Apr 15, 2022

Crab Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Thin portions of salmon filet are paired with a creamy, crab meat filling similar to crab cakes and rolled to form a pinwheel shape.

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This crab stuffed salmon pinwheel is inspired by a Polish dish. While some variations cut a pocket in the middle and top with the stuffing, I prefer the aesthetics of the salmon roulade. Crab stuffed pinwheels look fancy yet are so easy to make. The key is buying thin filets so the fish can easily be rolled. Serve this entree alongside fresh, simple salads, a summer pasta salad, or roasted potatoes. Since they can easily be prepped in advance and popped in the oven just before serving, it makes both a great recipe for entertaining guests or a simple weeknight meal. 

Crab Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Salmon – When making this salmon cake recipe, look for the thick middle chunk of the salmon. Ideally the piece of salmon should be fairly even for the best roll. I ask for the skin to be removed at the fish counter. If needed, trim some of the top of the salmon off if one side is higher. Reserve it for another use, like these salmon bowls
  • Crab – While jumbo lump crab meat is delicious, it’s expensive, so I prefer lump crab for this recipe. The meat comes from broken pieces of jumbo lump crab and large chunks of body meat. It’s slightly less expensive than jumbo crab but still has great flavor and a bright color. 
  • Mayonnaise – The mayonnaise helps to both act as a binder and create a creamy element in the filling. The filling needs to be thick enough to roll the salmon up without it oozing out. 
  • Onion – I use diced yellow onion in this recipe though shallots can be swapped in its place. 
  • Celery – Sautéed celery adds both a subtle flavor and texture to the filling. 
  • Bell pepper – Bell pepper has a mild, sweet flavor. The color of bell peppers is based on the maturity of the vegetable, green peppers being the most unripe. The difference in flavor is subtle so they can be substituted with another color if needed.
  • Breadcrumbs – Italian breadcrumbs add dimension to the crab stuffing and help to thicken it so it can easily be rolled up into the pinwheel shape. 

How to Make Crab Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels

Step 1: Sauté vegetables. 

Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt then add the onion, celery and bell pepper and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Step 2: Make the crab meat filling. 

In a large bowl combine the sautéed vegetables, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Gently fold in the crabmeat, so it is combined but stays in some larger pieces.

Step 3: Prep the salmon

If one side of the salmon is higher than the other, trim some of the top so that it’s fairly even and reserve for another use. Cut the salmon in half lengthwise and season with salt and pepper.

Step 4: Spread the crab stuffing over the salmon.

Divide up the crab filling and place on top of each piece of salmon, then evenly spread it over the salmon.

Step 5: Roll the salmon and divide. 

If one side is wider, start there then roll the salmon up into a pinwheel shape. If needed you can use toothpicks to secure the pinwheels. Cut each roll in half so you have 4 thinner pinwheels.

Step 6: Bake the salmon. 

Arrange the salmon pinwheels on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is just cooked through and flakey, about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve hot garnished with the remaining parsley and chives.

Tips and Tricks for How to Make Crab Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels 

How to Prep This Dish in Advance  

The filets can be rolled up to 1 day in advance then covered and refrigerated until ready to bake. The crab stuffing can also be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. 

Best Salmon for this Recipe 

Center-cut salmon filet is best for this recipe because it’s even and can be easily divided and rolled around the crab stuffing. 

How to make this Recipe Gluten Free

Substitute the breadcrumbs with a gluten free breadcrumb instead to make this recipe gluten free. 

Swaps or Substitutions in This Recipe 
  • Try adding finely chopped sautéed spinach to the crab filling for some additional sneaky greens. 
  • Bell pepper can be a divisive ingredient. If you don’t prefer it, then it can easily be omitted. 

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out these:

Crab Stuffed Salmon Pinwheels

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup plain Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • ½ pound lump crab meat
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
  • 2 pounds center-cut Atlantic salmon, skin removed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt then add the onion, celery and bell pepper and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the sautéed vegetables, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Gently fold in the crabmeat, so it is combined but stays in some larger pieces.
  • If one side of the salmon is higher than the other, trim some of the top so that it’s fairly even and reserve for another use. Cut the salmon in half lengthwise and season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide up the crab filling and place on top of each piece of salmon, then evenly spread it over the salmon.
  • If one side is wider, start there then roll the salmon up into a pinwheel shape. If needed you can use toothpicks to secure the pinwheels. Cut each roll in half so you have 4 thinner pinwheels.
  • Arrange the salmon pinwheels on a baking sheet. Bake until the fish is just cooked through and flakey, about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve hot garnished with the remaining parsley and chives.

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