake this in small ramekins or small casserole dishes. To serve as a dip, bake in a round baking dish. Be careful not to overbake as it will dry out the crab.

Variations

Just like crab cakes, crab imperial can be tweaked however you might like to your preference.

  • To add crunch – toss some crushed up Ritz crackers on top, drizzled with melted butter.
  • You can add chopped onions or peppers if you like.
  • Add cayenne pepper for heat.
  • Or, to add a very traditional flavor, add a splash of dry Sherry to the crab mixture before baking.


Storage

This sauce should be used right away. It’s so easy to prepare there is no need to make it ahead of time.

Tips

  • Makes enough sauce for about 1 pound of crab meat.
  • Don’t add all the sauce at once. Larger pieces of fresh lump crab meat will need less sauce and small pieces will need more sauce. Ultimately, you want the meat to be lightly coated in sauce.

More Seafood Sauce Recipes

We have many more great sauces to use with seafood!

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Yield: 1 cup

Imperial Sauce

Crab imperial in a ramekin.

Imperial sauce is incredibly easy and so delicious with lump crab meat. This popular recipe uses a handful of ingredients and comes together in a matter of minutes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, sugar, parsley, egg, and lemon juice until well combined. Use right away.

Notes

Makes enough sauce for about 1 pound of crab meat. Don't add all the sauce at once. Larger pieces of crab meat will need less sauce and small pieces will need more sauce. Ultimately, you want the meat to be lightly coated in sauce.

Baking crab imperial: We recommend baking in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Bake in small ramekins or small casserole dishes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 544mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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