Crab Rangoon Pizza is an easy to make, fun fusion of two popular comfort foods. It might sound a bit weird, but they work REALLY well together!
Originally published March 22, 2018, Updated on 2/5/2023
I'd never heard of it - apparently it started at Fong’s Pizza in the USA - and had never considered the possibility, but all of a sudden I NEEDED IT. (Learning about new things is the best thing about Facebook, IMHO!).
Knowing that crab rangoon dip was also a thing, I knew that the combo of rangoon filling and melted cheese worked well.
I’m no stranger to somewhat unusual pizza recipes, after all:
... So I was stoked to design our new pizza recipe, based on the Chinese takeout staple!
What is Crab Rangoon?
For those who haven’t had them, crab rangoon is a SUPER popular appetizer, usually seen at North American Chinese restaurants.
They consist of little square wonton wrappers, stuffed with a filling made of cream cheese, crab (usually imitation crab meat, as I learned after writing the original version of this post!), green onions, garlic, and sometimes other flavourings.
The wonton wrapper is pulled up around the filling, secured into a little star shape, and deep fried.
Like many Chinese food appetizers, they're usually served with plum or sweet and sour sauce (cherry sauce in Canada!), though when we make them, we like them best with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.
Note: for something similar, check out our recipe for Air Fryer Cream Cheese Wontons!
Designing our Crab Rangoon Pizza Recipe
I wanted this delicious pizza to be our own, so I brainstormed with my husband on what we would want "Crab Rangoon Pizza" to be, from the ground up.
All of the ingredients we used should be easy to find in most grocery stores, btw.
The Pizza Crust
I decided that the crust should be thin and crisp, as a stand in for the wontons.
My husband was in the mood for a regular, doughy crust... so we did both - a store-bought gluten-free crust for me, homemade pizza dough for him.
I made a batch of my favorite homemade dough, which is great for a thicker crust pizza.
This would also work as flatbread pizzas, IMHO.
The Crab Pizza “Sauce”
We decided on no pizza sauce - in the traditional sense. Instead, we would be using Rangoon filling as the sauce.
I would do a higher proportion of crab to cream cheese than I normally do, to balance out the cheese that would top it.
Because “balance” is a thing when we’re up to such nonsense, right?
A Note on the Crab
The vast majority of crab rangoon you get in restaurants is made from surimi / “krab” / imitation crab meat.
While it’s definitely more economical than actual crab meat, I elected to use canned crab for our pizza. It’s how I make my rangoons, after all.
The kind of canned crab that you find near the canned tuna isn’t usually THAT expensive, and I was feeling fancy.
That said, you can definitely veer off my path in either direction:
- Feel free to swap in shredded surimi for all or part of the canned crab.
- To get really extra, feel free to swap in higher-end canned or frozen crab meat (from the seafood aisle), jumbo lump crabmeat, or even fresh crab meat. Just thaw it first, if frozen, and cut any large claw meat into smaller pieces!
First of all: it would need a lot of green onions. Full stop.
For cheese, we used a mix of mozzarella cheese, provolone, and Parmesan cheese. Use your favourite italian cheese blend, if desiredd.
Additionally, sweet chili sauce should be involved somehow. We chose this instead of soy sauce.
We debated this for a bit... Should we brush the crust with it before spreading the filling? (No, too messy).
Should we drizzle it on before baking? After baking? Just use it as a pizza dip?
After some playing around with it, the clear winner was to drizzle it on top of the cheese, after baking.
Baking didn't add anything to it, and it just looked nicer as a fresh, unbaked drizzle of sweet chili sauce.
Finally, we discussed the possibility of adding crispy wonton strips to our pizza. After some discussion, we decided that - for texture and effort reasons - we wouldn't bother.
We're fans of easy recipes when we're craving something NOW.
Feel free to add wonton chips or fried wonton strips to your own crab rangoon pizza, if you'd like!
The Final Crab Rangoon Pizza Result
This was fantastic! A ton of flavour, a great alternative to traditional pizza flavours and textures.
