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5 from 20 votes

Crab Legs & Garlic Butter for Two

Crab legs easily prepared in the oven in under 10 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Judy Purcell


  • 16-24 ounces crab legs whole legs or segments
  • water or beer
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 lemon cut into wedges


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange crab legs in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Pour about a cup of water or beer into the bottom of the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes—you will begin to smell them when done.
  • Remove from oven, carefully fold back a corner of the foil to vent. Serve on the pan with the crab partially covered to keep it warm longer, or remove the foil completely and transfer to a large platter or bowl. Squeeze lemon wedges over crab when served. Dip crab into butter and swoon.

For the garlic butter:

  • Place butter and crushed garlic in a small oven-safe dish and slide into the oven with the crab legs on a separate rack (above or below doesn't matter). The butter should be melted when the crab is ready.
  • Divide into smaller, individual ramekins or share the same dish for dipping.


Tips for Cracking Crab Legs

Depending on the type of crab, getting through the shell barrier can land somewhere between frustrating and painful.
  • Scoring or cutting King Crab shells before reheating with crab & seafood shears or a good pair of kitchen shears will make cracking them at the table a breeze.
  • Provide two extra cloth napkins (one for each hand) or small towels for each person when serving King Crab. Even if you score the shells, a napkin helps protect hands.
To free the meat in whole segments, start at the smallest joint and work your way up the leg, as such:
  1. Grab the leg on each side of the joint and bend backward to separate; as you pull the segments apart, there is a thin tendon that should stay attached to the joint as you pull it out of the larger section.
  2. Holding the single segment between both hands, use your thumbs to apply pressure as you bend it just enough to break one side (you don’t want to rip it in half); turn the leg segment over and repeat on the other side for a clean break without breaking the meat.
  3. Pull the shell apart to expose the meat and then gently pull the crab meat out of the shell.
  4. Crack the claws with a crab tool or nut cracker by squeezing the shell with the tool until the shell can be pried open with your fingers.


Serving: 226g | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 152mg | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 18.3mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.5mg