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Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder Recipe

Today I’ve got quite a delicacy for you – a crab-stuffed baked flounder recipe. How I got my hands on a fresh flounder to stuff and bake is thanks to my brother. Suffice it to say, my brother is one very cool and generous guy. Yep, he not only gave me this gorgeous flounder that you see in these pics, but he also gave me another bag of flounder filets that I’ll be deep-frying at some point. Yum, oh, yum!

Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder Recipe

So how’d my brother score such wonderful fish? Easy, he caught it himself. My brother’s an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He has these secret places where he gigs flounder in the shallow inland waters of the Gulf of Mexico. While I live in New Orleans, my family is from and still resides along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. And while we didn’t grow up right on the water, our homestead is located within 25 miles of the Gulf. (BTW, that’s my brother Jesse below)

Fresh flounder from the Gulf of Mexico

This particular floundering expedition was quite fruitful. The picture above is just part of the bounty that he was able to land. The really big guy up top is the one that we stuffed and baked for this blog post. Before it was de-headed, de-gutted and cleaned, it weighed over four pounds. After all that, it still weighed in at two and a half pounds. That’s one big flounder! A more average size for a whole flounder is two to two and a half pounds. We had a monster on our hands. A delicious monster, that is!

Fresh flounder from the Gulf of Mexico

So as the pictures indicate, my brother cleaned, gutted, deboned, and scaled the fish for me. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that myself. I couldn’t have done half the job he did. It was a very clean and neat job. Cleaning fish can be pretty hard if you aren’t skilled at it. I prefer to get my fish already deboned and de-gutted. I typically keep the head on my fish, but I wasn’t about to turn down a headless flounder. Never! It being headless wasn’t a big deal at all and actually made it easier to work with and serve for dinner. Plus with the way it was cut and stuffed, I think the head would have been weird on there. Just my two cents.

Fresh flounder from the Gulf of Mexico

So let’s move on to my realm – the kitchen! I was happy to cook this for my brother and Jeremy. Really, it was the least I could do! The stuffing for this flounder dish is made up of sweet white blue crab meat and an assortment of aromatic seasoning vegetables: bell peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, garlic, celery, green onions, parsley, and lemon juice and zest. Since the fish was already prepared for me, this dish was quite easy to create. All I had to do was cook down the veggies and then toss in the crab and lemon juice. Overall, it’s quite an easy dish to prepare when you have a fish that’s ready to stuff.

Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder Recipe

Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder Recipe

One note about bread crumbs. I put them below as optional because I forgot to use them when I was stuffing my fish. I had them out and everything then forgot to use them. The stuffing should be dry enough to not need them. However, my fish leeched quite a bit of water after baking so I feel the bread crumbs could have been advantageous there. It’s really up to you. If you’d rather be gluten or starch free and skip the bread crumbs, then feel free. You’ll just need to deal with a little bit of water after baking, which can be taken care of pretty handily with some paper towels. It’s not really a big deal but something I felt I should note.

Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder Recipe

I hope you like this recipe and try it for yourself. This stuffing can be used to stuff any number of different fish so don’t feel like it’s just limited to flounder. Also, we didn’t use a sauce, but I bet a beurre blanc would taste great on this. Either way, enjoy!!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Crab-Stuffed Baked Flounder

This crab-stuffed baked flounder recipe is decadent and delicious! Try it with a green salad or cole slaw on the side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped green onion bottoms (the white part)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • Optional: 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 to 4.5 pound flounder, deboned and dressed (with head removed, keep tail)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
  2. In a pot, melt butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add the onion, green onion bottoms, celery, all three bell pepper colors, sliced green onion tops, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook until wilted and all the water is cooked out of the vegetables, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon juice and zest, and lump crabmeat. If you find the filling to be overly moist, add the half cup of panko breadcrumbs.
  6. Place the flounder on a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Fold back the flaps of the flounder so that it lays flat. Sprinkle the teaspoon and a half of kosher salt onto the flounder.
  7. Carefully spoon the filling into the solid side of the flounder, being careful to avoid the open flaps.
  8. Fold the flaps back over the filling and position them to where they’re nearly covering all the filling.
  9. Place the flounder in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the flesh is flaky and cooked through and the internal temperature is over 145 ºF.

Note: When using a more standard-sized flounder (2 to 2.5 pounds), cut the recipe in half and proceed as directed. Cook time will also likely be shorter - watch closely and check internal temperature after 25 minutes of baking.

Prep:30 min

Cook:40 min

Total:1 hour 10 min

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