French American Style Cheesy Crab Souffle Recipe

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Cheesy Crab Souffle – what could be better? For people who love cheeses, eggs, seafood, and have a flair for the more elegant aspects of French -influenced American cuisine … not many dishes top this one.

The soufflé first originated in the kitchens of France, of course. However, when French people began immigrating to America, they brought this delightful dish with them. Since then, French-American style soufflés have evolved and flourished. This Cheesy Crab Souffle is among the very finest!

Cheesy Crab Souffle

(Photo Attributed to Author: Jules Morgan from Montreal, Canada)

Cheesy Crab Souffle French-American Style Recipe-


(Serves 4)

  • 4 oz. crab meat, fresh or frozen
  • 1-1/2 oz. butter
  • 3 oz. aged parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 1 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 5 fl oz. whole milk
  • 5 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1-1/2 oz. sharp Wisconsin cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. dried, finely chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste – some people prefer no salt at all for this dish, the choice is yours)

You will need: 4 ramekins, 5 oz. size

  1. Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Use 1/2 oz. butter to grease the insides of the 4 ramekins. Use 1 ounce of the Parmigiano-reggiano cheese to sprinkle into the ramekins. Swirl them around enough to cast out any excess.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat; add in the flour, and cook gently for about 2 minutes, stirring now and then.
  4. Remove saucepan from the burner; add in the milk and beat strenuously, until completely lump-free and smooth. Return pan to the burner, and gently cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Allow to cool down some.
  5. Next, beat in the egg yolks until thoroughly incorporated
  6. Add in the crab meat, the grated Wisconsin cheddar cheese, the remaining Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, as well as the thyme and basil, and, if using, salt to taste.
  7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff enough to peak. Stir one fourth of the whites into the cheese-crab mixture, and then gently fold in the remainder with a metal spoon – a little at a time. It’s important not to add it all at once.
  8. Pour the mixture in equal amounts into each of the ramekins. Be sure to clean any inside walls (not filled with mixture) and the top rims of each ramekin with a paper towel or clean kitchen rag. If the ramekin is not clean to the top it can stop the soufflé from rising.
  9. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until well risen and the tops have turned a rich, deep, golden brown.
  10. Serve your Cheesy Crab Souffle immediately.

Note: This recipe is just one of dozens, taken from our Classic All-American Main Entrees pages!

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20 thoughts on “French American Style Cheesy Crab Souffle Recipe

  1. Looks so yum, but I’m not sure if I can pull off this level of French style cuisine. But, your directions are very specific, so hey – I’ll give it a shot! lol

  2. Hello!

    Very interesting recipe you have here! I’m not a great cook (i’m not a bad either) so, since you have very detailed instructions i think i can manage not to fail (lol). One thing i’m a bit sceptical about is to combine cheese with sea food. I will try it though and i’ll see for myself! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Thanks, Antonio – yes, the cheese and seafood really works well. Try it and see, and come back to share how well you enjoyed it!

  3. French dishes …. ok, even “French-American” dishes can be problematic to the unskilled cook. I consider myself a pretty good cook, maybe a B+ rating, for a home cook enthusiast? Anyway, the instructions are pretty clear, so hey – gonna give this one a stab. Hope it turns out ok, cuz Jeez – the picture and descriptions are sooooo good!

    • Bob, trust me. Follow the directions to the letter, relax, but focus, use all the right ingredients and methods, and you will turn out a Cheesy Crab Souffle that will earn you an A self-rating as a home enthusiast cook, okay? 😉

  4. I like the sound of this souffle a whole lot. Hubby loves souffles, and we both love seafood, so this will be a winner for Sunday dinner, really sure of that. Question, can you use different cheeses? We really like asiago – you think that might work, either as a substitute for the parmiggiano-reggiano? Or, perhaps in addition to?

    • Margo, I would think Asiago cheese would work just fine in this souffle – either as a substitute for the parmiggiano-reggiano, or maybe reduce the amount of that with the balance amount supplied with the Asiago. Try it, and let us all know how it turned out, okay?

  5. Love this site! Wow – went on a google search for ethnic foods, and really hit gold here!!!

    One question – I’ve heard French cuisine is really difficult to prepare – I’m a pretty good cook, but – what are my chances of pulling this off? LOL – sure looks sooooo good!!!

    • Cynthia, so glad you found us, and welcome. To answer your question, yes, French cuisine can sometimes be considered on the more difficult side to prepare properly. However, if you follow the instructions in this recipe, step by step, with attention and focus, you will do just fine, I promise. Tell you what … give it a try, and come back and let us know how it turned out, okay?

      And please come back often – there are over a thousand ethnic food recipes here (and more added all the time) for you to explore and enjoy!

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