How To Cook Frozen Crab Legs? A Step-by-Step Guide!

Seafood is one of the most popular and versatile types of food around – and preparing this type of cuisine at home can seem intimidating to the average cook. But it doesn’t have to be. Frozen crab legs are an easy, affordable way to start cooking seafood dishes at home. You don’t need a lot of ingredients or fancy preparation techniques; all you need is a willingness to try something new in the kitchen. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to cook frozen crab legs from start-to-finish so that you can enjoy a savory seafood dish anytime.

What are crab legs?

Crab legs are the edible part of a crab that can be cooked and served whole. They are found in both fresh and frozen form, but they must be thawed before cooking. The most popular varieties of crab used for eating are snow crabs, king crabs, and Dungeness crabs.

What are crab legs?
What are crab legs?

Nutritional information of crab legs

Alaskan King Crab Legs are a wild-caught seafood item with a 134g serving size. A single leg contains 130 calories, 2.06g fat, 0g saturated fat and trans fat, 71mg cholesterol, 1436mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate and dietary fiber, 25.93g protein, and trace amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

How to choose crab legs?

Look for live or freshly cooked crab legs whenever possible. Check the color – they should be bright red or orange. Examine texture – they should be firm and heavy for their size. Smell – they should have a mild, briny aroma; avoid anything overly fishy or with an ammonia scent. Consider the size – smaller legs tend to be more flavorful than larger ones.

Why cook frozen crab legs?

Frozen crab legs are a convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy the delicious taste of fresh seafood. They can be cooked quickly and easily, without any special skills or equipment. Plus, they’re pre-cooked and frozen so they stay nice and moist when reheated.

How to cook frozen crab legs at home?
Why cook frozen crab legs?

How to cook frozen crab legs at home?

Place a steam basket with 1 cup of water in the bottom of a large stockpot. Add as many crab legs as the pot will allow and close lid tightly. Bring water to a boil, cover, and steam cook until fragrant and steaming hot (5 min for thawed or 10 min for frozen).

In addition, here are 5 way how to cook frozen crab legs:

• Boiling – Boil your frozen crab legs in a pot of boiling salted water for about minutes. This method is perfect for those who want a rich and flavorful broth that can be used later on as a base for soup or sauces.

• Baking – Place the frozen crab legs on a baking sheet and sprinkle with melted butter or olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Grilling – Grill frozen crab legs on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even cooking.

• Steaming – Place frozen crab legs in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 8-10 minutes until they are heated through.

• Poaching – Poach frozen crab legs in simmering liquid, such as white wine or broth, for 10 minutes. This method helps to bring out the delicate flavors of the crab meat.

How long do you cook frozen crab legs?

Frozen crab legs should be placed in a colander or steamer over rapidly boiling water. Fill the pot with enough water to come one-third of the way up. Cover the pot and steam for ten minutes, or until completely heated.

How to tell when cooked frozen crab legs are done?

Now know how to cook frozen crab legs, but how do you know when they’re done? To tell when cooked frozen crab legs are done, look for an orange or red color. Fresh crab should be a greenish-brown color and will turn pink/red when done, with the meat appearing opaque.

Tips for cooking frozen crab legs

Cook frozen king crab legs by steaming over rapidly boiling water for 10 minutes. For extra flavor, add herbs to boiling water or brush cooked legs with melted butter or olive oil. Enhance flavor further with a squeeze of lemon juice before serving. Reheat cooked crab legs slowly to prevent drying out. Ensure that any ready-made seafood sauce is suitable for reheating.

How to cook frozen crab legs at home?
Tips for cook frozen crab legs

How much does it cost to cook frozen crab legs?

The cost of frozen crab legs can vary depending on the type of crab and where you purchase them. Generally, a pound of king or snow crab will run you around $15-$20 while a pound of Dungeness crab is usually more expensive at around $20-$30. And when it comes to cooking, you’ll need to factor in the cost of any ingredients used as well as the energy or gas needed to cook them.

How many frozen crab legs per person?

Frozen crab legs are often precooked, so reheating in boiling water is necessary. Care must be taken to avoid overcooking, as it can cause the meat to toughen and lose flavor. Generally, 1 pound of crab legs should be planned per person.

What goes with frozen crab legs?

Frozen crab legs are incredibly versatile and can be served with a variety of sides. Some classic dishes to consider include mashed potatoes, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, green beans or roasted vegetables.


Potatoes are a common pairing with crab legs – fried, baked, roasted, or mashed. A garlic-butter mixture will add the perfect complementing flavor.

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a popular side dish to accompany frozen crab legs. This classic combo has been enjoyed by many for decades.


Pairs well with frozen crab legs: Coleslaw. Creamy cabbage adds crunch and enhances flavor of succulent crab meat.


Cornbread is a great accompaniment to frozen crab legs because it contrasts with the salty sweetness of the crab meat. Crab legs are full of protein, so adding some carbs makes for a balanced meal.

