32 Yummy Crab Recipes to Try

Shake up your weekly meal game with these 32 Yummy Crab Recipes! Whether you’re a bonafide crab lover, or if you’ve never cooked with it before, these tasty and easy crab dishes are sure to please.

Crab legs on a plate with lemon slices
Alaskan King Crab Legs from House of Nash Eats

Crab is enjoyed all over the world, in home kitchens and seafood restaurants alike. If you’re a longtime crab fan, or if you’ve never tasted it before, there’s a recipe for that – and we’ve rounded up 32 of them!

Bringing crab into the mix is an easy way to embrace one of the freshest ingredients there is. From pastas to appetizers, dips to salads, discover the best ways to cook with crab with the recipes below.

Is Crab a Fish or Meat?

Crabs aren’t fish. Crabs are crustaceans, and in the States they’re considered shellfish. This puts crabs in the same category as shrimp, oysters, lobster, and clams. 

Now, here’s where it gets a little fishy. The flesh inside a crab is sometimes called crabmeat, or crab marrow. Since crab is an animal that’s eaten for food, technically, this can fall under the definition of “meat”. Meanwhile, some experts and pescetarians define shellfish (or any fish) as distinct from other types of meat. This is why pescetarians will consume fish for protein, but not beef or chicken.

A crab on a bunch of ice

What Part of a Crab Do You Eat?

When you crack open a crab, you’ll find two kinds of crab meat: white meat in the legs and claws, and brown meat inside the shell. Crab leg meat is often milder and firmer, while the shell meat is richer and softer. Like the chicken leg vs. chicken wing debate, just about every crab lover has their preference!

Of course, if you happen to crack open a crab that has a nasty smell, or mushy meat, then none of that crab should be eaten. Chances are it wasn’t fresh before it was cooked, and could lead to food poisoning (ick!). If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is discard the crab and find yourself a fresh one.

What Does it Taste Like?

Crabs are loved by many seafood aficionados for their delicate, sweet taste. Most would describe the flavor as mild, with a soft and tender, almost buttery mouthfeel. 

32 Yummy Crab Recipes

A roundup of delicious and easy crab recipes fit to satisfy any summertime seafood craving! From hot crab dip to crab rangoon, salad to pasta dishes, to how to cook crab legs, plus more yummy ways to use crab.

side shot of arranged crab cakes on a white plate

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Homemade crab cakes are the perfect summertime meal, whether you serve them for lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer. These easy crab cakes are paired with a lightened-up garlic yogurt sauce for a totally munch-able treat!

Crab Alfredo is an indulgent dish, but is ready from start to finish in 15 minutes! A family favorite for sure!

Crab Alfredo

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Creamy and indulgent homemade crab Alfredo tastes as luxurious as it is easy to make! A simple and delicious pasta recipe filled with crabmeat, Old Bay seasoning, and a buttery homemade Alfredo sauce.

Hot Crab, Corn and Bacon Dip in a white baking dish with someone dipping a cracker

Hot Crab, Corn and Bacon Dip

This recipe is what happens when hot corn dip and hot crab dip come together. The result is something truly next-level delicious! Especially when bacon is involved. You’re going to love this cheesy, spicy appetizer dip!

crab salad appetizers on a cucumber slice

Crab Salad Appetizers

Crab salad is piled onto cucumber slices in an effortless and impressive party appetizer you can make all year long!

Crab Rangoon

Skip your next Chinese takeout run with this authentic crab rangoon that you can make at home as an easy side dish or appetizer. Creamy, crispy, crabby and all kinds of delicious!

crab cakes on a plate with lemon slices and sauce in a bowl with a spoon

Air Fryer Crab Cakes

The air fryer is by far the simplest way to cook crab cakes that come out perfectly crispy every time! This homemade crab cake recipe is here to prove it.

close up shot of crab artichoke dip served in a round dish, and a large serving spoon placed in the dip.

Crab Artichoke Dip

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Artichoke dip fans, meet your next healthy appetizer obsession. This time, dressed up with tender crabmeat! Flavored with garlic and white wine, this dip is the definition of diet-friendly decadence that’s also on a budget.

Crispy Crab Balls with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

Crispy Crab Balls with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

From the holidays to game day, revelers are going to get a kick out of this crispy crab ball appetizer. Figuratively because they’re delicious, and literally thanks to the spicy kick of chipotle tartar sauce!

an aerial view of a plate filled with cooked crab legs and garnished with lemon slices and fresh herbs

How to Cook Alaskan King Crab Legs

If the thought of cooking whole crab legs gives you the heebie-jeebies, you’ll be a seasoned pro in no time thanks to this simple how-to. Everything you need to know about grilling Alaskan King Crab to tender, sweet perfection.

slice of Quiche with Crab and Bacon

Herby Crustless Quiche with Crab and Bacon

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An easy crustless quiche recipe loaded with sweet crabmeat morsels and smoky bacon. Enhanced with chives, shallots, and herbs, for a flavor-filled bite with every forkful!

Maryland Crab Soup

Chunks of crab and veggies swim in a silky and spicy tomato broth in this Maryland-style crab soup recipe. This is the perfect easy soup to enjoy year-round!

A creamy sweet potato chowder with jumbo shrimp, pan seared scallops and fresh crab meat. This easy to make soup is topped with giant chunks of Pancetta ham and fresh oregano.

Sweet Potato soup with seafood and pancetta

A fresh take on your average seafood chowder, this sweet potato soup is ultra creamy and filled with the likes of crabmeat, seared scallops and jumbo shrimp. Crispy pancetta rounds out the flavors for a truly luxurious bowlful.

crab artichoke dip in bread bowl

Warm Crab Artichoke Dip in a Bread Bowl

Whether you’re tailgating the Super Bowl or ringing in the New Year, there isn’t an occasion where this crab and artichoke dip loaded into a bread bowl doesn’t shine!

