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Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas {Ketchikan, Alaska + Misty Fjords National Monument}

These Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas are filled with sweet, succulent king crab and make a most excellent lunch!

crab quesadillas with chips and salsa

Long before Blake and I ever boarded the Ruby Princess to Alaska, I vowed to eat all the fresh Alaskan fish and seafood I could get my hands on while we were away. At the top of my list was the delectable king crab – one of my favorite meals from the ocean, right alongside shrimp. I came home feeling deeply satisfied with the amount of crab I was able to consume that week, so incredibly sweet and tender, and of course drenched in melted butter. But I just had to have a little bit more once we got back to Minnesota. These Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas are a riff on ones I enjoyed for lunch at our first port, Ketchikan, Alaska. Be sure to read on after the recipe for more about Ketchikan and our float plane excursion experience.


Ruby Princess dinner menu

I loved how Princess created special menus that celebrated Alaska’s incredible ocean-fed bounty. You can bet that I ordered king crab more than once while onboard.

Alaska has 34,000 miles of coastline! On our 7-day cruise, I feel like we covered alot of the state. But really, we only touched on a small portion of its coastline and total land area. Alaska is just plain gigantic, and it’s impossible to understand the magnitude until you actually witness it for yourself.

king crab legs

King crab legs are the mother of all crab legs. Full of sweet and succulent meat, they are worth every effort you can muster to retrieve its goodness from inside those spiny shells.

Grilled Crab Quesadillas on a rimmed baking pan

While exploring Ketchikan, I encountered my first-ever crab quesadilla. It was deliciously tender and cheesy, sweet with an abundance of crab meat.

chips and salsa with Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas and a glass of coke
Grilled Crab Quesadillas with lime wedges

Back here in Minnesota, I found Alaskan king crab at one of our local grocery store’s seafood department. It was delicious as ever, but admittedly not quite the same as feasting on it in the midst of Alaska’s awesomeness.

I created these cheesy crab quesadillas very simply, with only crab meat, a bit of chopped green onion, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese stuffed inside a tortilla. My goal was to let that naturally sweet crab meat flavor and tender texture shine as brightly as possible.

Placing the lightly buttered quesadillas on the grill gives them a bit more crunchy texture and a hint of charred flavor, my favorite riff on this memory from Ketchikan. And a good, smoky salsa to dip the quesadillas in is the final piece that brings it all together.

Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas

Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas

Yield: 3 to 4 servings
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 6 minutes
total time: 21 minutes
These Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas are filled with sweet, succulent king crab and make a most excellent lunch!
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  • 16 oz. picked crab meat about 2-1/2 cups large shredded pieces, from about 5 large king crab legs

(about 2.5 cups large shredded pieces, from about 5 large king crab legs)

  • 2 T. finely chopped green onions white and light green parts only
  • 3 to 4 8 ” to 9″ flour tortillas
  • butter
  • 1 to 2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • smoky salsa
  • fresh lime wedges


  • * Please note that I am leaving this recipe a bit loose in quantity of ingredients. I noted that this recipe yields 3 to 4 servings, and that will depend on how much crab and cheese you like in each quesadilla. It’s really up to you.
  • In a medium bowl, combine crab meat and green onion.
  • Heat grill or grill pan on stovetop to medium to medium-high heat.
  • Very lightly butter one side of each tortilla. Lay tortillas butter side down. Then spread crab mixture over half of each tortilla. Top crab mixture with shredded cheese. Fold bare tortilla half over the top of the crab and cheese. Lay quesadillas on hot grill grates for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely charred and cheese is melted.
  • Serve with smoky salsa for dipping, plus lime wedges for squeezing over the top. You’ll have enough smoky salsa for dipping your favorite tortilla chips, too.


from a farmgirl’s dabbles

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 695kcal Carbohydrates: 64g Protein: 44g Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 15g Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 168mg Sodium: 1337mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas


Alaska Inside Passage itinerary with Princess Cruises

Our week-long cruise with Princess departed from Seattle at the end of May, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We sailed north on the Ruby Princess for about 1-1/2 days until we reached our first port of Ketchikan, Alaska. Our itinerary was titled “Inside Passage with Tracy Arm Fjord”, just one of over 150 world-wide itineraries offered by Princess. You can see our journey above.

map on Alaska cruise

The Inside Passage is a network of waterways that snakes through breathtaking wilderness, and the gorgeous view was constantly changing. I highly recommend a balcony room for anyone considering an Alaskan cruise. The front-row scenery and fresh supply of brisk air are worth every penny.

