Crabmeat- and Shrimp-Stuffed Mirliton
PREP TIME: 1 1/2 Hours

The "chayote" squash, as many know it, is commonly referred to in Louisiana as mirliton. This unique vegetable was brought to bayou country by the Canary Islanders, who relocated to Louisiana when Spain took ownership of New Orleans from France. Whether called chayote, mirliton or vegetable pear, this Southern Louisiana delicacy is indeed wonderful when stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat.


  • 6 mirlitons, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 pound (70-90 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 12 pats butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Boil sliced mirlitons in lightly salted water until meat is tender enough to scoop from the shells but shells stay intact, approximately 30-40 minutes. Once tender, remove from water and cool. Using a teaspoon, remove the seed pod from the center of the mirliton and gently scoop all meat out of the shell. Because so much water accumulates when scooping the meat, discard excess liquid. Take extra care not to break or tear the outer shell. Reserve meat and save shells for stuffing. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and basil. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add shrimp and blend well into the vegetable mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and curled. Add the reserved meat from the mirliton to the skillet, blending well into the vegetable mixture. Chop the large pieces and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring until flavors develop. After most of the liquid has evaporated, remove from heat and season to taste using salt, pepper, hot sauce and parsley. Fold in crabmeat, being careful to not break the lumps. Sprinkle in approximately 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs to absorb any excess liquid and to hold the stuffing intact. Divide crabmeat mixture into 12 equal portions and stuff into the hollowed-out shells. Place stuffed mirlitons on baking pan and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs. Top each mirliton with 1 pat of butter. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Serve 1 mirliton half as a vegetable or 2 as an entrée.

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