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What Goes Good With Crab Legs

 Delicious Sides to Serve with Crab Legs

If you love cracking, dunking, and savoring the flavors of succulent crab legs, it’s time to start exploring which sides pair best with them. There’s nothing like having a delectable seafood meal, especially when there are delicious sides that can take the experience up a notch (or two). Oh, and if you’re new to crab-eating, don’t let this intimidation factor throw you off. The trick is to grab a bib, pick up a pair of crackers and stick around – because you’re about to learn all about the 10 delicious sides to serve with your crab legs! So set your dinner table and break out the butter, because it’s time to start dishing.  What goes good with crab legs?

Quick Overview of Key Points

Some popular side dishes that go well with crab legs include roasted potatoes, potato salad, steamed vegetables, and creamy risotto. For a flavorful accompaniment, try adding a citrus butter sauce or garlic-herb butter to your dish.

The Perfect Pairing for Steamed Crab Legs

potatoes with crab legsIt’s important to ensure that all the flavors of the crab legs are brought out when they are served next to other dishes. When serving steamed crab legs, many chefs recommend pairing them with a buttery side that complements the sweetness of the crab meat. Examples of such sides can include potatoes, grilled vegetables, salads, and bread.

For those looking for a more indulgent option, creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting base for the sweet flavor of the crab. Another popular accompaniment for steamed crab is pasta. For example, a lemon-butter sauce over a bed of linguini creates an Italian-inspired accompaniment to the seafood dish. Grilled vegetables like zucchini and eggplant also work nicely with the delicate taste of steamed crab legs, with some chefs opting for parmesan-roasted vegetables as well.

Though not as popular, a salad also pairs nicely when serving steamed crabs since it adds a light and fresh element to this delicious seafood dish. Few meals are complete without bread and when paired with crab legs, sourdough or a French baguette can help soak up any leftover butter while enhancing the overall flavor experience.

No matter what side is chosen to pair with steamed crab legs, each contains bold flavors that will bring out the sweetness of this seafood delicacy. Next, let’s explore different dipping sauces and spices that can enhance your next platter of seared crab legs.

  • According to a survey conducted by Decanter magazine, the most popular wine to accompany crab legs is Sauvignon Blanc.
  • According to The Splendid Table, light, floral or citrusy whites such as Riesling and Pinot Gris are also great pairing options.
  • A study published in 2019 found that sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Champagne are also great matches for the subtle sweetness of the succulent seafood dish.

Dipping Sauces and Spices

For a delicious and decadent addition to your meal, it is hard to go wrong with the classic dipping sauce and spices that pair so well with crab legs. For those around the table who enjoy a little bit of heat, a spicy garlic and chili pepper infused mayonnaise can add a zesty contrast to the sweet, succulent taste of steamed crab legs. In other households, a creamy dill sauce provides the perfect balance of sour, salty and savory. Of course, for those that do not like an overtly spicy flavor profile, tartar sauce is also a great option as it offers a slightly more delicate flavor.

Additionally, diners can even opt to sprinkle their crab legs with seasoned salt or Old Bay seasoning prior to serving them in order to give the dish a more complex flavor. The options are truly endless when it comes to finding the perfect pairing for your favorite shellfish side dish.

No matter which dip or sprinkle you choose, these ingredients will help take your culinary experience to the next level. After all, when you’re discussing what sides are best suited for crab legs, it can never hurt to consider sauces and spices! Now let’s discuss the accompaniments – the perfect sidekicks for your seafood feast – in our next section.

Main Takeaways

These classic dipping sauces, dips, and spices are perfect for adding flavor to crab legs. Spices such as garlic and chili peppers, dill sauce, tartar sauce, seasoned salt or Old Bay seasoning can all be used to further enhance the flavor of the dish. To top off the perfect meal, side dishes should also be considered when serving crab legs.


