How to Cook Crab Legs

Are you in the mood for seafood, but not quite up to a night out at your local crab shack? Maybe it's time to break out the mallets and crackers at home and learn how to cook crab legs right in your own kitchen. Not only do crab legs make for a fun and unique addition to your normal rotation of meals, but preparing them in your oven's broiler is surprisingly simple. You can have them ready in just a matter of minutes. When crabs are in season, you may find them fresh in grocery stores and seafood markets, but frozen crab legs will work, too. Keep some stocked in your freezer and you can throw together this easy, no-fuss meal in no time flat. This recipe uses a succulent butter sauce with hints of basil and lemon zest for added flavor. In fact, you may want to make a little extra to serve on the side for dipping.
Hi, I'm Miranda with and today I'm gonna show you how to make broiled crab legs. Now, this recipe uses lemon zest and fresh basil to make some absolutely delicious, no-fuss crab legs. So we have all of our ingredients laid out here. We have 1-1/2 pounds of fresh or frozen you can use crab legs. We've used fresh here, split. Then, we have 3 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of fresh basil snipped. If you don't have fresh, you could use dry, but fresh is just the best when you can use. Then, we have 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a half teaspoon of finely shredded lemon peel. So, we're going to start by creating our little mixture here so let's just pop in this delicious melted butter, the basil, the lemon juice and this lovely lemon peel and just give this a little toss around, so this is gonna be the mixture that cooks on the crab legs and just mix them so delicious and so light. That's something that I just love about crab as it's just such as light delicious little treat. So we're gonna put this here, cut side up. Now, I cut it, you know, on both sides because of the size so just like the white part, which usually be the easiest to see this part so just pop this up and just arrange on your greased broiler pan. What we're gonna do is just open like this. I'm gonna use a basting brush 'coz it's just easiest, but if you don't have this you could just kind of spoon it in or you could use your fingers, but we're just gonna kind of just tuck in here and just brush along kind of the cut part and don't forget this little yummy, yummy meaty part of the ends. The other side too, just tuck in there. You really want to have, you know, all the yummy flavor. We're gonna pop this in the broiler at about 4 to 6 inches and from the broiler itself from the heat and we're gonna let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they're all the way cook through, but I would definitely keep an eye on them especially anytime you're doing something with the broiler, you know how hot that can get, so be attentive and you don't wanna overcook your crab. You don't want it to get tough so just kind of checking on it to see how it's doing and just be super, super attentive and then you are gonna be ready to go. So, we will come back when they're out of the oven. Okay. So our crab legs were under the broiler for about 3 minutes and that's a pretty sure amount of time. That's actually because when we purchase crab, it's already been cooked so really-- we're doing it is warming it through, getting all this like buttery goodness mixed in here so it's nice and tasty and ready to go. So, look how gorgeous it is. I'm just kind of like keep one open here, just look how like soft and amazing. Look how gorgeous that looks or you could just like hold this right out and eat it. Now, I used king crab legs, but you could use really any kind of crab like snow crab or any other variety, this recipe will work just fine for, but how easy was that? That's how you broil crab legs. Thanks for watching and for more great recipes and savings, visit us at

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2  pounds fresh or frozen crab legs, split*
  • 3   tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1   tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1   tablespoon lemon juice

Step By Step

Thaw crab legs, if frozen. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Place crab legs, cut side up, on the greased unheated rack of a broiler pan. Stir together butter, basil, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Brush crab legs with butter mixture. Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 4 (4-ounce) servings

  • If split crab legs are unavailable from your grocer, purchase whole legs. Using kitchen shears, cut through the lighter colored underside of each leg. Lay partially split legs on a cutting board. Cut through each hard shell with a sharp knife, completely splitting the legs.
Broiled crab legs are a great meal on their own, but the meat can also be re-purposed in other dishes (not that there are likely to be many leftovers from this delicious feast). Knowing how to cook crab legs can help you expand your culinary repertoire beyond just this basic meal. Layer strips of crab meat over your favorite salad blend, use it for omelets or quiche, stir it into seafood bisque or gumbo, or make a crap dip to serve as an appetizer next time you're entertaining family or friends.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 154, Fat, total (g) 10, chol. (mg) 64, sat. fat (g) 6, carb. (g) 0, Monounsaturated fat (g) 3, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 0, sugar (g) 0, pro. (g) 15, vit. A (RE) 0, vit. A (IU) 388.72, vit. C (mg) 7.68, Thiamin (mg) 0.04, Riboflavin (mg) 0.05, Niacin (mg) 0.99, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.14, Folate (g) 40.32, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 8.72, sodium (mg) 799, Potassium (mg) 206, calcium (mg) 50.48, iron (mg) 0.54, Lean Meat () 2, Fat () 2, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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