Simple yet elegant, this Crab Spaghetti is pure comfort food with a high brow touch—because who doesn’t find comfort in twirling pasta around the big old clumps of sweetly lush lump crab.
If there’s one thing you want to eat in it’s lumpiest form, it’s crab. Take my word for it.
Crab can sometimes feel a little intimidating to make. How do you cook it? How do you crack it? And doesn’t it take forever to get that meat out of those prickly sharp shells?
But in reality, whether it’s steamed in it’s long, lanky king crabby legs dripping with butter (this recipe is hands down the easiest way to fix it) or rolled into bite size appetizer bites like this, it’s incredibly easy to prepare.
Fear not, this Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata jumps from pan to plate in about a half an hour. And I have just the tip to make it as painless as possible to make cure your crabby cravings.
Butter, wine and lemon all combine to create a lush and flavorful spaghetti noodle coating that has just a touch of heat with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
Now those flavors aren’t hard to find in many a shellfish / pasta dish, but what makes this recipe especially indulgent is the addition of crunchy, garlicky bread crumbs with lemon and parsley that gives a deceptively luxe crunch to this pretty simple meal.
It certainly raises the bar when you talk about shellfish.
So how exactly do you go about getting that lumpity lump crab?
Well, you could cook yourself some legs like I did here, but what I like to do for the quickest and easiest dinner creating is to buy it already cooked, cleaned and ready to go. I don’t go for the aluminum tin can kind, instead I get this brand from Costco (it’s in the refrigerated foods section and is sold fresh) and it’s my hands down favorite.
Whether you cook it yourself or buy it ready to go, just make sure it’s jumbo for the best crabby flavor.
Get my Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata recipe and see the rest of my Go Bold with Butter recipes here.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Crab Spaghetti with Lemon Gremolata
For crab spaghetti
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ¾ cup white wine , Chardonnay
- 1 lemon , juiced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- kosher salt
For lemon and garlic gremolata
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups fresh sourdough bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley , chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest , (from 1 medium lemon)
For crab spaghetti
- Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup cooking water.
- In large pan over medium high heat melt butter in olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add white wine, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add lump crab meat and hot spaghetti and stir to mix well. Add ½ cup of Parmesan and kosher salt; toss. Add ¼ cup of reserved cooking liquid at a time if the pasta needs more liquid. Top with Lemon and Garlic Gremolata and more Parmesan cheese and serve.
For lemon and garlic gremolata
- In medium fry pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add bread crumbs and kosher salt. Stir to combine in butter. Toast bread crumbs for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Be careful so crumbs don’t burn. Remove hot bread crumbs from heat and add in garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Stir to combine and add to top of Crab Spaghetti.
This recipe was created in partnership with Go Bold With Butter where I am a paid contributor to their website. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you.
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SO DELICIOUS!! Served a side dish of grilled asparagus & a warm crusty bread. I would have loved to have seconds, but refrained, so now we’ll have an awesome leftover meal
I did not use all the pasta, it was a bit too much.
I’m always a bit sceptical with trying new recipes but this one was delicious and I’m definitely making this again. It’s my boyfriend new fave dish.
Thanks for sharing :)
Just made this for lunch with fresh Jonah crabs meat that I deshelled. Wow, this recipe totally make the crabmeat rock! Love how quick and easy this was. You were right, the crunchy breadcrumbs made this dish — so it’s not just mushy crab and pasta texture.
did this w/asparagus, light serrano peppers, and orange cherry tomatoes. It came out lovely.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Sounds incredible! Thank you Wendy!
I made this dish for my wife and I this weekend and I just wanted to thank you. It was so delicious! I had bought a pound of jumbo king crab legs at Costco (funny) before seeing your recipe. I had tried someone else’s recipe months ago for a dish like this and remembered how lovely it was. When I searched and found yours, I knew I Was on to something better and Glad to say my intuition payed off!
Others put pancetta in the dish which can be nice but here I feel it would be a distraction. Nevertheless, this dish rocks!!
Thank you so much.
Made this a few times since I found the recipe over the past year and it’s amazing every time! We use the gremolata on our salad now too, it’s very tasty! Gonna try it tonight with some lobster tails I got on sale at WF, I’m sure it’ll be delicious again but can’t wait for dungenuss crab season to fully arrive for the holidays!
Delicious and easy recipe! Thank you for sharing.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s so easy but elegant, one of my favorite kinds of recipe. :)
Made this tonight and wasn’t going to do the Gremolata. Decided to go for it. Boy am I glad I did! The whole thing was extremely yummy! One thing I would add is more crab! Thanks!!
Hello! I just wanted to stop in and thank you for this delicious recipe! I prepared it for my family and our two out of town family guests and we all LOVED IT! It was filling and deliciously comforting!
For those who care to know, these are the only changes I made:
1) I scaled back on the lemon zest in the gremolata – only because I’m not a fan of too much lemon in my pasta dishes
2) I used French Baguette for my bread crumbs in the gremolata, because I am not a fan of sour dough bread
This recipe was simple and just delicious!!! I served it with a side dish of a nice size stuffed, oven – roasted branzino that we all cut into. Delicioso!
So happy I found this food blog. Namaste!
Picked up a few pounds of snow crab and thought we’d give this a try. OMG….. It was so good! The Lemon Gremolata is addictive. Thanks for sharing this lil gem. It has become a family favorite!
Hi Staci, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it!
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Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
What a beautiful and elegant dish!
Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking
I have never heard of gremolata before and I am sad because I could have been adding it to EVERYTHING!!! This looks like a dish that speaks to my soul. I cannot wait to try this!
Kathy @ Olives and Garlic
I can’t wait to make this dish! This is right up my alley Heidi.