Crab stuffed flounder is an elegant and easy dinner, inspired by a food holiday

More Content Now, Laura Tolbert
Crab stuffed flounder

I enjoy finding these random food holidays and planning a meal around them. For example, February 18 was Crab Stuffed Flounder Day. 

Who knew Crab Stuffed Flounder Day was to be celebrated? But you can enjoy this dish any time. I like to serve a mixed green salad and homemade garlic bread alongside. The lemon juice-based dressing is a nice contrast to the richness of the main course. And the garlic bread? Well that’s just good eats.

Perhaps, after you enjoy this meal, you’ll put Crab Stuffed Flounder Day on your calendar for next year!

Crab Stuffed Flounder

Serves: 6


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely diced

1 rib celery, finely diced

6 ounces jumbo lump crab meat, picked through for any shells

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges and zest, for serving

1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 flounder fillets (about 2 pounds total)

1/4 teaspoon paprika


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick oil spray.

In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the crab meat, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice and Old Bay. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the crab mixture evenly over the fish. Beginning with the narrow end of the fillet, roll each piece, jelly roll-style, and secure with a toothpick.

Place the rolled fillets seam side-down in the prepared baking dish. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the fillets. Sprinkle the tops with paprika.

Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, 18 to 20 minutes. Zest lemon over the top and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately over steamed white or brown rice with salad and garlic bread on the side.

Mixed Green Salad

Note: Use a jar with a snug fitting lid, add all the ingredients and shake the jar to blend thoroughly. The amount of lemon juice will depend on the size of the lemons you use, but a good starting point is 3 to 4 tablespoons of juice. It’s better to start with less and add more to your taste.

Serves: 6


1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup light olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 tablespoons), plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 to 3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salad greens of your choice

Croutons, if desired


In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the cheese, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Make sure the lid is on tight and shake to mix. If you’re not using immediately, refrigerate. When ready to serve, let dressing reach room temperature and shake to blend.

Place washed and dried salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss to coat the greens. Top with croutons, if desired. Serve immediately.

Toasted Ciabatta Bread with Italian Herb Butter

Note: I enjoy this version of garlic bread that is loaded with fresh herbs. You’ll need to make the butter first.

Serves: 6


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, chopped

8 to 10 fresh oregano leaves

3 to 4 fresh basil leaves

Pinch salt

6 ciabatta rolls, split in half


Heat broiler to high.

Using a small food processor, pulse together the butter, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, basil and salt until the garlic is minced. Process on high speed for 5 to 10 seconds to thoroughly blend ingredients. Use immediately or transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate.

Spread a small amount of butter on the rolls and place butter side-up on a baking sheet. Place under a hot broiler for a few minutes until butter has melted and bread is toasted. Serve immediately.