Wendy’s Deviled Crab Carteret


Wendy’s Deviled Crab Carteret created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2024


For many years, there was a restaurant nearby called Holt’s Lake in Smithfield, NC. I loved their deviled crab. One day, I headed there with my friend Shirley who did too, only to find they had permanently closed.  Sadness came upon us!  Not many places have deviled crab where you can actually see and taste the crab… mostly just full of breading and tastes like nothing.

So… I set about creating my own deviled crab.  I scoured the internet and looked at dozens of recipes to get inspiration.  One day, in my digging, I happened upon this recipe!  This looked as close in my mind to what I loved at Holt’s Lake.  It’s a really old recipe and I found on Pin Point Heritage Museum‘s facebook… and says it is perhaps Gail Smith’s family recipe who is from the original Gullah Community in Pinpoint! That’s all I found… but I wanted to share and give credit since this was my inspiration. 

I’ve called mine Deviled Crab Carteret since I love Carteret County NC, a place visited all my life and where I have a little happy place, and especially love the fresh caught and harvested fishes, seafood and crabs in the area!  Visit HERE to learn about NC Catch… 
Established in 2011, NC Catch, in partnership with the state’s local Catch groups, strengthens the North Carolina seafood economy through promotion and education.











As for what to stuff this deliciousness in… I always thought that the crab shells some restaurants serve deviled crab in could be bought for such. I learned otherwise… and only found some frozen in the grocery store.  I bought some and after trying to eat the nasty deviled crab in them… soaked and scrubbed to use for photo purposes. They now reside in my prop closet… (when I die and that closet is purged, whoever does that may wonder what in the hell this women did as there are all SORTS of things in there!)
However, since that may confuse others, I resorted to using these scallop type shells (you can get on Amazon and from cooking type stores).  You can just use ramekins… or, bake all in one casserole type dish as well!  I haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure you could make “cakes” and coat in some buttery panko crumbs to fry or saute for delicious crab cakes too.

This recipe is so versatile. I’ve used this to stuff mushrooms (small bite size ones) and large portabellas too.  I’ve added extra cream and baked in a dish and served as crab dip.  I just love it!  And I hope you do too.  Be sure to share so your deviled crab love’n friends will have a good recipe as well, where the CRAB gets the spotlight!

Great when paired with my Spring Strawberry Slaw with honey-citrus dressing.

My Aunt Dee Dee’s Kitchen salt-free “Wyatt’s Every’thang Dust” makes the perfect seasoning for this deviled crab… and just about everything else too… like tarter sauce!

This recipe created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine April 2024
Propping/styling and photography by
Wendy Perry

Carolina Country Magazine Contributing Recipes Editor

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Aunt Dee Dee’s Kitchen …my unique seasonings (including salt-free), kitchen doodads & more!

Rada Knives and Kitchen Tools  USA made budget-friendly cutlery (great for gifting)
Watkins 1868 Store. Did your mama and grandma buy from “the Watkins Man?” The best vanilla…

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picture of deviled crab

Wendy’s Deviled Crab Carteret

This is a delicious budget-friendly way to enjoy crab since you can use any type of crab meat in this recipe. I love fresh NC crab and get that when possible. And did you ever wonder why it’s called “deviled” crab? Because of the heat… so do be sure to add that, as little or as much as you like!
Author: Wendy Perry


  • 1 stick softened butter divided
  • 3 cups crushed Ritz® crackers divided
  • ½ cup minced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup minced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup minced celery
  • ½ cup minced green onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper minced
  • 1 large egg slightly beaten
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 T. mayonnaise Duke’s preferred
  • ¼ cup cream or evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay®
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound crabmeat picked for shells


  • Using fingers, mix 4 tablespoons of butter into half the cracker crumbs and set aside.
  • Melt remaining butter in a medium skillet and sauté vegetables until tender. Cool.
  • Combine reserved crumbs with remaining ingredients. Stir in vegetables. Gently fold in the crab.
  • Place mixture in sprayed shells or ramekins, top with buttered crumbs, dust with Old Bay and bake 350 for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.


Variation: Add a bit of extra cream and bake in a casserole dish for serving as a dip with crackers or chips for entertaining.
Freezes great.
The shells we used (or foil ones) can be found online.
Learn more about NC Seafood at NCCatch.org

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