Accompaniments are a great way to compliment the flavors of crab legs. When considering what sides will be served with them, there is no need to limit yourself. There are numerous accompaniments that pair well with the sweet flavor of crab legs and make for an enjoyable meal.
The most popular accompaniments for crab legs include buttered corn and garlic mashed potatoes, though those looking for something a little different can try classic dishes like coleslaw or roasted vegetables. A fresh salad with a light vinaigrette dressing is another excellent option, as the flavors enhance the delicate sweetness of the crab and brighten up the meal. For a more indulgent side, creamy macaroni and cheese pairs perfectly with succulent crab legs, while adding extra crunch; consider finishing off the dish with a sprinkle of Panko breadcrumbs.
There are countless possibilities when it comes to choosing accompaniments for crab legs; it all depends on your personal taste. Some may prefer to keep things simple, such as serving steam-cooked broccoli or green bean veggies as sides. Others may opt for richer flavors, like charred Brussels sprouts or baked sweet potato fries. The choice is ultimately up to you!

Whatever accompaniment you decide on, ensure that it complements the exquisite flavor of the crab—you don’t want anything overpowering its delicate taste. Now that we have explored delicious accompaniments for crab legs, let’s look into the best drinks to pair with them in the next section.

Best Drinks to Pair with Crab Legs

When pairing beverages with seafood dishes such as crab legs, an often-overlooked but essential part of the equation can be cocktails, wine, or beer. As a general rule of thumb, lighter beers pair better with light dishes like crab legs. The bubbly citrus notes in a pilsner or wheat beer help to bring out the flavor of the seafood, while also balancing out the richness of the butter.

For those looking for a more craft-style option, a good saison or sour ale can be excellent complements to crab legs. These beers are typically slightly higher in alcohol content, yet still light enough in body and aroma to not overpower the dish. Another great option is an IPA, as the floral and citrus notes tend to harmonize perfectly with some tartar sauce.

If wine is your preferred beverage of choice, white wines tend to work best with this type of dish. A good Sauvignon Blanc will provide good acidity and help cut through the richness of clarified butter or any other creamy sauces that may be served alongside it. Sweet wines such as Pinot Gris or Riesling are also great options, since they have enough sweetness to balance out any spicer accompaniments.

When it comes down to it, your best bet for pairing a beverage with crab legs is one that isn’t too heavy and will help highlight the flavors of the dish without overwhelming them. Selecting a beer or wine based on its body type and flavor profile ensures you’ll have something that complements your meal’s complex flavors.

Now that you know what types of drinks pair well with crab legs, let us jump into our next section about alternatives to steamed crab legs.

Alternatives to Steamed Crab Legs

If you’re looking for alternatives to steamed crab legs, there are many delicious dishes to choose from. Grilled, boiled, roasted, and stir-fried crab legs all offer a burst of flavor and an exciting change of pace from the classic steamed option. They also make great side dishes for any type of meal.

Grilled crab legs provide smoky and savory flavors that can bring an extra level of umami to your meal. Be sure to brush them with oil or butter before cooking to help ensure even cooking. Boiled crab legs take less time to prepare, requiring only a few ingredients for an added layer of flavor. Roasting brings out the sweet taste of the crustacean in a slow and steady way. Finally, stir-frying is simple and fast, creating an even crunchier texture than other cooking methods.

Each one of these methods offers something unique while allowing you to enjoy the delicious crab legs with your meal. Ultimately, the decision is yours depending on what kind of flavors and texture you want in your dish.

Looking for more inspiration? The next section delves into some fantastic recipes for serving crab legs with tasty sides that will delight your friends and family alike!

Crab Leg Recipes

old bayCrab leg recipes can be used to create some truly spectacular dishes. If you’re looking for an easy way to bring the ocean’s bounty to your guests’ plates, crab legs are a great option. When cooked correctly, they yield succulent and juicy morsels of deliciousness. Whether a casual get together or more upscale occasion, these recipes will work perfectly with any crab legs you can get your hands on.

For a simple start, try out a classic recipe like Hot and Spicy Crab Legs. Start by heating butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Then add red pepper flakes and salt to create the spicy base for this recipe, before tossing in the crab legs to coat them with spices. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the crab legs become tender and cooked through, around 15 minutes depending on thickness of the crab legs. Serve hot with lemon wedges for garnish.

