Scrumptious Seafood: Cranberry Onion Crab Cups

Photo: Doug Du Cap

Are you invited to a party this holiday season and the hosts have asked you to bring food? Why not try making some Cranberry Onion Crab Cups? They are bite sized, colourful and tasty too! The tartness of the cranberry marmalade and the creamy crab filling are a perfect combination.


  • 1 can (14 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce (you can also use fresh cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz crabmeat (the sustainable seafood option would be Dungeness crab)
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • Additional finely chopped parsley or lemon zest for garnish (optional)


  • Refrigerated rolled pie crusts can be found in the supermarket with the refrigerated biscuits. They are a great timesaver and can also be used for making seafood pies and turnovers.
  • Each 15 ounce box has two rolls of pie crust, so you’ll need one and a half boxes for this recipe.
  • Remember to allow the pie crust rolls to come to room temperature and handle them carefully when unrolling them, as they are apt to tear, especially if they are still cold.
  1. Place the rolled pie crusts (in the wrapper) on the counter and allow them to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes)
  2. While waiting for the pie crusts to come to room temperature, make the cranberry-onion marmalade.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the whole berry cranberry sauce, chopped onion, ground coriander, and the white pepper. Heat just to bubbling over medium heat, stirring often.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the cranberry sauce has re-thickened (it will thicken further while cooling)
  5. Stir in the walnuts and allow to cool off the heat for 5 minutes or so before tasting. Add a small pinch of salt and taste again. Add a pinch more if needed (you want just enough to accent the sweetness and brighten the flavors.
  6. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, crabmeat, chopped celery, parsley, and white pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly with a spatula or spoon.
  7. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the cups of mini-muffin pans with cooking spray. Unroll the pie crusts and cut out 2 1/2 inch circles of dough using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Each pie crust should yield at least 16 circles of dough.
  8. Gently press the dough circles into the mini muffin cups, making sure to press out any air pockets in the bottom.
  9. Fill each cup with a slightly rounded teaspoon of crab-celery filling. Top each with about 1/2 of a teaspoon of the cranberry-onion marmalade.
  10. Place the mini muffin pans on the center rack of the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes until the edges of the pie dough are golden.
  11. Remove the crab cups from the pans and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 48 servings of Cranberry Onion Crab Cups

Serve them hot, warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from: Doug Du Cap at

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