Seafood might not be what first comes to mind when you think of your favorite holiday recipes, but consider adding it to your Thanksgiving table this year! This seafood stuffing is made with Dungeness crab and brown gulf shrimp with all the traditional holiday flavors. Serve it along with your roasted turkey and mashed potatoes or as a main dish with a side salad any night of the week.
Sourdough or white artisan bread is recommended for this recipe because the delicate texture doesn’t compete with the shellfish. Alternatively, crusty whole wheat bread can be used to create a stuffing with more heft.
The mild slightly sweet flavor of the shallots compliments the shellfish well, but red or yellow onion could be used.
Wine is used in the recipe, but if you prefer, you can leave it out completely.
Sauté Pan: A large sauté pan that is at least 10 inches wide with 2-inch sides is ideal for sauteing the vegetables and herbs.
Large Bowl: Use your largest mixing bowl for combining all of the stuffing ingredients. If you do not have a large enough bowl, a stockpot can be used.
Large Baking Dish: A large 9x13 inch baking dish is the perfect size for baking the stuffing.
What you Need
Crusty bread: Tearing the bread into bite-sized pieces will add a more rustic texture to the stuffing and cutting it into cubes will lead to a more uniform texture.
Butter: Used to sauté the vegetables before baking, and compliments the flavors of the crab and shrimp perfectly.
Celery: A traditional ingredient in stuffing, celery adds a savory flavor and texture.
Fennel: Adds some texture and a fresh element to the stuffing.
Shallot: Adds a savory umami flavor to the stuffing.
Garlic: Use fresh minced garlic if you can, the flavor is always the best!
Fresh herbs: Sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley are the classic herbs of Thanksgiving and give this stuffing a traditional spin. Fresh herbs are always best if you have them.
White wine: Adds a flavor of the holidays to the stuffing and helps to deglaze the pan, but if you prefer to avoid using alcohol it can simply be left out.
Crab meat: Wild for Salmon Dungeness crab clusters are perfect for this recipe due to their bold flavor and firm texture.
Brown gulf shrimp: Wild for Salmon brown gulf shrimp is perfect to use in the stuffing because it has a bold flavor that doesn't get lost among the other ingredients. Make sure to shell and devein before using.
Seafood stock: Seafood stock infuses a deep flavor throughout the dish. Homemade is best but you can use store-bought in a pinch. Directions to make the stock can be found below.
Eggs: Act as a binder to hold the stuffing together.
How to make the dish
Prepare the shrimp and crab. The day before you plan on making the stuffing, shell, devein, and dice the shrimp, and shell the crab. Store both in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the stuffing.
Make the Seafood Stock: Make the stock by adding the shrimp and crab shells along with a tablespoon of olive oil, a roughly chopped onion, two roughly chopped carrots, and ribs of
celery, and sauté while stirring for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. A pound or two of halibut stock bones can be added if you would like to make a larger batch of stock. Add half a cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of salt, and enough water to cover everything and simmer gently for 1-2 hours. Skim the foam off the top every 20 minutes or so and discard. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the vegetables, bones, and shells. Leftover stock can be used in another recipe such as chowder or frozen for later use.
Sauté the vegetables and prepare the bread: Cut or tear the bread into bite-size pieces and bake until crisp and lightly golden brown. Saute the vegetables and herbs to develop extra flavor in the dish. Deglaze the pan with wine and allow it to reduce.
Assemble and bake the stuffing: Stir together the bread, sautéed vegetables, prepared shrimp and crab, egg, stock, and fresh parsley. Transfer to a large baking dish and bake until the top is crisp and golden brown.
This is a hearty stuffing that is packed with protein and vegetables. It can be served as a main dish along with a fresh garden salad, or as a side dish on your holiday table.
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1.5 hours
- 1 pound crusty bread, cubed or torn into ½ inch pieces (about 10 cups)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled, deveined, and chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 8 oz crab meat
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 2 eggs, whisked
- ¼ cup parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cubed bread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until it is crisp and just lightly golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F while you prepare the rest of the stuffing.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the celery, fennel, shallot, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute while stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not yet browned. Add the white wine and simmer for another 3 minutes or until a majority of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the sautéed vegetables to the bread along with the prepared shrimp, crab meat, seafood stock, eggs, and parsley and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the stuffing mixture into a large baking dish and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Allow the stuffing to cool for a few minutes before serving
Marisa Kerkvliet of Lemon Thyme Kitchen is a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. She was raised on her family’s farm in Northwest Washington and her appreciation for good food developed at a very early age. She is passionate about creating recipes and beautiful imagery that highlight high-quality seasonal ingredients. Marisa loves all types of seafood, but her favorites are salmon and scallops!