Crab meat turns meals into a flavor fest. These 29 recipes with crab meat showcase its versatility. Find easy crab meat recipes and innovative dishes. Every seafood lover will find new favorite recipes. Explore different ways to enjoy fresh crab meat. Get inspired and start cooking.
What are the Different Types of Crab Common In The U.S.?
In the U.S., you’ll find a variety of crabs available for purchase, each offering distinct flavors, textures, and culinary uses. Here’s a brief overview:
- Found on the East Coast, especially in the Chesapeake Bay area.
- Known for its sweet, tender meat, especially prized in crab cakes.
- Sourced from the West Coast, particularly from Alaska down to California.
- Offers a sweet, mild flavor with medium-to-firm texture. Great for cracking and eating straight from the shell.
- Mostly caught in Alaska.
- Known for its large size and rich flavor. The legs are highly sought after for their sweet, tender meat.
- Also from Alaskan waters.
- Has a slightly sweet taste and delicate texture. Popular in seafood boils and for serving as crab legs.
- Harvested from Florida’s Gulf Coast.
- Noted for its claw meat, which is rich, sweet, and succulent. Stone crab claws are typically served cold with a mustard sauce.
- Blue crabs that have molted their old exoskeleton and are still soft.
- Eaten whole, soft-shell crabs have a mild, sweet taste and are often fried or sautéed.
- Imitation crab meat is not actually crab, but a processed seafood product made from surimi (a paste of finely pulverized white fish flesh) flavored and colored to resemble crab meat.
- It has a mild, slightly sweet crab-like flavor and a texture that’s different from real crab meat, being more uniform and somewhat less flaky.
- Popular in seafood salads, California sushi rolls, and as an economical alternative in dishes where crab meat is used.
What are the Different Types of Crab from Around the World?
There are many varieties of crab found in waters around the world. These are some of the common ones you might find in recipes:
- Popular in Asia, especially in Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, and Indian cuisines.
- Known for its sweet, moist meat and large claws.
- Often used in spicy dishes like Singapore Chili Crab or Indian Crab Curry.
- Common in Australian cuisine.
- Recognized by its long, spanner-shaped claws.
- The meat is sweet and delicate, often used in salads, pastas, and as a sushi topping.
- Found in European waters, especially the Mediterranean.
- Smaller in size, often used in soups, stews, and sauces.
- Integral to Italian and Spanish dishes like Risotto al Granchio and Paella.
- A delicacy in Japan, particularly in Hokkaido.
- Valued for its sweet, delicate flesh and rich, creamy roe.
- Commonly served in sushi, kaiseki cuisine, and in traditional dishes like Kanisuki.
Norwegian King Crab:
- Found in the cold waters of the Barents Sea.
- Larger than other crabs with a sweet and rich flavor.
- Often prepared simply to highlight its quality, popular in Nordic and Russian cuisines.
- Includes varieties like the Flower Crab, found in Asian waters.
- Used in a variety of Asian dishes, from soups to stir-fries.
- Noted for their delicate flesh and often cooked whole.
- Common in British and Irish cuisines.
- Small with a rich, sweet flavor.
- Often used in bisques and seafood stews.
Start your meal with a bang with these crab appetizer recipes. They bring the sea’s freshness right to your table. This collection is perfect for anyone looking to impress. It features easy crab meat recipes and sophisticated lump crab meat recipes. Discover great recipes that mix simple steps with big flavors. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just for fun, these crab appetizers are sure to wow.
Crab Stuffed Avocado
This simple recipe has fresh crab meat, fresh onion, fresh tomato, cilantro and avocado. Add some spice if you want or leave as-is to enjoy the taste of the lump crab meat. This is one of the easiest crab recipes you’ll find.
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Crab Stuffed Mushrooms With Cream Cheese
Crab stuffed mushrooms are the ultimate appetizer. Mushrooms are stuffed with tender crab meat and cream cheese filling, topped with breadcrumbs, and baked until tender and juicy.
