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Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

Barbecue season is upon us. And as much as we need a great sundress and cute pair of wedge heels, we also need great party recipes. What makes a party food recipe great? Three qualities: 1. Tasty (obviously) 2. Travels well (in the event of off site parties) 3. Possible to sit at room temperature for a period of time without becoming a huge mess (sorry cheese dip and ice cream cake, we still love you)

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites. The marriage of two great bar snacks

2. Olive & Goat Cheese Tartlets.

3. Caprese BLT Sliders with Puff Pastry BunsΒ 

4. Boozy (or not) Watermelon Stars.

5. And the reason you are all here today: Cucumber Cups Stuffed With Spicy Crab

I saw these a few years ago on Iron chef. Cups made of cucumber. Brilliant. I am embarrassed to say that it took me nearly a year to figure out how it was done. Turns out, it’s so easy. All you need is a melon baller.

For a vegetarian filling, check out myΒ Cucumber Cups With Goat Cheese CapreseΒ 

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab


  • 3 long cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or tapito)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs minced green onion
  • Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired


  1. Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.



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79 Responses to Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

  1. Kelly July 7, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    What a fantastic and delicious idea!! I love this and am printing this recipe as we speak! Gorgeous presentation as well! πŸ™‚

    • Jaxie July 7, 2011 at 10:51 am #

      Thank you!! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

    • Kristin August 2, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      How were you able to print it? I can’t even print page…

      • Jackie August 2, 2012 at 9:11 am #

        I just updated the post to make it easier to print. Try it again, you should see a “print” button πŸ™‚

  2. Adora's Box July 7, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I like the combination of cool cucumber and spicy crab filling. Lovely presentation.

  3. Lindsey@Lindselicious July 7, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Love it! When I have things like this I feel less guilty since the veggie is up in there. LOL- I am not opposed into being tricked into eating something this cute and delish.

    • Jaxie July 7, 2011 at 11:31 am #

      Thanks! I think if you used low-fat/fat-free sour cream and cream cheese, these will be super low cal!

  4. Sandra's Easy Cooking July 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Fantastic idea..very creative, delicious, fresh and healthy! Perfect in every possible way!

  5. Deborah Dowd July 8, 2011 at 3:42 am #

    This looks like a great summer appetizer or tapas!

  6. chinmayie @ love food eat July 8, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    looks great! I love the cucumber cup idea. I can even make some veggie stuffing for it. I think it can be a great party snack πŸ™‚

    • Jaxie July 8, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Veggie sounds great, maybe artichoke? Yum!

  7. Sues July 8, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    I love hollowing cucumbers out and stuffing them with hummus, etc. But spicy crab? That sounds so, so good!

  8. Maria July 8, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    They look gorgeous! A friend made these for a cocktail party this past winter but she used a Greek cheese spreadto fill the cucumber cups. I think I’d prefer this spicy crab filling with the cool, fresh cucumber cups. I’d love to serve these at my sister’s bridal shower luncheon which I am hosting here at home, just hoping I will find the time to prep the cucumbers!

  9. Elodie Jane Amora July 8, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    great for parties! πŸ™‚

  10. Kadri July 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Great idea. I have done them myself with cream cheese filling.

  11. Mama's Gotta Bake July 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I absolutely love this appetizer. They look great. I always wanted to make the cucumber cups, but I never knew what to put in them. I will give this a try!

  12. Linds July 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi! These look delicious! What did you sprinkle on top of them? Was it Cayeene Pepper and green onions? I can’t wait to make these!

    • Jaxie July 22, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks Linds! It was just a little paprika for color, but chili powder or cayenne would be great also =)

  13. Cookin' Canuck September 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    These make such a lovely appetizer – so pretty and I’ll bet the taste is awesome. The fresh cucumber with the creamy mixture would make it impossible for me to stop eating these.

    • Jaxie September 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      Thank you!

  14. Brandi December 6, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    It says to serve within 2 hours of making. Is this all or just the cucumber part? Can the crab mixture be made ahead of time?

    • Jackie December 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Yes, you can make the crab mixture up to 24 a head of time, just store in tupperware in the fridge.

  15. Serena December 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    These look so good! πŸ™‚ I have two questions, what kind of crab meat are you using? Canned? Also, how spicy is it? Just a little tangy? Can’t wait to try it!

