Improv Challenge: Crabby Crab Puffs

My first thought for this Improv Challenge was “uh oh”. Of all the foods I eat, fish is really not one of them. There are a few I like, but I don’t really enjoy preparing it myself. Then I remembered that we don’t need to take the two Improv Challenge ingredients (fish and chips) quite so literally and a recipe idea immediately came to mind.

If you’re not familiar with the Improv Challenge, it is a monthly challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics where we have two ingredients to use. As previously stated, the ingredients don’t need to be taken literally, as anything from salmon to goldfish crackers to Swedish fish candies and the chips can be of the potato variety or the chocolate/peanut butter/etc. variety.

I decided to stay pretty literal to the ingredients, using (shell)fish (crab) and (potato) chips. And then I couldn’t resist coming up with a catchy name.

I don’t expect that unless you live in Maryland or Pennsylvania that you’ll be able to find the chips I used in this recipe. Utz is a snack distributor located in PA and one of the type of chips they have is called Crab Chips. They are your standard potato chip, but seasoned with Old Bay, which is what us Marylanders cover our crabs in. If you aren’t able to find these chips and still wanted to try out the recipe, I’ll list a substitution at the end of the recipe.

Crabby Crab Puffs
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 12-15 puffs
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    • 8 oz. crab meat, picked through for shells 
    • 1 slice bread
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. mayonnaise
    • 1/2 tsp. mustard
    • 1/2 tsp. parsley 
    • 1 1/2 cups Utz Crab Chips, crushed 

1. Remove the crust from the bread. Break into tiny pieces and place into a medium sized bowl.
2. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and parsley to the bowl. Stir well to combine, then gently fold in the crab meat.
3. Roll the mixture into balls, about the size of a tablespoon and place on a plate.
4. Pour the crushed Crab Chips into a shallow dish. Roll each of the balls through the chips and return to the plate.
To Bake: Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick.
To Fry: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry for 1 minute, turning over so all sides are cooked through.
5. Serve with optional tartar sauce. (Not the Grumpy Cat, recipe below)

Tatar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. sweet relish
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

* Chip Substitute: Add 1 tbsp. Old Bay (or Cajun) seasoning to the crab mixture and use plain crushed potato chips.

Unfortunately the fried ones took on a burnt appearance, but this wasn’t the case at all. The flavors were much more pronounced than in the baked version, but they were both tasty little puffs of crab.

Next month the ingredients are peaches and herbs. I’m already beginning to think of ideas! 


  1. Oh baby – this is right up my alley! (I'm from Philly so definitely know about Utz's crab chips) Love everything crab and crab seasoned so I'll be making these for sure πŸ™‚

  2. What a great dish using crab – looks fantastic!

  3. I think the only UTZ products I've seen here in the Southwest are their cheese balls (that come in that monster barrel container…)
    Hey! Looks like you can buy those crab chips online.

  4. I am in Texas, but I grew up in Maryland. I love that these use Utz. Thankfully, our Costco in Houston sells the Utz Crab Chips. These are going to be tried!

  5. Those Utz crab chips are addictive! I love the idea of making them the coating for crab puffs. Sounds awesome!

  6. Looks delicious! I've been looking for some new crab recipes, thanks!

  7. Anonymous

    We have UTZ chips here (they're a big NY Yankees advertiser) but not the Crab Chips.
    These sound really tasty!
    I love how creative the other participants were too. How fun πŸ™‚

  8. Oh I love those crab chips! I bet they're fantastic in this recipe. Great use of the ingredients!

  9. Love this recipe!These sound like perfect appetizers for a party I will be hosting later this summer. I will be trying these!

  10. Yum, I love crab recipes definitely want to try this. Sounds like a good classic crab dish!

  11. Anonymous

    I am a non-fish eater, but I make exceptions for crab, salmon and shrimp. I prefer it cooked by someone else when possible. But I may have to try these. They sound simple and they do have crab in them. Thanks for sharing.

    I found you on the Improv. This is a great way to meet new bloggers.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda@Tumbleweed Contessa

  12. Such a wonderful creation! I was worried about this one, too πŸ™‚

  13. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is collecting snacks and treats? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. There are already quite a lot of links for you to check out. Cheers

  14. Great recipe, perfect for a light summer evening.

  15. It was so fun to see how everyone interpreted this challenge. Your crab cakes sound wonderful.

  16. Anonymous

    Great crab puffs! I'm glad you were able to accommodate your preferences for the challenge!

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