Bobby’s Lighter Crab-stuffed Shrimp

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By Bobby Deen

966 Fewer Calories
96 g Less Fat


Crab Filling
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fat-free cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 drops hot pepper sauce
4 ounces crabmeat, picked over
1 dozen extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
6 slices turkey bacon, each cut lengthwise in half
Steamed brown rice, for serving, optional

Lighter Basil Cream Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 tablespoons prepared pesto


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a large shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.

To make the filling, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, scallions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cracker crumbs, mayonnaise, zest, juice, egg, mustard, parsley, and hot sauce until blended. Gently fold in crabmeat.

Split the shrimp down the bottom center to tail, being careful not to cut through, open flat like a book, and press lightly to flatten. Remove vein and rinse gently under cold running water; pat dry. Stuff each shrimp with 1 tablespoon crabmeat mixture. Wrap bacon around the shrimp and secure with a toothpick. Place in baking pan and cook until bacon is crisp and shrimp are pink, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the cream sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.  Add the wine; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the wine is evaporated, 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce just begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the pesto.

To serve, arrange 3 shrimp on each plate. Drizzle with Basil Cream sauce. Serve with rice, if using.

Yield:  4 servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Difficulty: Moderate

Test Kitchen Tip:
An easy way to peel shrimp is to use kitchen scissors and cut through the shell, leaving the tail intact, and peeling the shell away from both sides of the meat.

Per Serving: (3 stuffed shrimp with 1/4 cup sauce) 288 Cal (42% from Fat, 26% from Protein, 32% from Carb); 18 g Protein; 13 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 5 g Mono Fat; 22 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 160 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 827 mg Sodium; 64 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen:  The Lady and Sons Crab-stuffed Shrimp
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

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Reader Comments:

I just wanted to say thank you! This such a wonderful idea! I loooooove Paula Deen’s recipes but have started healthier eating habits and this is the perfect way to stick with my new lifestyle and enjoy my old southern ways! Thank you Bobby!

By Krystal Johnson on September 01, 2010

Wow these shrimp look unbelievably good!! And the basil cream sauce, oh my! Can’t wait to try this recipe

By Sinful Southern Sweets on June 02, 2010

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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am