Eastern Shore Food

Recipe: Chesapeake Bay Crab Roll-Ups


Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Roll-Ups – a little taste of heaven

Crab roll-ups are a bite-sized treat of Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab rolled into pastry dough. They’re super easy to make.



CRAB MEAT – The Chesapeake Bay Blue crab has a distinct flavor unlike crab meat from farther south in the US or imported crab meat. Want to know why?  Read Find the Perfect Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabcake. Fresh crab meat can be purchased at local seafood markets, but check to be sure it was processed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Both fresh and pasteurized crab meat from the Bay is cooked and ready to use in a recipe.

Fresh crab meat has a shelf life of 2 to 3 days, while pasteurized crab meat (sealed in a can) can be kept for up to a year in the refrigerator and has had that “Chesapeake taste” preserved in the pasteurization process. If you don’t use Chesapeake Bay crab meat, this dish could be tasteless.

Metompkin Bay Crab Meat
Pasteurized crab meat (in a can) can be kept refrigerated for up to one year.

CRESCENT ROLLS – I used the Pillsbury “Grands” because I wanted a larger size.  I use the Jumbo Lump crab meat and the small crescent rolls didn’t hold much. The large rolls take a little bit longer to cook through.

Recipe: Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Roll-Ups


2 packages of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb of Jumbo Lump crab meat (Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab)
1 Tb prepared mustard
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice
Old Bay seasoning

Drain can of crab meat and pick through removing any shells in the mix. Combine the mayonnaise and prepared mustard with a fork and gently stir it through the crab meat being careful not to break up the lumps.

Separate the crescent rolls and open them up.  Sprinkle each roll with some Old Bay, then gently spoon the crab meat mixture on to each roll.  Top with a sprinkling of cheese (I used a container of 4 grated cheeses – parmesan, swiss, mozzarella, and American – sold in the deli section of our grocery store. Harsh flavored cheeses will overpower the taste of the crab meat).

Roll up each crescent starting at the wide side, tucking in the edges so that the crab meat doesn’t fall out. Place on baking sheet with the point side down.  Sprinkle with Old Bay. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (15 to 20 minutes if using the large crescent rolls – “Grands”)

Remove immediately and place on serving platter. Serve warm.


NOTE:  The inspiration for this recipe came from a “Crab Roll Up” recipe in the From Crab Pot to Table Top Cookbook. It contains fifty years of winning recipes from the cooking contests held at the National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Maryland. It is published by the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser to support the business community. There are some amazing recipes in this book.  You can order a copy directly from the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce for $15 (plus shipping). Call 410.968.2500.

From Crab Pot to Table Top Cookbook


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