    • Jackie December 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      I’ve used it with both fresh and canned. Either way, just make sure you drain off as much liquid as you can or it will get watery. It’s not too spicy, if you are worried, just keep tasting as you add the spicy stuff and adjust to your taste πŸ™‚

  16. Melissa December 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    …I came across this recipe of yours on Pinterest…..I’m SO making this for an appy this weekend! Thank you! What a GREAT recipe!

    • Melissa December 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      …Do you have a suggestion, for an alternate to brown mustard?

      • Jackie December 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

        Not sure. Make it without and see how it tastes. Maybe a bit of mustard powder, or even a tiny bit of cream style horseradish?

  17. amanda December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m planning on making this for Christmas, about how many servings does this make?

    • Jackie December 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

      It really depends on how thick you cut the cucumber slices and how full you fill fill them. But about 18-24 cucumber cups.

  18. marisela December 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    i read comment about making stuffing ahead. would that be all the ingred. including the crab. i want to make the stuffing tonight and serve in cups for brunch but wasnt sure if i can add the crab to mix and let it sit for the 24 hours. help

    • Jackie December 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      If you want to make the filling ahead, the best way to do it is to mix every together except the crab and the salt. Right before you fill the cups, add the crab and a pinch of salt. Make sure the crab is drained well. Enjoy!

  19. marisela December 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    can you add the crab to the mix and let is sit overnight also or mix with out the crab and let it sit. help

  20. marisela December 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    thanks and sorry for the doulble comment!
    happy holidays

  21. Lynne January 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    This looks like a healthy option to satisfy my sushi craving! Thanks!

  22. ashleigh January 16, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    looks delish! can you recommend another meat that might go well with this besides crab? i want to make it for a party, but some guests don’t eat seafood…

    • Jackie January 16, 2012 at 8:03 am #

      I would try doing artichoke heats instead of crab. Just chop them up pretty good.

    • Beth February 14, 2012 at 6:16 am #

      I bet chicken would work.

  23. BiteDelite January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Awesome! I made diferent version with brie cheese, walnuts and freshly ground pepper: http://bitedelite.pl/2011/03/ogorkowa-przekaska/

  24. Amy February 3, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    I do these all the time for wedding and use chicken salad

  25. jacie February 4, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Would immitation crab meat work just as well?

  26. Beth February 14, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Pinning! This looks both easy and elegant.

  27. Tee February 23, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I tried this out over the weekend and I have to admit I was disappointed. =(

    1/2 teaspoon of salt is WAY TOO MUCH for this recipe! It was soooo salty for my pallet and practically inedible.

    I made it for my dad’s b-day and he LOVES food like this and he only ate about 2-3 of them over the whole weekend.

    I suggest not even adding salt until you taste test the filling after it’s prepared, then add salt as desired.

    • Jackie February 23, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll correct the recipe. I have had so many people make these and haven’t yet had that comment, but I can see where that may be a bit much. It also depends on the other products you use and the sodium content in those.

  28. Laquisha March 6, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    I love cucumbers! I like to make tuna salad and put it on top of sliced cucumbers for a healthy lunch. I can not wait to try this recipe, it looks yummy!!! Thanks!

  29. Teresa March 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Do you know how many carbs are in these?

  30. limefish studio March 16, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Just wanted to share that this has been featured on our SMITTEN: SPRING 2012 GUIDE!

  31. Mithila March 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    My BFF and I just made this today and its soooo good!!!! I don’t even want to take it to Girl’s Night, I want to eat it all myself!!!

    • Jackie March 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      Yay!! That makes me so happy πŸ™‚

  32. Anneke April 4, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    This looks like such a healthy fresh snack! Would love to try it. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚


  33. Carol April 8, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    I am going to try this recipe with lobster!

  34. abi April 8, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    looking at those pictures made me drool! I really want to try this recipe one of these days! keep on inspiring us! πŸ˜€

  35. candice April 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    nice idea! i think im gonna try making this with a guacamole filling cause im not big into sea food part πŸ™‚

    • Jackie April 16, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      Sounds fabulous! Also, artichoke dip is great as well, or hummus πŸ™‚

  36. joojooo April 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    looks good!! i’m going to try to make it πŸ™‚

  37. sandy May 9, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    I have not done the crab but I will. I did make diced ham salad and filled the cucumbers…yum!

