Shrimp/Crab Spread (recipe)

Shrimp/Crab Spread was one of my Mom’s favorite party recipes – I remember she would bring it out on almost any occasion. Even though we can find good crab in California, she always made it with shrimp.

One of her best parties was in 1987, and she pulled out all the stops. I remember helping with the party, we went next door to borrow our neighbor’s kitchen and fridge to prepare appetizers ahead of time. She made several batches of the Shrimp/Crab Spread, which went fast. I will definitely have this on my holiday party table!

Shrimp/Crab Spread

1st layer:
12 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small chopped onion
Mix together and put into pie plate

2nd layer:
1 jar Chili Sauce (my Mom always used the one in the round jar)
Spread over top of cream cheese mixture

3rd layer:
8-10 ounces shrimp or crab
Spread over top of cream cheese, chili sauce

4th layer:
Sprinkle with chopped parsley

Chill and serve with crackers (Ritz was the preferred cracker!). Prepare the 1st and 2nd layers way in advance, then add the 3rd and 4th just before serving.

Be sure to check out the other Vintage Thursday recipes at Joy of Desserts!


  1. If it made that big an impression on you, then it must be really good. I’m copying this recipe. It reminds me of a similar spread my mother-in-law used to make, but we don’t have her recipe. She used both shrimp and crab.
    Glad you are participating in Vintage Recipe Thursday again.

  2. Is it okay to use canned shrimp or crab with this recipe?

  3. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    interesting question, Toaster. I have always used fresh, but that is because I live in an area where it is easy (and not expensive) to find. I guess the big question for you would be, would you eat either the canned shrimp or canned crab raw, without being in a sauce? If the answer is yes, then I think you will be ok. If you say no, then I think you should seek out fresh for this recipe.

    Hope that helps!

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