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Gourmet Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
These Crab Stuffed Mushrooms make the most delicious hot party appetizer! They’re ready in less than 30 minutes, and easy to make ahead of time too.
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Crab Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
Deviled crab stuffed artichoke bottoms turn a classic dish into a simple, elegant appetizer. You will need cans of artichoke bottoms. Mix jumbo lump crab meat with cream cheese, old bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, green onions and more. Stuff in the artichokes. Top with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Bake until golden. Garnish with fresh parsley.
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Crab Puff Pastry
Make hot Crab puff pastry appetizers, a recipe with crab and white wine. Mix crab meat, Parmesan cheese, fresh garlic, onion, and milk for the crab mixture. Place in puff pastry. Bake until golden brown. It’s an easy recipe for an easy appetizer.
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Easy Hot Crab Dip
Make Hot Crab Dip in a cast-iron skillet for the ultimate party appetizer. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Add Worcestershire sauce, Dan-O’s Original Seasoning, and cheddar cheese. Stir in fresh lump crab meat or claw crab meat and a few other ingredients. It’s an easy way to impress everyone.
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Spinach, Crab and Shrimp Dip
This baked crab spinach dip takes regular dip up a notch. Mix frozen spinach, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Add peeled shrimp, fresh lemon juice, and jumbo lump crabmeat and more. Then bake until golden brown. Try this hot crab dip recipe for a gourmet touch on a special occasion.
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Bake russet potatoes as fries on a baking sheet. Top with crab meat and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and queso fresco. Season with old bay seasoning. Drizzle with garlic yogurt sauce and garnish with fresh chives. Enjoy this easy crab meat recipe.
Click For Recipe: Crab Fries
Spicy Warm Crab Bruschetta
Make Spicy Warm Crab Bruschetta quickly. Melt butter, then add minced shallots, parsley, and chili paste. Season with salt and pepper; cook for a minute. Pour in dry vermouth; simmer until reduced. Add lemon juice and fold in crab meat; heat through. Serve on toasted ciabatta with ripe fresh tomato. This appetizer is both fancy and easy.
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Air Fryer Crab Cakes With Almond Flour
Follow the cooking instructions on this recipe if you want to cook your crab cakes in an air fryer.
This easy crab cakes recipe is keto friendly, with no breadcrumbs. Instead, it uses almond flour as a light bonding agent. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges. You can also reheat leftover crab cakes in the air fryer.
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Pan Fried Crab Cakes With Panko Bread Crumbs
Use this recipe to learn how to cook delicious crab cakes on a skillet.
This recipe is full of fresh crab, hot sauce, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, panko breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest, spices and fresh herbs.
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Deep Fried Crab Rangoon
This crab rangoon recipe mixes real crab meat with cream cheese and seasonings. Fold into wontons and cook until golden brown. Bake or fry for a restaurant-quality result. It’s the best way to enjoy crab rangoon at home.
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Crab Deviled Eggs
Crab deviled eggs add a twist to traditional ones. Mix egg yolk with crab meat, fresh chives, and lemon juice. Top each egg with extra crab and fresh chives. Say goodbye to boring deviled eggs!
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Crab Soups and Salads
No list of easy crab meat recipes would be complete without crab soup or crab salad recipes. You can make an easy crab salad by adding fresh lump crab to the top of your favorite green salad. Or follow one of these tasty recipes.
Crab Louie Salad
Crab louie salad reigns supreme in seafood salad recipes. It features lettuce, asparagus, cucumber, eggs, avocado, tomatoes, and cooked crab. Dress it with homemade louie dressing. This crab salad recipe is perfect all year, especially during Dungeness crab season.
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Shrimp and Crab Pasta Salad
Enjoy crab with this seafood pasta salad. In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, Old Bay, and salt. Add shrimp, crabmeat, celery, red onion, fresh chives, fresh dill, and cooked pasta. Toss well for a perfect recipe with crab. This crab pasta salad can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days.