The Best Crab Cake Sandwiches

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A perfect summer meal, this crab cake recipe is filled with fresh crab, herbs and spices. Serve them up between two buns for easy and scrumptious crabby sandwiches!

a close-up of six air fryer crab cakes in a metal bowl with lemon, dill, parsley, and homemade tartar sauce

Air Fryer Keto Crab Cakes [+VIDEO]

Maryland crab cakes, but make them keto! This easy jumbo lump crab cake recipe cooks up perfectly in the air fryer in less than 5 minutes.

close up shot of a spoon in a baking dish with hot crab dip

Hot Crab Dip

Brace those crackers for this amazing homemade hot crab dip! A dip recipe bursting with warm buttery flavors of cheese and crab, seasoned with Old Bay and brightened up with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

crab rangoon bites on white plate

Baked Crab Rangoon Bites

These crispy wonton-style crab rangoon bites are baked, not fried, for a light and easy appetizer idea. Creamy, spicy, and perfect for game day!

Tasty Fried Rice loaded with chunks of crab meat, diced ham and mango for a touch of sweetness. This is a great way to use up any leftover rice!

Easy Fried Rice with Crab Meat

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Fried rice, but make it fancy. Use leftover rice to make this easy homemade fried rice recipe with crab, diced ham, and the unexpected sweetness of mango.

Crab Salad Sliders with sriracha mayonnaise

Crab Salad Sliders

The perfect summer lunch or game day snack idea, these easy slider sandwiches filled with homemade crab salad are delectably creamy, sweet, and spicy all in one.

seafood lasagna coming out of baking dish

Seafood Lasagna Recipe

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This homemade lasagna is breaking rules and taking names, loaded with layers of pasta, melted cheese and a juicy seafood medley. This outrageously flavorful and easy dinner idea made with crab, scallops, and more is definitely a must-try!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms - Packed with crab meat and drizzled with garlic butter sauce, these delicious stuffed mushrooms are so easy to prepare, and they make for the perfect appetizer!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Little mushroom pockets bursting with juicy crabmeat and drizzled in garlic butter are the ultimate appetizer! Easy to make and perfect for potlucks and parties.

Crab Cake Dip

Crab Cake Dip

This crab dip takes everything you love about a crab cake and ropes it into a perfect party appetizer. Rich and creamy and full of flavor, ready to serve warm with crackers or veggies.

side shot of a slider with crab cakes.

Crab Cake Sliders

Sweet Hawaiian rolls filled with crispy New England crab cakes are perfect for summer gatherings. This recipe is made with real crabmeat and is so full of flavor, your guests will love it!

Cold crab dip in a white pie pan

Cold Crab Dip

If you love hot crab dip, wait until you’ve tried the cold version! A classic appetizer cooled down for summertime serving.

Crab Fettuccine Alfredo

Crab Fettuccine Alfredo

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Making a crab-filled rendition of fettuccine Alfredo is way easier than you think! A tender-cooked pasta recipe topped with a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce and lump crab.

This is the best crab dip full of meaty crab., bacon and topped with melted Gruyere cheese

Cheesy Crab Dip with Bacon

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Name a better appetizer than ooey-gooey, rich and creamy, triple cheesy hot crab dip that’s loaded with bits of crispy bacon. We’ll wait.

shot of seafood boil with crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausages

Seafood Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce

No seafood extravaganza is complete without crab, and this easy seafood boil is brimming with it. Plus smoked sausage, shrimp, corn and potatoes in the mix. A full seafood dinner all in one!

holding chopsticks and dipping crab rangoon wonton in dipping sauce

Crab Rangoon Wontons

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Try hard not to swoon over these crab rangoon wontons. Filled with tender crab and cream cheese, this dip-able classic is family-friendly and super easy to make.

Shrimp and crab filled enchiladas

Shrimp and Crab Pesto Enchiladas

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This recipe for enchiladas turns down the heat but keeps the flavor thanks to homemade basil pesto and a flavorful seafood filling. An easy one-pan dinner!

Maryland Hot Crab Dip

This Maryland hot crab dip and a crusty baguette are the ultimate match made in appetizer heaven. Serve this up at your next gathering, it’s sure to not disappoint!

Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

A classic Chinese American appetizer transformed into another takeout favorite! These crab rangoon egg rolls are easy to make using wonton wrappers, for the best weeknight finger food!

Crab Cake Pasta Salad

All the sweet goodness of a crab cake, tossed together with noodles and veggies in a tangy pasta salad dressing. An easy summer side dish filled with real crab and tons of flavor.

How to Select Crab at the Grocery Store

So, you’re standing in front of the live crab tank at the fish market or grocery store. Claws are waving at you behind the glass. Now what? There are a couple of things to remember when choosing crabs from the store:

  • Fresher crabs will have sweeter meat. Crabs must be alive before they are cooked in order to be fresh and safe to eat. So, make sure you select a live one.
  • Pay attention to the crab’s movements. Look for crabs that are alert and moving around the tank. A healthy crab will move its claws when it’s picked up.

On the other hand, if you’re buying frozen crab, you can still take note of certain points when choosing your portions. Look for meat that’s white, with no gray spots or signs of freezer burn. 

How to Store it Before Cooking

Live crab shouldn’t be kept for longer than a day or two before you cook it. You can store crab briefly in an open container in the fridge, or in a cooler. Line the container with wet newspaper to keep the crabs moist and cool until you’re ready to cook them. 

Sources: Angrycrabshack.com, Greatbritishchefs.com

Hungry for more seafood dinner ideas? Check out the recipe finder for more easy recipes, for shellfish and beyond.

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