Crab and Artichoke Sandwich

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Growing up the Crab and Artichoke Sandwich from First Street Café in Benicia, CA was my families favorite meal out. It was inevitable that I make a copycat version now that they have closed down so that we can enjoy it for many more years to come. The combination of the creamy crab and artichoke spread over toasted bread with melted cheese is delicious and full of flavor.
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Open-face crab and artichoke sandwich.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This recipe is easily made using minimal ingredients and can even be turned into a dip.
  • You can use canned or fresh crab.
  • This recipe brings me so many memories and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.
  • Easily put this together for family and friends for a fun sandwich. 
  • This crab and artichoke sandwich is great air fried but can be baked or made in the toaster oven. 
Open-face crab and artichoke sandwiches on parchment paper.

What canned crab should I use?

Our store did not have many options so I went with Bumble Bee, linked here. If you have access to fresh crab it would be delicious in this spread. However, bring in extra hands to help with the manual labor of cracking shells and piling up the meat for the crab and artichoke sandwich.

What bread should be used for this sandwich?

I left the bread out of the nutrition facts so that you can experiment with your own favorite combination. This crab and artichoke sandwich is great with fresh baked French bread, any and all focaccias and even specialty breads like nut or olive. If tracking macros use your favorite Dave’s Killer Bread or a low calorie option. 

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwich on parchment paper.

Can I bake this sandwich vs. air fry?

Definitely! Instead of air frying your crab and artichoke sandwich place the sandwich on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted, spread is warm and bread is toasted. Broil the top as needed. 

Is this good for meal prep?

I would personally make it and eat it right away but you could definitely make it ahead of time and refrigerate the spread until ready to make your crab and artichoke sandwich. 

What air fryer do you use?

I have the COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max XL Large Cooker, linked here. I do find it is pretty loud in the kitchen but it gets the job done and makes perfect crab and artichoke sandwich. We have had it for years without any issues.

We use our air fryer all the time for recipes like Air Fryer Blackened Chicken and Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes.

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwiches sprinkled with parsley.

Ingredients and Substitutes:

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for this Crab and Artichoke Sandwich.

Crab: I am using  Bumble Bee canned crab for this recipe, linked here. If you have access to fresh crab it would be delicious in this spread. You could also substitute with chicken or tuna. 

Artichokes: you can use marinated or not marinated artichoke hearts for this recipe. The macros with change if using a oil based marinated jar of artichoke heart. I am using Napoleon Whole Artichokes, linked here

Mayonnaise: use your favorite mayonnaise. I would suggest using a full fat vs. low fat for extra flavor. I like this sandwich with the Olive Oil based Mayonnaise by Best Foods. You can use a dairy free alternative as well. 

Greek Yogurt: this recipe calls for plain nonfat Greek Yogurt. I prefer Fage for the taste. You can substitute with your favorite Greek yogurt and proffered fat level. 

Parmesan Cheese: the parmesan cheese in the spread gives a great amount of flavor and creaminess. 

Yellow Onions: you want the yellow onions sliced as thin as you possibly can. The thinner the better and they should be translucent. Use a mandolin to cut them if you have one or a vest sharp knife. 

For the sandwich:

Bread: I left the bread out of the nutrition facts so that you can experiment with your own favorite combination. This crab and artichoke sandwich is great with fresh baked French bread, any and all focaccias and even specialty breads like nut or olive. If tracking macros use your favorite Dave’s Killer Bread or a low calorie option. 

Tomato: tomato is a great addition to this sandwich! Thinly slice them and add on top of the spread before the cheese. Another great addition to the crab and artichoke sandwich is fresh avocado on top after baking.

Monterey Jack Cheese: top the sandwich with thinly sliced Monterey Jack or your favorite white cheese before baking. 

Pepperoncini and Sweet Cherry Peppers: for the full First Street Café experience, do NOT forget to serve with a couple full pepperoncini’s and sweet cherry peppers

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwich on thick-sliced bread.

How to make a crab and artichoke sandwich

Step 1: prep

Drain the crab and add to a bowl. If using fresh crab remove the meat from the shell and place in a bowl.

Step 2: mix

Combine with mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, shredded parmesan cheese, finely sliced onion, artichoke hearts, parsley salt and pepper. Mix together well. 

Step 3: assemble

Slice bread into 4 rounds and top with 1/4 the crab and artichoke spread. Top with sliced tomato, and 1 oz. finely sliced Monterey jack cheese. 

Step 4: cook

Place in the basket of a air fryer and air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Or bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes and broil at the end until golden brown and the cheese has melted. 

Step 5: serve

Serve with whole pepperoncini’s and enjoy! 

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwich sprinkled with parsley.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition facts for crab and artichoke dip only so you can build your sandwich with bread and cheese used. 

How to turn this sandwich into a dip

Follow steps 1 and 2 as directed and place in a oven safe baking dish. Top with chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced Monterey jack cheese. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until the dip is bubbling and the cheese has melted and started to brown. Serve with bread, crackers, pita chips or fresh cut vegetables. 

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwiches on thick-sliced bread.

If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy meals!

Open-face crab and artichoke sandwich.

Crab and Artichoke Sandwich

Danielle Lima
Growing up the Crab and Artichoke Sandwich from First Street Café in Benicia, CA was my families favorite meal out. It was inevitable that I make a copycat version now that they have closed down so that we can enjoy it for many more years to come. The combination of the creamy crab and artichoke spread over toasted bread with melted cheese is delicious and full of flavor.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 168 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 2 cans (12 oz.) Bumble Bee Crabmeat Premium Select Wild Fancy White fresh crab is always the best option though!
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (56g) Fage Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (28g) shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Sandwich

  • Sliced French Bread
  • Sliced Tomato
  • 4 oz thinly sliced Monterey Jack cheese
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Drain the crab and add to a bowl.
    Combine with mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, shredded parmesan cheese, finely sliced onion, artichoke hearts, parsley salt and pepper. Mix together well.
  • Slice bread into 4 rounds and top with 1/4 the crab and artichoke spread. Top with sliced tomato, and 1 oz. finely sliced Monterey jack cheese.
    Place in the basket of a air fryer and air fry at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Or bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes and broil at the end until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  • For the full First Street Café experience, do NOT forget to serve with a couple full pepperoncini's and sweet cherry peppers. Top with chopped parsley and enjoy your crab and artichoke sandwich.
    Nutrition facts for crab and artichoke dip only so you can build your sandwich with bread used.

Notes

  • You can bake or put this in the toaster oven if you don’t have an air fryer. 
  • You can also use fresh crab, if available. 
  • Use any type of bread. 
  • Use as dip with veggies and chips.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 14gFat: 10gSodium: 596mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Omg First Street Cafe in Benicia! I rarely ever see anyone mention Benicia. We lived there for several years as my husband worked at the refinery for 17yrs. This recipe is amazing and thank you so much for the walk down memory lane!

  2. 5 stars
    Love it!!! Very easy and very good!! I didn’t have any bread so I put it in individual ramekins and ate it with Nut Thin crackers. YUM!! This is what’s for lunch this week!

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