Click For Recipe: Seafood Pasta Salad
Creamy crab bisque, a creamy crab soup, starts with a tomato and vegetable stock base. Finish with fresh lump crab meat and cream. Top with oyster crackers or pair with homemade sourdough bread. Creamy bisque is perfect as a side dish or main course.
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Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup (Bún Riêu)
Bún Riêu is a fragrant Vietnamese noodle soup with crab, shrimp paste, tomatoes, and rice vermicelli noodles. Crab and tofu soak up the amazing flavors. Top with fresh herbs and lime to finish it off. It’s beautiful and delicious.
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Maryland Crab Soup
Maryland crab soup is easy, hearty, and spicy with Maryland Blue Crabs flavor. It’s a broth-filled soup with fresh crab meat and Old Bay seasoning. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Love vegetable soup and crabmeat? This crab soup is for you. It’s simple, with a savory beach flavor. Plus, it’s healthy and rich in fiber. Use any veggies your family likes to ensure they enjoy dinner fuss-free.
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Crab and Corn Chowder
Crab and corn chowder is a creamy soup with sweet crab and corn in savory broth. It’s easy to make and showcases fresh lump crab meat well. Make it a day ahead for an even thicker soup. Perfect with a fresh pot of chowder. This chowder pairs well with a crisp salad or roasted vegetables. Top with chopped chives for extra flavor and color.
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Puerto Rican Coconut Seafood Stew (Caldo Santo)
Caldo Santo is a Puerto Rican coconut seafood stew for Lent. It has fresh fish, shellfish, and tubers in coconut broth. The soup is filling, creamy, and mellow. Serve it as a main dish or a light dinner starter. It’s an easy crab recipe.
Click For Recipe: Caldo Santo
Crab Main Dish Recipes
Dive into our collection of main dish crab recipes inspired by coastal towns. Beyond just enjoying a seafood boil, keep reading for tasty crab dinner recipes. These recipes are easy to follow and bring the seaside flavor to your home. From quick easy crab meat recipes to beloved traditional dishes, we’ve got everything to make your meals special. Whether you love seafood or want to make a memorable dinner, these crab dishes will take you straight to the ocean’s edge. Get ready to cook up some delicious crab meals that everyone will love!
Thai Crab Curry (Pad Pong Karee)
Make crab curry stir-fry with fresh crab meat and yellow curry. This easy recipe is perfect for any seafood lover. In just 20 minutes, enjoy creamy, flavorful curry sauce on succulent crab. Boo Pad Pong Karee is a Thai classic, rich in seafood flavors. The creamy sauce blends eggs, condensed milk, and curry powder. Pong Karee highlights the captivating yellow curry of Thai cuisine. Serve with white rice.
Click For Recipe: Pad Pong Karee
Cajun Crab Stuffed Salmon
Cajun crab-stuffed salmon is filled with spiced crab and topped with lemon butter sauce. An easy, elegant crowd-pleaser. The Cajun-spiced crab filling mixes butter, crackers, crab meat, and shallots. It’s indulgent and flavorful. Enjoy garlicky, zesty, and sweet flavors in every bite. Use good quality lump crab meat for the best taste.
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Crab Stuffed Salmon
Find tender salmon and sweet crab in this easy crab-stuffed salmon recipe. It’s an elegant dinner, like from a fancy seafood place. Perfect for special occasions, but simple enough for any night. Ready in under 30 minutes.
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Crab Rangoon Pizza
Crab pizza blends Chinese flavors with succulent crab, creamy sauce, and cheese, topped with a balsamic-soy drizzle. Mix takeout Chinese and pizza night into one. Use mid-priced fresh lump crab meat from the seafood aisle. Add colorful strips of red pepper. Choose pre-sliced white button or baby bella mushrooms. Chop half a bunch of green onion, using white and green parts. Top with mild mozzarella cheese to complement the flavors.
