Quick & Easy Creamy Crab Pasta Bake
There’s nothing more pleasing than a warm, bubbly, baked pasta! We love a good comfort food recipe and, lucky for us, crab meat makes for some of the best cozy meals. This Creamy Crab Baked Pasta is perfect for weekday dinners. It’s easy, delicious, and great for a crowd (or for abundant leftovers). We’ve mapped out a tasty base baked pasta recipe along with oodles of additional options for add-ins- either way, with or sans add-ins, this is a super scrumptious dish.
Creamy Crab Baked Pasta
- 1 lb. short pasta noodles like gemelli, ziti, penne, or elbow macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz mozzarella grated (+1/2 cup for sprinkling over the top)
- 8 oz gruyere grated (+1/2 cup for sprinkling over the top)
- 3 oz parmesan or pecorino grated (+2 tbsp for sprinkling over the top)
- 1 lb. Cameron’s Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packaging, just reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes to account for us baking the pasta dish later on (this will keep our noodles from getting too mushy). Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Place heavy cream, half and half, Old Bay, and salt in a large saucepan or pot (large enough to house your noodles as well as the cheese sauce and crab meat), whisk to combine. Bring to a low simmer over medium to medium-low heat, do not boil.
- Once hot, begin adding the grated cheeses to the pot by the handful, whisking the cheese into the sauce and waiting for it to completely melt before adding the next handful.
- Once all the cheese has been added to the pot and melted, add the cooked noodles, stirring to thoroughly coat and combine.
- Add the crab meat to the pot, gently folding or stirring the crab meat into the mix, making sure not to break up all those lovely jumbo lumps.
- Preheat oven to broil, placing an oven rack nearly in the center of your oven. Lightly spritz a large casserole dish with cooking spray and, then, spoon or carefully pour your pasta mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of your pasta with the reserved cheeses and place in the oven.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheesy topping has melted and begun to turn a nice golden brown. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Our Favorite Creamy Crab Pasta Additions
There are so many cool and creative ways you can modify this recipe. We love adding in 1-2 of these additional ingredients to give our baked pasta a little extra something, especially since these ingredients pair so well with the crab meat. Simply add these items to your pasta along with the jumbo lump crab meat.
- Prosciutto, Bacon, or Ham
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Roasted Garlic or Onions
- Roasted Mushrooms
- Sauteed Spinach (just make sure to thoroughly drain the spinach before adding it to your pasta)
Crispity-Crunchity Topping? Yes, Please!
If you’re a fan of baked pasta with crispy crunchy topping, here’s an easy way to add this element without extending the cooking time of the overall recipe.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (you can also used crushed cornflakes or crushed crackers too)
Preheat oven to 350°F (you can do this step while your noodles are cooking). Place melted butter and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the buttery breadcrumbs to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread out in an even layer. Place in the oven and toast for 5-10 minutes (stirring halfway through the baking process) or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside. Once your pasta bake has been broiled, sprinkle the top with this crunchy addition and, then, garnish with the chopped parsley.
What is True Blue?
Only a small number of businesses in Maryland reliably make and sell their crab products from local Maryland crabmeat and not many Chesapeake Bay states require businesses to identify the specific source of the meat. True Blue, a promotion initiative from the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), can help customers find out which restaurants or merchants are serving this local delicacy. Customers can look at a menu and know right away that they’re getting what they think they’re getting if the menu has the “True Blue” logo.
Cameron’s Seafood is a proud True Blue certified member, ensuring our loyal customers that all of our blue crab products are coming from Maryland! Shop, confidently, today! Click this link to explore all our delicious True Blue crab options.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.