Sauteed Garlic Butter Dungeness Crab Legs may seem like a total delicacy that’s best enjoyed at seafood restaurants, but guess what? You can make this rich and savory seafood classic at home and in no time! These crab legs are easily cooked to perfection in an irresistible garlic butter sauce.

Crab legs are arranged on a plate next to a lemon slice.

Sautéed Garlic Butter Dungeness Crab Legs

It doesn’t get better than fresh dungeness crab legs smothered in warm, rich butter sauce. Or does it? Add in the taste and smell of garlic and this super simple recipe is sure to impress the entire dinner table. There’s just something about the combination of garlic and butter that no one can resist – especially when it’s all over crab legs!

Dungeness crab is probably my favorite type of crab meat to cook up. It provides the most meat and is just so tender and juicy! Dungeness crab has a sweet and nutty flavor to it that pairs beautifully with the garlic butter sauce. The season for this type of crab actually runs from November to June, so it’s the perfect time to whip up this simple, show-stopping dish!

And since you’re in the comfort of your own home, you won’t need to put one of those embarrassing bibs! The butter on your shirt can be our little secret.

A pot of crab legs is filled also with lemon and herbs.

How to Make Them

Making perfect crab legs is such a breeze! With this easy method, you’ll have dungeness crab legs that are more flavorful than most restaurants.


Make the sauce.
First things first, heat up the main ingredient of the sauce – the butter! Add the butter to a large, deep skillet and place on medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted completely. Once melted, reduce the heat to low. 

Garlic. We can’t have garlic butter sauce without garlic! Add garlic to the butter and continue cooking for about 1-2 minutes. The garlic will begin to smell fragrant. 

Add more ingredients. Add in chives and parsley, stirring to combine. Pour in the lemon juice and white wine, then bring to a simmer. 

Cook the crab legs. Arrange the crab legs in the skillet, tossing to fully coat in butter. Cover and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until the crab legs are warmed through. Be careful not to cook for too long, or the legs will become rubbery.

Serve. Remove the pot from heat, and you’re ready to serve and enjoy! How easy is that? I highly suggest sprinkling additional lemon juice over the crab meat once ready to eat to enhance that amazing flavor.

Crab legs are cooked and arranged on a white plate.

What Should I Serve With the Sautéed Garlic Butter Dungeness Crab Legs?

One option I love is to serve the crab legs over a bed of angel hair pasta or linguine. The sauce used for the crab legs can be drizzled over the noodles as well!

They’re also great when served alongside some simple Mashed Potatoes! As far as veggies go, I almost always serve these crab legs with Garlic Parmesan Baked Asparagus or roasted brussel sprouts.

Two crab legs have been placed on a plate with lemon slices.

How long will they stay fresh?

Store the cooked crab legs in your refrigerator in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days. I do suggest storing the sauce in a separate container so the crab meat doesn’t get too soggy.

To reheat, just use the same method as when you first cooked them, but for less time!

Several crab legs have been plated with herbs and lemon.

What other seasonings can I use?

Creole or cajun seasoning is great if you want to add a little spice to your meal. Just be careful, as these seasonings are VERY potent and can easily overpower the other ingredients!

You can also vary the amount of garlic to tailor it to your preference. I never say no to more garlic!

Several serving utensils are placed on a plate of crab legs.

Looking for more delicious recipes to whip up during crab season this year? Check out some of my favorites below!

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A pot of crab legs is filled also with lemon and herbs.

Get the Recipe: Sautéed Garlic Butter Dungeness Crab Legs

A taste of the coast in this easy to make Garlic Butter Dungeness Crab Legs recipe. A garlic butter sauce blankets briney crab legs for a simple dinner that's easy and elegant!
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Ingredients

  • 8 tbsp salted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 lbs Dungeness Crab Legs, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Equipment

  • skillet

Instructions 

  • Add the butter to a large, deep skillet over medium heat and cook until melted. Turn the heat to low.
  • Stir in the garlic and continue cooking over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic begins to smell fragrant.
  • Add the lemon juice and herbs to the butter stirring to combine.
  • Add the wine and lemon juice, bring to a simmer.
  • Arrange the crab legs in the skillet, tossing to coat in the butter. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
  • Remove from the heat and serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.

Notes

Dungeness crab legs are best if served soon after cooking. They can be served hot or at room temperature.
Calories: 432kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 219mg, Sodium: 1028mg, Potassium: 1126mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 817IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 153mg, Iron: 1mg