The Ospidillo Cafe Crab Chowder

"But it's NOT crab -- it's imitation crabmeat so it's CHEAP... and delicious! I created this one because I really like the cream chowders that I've savored in New England. We have trouble obtaining good seafood where I live here in southern Ohio, so I decided to make due with what I COULD get. One thing that's always cheap and available around here is frozen imitation crabmeat. So I gave this a lot of thought, did some preliminary experimentation, and this dish was the ultimate result. I'm very happy with this recipe and I find it quite similar in flavor to a rich clam chowder. The idea of using local fresh and common vegetables worked out well for boosting the flavor too. While the veggies enhance the dish, make no mistake about it, this recipe definitely conveys the full ambiance of a seafood chowder. Cooking and prep times are approximate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. big pat."
photo by jrusk photo by jrusk
photo by jrusk
photo by Bone Man photo by Bone Man
Ready In:




  • Melt the butter in a small sauté pan. Add the onions, stirring constantly over medium heat for 1 minute. Then whisk in the flour and continue stirring until onions begin to brown slightly and remove from heat. Set this roux aside.
  • In a cooking pot over medium heat, pour in the chicken stock and add the potatoes. Boil, covered, until tender.
  • When the potatoes are tender, mash them in the stock a bit and then add in the cabbage, carrots, parsley, kosher salt, oregano, the jalapeño slice, and seasoned salt. Bring it to a medium boil, covered and cook until carrots are just tender.
  • After carrots are tender, add in the butter roux and stir, (The broth will thicken), then add the zucchini, cover, and allow it to cook at a low boil for 3 minutes.
  • Next, add the crabmeat, the half and half, and the white pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow it to come to a low boil. Once it begins to boil again, remove the cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't scorch on the bottom.
  • Serve hot.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I can't say enough about this recipe. It's perfect!!! The veggies are great together and it has the perfect amount of seasoning and spice. The white pepper adds a bit of spice and the jalapenos (I never de-seed) added the perfect amount of heat. I didn't need to add a thing which is very rare. I followed the recipe with the exception on using a green zucchini and reduced the recipe to 5 servings. I'm not sure if I'll be sharing the leftovers. Thanks so much for posting this. I love it.
  2. I would have given a five star but let me tell you why I did not sorry but real crab meat canned is cheaper then imitation crab it is 2.50 range a can and also would like to add way healthier I substituted imitation for the real deal and yes it was magnificent!!! Great recipe other wise
  3. This is the best crab chowder recipe! Even both my children love it and their taste buds fall to opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to food. I was told by my teen not to alter anything when I made it a second time because it is perfect just like it is. However, I was out of zucchini and subbed some other green veggie, maybe broccoli, that I cannot remember the first time. This makes more than our family of 4 can eat at one setting, however the leftovers are just as delicious. My husband is not a fan of cabbage, but he claims this is the most delicious cabbage he's ever had. This recipe goes into the mix!
  4. This is an excellent chowder! I too followed the recipe to a T - it is a tad thick, so I usually substitute either skim milk or evaporated milk for the 1/2 & 1/2. Amazingly good & great flavour. I just read other reviewers suggestion to add clams - so next time I'll throw a can in as well. A must try & real keeper :-)
  5. You could happily walk through a blizzard knowing you were coming home to this soup! Absolutely delicious. I used evaporated milk in place of the half and half and tabasco for the jalapeno and everyone loves it!


  1. You could happily walk through a blizzard knowing you were coming home to this soup! Absolutely delicious. I used evaporated milk in place of the half and half and tabasco for the jalapeno and everyone loves it!


<p>I am a retired State Park Resort Manager/Ranger. <br /><br />Anyway, as to my years in the State Park System (retired now), I was responsible for 4 restaurants/dining rooms on my park and my boss at Central Headquarters said I should spend less time in my kitchens and more time tending to my park budget. I spent 25 years in those kitchens and worked with some really great chefs over those years, (and some really awful ones too!) <br /><br />I spent THOUSANDS of hours on every inch of that park and adjacent state forest (60,000 acres) and sometimes I miss it. But mostly I miss being in that big beautiful resort lodge kitchen. I miss my little marina restaurant down on the Ohio River too. I served the best Reuben Sandwich (my own recipe -- posted on 'Zaar as The Shawnee Marina Reuben Sandwich) in both the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky down there and sold it for $2.95. Best deal on the river! <br /><br />They (friends and neighbors) call my kitchen The Ospidillo Cafe. Don't ask me why because it takes about a case of beer, time-wise, to explain the name. Anyway, it's a small galley kitchen with a Mexican motif (until my wife catches me gone for a week or so), and it's a very BUSY kitchen as well. We cook at all hours of the day and night. You are as likely to see one of my neighbors munching down over here as you are my wife or daughter. I do a lot of recipe experimentation and development. It has become a really fun post-retirement hobby -- and, yes, I wash my own dishes. <br /><br />Also, I'm the Cincinnati Chili Emperor around here, or so they say. (Check out my Ospidillo Cafe Cincinnati Chili recipe). SKYLINE CHILI is one of my four favorite chilis, and the others include: Gold Star Chili, Empress Chili and, my VERY favorite, Dixie. All in and around Cincinnati. Great stuff for cheap and I make it at home too. <br /><br />I also collect menus and keep them in my kitchen -- I have about a hundred or so. People go through them and when they see something that they want, I make it the next day. That presents some real challenges! <br /><br /></p>
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