While crab legs aren’t the cheapest protein option and they can be intimidating to cook if you don’t know how, this sheet pan crab legs recipe show you it’s actually pretty straightforward to cook crab legs and these baked crab legs are ideal for any special occasion. Crab legs make a great appetizer or a main course. Consider them as a Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve treat and definitely make them if you spot some crab legs on sale!
Flavored with Old Bay, butter, garlic, and lemon, these juicy crab legs are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. Crab has a distinctive taste and these snow crab legs are always a nice treat.
Why You’ll Love It
It’s so delicious: This mouthwatering snow crab legs recipe boasts just a few simple flavours, namely the Old Bay seasoning, butter, garlic, and lemon, but it’s really tasty, and you can enjoy the wonderful oven baked crab legs flavour without overpowering it with too many other ingredients.
It’s easy to prepare: If you’re concerned about cooking crab legs because you haven’t done it before, don’t worry – this recipe is especially simple. You need to brush the seafood seasoning mixture over the crab and then bake in the oven while you prepare some garlic butter to go on the side. See? Easy!
An impressive appetizer: Choose this snow crab legs dish if you want to present something fancy but you don’t necessarily want to spend hours making something complicated. Seafood such as king crab or snow crab isn’t hard to cook and even a newbie home cook can bake crab legs to perfection for sure.
Ingredients for Easy Baked Crab Legs
The star of this dish is snow crab clusters and you can find frozen crab legs in most large grocery stores and also in some Asian food markets. Olive oil, Old Bay seasoning, melted butter, garlic, and lemon are the only other ingredients you need to prepare crab legs.
How to Make Old Bay Crab Legs on a Sheet Pan
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
Prepare crab legs: While you preheat the oven, place crab legs on a rimmed baking sheet, mix the olive oil with half the Old Bay seasoning and brush this over the crab legs.
Cook crab legs: Cook them in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until done.
Make the garlic butter: While the crab legs cook, mix the rest of the Old Bay with melted butter and garlic.
The finishing touches: Serve the cooked crab legs warm, with the garlic butter mixture and some wedges or slices of lemon on the side.
Substitutions and Variations
King crab legs are another option, but they’re more expensive, tougher to crack and you’ll definitely need crab leg crackers (here) to open them.
King crabs have much thicker legs so they come individually rather than in clusters. Also, they’re not as easy to find as snow crab legs, which can usually just be cracked with your hands.
As for the other seasonings, swap the Old Bay for your favourite seafood seasoning if you like, perhaps Cajun seasoning. And if you’re using unsalted butter for the dipping sauce, you might want to add a pinch of salt, but taste it first.
How to Serve Easy Baked Crab Legs
Enjoy this delicious recipe warm from the oven and give everyone their own melted butter dip and a wedge of lemon. It goes well with crusty bread or a simple tossed green salad.
Keep the sides light and simple because the garlic butter is very rich and you’ll want a nice contrast. Mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or steamed asparagus would also be good on the side.
You might like to cook some other proteins too, such as fresh shrimp or another kind of fresh seafood, or even something different like andouille sausage.
How to Store Baked Crab Legs
Store: The cooked crab should keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freeze: Cooked crab legs can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed overnight in the fridge.
Reheat: Reheat crab legs about 12 minutes in the oven preheated to 350 degrees F if the crabmeat is still in the shell, or warm up the crabmeat if it’s out of the shell in a skillet with a splash of oil or a little butter – it will take about 4 minutes. Heat crab legs until they’re quite warm but not piping hot, or else you risk them drying out.
Baked Crab Legs FAQs
There are plenty of things you can make, such as crab cakes, crab bisque, crab salad, or even homemade sushi.
If you’re not using flash frozen crab legs, the other option is to deal with live crab, because crab must either be cooked right away or frozen. This is why it’s easier to find frozen crab legs. Live crab should be boiled so, unless you especially want to work with live crab, just grab a pack of flash frozen crab legs instead – it’s so much easier and still comes out sweet, moist and tender.
Easy Bake Sheet Pan Crab Legs Recipe
Sheet Pan Crab Legs
- 2 snow crab frozen clusters
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons Old Bay divided
- 4 Tablespoons butter melted
- 1 Clove garlic large, minced
- 1 lemon sliced for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the crab clusters in a single layer on a large-rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil and 1 teaspoon Old Bay. Brush the olive oil mixture over each cluster.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add remaining teaspoon of Old Bay, melted butter, and minced garlic to a bowl. Stir until combined.
- Serve crab alongside garlic butter and lemon slices.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Crab legs can be prohibitively expensive at a restaurant, so make this homemade version instead. Baked crab legs make an extra-special dinner, paired with your preferred sides, and they’re much easier to cook than you might have expected. If you’re in a seafood mood, you must make this easy baked crab legs dish.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.