Crab legs are a heavenly treat for all seafood lovers. They have such a distinct sweetness and tenderness, just the sight of them is enough to make my mouth water.
Plus, there’s no better way to eat them than by using your hands – which makes for such a fun dining experience! Dip them in some clarified butter and you’ve got a meal fit for a king.
But for a true seafood feast, you’ll need some tasty side dishes to go alongside your crab legs. From cheddar bay biscuits to corn on the cob, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re unsure what sides to choose, worry not, because I’m here to help. We’ll cover the best dipping sauces, classic sides, wine pairings, and finish it off with a decadent dessert!
Transform your crab leg dinner into a savory feast with these tried-and-true side dishes.
1. Clarified Butter
Let’s start with the simplest yet most iconic crab leg partner: butter! Crabmeat really doesn’t need more than this rich and flavorful dairy.
Crab legs, on their own, are sweet and succulent. But, when dipped in butter, they transform to a whole new level of goodness.
The type of butter matters, though. Please don’t settle for margarine! Real butter is the key to making crab legs even more phenomenal – specifically, clarified butter.
To make, simply melt regular butter in a pan and allow it to cool for a bit. This will allow the milk solids in the butter to sink to the bottom of the pan. The clear liquid on top is the clarified butter – spoon that up and serve in a bowl.
Want to kick things up a notch? All it takes is some freshly squeezed lemon juice and garlic. Add those elements to your clarified butter and you’ll get a dipping sauce to die for. The lemon juice gives it a refreshing flavor, while the garlic gives it a little kick.
If you want to elevate the dip even further, add a bit of Worcestershire sauce and various herbs and spices such as rosemary, parsley, salt, and pepper. Don’t put too much, though! You still want to keep the dip simple and not overpowering.
One last tip: Clarified butter is best paired with warm crab legs. If you’re serving them cold, the butter will solidify, so you may want to use a different dip if that’s the case.
2. Dipping Sauces
While butter is best, you can also switch things up by serving other dipping sauces for your crab legs. One delicious option is to combine Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, lemon, horseradish, and pepper. It’s sweet, refreshing, and easy to make!
Here’s another idea: mayonnaise, dijon mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It’s thick, creamy, and amazing with crab.
3. Cheddar Bay Biscuits
No seafood feast is complete without cheddar bay biscuits. These golden, cheesy, rich biscuits seem to melt in your mouth. And one is never enough.
Plus, you can make this family favorite in less than 20 minutes. It’s a garuanteed crowd-pleaser that leaves everyone extra satisifed.
4. Lemon Rice Pilaf
Here’s a comforting side dish that adds a refreshing twist to your meal. Made with jasmine rice, egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
Lemon rice pilaf is the perfect companion to almost any seafood. Delicious, creamy, and doubly refreshing.
5. Fresh Salad
For another refreshing side, salad always does the trick. For something sweet, juicy, and refreshing, I recommend a Mandarin Orange Salad.
It’s the perfect combo of sweet, crunchy, and delightfully refreshing. Serve this before your main dish to wake up your taste buds.
I know most salads are plain Jane, but this one always gets rave reviews. So don’t be surprised when your guests ask for the recipe.
6. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are the perfect side dish for crab legs. They have mild, earthy, and refreshing flavors that complement the sweet meat.
Some great veggies for roasting include carrots, asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, squash, and onions. Roasting these guys will caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness, making them incredibly yummy. What’s even better is roasted veggies taste amazing with both warm and cold crab legs.
Roasted asparagus is another option that pairs perfectly. Plus, just like crab legs, they can be eaten with your hands! Or dip them in hollandaise sauce for a rich and creamy treat.
When it comes to side dishes, potatoes are the king. No matter how you cook a potato, it’s guaranteed to taste amazing with almost any entrée, and crab legs are no exception.
Whether you serve roasted fingerling potatoes garnished with thyme and rosemary, or some simple, creamy mashed potatoes, you can’t go wrong.
Should you make mashed potatoes, here’s a suggestion: infuse the potatoes with some sour cream, cheese, and garlic butter. These little additions will make your ordinary mashed potatoes extraordinary!
Oh, and here’s an unconventional idea – how about some cheesy potato pancakes? These are filling and go especially well with crab legs!
8. Sweet Corn On The Cob
There’s a reason crab and corn on the cob is a classic combination. Both elements are sweet, refreshing, and they taste phenomenal together.
There are two things I love about corn on the cob. It’s easy to prepare and fun to eat. Just like crab legs, there’s no better way to enjoy corn on the cob than by using your hands!
You can prepare corn on the cob several ways – all easy, and all will deliver great results. Whether you grill, steam, boil, or microwave, corn on the cob will always taste amazing.
Don’t forget to slather this stunning crop with butter! Yup – its longing for butter is another thing it has in common with crab legs!
Looking for a wine that pairs perfectly with your crab legs? Chardonnay, Pinto Gris or a dry Riesling are all excellent options.
My personal favorite is a white, buttery Chardonnay. Did you know? Chardonnay is the world’s most popular wine. And for good reason, it’s a crisp, clean wine that pairs well with a variety of foods. And crab legs are no exception!
It’s an elegant wine that goes well for almost any occassion.
White wine generally pairs best with crab. But like anything, let your taste buds lead the way!
If you’re looking for something light and refreshing, you can make lemon cheesecake, creamy lemon squares, or strawberry shortcake.
For something a little more rich and decadent, chocolate cake, mousse, or brownies always do the trick for me. It’s hard to beat chocolate.
So choose your own adventure. Pleasantly refreshing or sinfully sweet.