If you want a fancy delicious seafood dinner that’s easy to prepare, this Keto Seafood Imperial is one of my favorite keto seafood recipes!
Whether you are using individual ramekins or reusable shells, this seafood imperial recipe comes together with jumbo lump crab meat, shrimp, scallops, and a creamy imperial sauce that turns golden brown.
If you haven’t had seafood or crab imperial, get ready because this will become an all-time favorite recipe!
Looking for more seafood recipes? Check out Maryland Style Keto Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce, Crispy Keto Fried Shrimp, and Piccata Keto Fish Cakes!
Keto Seafood Recipe
If you love seafood or are a pescatarian, this is one recipe I promise you are going to make over and over again!
Lately, I have been on a seafood kick and living in the mid-Atlantic area, I have access to plenty of fresh seafood to choose from.
I have noticed recently, and this might depend on the area you live in, I don’t see crab imperial or menus as much anymore. It is unfortunate because this classic dish is one for the books!
If you are not familiar with seafood imperial, it is very similar to a crab cake mixture, except I add shrimp and scallops and don’t use any filler to bind!
With the measurements from this recipe, I got 5 good size portions making this dish, and is significantly cheaper than if I ordered it at a restaurant.
Keto Seafood Imperial Ingredient List
Seafood. This seafood imperial mixture comes together with 3 types of seafood; 1 lb of lump crab meat, ½ lb of tender shrimp, and ½ lb of sea scallops.
Imperial Sauce. The imperial sauce is prepared with all the remaining ingredients, which include ½ cup of mayonnaise, 2 eggs, Lemon Juice, 2 tbsp of freshly chopped Parsley, 2 tbsp of sliced scallions or green onion, ½ tsp of Old Bay, and ½ tsp of baking powder.
How to Make Keto Seafood Imperial
Cook shrimp and scallops. Cook shrimp and scallops in boiling water for about 2 minutes then shock in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Prep the seafood. Peel the shrimp and cut them into bite-size pieces, and quarter the scallops. When done, pick through the crab meat, looking out for any bits of shell. If you find shell bits, toss them.
Whisk together the sauce. In a separate bowl, whisk all remaining ingredients to make the imperial sauce. Pour half of the sauce into the shrimp, scallops, and crab mixture. Gently fold to combine ingredients.
Refrigerate. Let the mixture set up for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Bake. Next portion out mixture into oven-safe dishes. Bake at 425 for about 10-12 minutes until a light crust begins to form.
Continue to Bake. Then top the seafood with the remaining imperial sauce mixture and continue baking for another 5-7 minutes until the sauce turns golden brown.
Preparing Keto Seafood Imperial
The easiest way to prepare the recipe is to blanch the shrimp and scallops for about 2 minutes in boiling water. Then shock the seafood in ice water to prevent them from overcooking.
After the shrimp has cooled you can peel and devein the shrimp, cut the scallops and shrimp into bite-size chunks and then add them to the bowl with your picked crab meat.
While the seafood is boiling you can prepare the sauce mixture. Simply combine the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Once your seafood is cooked, picked, and chilled you can combine the sauce with the seafood.
You’ll use about half of the imperial sauce mixed with the seafood. The rest will be poured over the seafood imperial five minutes before the dish is finished.
The imperial sauce will bubble up and turn a beautiful golden color. The flavorful sauce really makes the seafood pop.
Recipe Tips, Tricks, and Variations
Lobster Tail. Looking to shake things up, you can swap out one of the seafood options for lobster tail if you are looking to try something new or different. I recommend checking your local seafood market for fresh lobster or stopping by the seafood section of your local grocery store to see what they have available.
Crab Meat. I don’t recommend using imitation crab meat, and if you do, maybe don’t tell me, but you can use it as a substitute. Imitation crab is pretty easy to find at any grocery store any time of year.
Binder. As I mentioned, this recipe doesn’t need or call for a binder or bread crumbs. However, if you are looking for some crunch and want to keep it keto-friendly, I recommend using pork rinds or pork rind crumbs.
Cheese. I don’t use cheese in this recipe, however, if you enjoy a cheesy seafood combination, I’d recommend testing out freshly grated, high-quality, parmesan cheese or cream cheese.
Turn up the Heat. Like every good Marylander, I season with Old Bay Seasoning, but if you are looking to give this recipe a kick, consider adding red pepper, cayenne pepper, or chili powder!
How to Serve Keto Seafood Imperial
You can use any type of oven-safe baking dish to cook the seafood imperial in but if you want to really impress I recommend these reusable scallop shells.
First, off they look cool and make for a beautiful presentation especially if you are preparing this dish for a special occasion.
Bonus: The scallop shells also conduct heat and will keep the seafood imperial hot!
I happen to have some stainless steel ones that I picked up years ago but the natural white shells work great.
The Rough Cost of Making Seafood Imperial
A rough estimate puts this recipe at about $10 per portion whereas I could see the same dish costing $25-$35 depending on the restaurant.
When buying fresh crab meat always pick through it looking for shells. If you’re using pasteurized crab there tend to be fewer shells.
I decided that lump crab would be best for this recipe instead of the more expensive jumbo lump. Either one will be tasty but backfin or lump will save you around $10.
Another reason to go with lump crab is that it acts as a natural binder to hold the rest of the seafood together.
Use Keto Seafood Imperial as a Stuffing
You can use seafood imperial as a stuffing or topping for fresh fish, chicken breasts, or even lobster tails.
Check out this Amazing Stuffed Flounder w/ Crab Imperial from grilling24x7.
You’ll see it as an add-on option at higher-end restaurants and I tend to get it whenever it’s offered.
Seafood imperial is also fantastic on top of a filet mignon. I personally think that a halibut filet topped with crab imperial is pretty close to the perfect meal.
Check out this Stuffed Tilapia Video if you want to see a few different ways to stuff fish.
I chose to use shrimp, crab, and scallops but you can add any seafood you like. I’ve seen chopped clams, lobster, and mussels used in recipes.
Even flakes of mild white fish like flounder can be used in place of crab meat for an economical version.
Depending on what seafood you have available you can customize your seafood imperial to your liking!
Seafood Imperial Side Dishes
More Keto Seafood Recipes
- Clams Casino
- Sriracha Lobster Roll Tacos
- Classic Salmon Croquettes
- Piccata Fish Cakes with Spicy Lemon Caper Aioli
- Chesapeake Crab Dip
- Smoked Whole Red Snapper
- Low Carb Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
Keto Seafood Imperial
- Cook shrimp and scallops in boiling water for about 2 minutes then shock in ice water to stop cooking process.
- Peel the shrimp, cut into bite size pieces and quarter the scallops. Pick the crab meat looking for any bits of shell.
- In a separate bowl whisk all remaining ingredients to make imperial sauce. Pour half of the sauce into the shrimp, scallops and crab mixture. Gently fold to combine ingredients.
- Let mixture set up for 30 minutes in the fridge. Next portion out mixture into oven safe dishes. Bake at 425 for about 10-12 minutes until a light crust begins to form
- Then top the seafood with remaining imperial sauce mixture and continue baking for another 5-7 minutes until sauce turns golden brown.