Crab Bisque Recipe

Crab Bisque
Ditte Isager


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 10 hard-shell blue crabs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw white rice, finely ground in a food processor
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 6 cups fish stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sautéing the shells — be they crab, shrimp, or crawfish — is the true secret to a good rich bisque and the key to its signature nutty flavor. The farther west you go in Louisiana, the less cream and the more rice you’ll find in the bisque.

Adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh.

Click here to see A Big Easy Dinner Menu.


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Crush the whole crabs with a rolling pin, then add them to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 15 minutes.

Stir the flour into the pot, mixing it into the oil and crabs. Then add the onions, garlic, and celery. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

Add the ground rice, thyme, bay leaf, pepper flakes, and tomato paste, stirring to mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the brandy and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 more minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the stock and heavy cream. Bring the bisque to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. Purée the bisque in a blender, then strain through a fine sieve. Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt, and pepper.


Calories per serving:

510 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Sugar Conscious, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 258g 397%
  • Carbs 98g 33%
  • Saturated 123g 617%
  • Fiber 7g 28%
  • Sugars 26g
  • Monounsaturated 96g
  • Polyunsaturated 20g
  • Protein 306g 611%
  • Cholesterol 1,766mg 589%
  • Sodium 6,672mg 278%
  • Calcium 1,728mg 173%
  • Magnesium 677mg 169%
  • Potassium 7,757mg 222%
  • Iron 14mg 77%
  • Zinc 53mg 356%
  • Phosphorus 4,497mg 642%
  • Vitamin A 2,076µg 231%
  • Vitamin C 79mg 132%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 127%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 137%
  • Niacin (B3) 57mg 285%
  • Vitamin B6 3mg 170%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 736µg 184%
  • Vitamin B12 137µg 2,290%
  • Vitamin D 3µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 16mg 82%
  • Vitamin K 58µg 72%
Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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