Each morning, after sailing through the night, it was so much fun to slide open our balcony curtain to take in the new sights. And our next step? We turned on the television, of course. Tuned in to the ship’s navigational site, we could see the exact location of the Ruby Princess at any given moment during the week. I’m a map kind of girl, so was always intrigued.

the sanctuary spa onboard The Ruby Princess

During our time at sea, before reaching Ketchikan, Blake and I took time to explore the Ruby Princess. We found The Sanctuary, for adults only. Because we are so seldom child-free when we are together! This is the pool that we liked to visit most, as it was tucked in and protected from the cool winds. Just inside the doors on the pool level was the Lotus Spa and a fitness center. On our first day at sea, Blake and I relaxed there with our first-ever couples massage. Quite heavenly.

the Pizzeria on the Ruby Princess

We checked out all the dining rooms, specialty restaurants (the Crown Grill was our favorite during the week), and cafes. I know if the kids had been with us, the Pizzeria’s hand tossed pies would have been their frequent meal request. And not just because it was poolside. ;)

ice cream swirl cone on the Ruby Princess

I didn’t realize how many times Blake stole away for an ice cream cone until I overheard him telling some friends one evening. The ice cream bar is conveniently located right next to the Pizzeria. What more could any kid – even one in his 40’s – ask for?!

Ketchikan, Alaska

Then, in the early morning hours of our third day, we strolled into Ketchikan. Silently.

"perfect day" boat in Ketchikan, Alaska

We got off the ship and strolled along the pier, pinching ourselves, amazed that our feet were on Alaskan ground. The morning’s haze was quickly disappearing with the rising of the sun. It truly was looking to be a Perfect Day.

a street in Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan is Alaska’s earliest incorporated and southeasternmost city. Know as the “Salmon Capital of the World”, the waters surrounding this area are home to five types of salmon – chum, sockeye, king, silver, and pink. Commercial fishing is a major player in this area’s economy.

Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska

The city of Ketchikan is named after the Ketchikan River. At the mouth of this river is Creek Street, consisting of a stilt-supported boardwalk lined with local shopping, no longer of the red-light kind. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for stretching our legs and exploring.

Taquan Air float planes in Ketchikan, Alaska

After a short drive to Taquan Air, Blake and I were ready to take on a new adventure together. I had flown in small planes before, but never a float plane. The anticipation of taking off and landing on the water was exhilarating!

DeHavilland Beaver floatplane from Taquan Air in Ketchikan, Alaska

Upon completion of a short session on flight safety, we walked out onto the docks to our 6-passenger DeHavilland Beaver floatplane. We learned that these bush planes were designed for flight in rugged and remote areas, with short takeoff and landing capabilities ideal for areas normally only accessible by canoe or foot. Production of these hard working bush planes started in 1947 and ceased in 1967. But I would never have guessed these planes had that much age on them; they were in great condition.

Misty Fjords National Monument - Ketchikan, Alaska

Our nation’s largest national forest, the Tongass National Forest, covers most of the southeastern portion of Alaska and its Inside Passage. Encompassing 17 million acres, this forest is green with massive old-growth stands of Sitka spruce, cedar, and hemlock. It is also Earth’s largest remaining temperate rainforest. And within its boundaries is the 2 million acre wilderness area of Misty Fjords National Monument.

Misty Fjords National Monument seen from a float plane in Ketchikan, Alaska

This wild paradise has been slowly crafted over tens of thousands of years, for the most part untouched by anything but nature itself.

Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska

Glaciers have carved out fjords, river valleys, and mountain lakes. There are waterfalls and cascades everywhere.

The scenery is dramatic, and a bit surreal. Combined with the hum and gentle, buoyant movement of our plane, it was as if we were in some kind of time warp, drunk on nature’s amazingness. There were several times during our almost hour-long plane ride that I had to wipe my eyes. I couldn’t help what I was feeling. This place was like nothing I had ever seen in my life.

snow covered Misty Fjords National Monument in Ketchikan, Alaska

At about 3,500 feet in altitude, our pilot flew us over a frozen lake nestled within the arms of massive granite. It felt like we were on top of the world.

two people on a float plane in Misty Fjords National Monument

Then we circled around and down, back within the lower timber line, to land the Beaver on crystal clear Punchbowl Cove. Our pilot cut the engine and helped us out onto the plane’s floats. Looking down into the water, I swear you could see for miles below the surface. And the air we breathed was just as magnificent, just as pure. Right here, with Blake at my side, marks one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced.

