Cheesy Crab Poppers

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It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve got about 20 million things to get done, but I have one very important thing to do before I can go brave the cold and brace myself against the hoards of last minute shoppers– I’ve got to share this recipe with you.
I made these Cheesy Crab Poppers on a whim a few days ago because they are really quite easy, but I never had any intention of sharing them with you this quickly, mainly because I don’t usually rush to put up recipes.  (I have a little back log and I try to go in order).  That being said, after I took one bite of a crabby, cheesy, cornbread-y ball, I knew I had to get into the spirit of Christmas and give the gift of tastiness to all of my friends immediately.
Cheesy Crab Poppers-- this tasty appetizer will have your guests begging for more!
I know I just said “give the gift of tastiness”, which is up there on the list of the lamest things I’ve ever written, but the sentiment is genuine.  I really enjoyed these and I want to share them with you.  If you’re like me and still have to run to the grocery store today to whip together some little bites for your friends and family, hopefully you’ll see this in time.  If not, consider it a belated holiday present!

Cheesy Crab Poppers-- this tasty appetizer will have your guests begging for more!
The cornbread brings out the sweetness of the crab in these pop-able appetizer bites, and the addition of the bell peppers and cheese gives it all a great balance of flavors.  You can even add a bit of chopped jalapeno for a kick of spice if you’d like, or dip them in a mix of sriracha, creamy horseradish, and mayo like I did!  (By the way, that is my go-to appetizer dip.  The amount of each is up to your own personal preference, but you really can’t go wrong with it in my opinion!)
These Cheesy Crab Poppers are great year-round appetizers, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get to make them today.  Give them ago for New Year’s Eve, or for any party you host.  Your guests will gobble them up, so make sure you make a lot!
I’m going to get going because my Christmas Eve festivities are approaching, but I hope you have a wonderful holiday if you’re celebrating!  Also, I’d love to hear what foods you traditionally make for Christmas Eve or Christmas.  Share your ideas in the comments– I could always use some more inspiration!

Cheesy Crab Poppers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30 poppers
  • 1 package (~10 oz) of lump crab meat
  • 1 box of Jiffy cornmuffin mix
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Canola oil, for frying
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls, just slightly smaller than the size of golf balls. Set on parchment paper or a baking sheet.
  3. In a large, high walled pot or a wok, heat oil over medium-high. You want to make sure there is enough oil to cover ⅔ of the crab balls.
  4. Test the oil to see if it's ready by dipping the end (handle-side) of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the oil begins to bubble, it's ready. If not, let it sit a bit longer.
  5. Once the oil is ready, drop in 4-5 crab balls. Reduce the heat slightly and let them cook until a deep orangey-brown, turning occasionally. Remove the poppers from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel. Once they're cool enough to handle, cut a ball in half to check. If the inside is cooked well, then continue to cook the poppers in the same manner. If the inside seems to have cooked less than the outside, then reduce the heat of the oil and try again, leaving the poppers in for slightly longer until they reach the proper color.
  6. Serve the poppers warm with dipping sauce of your choice!



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    • says

      Hi Yizbeth! So sorry I just saw this. I don’t know how they would work out baked, honestly, but I think it could probably work. You can make them ahead and fry when ready to serve, although you probably already figured this all out if you did wind up making them that night. I hope you enjoyed them!

  1. Tanya says

    Looks like its been a while since these comments…but tried these tonight in fry daddy (deep fryer) they were really good. However, since this was a “test run” I also tried baking them ( 425 about 25 mins) also good but flattened out like little biscuits. Since I use my fry daddy only outside(hate fried odor in the house) makes more since to cook in oven for Christmas. Another thing I discovered is if the batter is chilled, much easier to handle. Thanks for a very tasty appetizer!

  2. says

    I made these for Christmas Eve (2014) and they were a HUGE hit (none left). I will definitely make these again soon. Question: In a pinch I thought these would be good with tuna also: Have you ever try they like that?

  3. Lisa says

    here’s a dipping sauce that is great on anything, and like you I made it up lol. 1cup mayo, 1 cup of sour cream and great value Southwestern mustard (walmart brand) to taste, is awesome on sausage balls, corn dogs onion rings …


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