  38. Staci May 14, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    I was wondering instead of crab can I use tuna but add those same ingredients??

    • Jackie May 14, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      I don’t think it would work out, but I’ve never tried it. If you don’t like crab, or can’t find it, try to use artichoke hearts instead. You can also substitute just about any dip that you like that you think could be eaten with cucumbers. I’ve had people say that they served these with that buffalo chicken ranch dip that everyone makes and it turned out really great.

  39. cecy May 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Do you know how many carbs this dish has? Its very delicious, thank you for the recipe!

    • Jackie May 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thank you! I’m not sure. Eat-yourself-skinny.com made it and calculated the stats but I can’t remember.

  40. Debbie May 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Think ill try to make a shrimp version, my daughter allergic to crabmeat

    • Jackie May 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      You can also sub any dip that you love, people have been using cold artichoke dip and loving the results. Just a thought!

  41. ybus June 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    we eat a paleo diet and this will so fit in with a few modifications. the presentation is what totally does it for me. with always trying to make things fun for the children, this will be a hit! thanks!

  42. Jessica July 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Made these tonight. Very good! After tasting the original recipe, we added some horseradish. WOW! Next time, we’ll do more horseradish, less hot sauce.

  43. Stephanie August 25, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Making these today for Family Fun Nite at Church. Sounds refreshing for the heat down here in Texas!

  44. Meg September 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m thinking about making these with greek yogurt and not the sour cream. Do you know anyone who has tried it that way??
    Making these for a happy hour tomorrow! Am very excited to try these and to make other dishes you have posted!!

    • Jackie September 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      I don’t know if anyone has tried it that way, but it sounds great!

  45. Fern Slotman December 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Jackie. I made these today to take with to a work Christmas party. After I cut the cukes I though they looked a bit big for an appetizer so I cut them to 1″ pieces and used my daughters baby spoon to scoop them out. (She’s now 32!) and they look a little more managable. I think next time I would make them 3/4″ so they would look a little more like finger food. I gave hubby a end piece with crab mixture and he really enjoyed them. I tried mixture on cracker as I don’t care for cukes. The spice is a good flavor that hits your mouth slowly. This is an excellent recipe and I would make it again.

  46. Ashley January 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    These were pretty good. Needed a little more kick (next time I’ll either add more hot sauce or maybe some chili powder into the mixture) and I shouldn’t have left out the green onions. I’m not really a fan but others said that it could use some onion. Will use it next time.

  47. Kalyn June 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Just thought you might like to know that this person has posted your entire recipe on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nonnie.sandifer

    • Jackie June 13, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      thank you! I can’t understand why someone would think that stealing other peoples work is OK.

  48. Libby July 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I thought you’d want to know that your recipe’s been scraped by a content thief on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=480628065361811&set=a.478621598895791.1073741828.478619752229309&type=1&theater

    • Jackie July 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      thank you for looking out for me!

  49. Jessie July 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    I love these!!! Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚ I’ve made them in phyllo cups too, and they were great and really easy. Last time I made them I used half cucumber cups and half hollowed out cherry tomatoes, they were great and really looked amazing!

    • Jackie July 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Love the cherry tomato idea!

  50. Carol D. March 18, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    Hi there…can you also prep the cucumbers the day before? Need to do as much ahead as possible. Thanks.

    • Jackie March 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      You can, just wait until right before serving to stuff them. And if you make the stuffing ahead, don’t add any salt until right before serving, it draws out moisture and will make the filling watery.

  51. Shelia January 30, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    I made the cucumber stuffed with spicy crab dip from my daughters small wedding reception. I added little more kick by adding some cayenne pepper & finely chopped scallions into the crab dip. They were the big hit out of all the other great things we served. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  52. Lor December 31, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    Just a little trick I learned from my ex, who is a chef. Mix a few drops of sesame oil into your cream cheese whenever you’re making anything that includes crab or lobster (real or imitation). OMG! you won’t believe the difference it makes. We used to fill English muffins with this. YUM!
    But I love the idea of using cool cucumber, because it uses up more calories to digest than it actually contains, so whenever you can, substitute it for bread and VOILA! a healthy option for all things spreadable that are savoury.

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