Crab Gnocchi Bake

Crab Gnocchi Bake
Photo By Alexis deBoschnek

Made with only a handful of ingredients, this crab bake couldn’t be easier to whip together. Loaded with pillowy gnocchi, handfuls of spinach, and hunks of sweet bairdi crab, the substantial dish is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Crab Gnocchi Bake | Sitka Salmon Shares

Total time: 35 min
Serves: 6


  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 (about 2 pounds) bairdi crab cluster
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (5 ounce) package spinach
  • 1 (16 ounce) package gnocchi
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Prepare Crab

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Grease a 7-inch by 11-inch baking dish with the butter. 

In a large wok or skillet, add 1 inch of water and the crab and bring to a boil. Cover and steam just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Crack the crab shells and pick out the crabmeat. (You should have about 2 cups.) Reserve the shells for another use.

Make gnocchi bake

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the milk. Once the milk begins to simmer, add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Add the gnocchi, 1 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper, and crab meat, and stir until combined.


Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

A rich white wine, like a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a northern Italian white, plays well with the richness of the cream and cheese while simultaneously providing a welcome acidity.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Stir in tender, sautéed leeks along with the gnocchi for delicate onion flavor.

Change it Up

Change it Up

Cover and rewarm leftovers in the oven or microwave. Refresh by stirring in a few tablespoons of water or milk. 

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Low-fat cream cheese is an OK substitute, but a better option is to reduce the amount of full-fat cream cheese to 4 ounces and increase the milk (low-fat is ok) to 1 ½ cups.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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