39 Mouth-Watering Crab Recipes
Bored with predictable crab dishes? Try it tossed in a salad, warmed in a dip, or combined with exciting flavors for a not-so-basic crab cake.
Gruyere, sourdough, fresh crabmeat, and tomatoes mingle beautifully in these perfect-for-company Mini Crab Melts.
- Recipe: Mini Crab Melts
On the East and Gulfs, local blue crabs are tossed in with corn on the cob, onions, and baby red potatoes for an all-in-one meal. Be sure to have plenty of melted butter and French bread on hand.
- Recipe: Cracked Crabs
Use medium or small shrimp for this recipe to get one in every bite. For more heat, add more pickled jalapeño.
- Recipe: Shrimp-and-Crab Nachos
Crab meat comes in different sizes, from jumbo lump to claw meat. Save the more expensive jumbo lump for salads—where size matters—and use smaller types of crab for dips and soups.
- Recipe: Blue Crab Dip
This recipe gets its tender texture from soft breadcrumbs. To make at home, remove the crusts from day-old bread and pulse several times in a food processor until even-textured.
- Recipe: Deviled Crab
We make it “island style” by using Key lime juice in the hollandaise sauce.
- Recipe: Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict
Stone crab claws are a local favorite of people living in the lower Gulf waters of Florida, Texas, and Mexico, where they are only harvested for the claws, which regenerate after the crabs are released back into the water.
- Recipe: Stone Crab Claws with Mustard
There’s a little kick in this tasty recipe. What’s the secret? Chopped green chiles.
- Recipe: Cruisin’ Crab Dip
The salmon is smoked, which adds an interesting layer of flavor to a basic crab cake. Wasabi makes the sauce spicy; try it with fried catfish too.
- Recipe: Salmon-stuffed Crab Cakes
To make ahead, roll the crab balls and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Recipe: Asian Fried Crab Balls
Wasabi is Japanese horseradish that’s available in paste or powdered form. Look for it in Asian grocery stores.
- Recipe: Bite-size Wasabi Crab Cakes
It's best to make tempura batter just before frying to keep the batter from absorbing oil when frying. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a little batter in the hot oil. If it rises immediately, then the oil is hot enough.
Fresh lump crab is the gold standard, but can be quite pricey. Alternatives include refrigerated, pasteurized cans or shelf-stable cans and pouches; these versions have smaller pieces, so if using, finely chop the peppers and mangoes so they don't overpower the crab.
- Recipe: Crab, Mango, and Cashew Dip
Wow your overnight company with this tasty quiche-like brunch recipe.
Try this as a salad or as a hearty dip. To stretch the recipe to feed a crowd, stir in about ½ pound chopped and cooked shrimp. Bump up the seasoning to taste if the shrimp was cooked without spices.
- Recipe: Crab Salad
Make this salad a roll using mame nori sheets. They are made from soybeans and are a great substitution for traditional seaweed nori sheets used in sushi. Look for them in well-stocked Asian markets.
Early versions of this soup were garnished with crab roe. Nowadays you are probably making and eating he-crab soup because returning females back to the water to spawn is highly encouraged.
- Recipe: River House She-crab Soup
Make this a main dish, or have it as a side. What makes this dish extra creamy is Arborio rice. The frequent stirring releases starch for the perfect texture—tender with just a little al dente bite in the center.
Fresh grated ginger makes this crab cake extra zingy and delicious. The Pistachio-Avocado butter works like guacamole, so try it on chips too.
Sure, you can just mash up a crab cake on top of your salad, but we like this thoughtful recipe better. It has a lighter texture and flavor because the crab isn’t fried or sautéed first.
- Recipe: Maryland Crab Cake Salad
Try this very simple preparation of traditional shrimp scampi that's enhanced with crab. Don't feel limited to adding crab specifically; bay scallops and lobster also work well.
- Recipe: Shrimp-and-Crab Finger Scampi
Just a bit of fresh lemon zest and seafood seasoning adds a big boost of flavor.
- Recipe: Crab Pot Pie
Smoked cheese adds depth to the shellfish flavor and turns any chilly night into a cozy occasion. This dip feeds a lot, so it’s easy on your wallet.
- Recipe: Hot Crab and Shrimp Dip
Spicy Louisiana-style sausage makes this dish amazing. The heat levels vary, so wait and use hot sauce at the end to add extra zip.
- Recipe: Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo Over Grits
Fresh parsley, chopped dill, and ground black pepper pack this former plain crab cake full of flavor. Topping a cool radish-and-avocado salad, this dish will be your next go-to for impressing guests.
For a hearty and unexpected party appetizer, skewer the burgers and crab cakes with a slice of grilled bread and serve them with a dip made from equal parts tartar and cocktail sauce.
- Recipe: Mini Surf-and-Turf Burgers
The lime aïoli in this recipe is just as tasty as the panko-crusted lump crabmeat patties. Using Japanese panko instead of traditional breadcrumbs gives the cakes a unique crunch, so don’t skip them!
- Recipe: Maine Crab Cakes with Lime Aiöli
Use either Dungeness or blue crabs for this recipe. The tangy butter serves as a fantastic complement to the sweetness of the crab meat.
Frying bacon before adding additional ingredients gives the crab claws a rich, smoky flavor.
- Recipe: Smoky, Buttery Crab Claws
Warm lump crab with assorted cheeses and Worcestershire sauce makes for a surprising, yet delicious crab dip for up to 12 people to enjoy.
- Recipe: Crab Dip
Topping crab cakes with a fruity salsa gives a classic dish a refreshing kick.
Vinegar and onion are countered by creamy avocado and sweet lump crabmeat in this delicious chilled salad.
- Recipe: West Indies Crab Salad
A crispy baguette and fried soft-shell crab catch some Cajun heat when topped with a spicy rémoulade.
Stone Crab claws, a South Florida specialty, are harvested from October to May for the claws only— fishermen snap off a claw and toss the crab back to regenerate a new one.
Bell peppers stuffed with crab meat, panko, fresh parsley, and fennel make an impressive and delicious dish.