Baked Crab Legs in Butter Sauce – easy to eat baked crab dish brushed with garlic, butter, lemon, and Creole seasoning sauce. You can now have a gourmet treat right at home without the hefty price tag. And it comes ready from start to finish in less than 20 minutes!
Let me welcome this month of February with one of my favorite dishes to order at restaurants – crab legs! This time around, I’m making them at home for a gourmet feast on Valentine’s Day. Trust me, you’d be surprised how easy it is to prepare – even novice cooks can make it. Just pair it with one of our steak recipes HERE on the blog (or the suggested pairings below), some wine, and dessert and you’re all set for a fancy dinner date at home.
How to Choose Which Crab to Buy?
Before you go to your nearest grocery stores, let’s first talk about which one to buy and why. Okay, first off, what I’m using today is the famous King crab legs. There are actually two kinds of crab legs usually sold here in the U.S. – the snow crab legs (with smooth and softer shells) and the King crab legs (thicker and spiky legs).
Snow crab legs are sold in clusters with several smaller legs. King crab, on the other hand, have much larger legs that are sold individually. Although they’re quite pricey compared with the snow crab legs, I love the fact that they’re meaty, sweet and juicy. All worth every penny!
Is it Better to Bake or Boil Crab Legs?
I’ve tried baking and boiling King crab legs and I must say that I prefer them baked. Boiling crab legs dilutes the natural flavors found in crab, whereas, if you bake them, it enhances its natural aroma and flavor.
Can You Cook Frozen Crab Legs in Oven?
Well, actually you can. However, that will need more baking minutes. What I would usually do though is thaw the crab legs in the fridge overnight or place the crabs under cold running water for a few minutes. The latter is a pretty good option, especially when you want something that’s out of your usual meal but forget to thaw the crab.
The crab is done if it is heated thoroughly and not cold or just barely warm. The FDA suggests that all seafood must have an internal temperature at 145 F (in the thickest part) before you could say it’s safe to eat.
How Long to Cook Crab Legs?
Love a quick yet mouth-watering dinner? Then this is what you’re looking for. This baked crab legs recipe only needs 5 minutes baking time and it comes ready from start to finish in less than 20 minutes. And before you know it, it’ll be gone before it even lands on the dining table.
How to Eat Crab Legs?
This crab legs recipe is actually EASY than you think it is. You don’t have to deal with burning your hands from cracking open a hot crab leg. The prep or cracking the shell is actually done before you pop it in the oven so the meat is exposed and catches all the flavor from the garlic butter sauce.
Then once it is cooked through, just take out the meat with your long-stemmed fork and take the crab meat out of the shell. Dip it on the remaining sauce or squeeze it with some lemon wedges.
What to Serve with Crab Legs?
Crab legs definitely call for some butter or lemon squeeze. But I sometimes pair them with any of these ones below for a festive dinner. Juicy, succulent, sweet, buttery, garlicky with a little kick crab meat. Mmmm..yum!
- Homemade Garlic Bread
- Sauteed Spinach
- Twice-baked Potatoes
- Caesar Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Mushroom Risotto
Other Recipes that You Might Like
- Maryland Crab Cakes
- Crab Salad
- Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
- Crab Rangoon
- Grilled Lobster Tail
- Lobster Bisque
How To Cook Crab Legs
Thaw crabs legs in the refrigerator overnight or for faster results place crabs under cold running water for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. When ready to cook, cut the crab legs into half so the flesh of the crab is visible. Skip the knife and use kitchen shears or scissors to do so. You’ll thank me later. Place crab legs in an oven-safe pan or on a baking sheet.
Add butter, garlic, Creole seasoning in a small bowl. Microwave for about a minute. Remove and add lemon juice. Mix well.
Brush crab with butter mixture all over the crab legs – reserve any excess for serving. Place the crab legs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the crab legs are heated through. Sprinkle with parsley or chives. Serve immediately with the remaining sauce and/or lemon wedges for squeezing over meat.
Baked Crab Legs in Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1 lb (453.59g) king crab legs
- 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter , melted
- 3 cloves garlic , minced (about 1 tablespoon garlic)
- 1-2 teaspoons (4g-8g) Creole seasoning
- ½ tablespoon (7.5ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (3g) chopped chives or parsley
- lemon wedges to serve
- Thaw crabs legs in the refrigerator overnight or for faster results place crabs under cold running water for a few minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- When ready to cook, cut the crab legs into half so the flesh of the crab is visible. Skip the knife and use kitchen shears or scissors to do so. You'll thank me later.
- Place crab legs in an oven-safe pan or on a baking sheet.
- Add butter, garlic, Creole seasoning in a small bowl. Microwave for about a minute. Remove and add lemon juice. Mix well.
- Brush crab with butter mixture all over the crab legs - reserve any excess for serving.
- Place the crab legs in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the crab legs are heated through. Sprinkle with parsley or chives.
- Serve immediately with the remaining sauce and/or lemon wedges for squeezing over meat.
Tips & Notes:
- One of the great things about this recipe, you are not trying to cut open hot crab legs with scissors, the prep is done before they are heated.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.