crab leg sides

What To Serve With Crab Legs: 7 Easy Side Dish Recipes

If you live near the water, you might have grown up with crab legs. Thousands enjoy this delicacy even though they might have different palates. Either way, if you go through the effort of cooking them, then serving them with the perfect side dish is just as important.

Stay tuned to find out all the best side dishes for crab legs. Choosing the right side dish will make your meal that much tastier.

What Are Crab Legs?

Crab legs are the legs of the crab that contain meat. Some of the common crabs include King Crab and Snow Crab legs. These parts of the crab are very tasty because they have a lot of meat.

You can find crab legs sold precooked, or fresh, or frozen. For the most part, the legs of crabs are long and contain soft white meat inside. Although some variations, like Snow Crabs, are smaller, they are equally tender.

If you are making crab legs at home for a group of people, the average amount you will need per person is one pound. One of the easiest ways to cook crab legs is to steam them. All you need to do is place them in boiling water with salt and steam for about 7 to 10 minutes.

You can also prepare crab legs by baking or boiling them. In some cases, you can even heat your pre-cooked crab legs in the microwave, though we do not recommend it. Once done cooking, the meat should look firm and white.

Nutrition Facts

One serving of King Crab legs (85 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 79.9 calories
  • 16 g protein
  • 1.5 g fat
  • 0 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 0 g sugar
  • 60.4 mg calcium
  • 0.722 mg iron
  • 910 mg sodium
  • 6.04 mg vitamin C
  • 45 mg cholesterol

As you can see, crab legs are high in protein and very low in fat. However, they can increase in calories, fat, and sodium content because they often come with butter or oil. You can steam them and serve them with a healthier side dish to make them more nutritious.

What Goes Well With Crab Legs

Below are some options for side dishes that you can eat with king crab legs at any time!

#1. Garlic and Parsley Mashed Potatoes

When you want your crab legs to shine, then mashed potatoes are a great choice for a side dish. This recipe contains the citrus and sweet flavors of garlic and parsley, making the potatoes much tastier.


  • 8 to 10 yellow potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoons parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic and parsley mashed potatoes:

  1. Clean and peel your potatoes. Cut them into halves and add them to a large pot with water and salt.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cook the potatoes up to 15 minutes.
  3. Drain your potatoes and return them to the pot. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash your potatoes until smooth.
  4. Stir in the milk slowly, and continue to mash.
  5. After the milk is completely mixed in, add the butter, and continue mashing.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Add the garlic, and continue mashing.
  7. Finish by sprinkling with parsley.
  8. Serve your garlic and parsley mashed potatoes warm next to the crab legs.

#2. Buttered Asparagus

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that goes very well with any kind of seafood. In this case, adding some butter when you cook them can make them silky and delicate, perfect for pairing with crab claws and legs.


  • A bunch of asparagus
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your buttered asparagus:

  1. Wash and clean your asparagus. Cut the bottom of the asparagus, making sure the tip is intact.
  2. Add the butter and garlic to a skillet. Once melted and bubbly, add the yellow onion—Cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the asparagus and cook them for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they appear tender. 
  4. Transfer your asparagus to a serving plate.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  6. Serve your buttered asparagus warm on the side of the crab legs.

#3. Cheddar Biscuits

Cheddar biscuits are a classic of Southern seafood, so why not serve them with your crab legs? These biscuits are easy to make and go well with many other foods.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Follow these steps to prepare your cheddar biscuits:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375 °F.
  2. Combine the flour, cheese, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the milk, butter, and egg in another bowl.
  4. Stir the milk mixture onto the flour mixture slowly. Mix well.
  5. Line a baking sheet.
  6. Using your hands, make balls, and drop them onto the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove your biscuits from the oven and spread some melted butter on top, then bake again for 5 more minutes.
  8. Serve your cheddar biscuits warm with crab legs.

#4. Citrus-Lime Coleslaw

This citrus lime coleslaw is a fantastic choice when you want a little bit of crunch and citrus. It is also a healthier variation of regular coleslaw to keep things more nutritious.


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, unsweetened and natural
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3/4 -1 bag of coleslaw mix
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your citrus lime coleslaw:

  1. Mix the Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, apple cider vinegar, and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and clean your coleslaw mix, and transfer it to the bowl.
  3. Wash and chop your red onion, and transfer it to the bowl too.
  4. Toss your coleslaw mix until it is fully covered with the Greek yogurt dressing.
  5. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. Serve your cold citrus lime coleslaw with extra cilantro on top.

#5. Corn and Zucchini Salad

This corn and zucchini salad is fresh, tasty, and filling. More so, you can make this recipe in minutes and be satisfied for hours.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cans of sweet corn, drained
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your corn and zucchini salad:

  1. Wash and clean your zucchini and red onion. Chop them and set them aside.
  2. Drain your cans of corn, and set them aside.
  3. Add the oil and garlic to a skillet.
  4. Once hot, add the red onion and zucchini.
  5. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
  6. After a few minutes, stir in the corn. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve your corn and zucchini salad warm or at room temperature with fresh cheese on top.

#6. Cheesy Risotto

Risotto is delicate and complex at the same time. This cheesy recipe is just what you need to complement your crab legs.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your cheesy risotto:

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot. Stir in the garlic and onion.
  2. After 5 minutes, stir in the broth and water. Allow the liquid to boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the arborio rice and simmer at low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Be sure to continue to stir your rice.
  5. Add the heavy cream, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  6. After a couple of minutes, slowly stir in the cheese and continue mixing until creamy.
  7. Serve your cheesy risotto with parsley and lemon on top.

#7. Garlic Dipping Sauce

A garlic dipping sauce is something you have to try at least once. Not only is it good with baked goods, but it also pairs very well with seafood, especially crab legs.


  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic dipping sauce:

  1. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt it slowly over low heat.
  2. After a few minutes, when the butter has completely melted, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  3. When the butter settles, there will be a layer of foam at the top. Remove the foam using a spoon.
  4. Stir in the garlic and mix well.
  5. Return the saucepan to the stove and continue mixing over low heat until the garlic mixes well.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix once more.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool down a little.
  8. Serve your garlic dipping sauce in dipping bowls with fresh parsley on top.

Tip: This sauce tastes better warm but not extremely hot or cold.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Sides for King Crab Legs?

Crab legs are not something you will be preparing every day. However, when you do decide to treat yourself to this dish, it is always best to be prepared. Try any of these side dishes to complement your delicious crab legs any day.

If you are looking for something classic that lets your crab legs shine on their own, then you might want a simple but tasty dish. Go with the garlic and parsley mashed potatoes that never disappoint. You can also try the cheddar biscuits that are filling yet subtle.

For a dinner party where you want guests to have something on the side to remember, you can try a more complex side dish. Go with the buttered asparagus for delicate yet unique. Otherwise, you could go with the cheesy risotto, which is never a bad idea.

In all other cases, you might want to give your crab legs a dish that is citrus or pungent. The citrus lime coleslaw adds crunch and zest and the garlic dipping sauce is perfect on the side or top of your crab legs. If not, the corn and zucchini salad will always be pleasantly surprised.


Since you are going through the effort of buying and cooking crab legs, do not let your work go to waste. Try one, two, or three of these recipes to go with your delicious crab legs. Do not worry about what to serve with king crab legs anymore!

See more: What goes well with crab cakes

*image by bbivirys/depositphotos

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