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Crab Ravioli with Saffron Sauce
Enjoy crab ravioli with white meat and ricotta in a buttery, white wine sauce. It’s a bit of luxury for pasta dishes. Homemade pasta takes effort but elevates this dish. The sauce, simple yet indulgent, shines with dill and saffron. Saffron adds great flavor and a golden color. Splurge on this treat for easy crab recipes.
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This easy crab pasta sauce with spaghetti and lump crabmeat mixes luxury with simplicity. Ready in 30 minutes, enjoy sweet crab in a light tomato and white wine sauce. It’s a quick dish to amaze your taste buds. Impress guests with this simple yet elegant crab spaghetti. Perfect for those who love easy crab recipes.
Click For Recipe: Crab Spaghetti
Crab Fried Rice (Khao Pad Buu)
Make Thai crab fried rice with jasmine rice and white crab meat. It’s a top pick for easy crab meat recipes. This dish, cooked in a wok, blends simple ingredients into amazing flavors. Perfect for seafood and fried rice fans. Ready in just 15 minutes! Ideal for leftover crab. Garnish with lime wedges and green onion.
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California Sushi Bowl
Make California sushi bowls with togarashi mayo, a spicy mix with chilis and sesame seeds. If you love spicy flavors, you’ll enjoy this mix. No togarashi? Sriracha mayo works great too. Start with sushi rice so it cools down. Sushi bowls taste best with room temperature or warm rice.
Click For Recipe: California Sushi Bowl
Vietnamese Crab Cellophane Noodles (Mien Xao Cua)
Vietnamese crab cellophane noodles (Mien Xao Cua) is a traditional dish for everyday and special meals. It features delicate crab meat and soft glass noodles. Crunchy vegetables and lime fish sauce dressing. This dish is incredibly tasty.
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Tips For Cooking Crab
Here are some tips for preparing and cooking crab to ensure success:
Selecting Fresh Crab:
- Look for lively crabs in the tank or choose those with a fresh ocean smell if pre-cooked.
- The shell should be free from cracks and feel heavy for its size, indicating a good meat-to-shell ratio.
Storing Before Cooking:
- Keep live crabs in a well-ventilated container covered with a damp cloth or seaweed, ideally in a cool area until cooking time.
- Do not store live crabs in water as they will deplete oxygen and perish.
Prepping for Cooking:
- Clean the crab before cooking by rinsing under cold water. For more thorough cleaning, remove the gills and viscera after boiling but before cracking.
- Boil or steam the crab in a large pot with salted water. Add seasonings like bay leaves, garlic, or lemon for extra flavor.
- A general guideline is to cook for about 15-20 minutes for a medium-sized crab, adjusting based on size.
Cooling After Cooking:
- Once cooked, plunge the crab into ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve the texture of the meat.
Cleaning and Cracking:
- Remove the shell, gills, and viscera. Crack the legs and claws using a nutcracker or mallet.
- Extract the meat using small forks or crab picks. Remember, the body also contains delicious meat.
- Always ensure the crab is fully cooked to avoid food-borne illnesses. The meat should be opaque and flaky when done.
Frequently Asked Questions About Crab Meat Recipes (FAQs)
Yes, canned crab meat can be a convenient alternative to fresh crab meat, especially for recipes like dips, cakes, or pasta. While fresh crab meat offers the best flavor and texture, high-quality canned crab can be a good substitute. Be sure to drain and check for any shell fragments before using.
Crab meat is cooked when it turns opaque and has a firm texture. For pre-cooked crab meat being added to dishes, it only needs to be warmed through. If cooking fresh crab, boiling or steaming for about 15-20 minutes for whole crabs, depending on size, is generally sufficient.
Store leftover cooked crab meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 3-4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze cooked crab meat in airtight bags or containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using in your recipes.