The perfect dish for a fancy occasion, this super easy Crab Stuffed Salmon is made with tasty salmon fillets and a homemade cream cheese and crab meat filling. Make it once, and you’ll want to make it every week!
A Mouthwatering Stuffed Salmon Recipe
Do you need a super fancy dish for a special occasion? Maybe you want to impress a Valentine, or treat someone for an anniversary or birthday? Well, this is the seafood dinner for any occasion! It’s pretty to look at, easy to make, lavish, and of course, delicious!
Tender, juicy salmon fillets are the star of the show here, but they are well accomplished with the stuffing mixture. Because, you guys, the stuffing is cream cheese and crab! It’s so delicately sweet, creamy, and savory all at once, you’ll be hooked!
Plus, crab stuffed salmon is simple to make, with very little cleanup, too! All you have to do is mix the filling in one bowl, and then bake the salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Perfection in every way!
Is Eating Salmon Good for You?
Yes! Salmon is generally considered a very healthy food, thanks to the generous amount of Omega-3 fatty acids (which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents), B-vitamins, potassium, selenium, and protein! Typically, wild-caught salmon from clean waters are the most nutritious, but farmed salmon can be very good as well.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
To make this recipe, you’ll need salmon fillets, crab meat, and a few pantry basics, as well. Here’s the list! (Note: you can find the full recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Salmon: You’ll need four salmon fillets. Skin-on is fine.
- Salt and Pepper
- Crab Meat: You can use whatever crab meat you like. Drain it well, and finely chop it.
- Cream Cheese: Soften half a block of cream cheese, so that it’s easy to mix with the other stuffing ingredients.
- Bell Pepper: Just a little bit of finely diced bell pepper (red, green, or yellow) will complement the flavor of the crab and cream cheese perfectly.
- Garlic: Mince or press the garlic cloves.
- Egg: Egg helps to bind the stuffing mixture together.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley adds freshness to the dish, and makes a pretty garnish as well.
- Old Bay Seasoning: This classic seasoning blend is perfectly balanced for use with seafood.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs add a little crunch to the finished dish.
- Cooking Spray: Spritzing cooking spray or oil over the stuffed fish before baking helps create a crispy top.
How to Choose Salmon Like a Pro
When you choose fresh salmon, look for fillets that have a bright, saturated color. Dull or pale fish is past its freshness. Additionally, press gently into the fillet; does the indention gradually spring back up, or does it stay? Salmon that doesn’t spring back is old and should be avoided.
Can I Use Frozen Salmon?
Definitely! I recommend that you find a frozen salmon brand that you trust, but in general, frozen seafood is as fresh, if not fresher, than most salmon behind the glass at the fish counter!
Let’s Make Crab Stuffed Salmon!
So, how do you make this impressive main course? It’s easy! Let’s take a look at the process, step-by-step.
- Prep the Salmon Fillets. Before you start, make sure your oven is preheating to 425˚F. Then, place your salmon fillets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and then cut a ¼-inch-deep pocket into the center of each one.
- Make the Crab Meat Stuffing. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the chopped crab meat, cream cheese, bell peppers, garlic, egg, parsley, and Old Bay seasoning. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Stuff the Fillets. Generously stuff the salmon fillets with the crab meat stuffing, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and lightly spritz the tops of the stuffed fillets with cooking spray.
- Bake. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. You’ll know it’s done when an instant-read thermometer registers at 130°F inside the fish fillets.
- Enjoy! Serve your stuffed salmon garnished with parsley.
Tips for the Best Stuffed Salmon
When it comes to cooking this crab stuffed salmon, there are a few extra tips I would like to share here. Bon appetit, and I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
- Avoid Overcooking: As with all fish, it’s important not to overcook salmon, or the fillets will be tough, dry, and disappointing.
- Don’t Cut Through the Skin: These fillets are really more “topped” than “stuffed,” and that’s okay! Don’t try to cut too deep of a pocket into the fillets, or you might cut through the skin, which would cause the juices and stuffing to leak out during cooking.
- Stuffing Consistency: If the stuffing seems too runny, you can add a tablespoon or two of extra breadcrumbs to thicken it up.
- Spice It Up: This recipe can easily be turned into Cajun stuffed salmon by adding Cajun seasoning to the stuffing, instead of Old Bay.
Scrumptious Side Dishes
This is the kind of recipe I like to cook for a special occasion, maybe Valentine’s Day or a birthday. So, to go with it, I usually whip up a special-but-easy side dish, such as…
- Roasted Vegetables: While most roasted veggies lean towards root veggies, this easy sheet pan side goes with colorful tender vegetables, gently roasted in olive oil and spices. Roasted Green Beans with Squash and Tomatoes for the win!
- Risotto: This ultra-creamy, homemade Lemon Parmesan Risotto is the perfect match for salmon! And, since it’s studded with asparagus, it’s a rice and veggie side in one!
- Potatoes: Everyone knows that roasted potatoes pair beautifully with fish, and these Lemon Garlic Oven-Roasted Potatoes are no exception! The delicate flavor of lemon contrasts perfectly with creamy, crab-stuffed salmon.
How to Store and Reheat Your Leftovers
- Store your leftover salmon in the refrigerator, well covered, preferably in airtight containers. While salmon typically lasts a couple of days, crab stuffing will not stay fresh as long. For that reason, this dish should be reheated and served within 24 hours.
- To reheat, place the leftover portion in an ovenproof dish, and bake in a low oven (around 300°F) until heated through completely. You can use an instant-read thermometer to make sure that both the fish and stuffing are fully heated through. It should reach at least 130°F.
- While it is possible to freeze this salmon, I don’t recommend freezing, because thawed cooked salmon tends to have a grainy texture and strong smell.
Crab Stuffed Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets, (each fillet should weigh about 5 to 6 ounces)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces crab meat, drained well and finely chopped
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup diced bell peppers, (red, green, or yellow peppers)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- cooking spray, for topping
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange salmon fillets on top of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut a ¼-inch-deep pocket in the center of each salmon fillet. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine chopped crabmeat, cream cheese, bell peppers, garlic, egg, parsley, and old bay seasoning; mix and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Stuff the salmon fillets with the prepared crabmeat filling.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of fillets and lightly spray the tops with cooking oil.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through, and internal temperature registers at 130˚F.
- Remove from oven.
- Garnish with parsley.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.