Bayou Bliss Seafood Casserole

Makes one (13" x 9") pan - about 10 servings - good for company

2 lbs. fresh or frozen small shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 lb. pasteurized lump crabmeat
(or substitute 1 lb. imitation Krab, chunk style, chopped)
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 oz. size) package cream cheese
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, seeded, deveined, & diced
(or equivalent total amount using both yellow and red bell peppers)
1 cup sliced celery (about 2 stems)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 or 4 large cloves – or use bottled)
1 (10-3/4 oz. size) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 or 2 (4 oz. size) cans sliced button mushrooms, drained
(or try using 1 can sliced shitake mushrooms or chunked portobellos)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. bottled cayenne pepper sauce (Crystal, Frank’s, etc.)
3 cups hot cooked rice
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ozs.)
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds


  1. Thaw any frozen seafood. Peel and devein shrimp, if need be, and set aside. (I used cooked, peeled & deveined shrimp to save time.)

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reserve and set aside 2 Tablespoons of the butter. In a saucepan, place the remaining 6 Tablespoons of butter and the cream cheese. Heat together, stirring, over low heat until butter is melted and the cheese is soft and the two are combined. Set aside.

  3. In a Dutch oven, melt the reserved 2 Tablespoons butter. Stir in the chopped onion, sliced celery, and diced bell pepper. Cook and stir the vegetables over medium to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or so, or until all are softened. Stir in the minced garlic.

  4. If using raw shrimp, add them now. Cook them about 4 to 5 minutes, or until they turn opaque and have taken on color. If not using raw shrimp, skip this step and continue with step 5.

  5. Stir the reserved cream cheese and butter mixture into the food in the Dutch oven. Add the condensed soup, mushrooms, herbs, and hot cayenne pepper sauce. Stir to combine well.

  6. Gently stir in the cooked shrimp, and either the crabmeat or the chopped imitation Krab. Stir in the cooked rice.

  7. Transfer the mixture to a 13" x 9" pan or a 3 quart shallow oval or rectangular casserole that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray.

  8. In a separate bowl, combine the shredded cheese, dry breadcrumbs, and poppy seeds until the mixture looks uniform. Then sprinkle this topping mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

  9. Bake the casserole uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is heated through and its crunchy cheese topping looks delectable and inviting.

  10. Place the finished dish on your buffet or table with a smile, and be prepared to receive compliments, as well as requests for your recipe.