New Eddystone rock in Misty Fjords National Monument

During our return flight to our base in Ketchikan, we passed over New Eddystone Rock, a volcanic plug projecting from the depth of Behm Canal to a height of 237 feet.

Misty Fjords

It was during this flight that I mentally noted how “blue” everything was. The blue-ness was spectacular, and a trend that followed us our entire Alaska trip. Endless sky and water, combined with wild, rugged terrain and a glacier or two made for picture-perfect images with every blink of the eyes.

Ruby Princess docked in Ketchikan, Alaska

Descending into Ketchikan, our Ruby Princess welcomed us back, framed beautifully in Alaska’s grandness.

Disclaimer: Blake and I were extremely honored to be guests of Princess Cruises on a recent 7-day Alaska Cruise, and grateful for the opportunity to share it all with you. Thank you for supporting us and the brands we so carefully choose to work with. All of the experiences in this post are personal to our week in Alaska. Your experiences may vary. All opinions expressed are our own.

pinterest image of Misty Fjords National Monument

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31 comments on “Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas {Ketchikan, Alaska + Misty Fjords National Monument}”

  1. I just love King Crab! Sadly, it doesn’t exist in Italy except for frozen sometimes and frozen just doesn’t do it for me. One day when I have access to good King Crab again, I’m going to try this quesadilla recipe because it looks so yummy.

    I’ve also been dying to visit Alaska and your photos of Ketchikan are just stunning!

  2. First of all – those views!! What a gorgeous place. I can’t wait to get there one day. And those quesadillas? My husband is a huge crab fan and he would go crazy over these!

    1. Ahhhh…Alaska. I never had a clue how smitten I would become with its huge wild beauty. Keep dreaming about going there, it’s worth it!

  3. Joanie @ ZagLeft

    A cruise to Alaska is on my travel bucket list. It looks like you had a fabulous time and those quesadillas look so good!!

  4. Wendy | Around My Family Table

    Oh wow…those quesadillas sound divine. I have a couple crab lovers in my family that would love to get their hands on some.

    Alaska is on my bucket list of places to visit some day. It just looks like the most beautiful place on earth!

  5. Julie Wampler

    These looks so yummy! Loved following you along on your Alaskan cruise – it was breathtaking!

  6. Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

    Gorgeous!!! My husband’s from Alaska and I still haven’t been there. We’re planning on a trip there with our kids next Summer but have been talking about taking one of these cruises there. The Princess looks fabulous! Will definitely be looking into it, thanks!

  7. Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

    Wow! Those quesadillas look and sound amazing! Love how you kept the filling simple to really let the crab shine. :) And that cruise looks amazing! The more I see posts and photos from Alaska, the more I want to travel there.

  8. Lisa @ Wine & Glue

    My husband has always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise! I can’t wait to show him your pictures! He is going to go nuts, they are so beautiful. And this quesadilla! OMG. It looks amazing!! I love seafood and I love quesadillas, so together, perfection!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa. I’ll be sharing more from our trip in the next month or so, too. Stay tuned for more convincing photos and information to feed to your husband. ;)

  9. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Your pictures are incredible! Alaska has been on my list of places to visit for some time now. The natural beauty is breathtaking in photos, I can only imagine how amazing it must be in real life. Love these crab quesadillas too!

  10. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    I’m so glad you had such an epic adventure – and that you got to experience both Seattle and Alaska on your trek. You can’t beat the scenery or the seafood in either locale!!

    1. You’re absolutely correct. Since our first trip to Seattle last summer, we have a big heart for your area, for sure! :)

  11. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    Ahhh!!! I loved following along your trip to Alaska!! I was so sad when I had to turn down the opportunity to attend but LOVED seeing the joy in your eyes and the beautiful photos you shared!! I’m so glad you two got some great adult-only time away!!!!

  12. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    Jealous of both these crab quesadillas and your trip! Both look and sound absolutely amazing!

  13. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen

    This looks incredible! I love all of you photos from your awesome trip to Alaska, definitely on the list of places we want to visit. It looks like the trip of a lifetime!

  14. We LOVE quesadillas, but I’ve never had them with crab!! genius!!

    Your cruise looked spectacular Brenda!! I enjoyed following along on IG.