Great Crab Recipes

best crab recipes

For years we have celebrated the arrival of spring with soft shell crabs. They have a relatively short period of availability, so catch them while you can.

They usually can be found in late April even though the official season starts in May. The season ends at the end of the summer but they start to become more scarce and more expensive by August. 

Soft Shell Crabs

This is a traditional recipe and it’s the one we like best. 

We like them plain but we added two typical sauces just in case.


  • 6 soft shell crabs cleaned and rinsed
  • 1 c flour
  • 1-2 Tbsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Lemon butter sauce

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Or lime


Garlic butter sauce

  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 chives chopped


  1. Mix the flour and old bay in a big ziplock bag and shake it up
  2. Beat the eggs with the milk
  3. One at a time dip the crabs in the egg. Then into the flour bag.
  4. Shake it to cover the crab. Don’t get too crazy with the shaking or you’ll damage the crab.
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet.
  6. Sauté the crabs 3 min on each side until they are golden
  7. Remove the crabs and place them on a dish

Lemon butter

  1. Using the same skillet add the wine and the lemon or lime juice
  2. Reduce and add butter
  3. Pour over crabs


Garlic butter

  1. Use the same skillet
  2. Sauté the garlic in the remaining oil. 2 min
  3. Add wine
  4. Reduce
  5. Stir in butter and chives
  6. Pour over crabs

Crab Linguini

This is one of our favorites. 


  • 1 lb linguini
  • 3 large Dungeness crabs (about 2 lbs per) cleaned and cracked
  • 6 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cans of peeled whole Italian tomatoes (28 oz each)
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced thin or minced
  • 1/4 c slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 6 oz large lump crab meat. Rinsed.

(Get good quality lump crab meat. It’s more expensive but it’s a completely different experience. It’s not fishy at all and has a fabulous texture. There are some good companies from Maryland that will fresh ship and their prices are reasonable. The crab place is a good one and they’re on line)


  1. Set the oven at 200 degrees
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. You’ll make the sauce in it after the crabs
  3. Sauté the crabs in the shell for about 7 min. Stirring periodically. They should start to release some juice
  4. Take them out and place them in a Pyrex dish. Cover and place in the oven
  5. In the same sauté pan add tomatoes, garlic and basil
  6. Stir from the bottom and incorporate any bits of crab
  7. Bring it to a boil
  8. Reduce the heat to an active simmer for 30-40 min until its thick
  9. Pour 1/3 on the crabs in the oven and recover them and return them to the oven
  10. Cook the pasta as directed
  11. Heat the lump crab meat in the remaining sauce
  12. Drain pasta and add it to the sauce. Don’t rinse the pasta.
  13. Add the cheese and mix it in the pan
  14. Serve with the whole crabs.

Crab Dip


  • 8oz cream cheese. Room temp
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 12 oz lump crab rinsed. (See the note above on lump crab meat)
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar or provolone
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan
  • 2 scallions sliced thin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic


  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • If you choose fresh garlic sauté it in the sesame oil for 2 min first
  • Chips or toast points for dipping.


  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and mayo in a bowl
  3. Add crab, 1-2 c of the cheddar or provolone  and Parmesan
  4. Mix
  5. Add scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic
  6. Mix and pour into an oiled baking dish
  7. Cover with the remaining 1/2 c of cheddar or provolone and bake for 20-25 min until bubbly on top
  8. Serve with chips or toast points

Crab Salad

If you have good quality lump crab, keep it simple.


  • 8 oz lump crab
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce


  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl
  • Serve on lettuce

Couldn’t be easier, couldn’t be more delicious.

Crab Louie Salad


  • 8 oz lump crab meat
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 4 hardboiled eggs quartered
  • 3 tomatoes quartered
  • Boston lettuce


  • 1 c mayo
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweet relish


  1. Mix the dressing ingredients
  2. Arrange the avocado slices, eggs and tomatoes decoratively around the lettuce leaves
  3. Dressing the crab is a personal preference
  4. We add the crab to the dressing and toss it before placing it on the lettuce. We reserve some to drizzle across everything else

Some people just want to place the plain crab on the lettuce and serve the dressing on the side

Either way, it’s delicious.

Crab Cakes


  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire (optional)
  • Oil to sauté

(You may want tartar sauce for dipping the Louie sauce is great too)


  1. Mix eggs, mayo, Worcestershire and seasonings
  2. Add breadcrumbs. Mix well
  3. Add crab. Mix well again
  4. Form patties by hand 6-12 depending on size
  5. Sauté 5 min per side for med- large cakes until they start to brown.


Enjoy your crab!

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