For those with more adventurous palates, consider trying Asian-Inspired Cooked Crab Legs with Rice Noodle Salad. Begin by bringing water to boil in a pot or steamer, then add in your purchased pre-cooked crab legs into the steamer as directed on the packing label – typically 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the crab pieces. While they are cooking, begin preparing the flavorful rice noodle salad – firstly bring another pot of water to boil and cook desired amount of dry rice noodles per directions as written on the packaging. To assemble salad combine cooked noodles with shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, chopped green onions and sesame oil vinaigrette dressing for a burst of flavor. Place cooked crab legs overtop salad and serve with extra vinaigrette dressing if desired – all done!

Now that we’ve looked at two amazing recipes utilizing fresh-caught or even store-bought, it’s time to draw our discussion of delicious side dishes to serve with them to its conclusion.

With all these delicious ideas it’s time to move on to our next section which will cover how best to conclude your mouthwatering crab leg dish extravaganza when entertaining guests.


When it comes to putting together a delicious meal featuring crab legs, a variety of flavorful sides can help balance out and round out the meal. From creamy pasta dishes to crunchy salads to flavor-packed roasted vegetables, there are so many different ways to complete the meal. Crab leg boils also prove that sometimes it’s best to keep side dishes simple so that they don’t overpower the delightful sweetness of the succulent shellfish. No matter what type of sides you choose, taking the time to select a few extra culinary treats will help create an unforgettable meal.

Having said that, some might debate that nothing beats a classic pairing with red potatoes and corn on the cob for traditional boiled crab legs. Some would argue that adding too many flavor accents can detract from the delicious taste of the crab. Others might suggest that more complex flavors should be added in order to elevate the dish and complement, rather than compete with, the crab’s flavor profile. Ultimately, both approaches have their merits and depend on individual preferences and tastes.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions with Detailed Explanations


What wines are suitable for pairing with crab legs?

When pairing wines with crab legs, it is important to consider the flavors of the dish. For example, if the crab legs are prepared with citrus elements such as lemon or lime, a bright and fruity white such as a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc may be suitable. These wines have a refreshing acidity that will pair nicely with the zesty notes of the dish.

For those who prefer red wine, an unoaked Chardonnay values the subtle sweetness of the crab and enhances its delicate flavor. The lush body of this red provides a fine balance to the richness of the crab.

If you prefer a full-bodied white wine, Riesling is always a great option. Its mixture of fruity flavors offsets the richness of the seafood while also adding depth to the meal. A sweet and dry sparkling wine is also an excellent option for pairing with crab legs. The effervescent bubbles help to contrast some of the creamy notes present in typical dishes made from crab legs.

Are there any foods that shouldn’t be paired with crab legs?

No, there are no foods that should never be paired with crab legs. The possibilities are truly endless! From a creamy, rich mac and cheese to light and fresh coleslaw, you can create a delicious meal no matter what side dishes you choose. That said, some flavors may overpower the delicate taste of the crab legs or just not taste as good together. For example, acidic flavors like citrus or vinegar may not be the best choice for pairing with crab legs.  They tend to clash with the subtle sweetness of the meat. Likewise, overly spicy foods may overwhelm the flavor of the crab legs so it’s best to avoid them. When in doubt, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and garlic butter are always safe and delicious options to serve!

What vegetables go best with crab legs?

corn with crab legsVegetables that pair well with crab legs include lemon wedges, steamed asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, parmesan-roasted cauliflower, and garlic-sautéed spinach. The zesty citrus of the lemon wedges helps to cut through the richness of the crab legs. While the asparagus provides an earthy crunch. The Brussels sprouts are great for roasting and delivering a subtle smokiness to the dish. Utilizing the flavor-boosting power of Parmesan cheese, the cauliflower adds a creamy texture to the plate. Then garlic-sautéed spinach offers a hint of savory sweetness and seasonality. All of these vegetables provide an exciting contrast to the robust flavors in crab legs for a delicious overall experience.

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