If Carolina is on your mind (specifically its coastal region), then it might as well be on your taste buds, too! Carolina Crab Casserole is a very easy way to celebrate the Tarheel State’s beautiful, coastal brilliance. What you’ll experience is a bed of fluffy rice topped with a savory seafood duo of plump shrimp and flaky crab that’s mixed in a creamy pepper sauce and sprinkled with melty cheese. Mmmm! It’s so good, now you’ll never be able to stop thinking about the Old North State OR this Carolina Crab Casserole… and you’ll be happy about that.

Ingredients

  • 2 (8.8-ounce) packages ready-to-serve long grain and wild rice
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
  • fresh parsley, to taste, chopped, for garnish

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 3 –Spread the rice into the prepared baking dish. Set it aside.

Step 4 –In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter.

Step 5 –Add the celery and the onion to the melted butter and cook, while stirring, until the veggies are tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 6 –Stir the flour into the veggie mixture until it is blended.

Step 7 –Gradually whisk the half-and-half into the veggie mixture, then bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.

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Step 8 –Cook the sauce mixture until it has thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 9 –Stir the seafood seasoning, the salt, the hot pepper sauce, and the pepper into the sauce mixture.

Step 10 –Fold the shrimp and the crab into the sauce mixture.

Step 11 –Spoon the seafood mixture over the rice, then sprinkle with the cheese.

Step 12 –Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the casserole until the shrimp reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees and turns pink, about 40-45 minutes.

Step 13 –Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes.

Step 14 –Serve the casserole garnished with the parsley.