Steamed artichokes

Enjoy steamed artichokes as a dip for crab legs – the tart flavor will complement the melted butter. Artichoke petals are best when dipped in butter before scraping off the meat for an added nutrition boost.


Complement a meal of frozen crab legs with a simple salad. For something more, pair crab legs with a classic Caesar salad for added garlicky flavour.

Roasted Vegetables

An ideal accompaniment to frozen crab legs is roasted vegetables; Broccoli, asparagus or Brussels sprouts can be tossed with some olive oil and baked in the oven at 400°F until crispy.


Pair crab legs with steak for the perfect surf and turf meal. Market House can provide the necessary ingredients to make this classic combination.

Macaroni and Cheese

Crab legs can be served with an accompaniment of macaroni and cheese, which provides a savory flavor that complements the dish. While typically thought of as being a companion to lobster, crab meat is also perfectly suited for pairing with macaroni and cheese.

Melted Butter

Enjoy all-natural crab legs with melted butter for maximum flavor. Upgrade the flavor of your butter with Mr. Stick’s “Just Add Butter” Seasoning. All-natural butter is recommended for optimal taste results.

How to store frozen crab legs?

Crab legs should be tightly wrapped in freezer bags or freezer wrap before storage. Labeling the crab legs with a storage date and expiration date is recommended. Storing frozen crab legs in a sealed container helps minimize oxidation.

How to store frozen crab legs?
How to store frozen crab legs?

Some recipes with frozen crab legs

There are so many delicious recipes you can make with frozen crab legs. Here are a few of our favorites:

• Crab Legs with Garlic Butter – Melt butter in a skillet and add garlic, onion and herbs. Add the cooked crab legs to the pan and heat until they’re warmed through.

• Creamy Crab Pasta – Cook your favorite pasta according to package directions. In a separate pan, melt butter or olive oil and add garlic. Once fragrant, add the cooked crab legs, cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Serve over the cooked pasta and top with fresh parsley or basil.

• Crab Legs with Mango Salsa – Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the crab legs on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter or olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they’re heated through. Serve with mango salsa and lime wedges.

• Crab Legs with Creamy Risotto – In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add the cooked crab legs and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the risotto to the pan and slowly stir in the cream. Simmer until creamy and serve with fresh parsley or chives.

• Crab Legs with Asian Slaw – Combine cabbage, carrots, red onion and cilantro in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil. Pour over the slaw and mix until everything is evenly coated. Arrange the cooked crab legs over the top of the salad and serve.

Some recipe with frozen crab legs
Some recipe with frozen crab legs

Conclusion: How to cook frozen crab legs

Frozen crab legs are a delicious and easy way to enjoy seafood from the comfort of your own home. With just a few ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can easily make a savory dish that’s sure to please. And with our tips and recipes, you’ll be well on your way to creating unforgettable meals with frozen crab legs.

FAQs Frozen crab legs

Can you cook frozen crab legs without thawing?

When cooking frozen crab legs, it is best to use a colander or steamer over rapidly boiling water. The pot should be roughly one-third filled with water. Place the crab legs in the steamer and cover the pot. Steam for around 10 minutes or until heated through.

Do I need to remove the shells before cooking frozen crab legs?

Frozen crab legs are pre-cooked and only need to be heated. Use kitchen shears to cut through the shells and remove the meat. Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter for dipping.

Are frozen crab legs already cooked?

Frozen crab legs are usually pre-cooked and just need to be heated. When cooking frozen crab legs, place them in a colander or steamer over rapidly boiling water. Fill the pot with water about one-third of the way.

Are frozen crab legs healthy?

Crab legs are a healthy choice: low in calories and high in protein. Many essential vitamins and minerals can be found in this seafood option.

Can I freeze cooked crab legs?

It is possible to freeze cooked crab legs. Fresh crabs should be cooked before freezing.

Can I reheat frozen crab legs?

Reheating frozen or thawed crab legs can be done using the stovetop with steam. A pot and colander are required for this method. This method involves less heat than reheating with an oven.

Is it better to steam or boil frozen crab legs?

Steaming is the preferred cooking method for reheating frozen crab legs, as the gentle, moist heat helps preserve its taste and texture. Pre-cooked and flash-frozen crab legs are easy to find in most grocery stores. Steaming ensures that the meat’s pure taste and tender texture remain intact.

Should you rinse frozen crab legs before cooking?

When cooking frozen crab legs, thaw them first for best results. To prepare, soak the legs in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse. Repeat the soak and rinse process one more time.

Is it OK to boil frozen crab legs?

Pre-cooked frozen crab legs only need to be heated. Place them in a colander or steamer over quickly boiling water. Fill the pot one-third of the way with water.

How long to boil fully cooked frozen crab legs?

Boil water for 5 minutes for thawed crab legs, or 10 minutes for frozen crab legs. Use long-handled tongs to remove the crab legs from the stockpot. Set aside to cool slightly.

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