These homemade Crab Puffs are absolutely addicting! Each buttery puff pastry cup is filled with an unbelievably delicious creamy crab mixture that’s made with lump crab meat, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, veggies, and SO much more. Just one will not be enough!
It’s my favorite time of the year – the holiday party time! I love throwing parties, I love going to parties, and I love party food! It’s all about the appetizers, snacks, and bite-sized treats. For New Year’s Eve, I always make us at least 4 different appetizers for us, whether we are having a party or it’s just us.
I usually try to keep the appetizers nice and easy but also quire delicious. Much like these crab puffs! Flaky, buttery puff pastry cups are filled with the most mouthwatering crab filling that’s both creamy and flavor-packed. If you’re heading to a rather large party, you might just want to double this recipe… These bad boys tend to go pretty quickly, as it’s nearly impossible to have just one.
While crab may not be known for it’s affordability, I promise that this appetizer recipe is well worth the splurge! This is one of those appetizers that you bring to a party, and everyone ends up asking for the recipe. Homemade crab puffs are also immeasurably better than anything you could buy from the frozen section of your local grocery store. You just cannot beat buttery puff pastry with flavorful, creamy crab mixture in the center!
Ingredients for Crab Puffs
- Cream Cheese – The cream cheese needs to soften before using, so let it sit on the counter for about half an hour.
- Mayonnaise – Use a full fat mayonnaise that has no additional flavors.
- Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan is so much richer with flavor and melts better.
- Lump Crab Meat – For the absolute best results, use lump crab meat from the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. That can be a pricey option though, so if needed, you can substitute claw meat.
- Onion – A like to use a yellow or Vidalia onion for the slight added sweetness.
- Red Bell Pepper – This adds a nice pop of color and a slight touch of more natural sweetness.
- Garlic – Make sure you’re using freshly minced garlic, not the pre-minced stuff from the jar.
- Chives – Use chives, not green onions! Although similar in appearance, they are two different things entirely.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This adds a tangy depth of flavor to the creamy filling that makes it seriously mouthwatering.
- Dijon Mustard – This can NOT be substituted with yellow mustard!
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always a better choice.
- Black Pepper
- Puff Pastry Sheets – Any brand should do the trick! Just make sure the puff pastry is thawed prior to using.
What kind of crab should I use?
The best option is always lump crab meat, but it is quite expensive. If you want to use a cheaper option, use claw crab meat. Try to get the crab meat from the seafood department rather than the frozen section, but that will be based on your availability. Do not use imitation crab.
How to Make Crab Puffs
Prep before cooking: To start, make sure to soften your cream cheese, thaw the puff pastry, preheat the oven to 400°F, and grease the mini muffin pan.
Cook veggies: Dice and sauté all of the veggies. Once they’re all softened, mix in the garlic, and cook until fragrant. Transfer the veggies to a separate bowl.
Mix crab filling: Toss in all of the additional filling ingredients into the bowl with the veggies. Mix everything together thoroughly until smooth.
Prepare puff pastry: Roll the puff pastry sheets out and cut them into about 16 squares each. I’ve found that a pizza cutter is great for this step!
Assemble the cups: Fit each puff pastry square into a prepared mini muffin tin. Fill the little puff pastry cups with the creamy crab filling, then bake for abut 17 minutes. Repeat this easy process with the rest of the puff pastry and crab filling!
How many crab puffs does this recipe make?
This recipe makes 32 mini crab puffs. They are the perfect bite size appetizer, and I don’t recommend making them much bigger. If you make them bigger, there will be too much crab filling, so the filling to pastry ratio will be way off. Plus, crab is quite expensive, so making mini puffs will give you more for your money!
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
You can prepare the crab filling ahead of time, but that is about all. Puff pastry should be thawed and filled right before baking. These puffs are also not as good reheated as they are fresh.
If you do have leftovers, make sure to store them in am air-tight container, in the refrigerator. To reheat them, you can do it in the oven, in the same mini muffin pan that you used to bake them. Reheat them just until warmed through.
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz lump crab meat
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp chives diced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt or coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- Make sure to thaw puff pastry before starting. Carefully unfold the puff pastry sheets as soon as they are thawed. (If puff pastry has to wait for you to make the filling, cover it with a couple of sheets of damp paper towel to keep from drying out.)
- Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a mini muffin pan.
- Dice onion, bell pepper, and mince garlic. Preheat a small cooking pan over medium heat and sauté onion and bell pepper with a little bit of olive oil.
- When the veggies are completely softened, mix in garlic, and let it cook until fragrant. Transfer cooked veggies into a mixing bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients for the filling to the mixing bowl with veggies and use a spatula or a fork to mix everything thoroughly.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheets to about 12×12 size squares. Use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut each puff pastry sheet into 16 squares each.
- Fit each square into the cup of the prepared mini muffin pan, forming a little cup out of the pastry square. (You will need to work in batches, so make sure to cover the pastry with damp paper towel in between batches to prevent it from drying out.)
- Fill each pastry square with slightly less than 1 1/2 tablespoons of crab mixture. (I use a #40 cookie scoop to get even amount each time and fill it slightly less than full.)
- Bake for about 17 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. (Repeat with remaining pastry and filling.)