Easy Crab Tortellini


Here's a super easy, super simple method for making stuffed pasta using wonton wrappers. If you'd rather call these crab wontons or crab dumplings (or even cheater tortellini!), go ahead. No matter what you call them, this is definitely something you want in your bag of culinary tricks. They're loaded with crab and the tortellini shape does a great job of catching and holding on to all the delicious sauce.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
28 tortellini

Ready-to-use wonton wrappers are one of my all-time favorite "cheater" grocery store items. All you need to do is mix up some filling and you're ready to fill, fold, and cook. In fact, the hardest part of the operation may be deciding what to call your cleverly covered creations.

I went with "tortellini" here, but these could've easily been called wontons, tortelloni, or dumplings. Names aside, this is a trick all busy cooks need to have up their sleeve. When it comes to the fillings and sauces, the possibilities are endless. Here's an easy butternut squash filling, for example.

I hope you find some crab, and make these as shown, but no matter what you end up with on the inside, I really hope you try the super easy, and almost foolproof cream sauce I finished my crab tortellini with. Actually, I should have said, "crème sauce," since we're using crème fraiche instead of heavy cream. It gives us the same loo, and texture of regular cream, except adds an extra layer of nutty, fermented goodness to the flavor profile.

If you were going to make these ahead of time, I'd freeze them before the boiling step (just like the frozen ravioli or tortellini you get at the store). You can pop them in the boiling water frozen, and while they will take an extra minute or two, the rest of the recipe will unfold just the same. So, the next time you're in the mood for a homemade, stuffed pasta (but would prefer not to mess around with making, rolling, and cutting dough), I really hope you give these a try. Enjoy!

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For the Filling:

  • 7 saltine crackers, finely crushed

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 6 ounces lump crabmeat, very well drained, squeezed dry

  • 6 ounces Dungeness crabmeat, very well drained, squeezed dry

  • ¼ teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)

  • salt to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper

  • 28 (3.5 inch square) wonton wrappers, or as needed

For the Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups creme fraiche

  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

  • salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or more to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Crush crackers into a bowl. Add egg, mascarpone cheese, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce; stir until combined. Let sit until crumbs have absorbed some moisture, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add crab meat, seafood seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, and jalapeno to the cracker mixture; stir until just combined. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator until flavors develop, about 1 hour.

  3. Place a wonton wrapper on a work surface to resemble a diamond shape. Wet the top 2 edges with just enough water to moisten. Place 1 tablespoon crab filling right in the center and press to spread it out a bit. Pull the bottom wonton corner up and over the filling, line it up with the top corner to form a triangle, and work your way down the sides, pressing and sealing the wonton edges and pushing out any air. Press your finger right in the center of the long side to create a fold (or bend) in the triangle. Moisten the 2 "wings" and fold around the bend to seal. Repeat to form remaining tortellini.

  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

  5. While waiting for water to boil, place creme fraiche in a skillet over medium heat. Add paprika, lemon zest, salt, and a splash of the pasta water. Cook and stir until heated through and just starting to simmer, then turn off the heat and reserve.

  6. Add tortellini to the boiling water, giving a gentle stir make sure they don't stick to the bottom. Cook for 1 minute; they may or may not float to the surface. Remove tortellini with a slotted spoon and transfer into the reserved sauce.

  7. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, gently stirring and basting, until sauce is heated through and just starts to simmer. Don't overcook or the sauce will reduce too much. Turn off the heat and stir in dill. Serve immediately on warm plates and sprinkle with additional dill and cayenne.


Chef's Notes:

You can substitute bread crumbs and a little salt for the crushed crackers, cream cheese for the mascarpone cheese, and any herb of choice for the dill. If you want to use regular cream instead of creme fraiche, just add a few drops of lemon juice to increase the acidity.

When you open the package of wonton wrappers, place a just barely damp towel over top so they don't dry out.

You can make these tortellini with any filling you'd like, and you can use either square or round wonton wrappers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

651 Calories
44g Fat
41g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 651
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 26g 128%
Cholesterol 247mg 82%
Sodium 765mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 110mg 8%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 273mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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