The first time we made this, ir was gluten free, utilizing "Caulipower" frozen pizza crusts (a cauliflower crust,) but you can use any pre-made pizza crust or crust recipe that you like.
While I think thin crust works well with the idea of Rangoon, I think a thicker, softer crust would hit the comfort food feeling even more than this already did - I'm definitely going to try it that way in the future!
Update: We did end up making it on a thick crust next time, and it was fantastic! Have since updated the post with photos of that one, as well!
After we snarfed our pizza, we Googled to see how our creation compared to what was out there.
Looks like we hit the same basic concept, had proportionately more crab (which it really needs!)... but the real stunner, for me, was that some people apparently make Crab Rangoon with fake crab?
I had no idea - I've never had/seen it made with fake crab. Definitely use real crab if at all possible.
How to Make Crab Rangoon Pizza
The full recipe follows - in the recipe card at the end of this post - but here’s the pictorial overview!
In a small bowl (or a medium bowl), beat cream cheese until smooth.
Combine cream cheese with the crab meat, green onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil, stir well to combine.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside. (Sometimes I'll add a bit of garlic powder - or fresh garlic - too!)
I like to mix my cheese together in a large bowl, but it's not necessary.
(Some crusts/crust recipes want you to bake it for a bit before putting toppings on, some don’t. Do whatever is supposed to work for the crust you’re using.)
Spread crust(s) with the cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle generously with sliced green onions, top with grated cheese. If you’d like some sweet chili sauce baked in, drizzle a bit over the top.
Remove from oven, drizzle with sweet chili sauce, serve immediately.
Leftover Crab Rangoon Pizza
Once cooled to room temperature, leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Best reheated in an air fryer, if possible.
Making Crab Rangoon Pizza from Scratch
Interested in making your own dough for this? We do it both ways - a thin, store bought crust (gluten-free, for me!), and a homemade, doughy crust.
For the regular, doughy crust, I use the same crust I have published in my Perogie Pizza recipe.
Follow the recipe for that one up to the point of spreading it in the pan, then switch back to this one to make the crab pizza!
Gluten-Free Crab Rangoon Pizza
There are 3 main things to keep in mind, when adapting this recipe to be a gluten free version:
1. Use a gluten-free crust.
2. Be sure to use canned crab meat, rather than the imitation “krab” meat. If you want to use the imitation stuff, just be careful to find a brand that is gluten-free.
3. Make sure that your Worcestershire sauce is also gluten-free. This can vary by brand, and even across the same brand in different countries.
More “Sounds Weird, but it WORKS!” Recipes
Got a bit of a sense of adventure in the kitchen? Here are some more recipes that sound weird, but actually work!
Canadian Candy Bar Salad
Cardamom Fig Pavlova
Dill Pickle Gummy Worms
Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze
How to Make Haggis
Moon Mist Ice Cream
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Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Alligator Pie
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Sweet Corn Ice Cream
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Easy Crab Rangoon Pizza Recipe
Crab Rangoon "Sauce"
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 2 cans Crabmeats (~6 oz each) Well drained
- 4 Green Onions Finely Chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves Pressed
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
- ¼-1/4 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- Pizza Crust(s) of your choice
- Thinly Sliced Green Onions
- Grated Cheese We like a mix of Mozzarella, Provolone, and Parmesan for this
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in crab meat, green onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and sesame oil, stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
- Following the baking directions for your pizza crust, assemble the pizza. (Some crusts/crust recipes want you to bake it for a bit before putting toppings on, some don’t. Do whatever is supposed to work for the crust you’re using.)
- – Spread crust(s) with sauce.– Sprinkle generously with sliced green onions, top with grated cheese.
- Bake as directed. Remove from oven, drizzle with sweet chili sauce, serve immediately.
More Fish & Seafood Recipes
Fan of fish and seafood recipes? Here are a few more for you!
Almond Crusted Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce
Basic Seafood Risotto
Cashew Crusted Halibut with Mango Salsa and Coconut Rice
Marie's Low Country Boil
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Smoked Salmon Pizza
Tuna Mango Poke