Crab meat is one of my favorite things in the world- and crab legs are the best parts!
When I cook crab legs, I simply must have garlic butter to go along with them. In my opinion, there is no better way to eat them- no matter how many fancy recipes I try.
These steamed and grilled crab legs are spectacular- and super easy to make! Other than the crab meat itself, all the ingredients are things you probably have at home already. It takes less than half an hour to make and doesn’t require any tricky cooking skills.
Crack out the crab legs on your next special occasion with this perfect garlic butter crab recipe.
Steamed Crab Legs with a Flavorful Garlic Butter Sauce
Garlic butter crab is tough to beat – I even put it in front of baked crab legs. The butter sauce cooks quickly, and the crab legs absorb the flavors beautifully.
King Crab Legs VS Dungeness Crab Legs
Both of these crabs can pack a punch when it comes to flavor, and they both work excellently with this recipe.
King crab legs have more meat on them- as the king crab is generally a much larger specimen. Even a large Dungeness crab is not as hefty as the average king crab, so it is a good choice if you want a bigger bite without extra preparation.
I love Dungeness crab legs because they have slightly sweeter and firmer meat. King crab legs are known for their rich, almost nutty flavor- something most people agree makes the best crab leg of all. Personally, I disagree, but it is all about what you like best!
A Dungeness crab is also generally much more affordable- coming in way below king crabs in price per pound. It is a major factor to consider when deciding what crab legs to cook with.
Snow crab legs are also great, although they can be tricky to find sometimes due to the low population. They are somewhere in between king crabs and Dungeness crabs in terms of flavor profile and cost, so if you can get them, it could be the happy medium you are looking for.
Frozen crab legs are not quite as juicy and tasty as fresh crab, but if they are all that is available, you can use them and still get a tasty meal at the other end. Ensure they thaw completely before cooking. Do not refreeze crab legs once cooked.
Like my jonah crab claws recipe, crab legs are surprisingly easy to prepare – just crack them off and clean them well under the tap. Boiling them slightly before you put them in the pan helps keep the meat juicy and ensures there are no potentially harmful germs still lingering.
Other things you need to prepare for this recipe are:
- One large pot or skillet
- A serving tray or serving plates (preheated before plating up)
- A spoon to toss the sauce
- Small dishes for extra garlic butter to go alongside your crab legs on the plate
Crab legs don’t get better than this- juicy, tasty, and easy to make. Garlic butter crab is an unrivaled crowd-pleaser and is sure to be a hit at dinner parties, cook-ups, and get-togethers.
Why suffer with crazy restaurant markups whenever you crave crab legs with garlic butter? Try this recipe at home next time you want a delicious seafood meal that is light, refreshing, and mouth-wateringly tasty.
Crab Legs with Garlic Butter
Garlic Butter Crab is tough to beat, and this simple recipe is the best. The butter sauce cooks quickly, and the crab legs absorb the flavors beautifully.
- 8 tbsp. real full-fat butter
- 1 King Crab or large Dungeness crab (snow crab legs are a possible alternative- but they are not quite as meaty)
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
- A pinch (roughly a quarter teaspoon) of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper (cracked black pepper) to taste
- Lemon wedges
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; you want it to look a bit frothy.
- Add the minced fresh garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley and to the pan. Stir them through the melted butter. Then, salt and pepper to taste.
- Place crab legs in clusters in the pan. Toss the legs in the garlic butter sauce. Make sure each cluster is evenly coated in the garlic butter. This allows an even flavor once they are cooked.
- Put the lid on the pan and leave to steam for three or four minutes. If your crab legs are bigger, give them a little longer. You want the meat to cook but not get dry.
- After a few minutes, remove the lid and toss the legs in the butter sauce again. Simmer for 30 seconds, and then turn off the heat.
- Remove the crab meat from the pan. Plate up your cooked crab legs on a serving platter or individual plates!
- Snow Crab legs are a possible alternative, but they are not quite as meaty.
- Crab legs with garlic are best served with some lemon wedges. A squeeze of lemon juice over the finished crab legs helps awaken the flavors and adds a zingy punch to the dish (for the tongue and the eye).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1085mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g