14 Crab Recipes You'll Want to Add to Your Warm-Weather Repertoire

Randy Harris

Sweet, tender crabmeat is always a treat, whether it's Dungeness, king crab, or snow crab from the Pacific; stone crabs from Florida; or Maryland's famous blue crabs, in both hard-shell and soft-shell varieties. You can buy live crabs and steam them at home, buy pre-steamed whole crabs, or crab legs at the seafood counter. Pre-shelled crabmeat is available in several different varieties, graded according to the size of the chunks of meat.

From highest to lowest, the grades are: colossal, jumbo lump, lump, special, back fin, and claw fingers. Soft-shell crabs are those that have recently molted, and whose exoskeleton is still soft and edible. Once cleaned, soft-shell crabs are eaten whole.

Now that you know your way around different varieties of crab, apply your knowledge when preparing our favorite summer crab recipes. For starters (literally!), prepare a twist on a classic hot crab dip with our recipes for Hot-Crab and Pimiento-Cheese Spread and Hot Crab-and-Oyster Dip. Both use a couple of unexpected ingredients for next-level flavor that will be a pleasant surprise as you mix and mingle with friends. Other appetizers that are sure to be a hit include fried crab croquettes, which are extra creamy thanks to mashed potatoes, and showstopping Alaska King-Crab Legs with Meyer Lemon-Miso Butter.

If you want to make crab the main event, prepare crab rolls and serve them atop bright green bibb lettuce and a warm bun. Or start your day off with our Crab-and-Avocado Eggs Benedict. Whichever recipe you choose to recreate, you'll be feeling anything but crabby after noshing on your favorite summertime seafood.

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Hot Crab-and-Oyster Dip

hot crab and oyster dip
Mikkel Vang

Créme fraîche stands in for the usual cream cheese and mayonnaise in this classic dip and brings a luxurious richness. Fresh scallions, prepared horseradish, and sharp cheddar cheese add a unique, spicy flavor.

02 of 13

Peach and Crab Salad With Mesclun and Herbs

Christopher Baker

Between succulent peaches and sweet crab, this salad screams summer. The dressing couldn't be simpler—a blend of orange juice, sugar, coriander, and lime juice is the perfect zesty finish.

03 of 13

Chesapeake Blue Crab Cakes with Fried Oysters

chesapeake blue crab cake with fried oysters
Mikkel Vang

You've never had crab cakes like these before—they are crisp on the outside and sweet within. They're delicious on their own, but when topped with a tangy tomato-cucumber relish and fried oysters, they're truly next level.

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Crab Rolls

crab roll
Bryan Gardner

This dish is like a cold lobster roll, only better. Flaky crab is tossed with a little mayonnaise, Old Bay, and cayenne pepper, as well as a little lemon juice. It's a scrumptious way to celebrate the season.

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Crab Croquettes

crab croquettes
Bobbi Lin

These creamy poppers are served with a sweet-meets-spicy mango sauce. Go ahead and double dip (we won't tell).

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Crab-and-Avocado Eggs Benedict

Stephen Kent Johnson

We're no stranger to delicious variations on eggs Benedictasparagus, lobster, smoked salmon, you name it! We love this East-Coast-meets-West-Coast version with salty crab and creamy avocado.

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Hot-Crab and Pimiento-Cheese Spread

Lennart Weibull

Pimento cheese, a Southern favorite, is added to classic hot crab dip in this crowd-pleasing dish. It's a seamless flavor transition that makes us wonder why we haven't tried it before.

08 of 13

Crab Salad Sandwich


Créme fraîche, shallot, chives, and lemon juice complement the sweet, delicate flavor of lump crabmeat without overpowering it. Serve the crab salad between slices of toasted brioche with red-leaf lettuce and sliced avocado.

09 of 13

Potato-Chip-and-Pimiento Mini Crab Cakes

Potato-Chip-and-Pimiento Mini Crab Cakes recipe
Con Poulos

This easy, one-bite appetizer will wow your crowd—and it is naturally gluten-free. Tiny balls of jumbo lump crabmeat are coated in crushed potato chips and baked until golden brown and crispy. Right before serving, the morsels are kissed with an Old Bay-spiced mayo and garnished with flecks of pimento.

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Build-Your-Own Crab Salad Sandwiches

Ditte Isager

Make simple, store-bought ingredients look elegant with this build-your-own bar. No one will mind having to do a little prep work at the party, as they can customize their own sandwiches with whatever ingredients they please.

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Alaska King-Crab Legs with Meyer Lemon-Miso Butter

King Crab Legs with Miso Butter

This luxurious looking dish couldn't be simpler. In less than 30 minutes, you have an appetizer or side dish at the ready with a serious wow factor. A couple of teaspoons of miso adds a surprising savory element to the traditional crab legs accompaniment of melted butter.

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Chive Crab Cakes

Randy Harris

Shira Bocar's recipe for chive crab cakes uses oyster crackers in place of breadcrumbs—making this recipe truly all about seafood.

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King Crab with Celeriac, Apple, and Beet Salad


Red and yellow beets are the base of this carefully composed salad from Martha's chef, Pierre Schaedelin. They're topped with julienned celeriac and apple and delicious king crab meat, then drizzled with orange vinaigrette.

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