Fresh steamed Alaskan king crab legs are prepped and ready in under 10 minutes. Perfect for date night in or an easy family dinner!
Easy Alaskan King Crab Legs
Hearts, sprinkles, love letters and romantic gestures from someone you’ve admired from afar. Or, maybe not. Valentine’s Day is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. And the most dreaded. But fear not the pudgy cherub with his pointy bow that may or may not be misdirected, it matters not whether you have a love in your life, you still need to feed your face.
A favorite of mine and my honey bunny poochie coo (er, husband) for V-day is keepin’ it simple with a bottle of wine and crackin’ crab in front of the Tivo and catching up on last week’s Parenthood.
Some people think crab is something you only get when you go out for that special meal, but honestly, we’re total opposites in that theory. Why spend all your dough on the restaurant mark-up when instead you can grab yourself a couple of extra legs to heat up toot sweet?
What’s in This Steamed Crab Legs Recipe?
When I say this is the simplest king crab legs recipe, I mean it. The only ingredients you’ll need to make steamed crab legs are fresh dill and Alaskan king crab legs. I know, stupid simple (and stupid delicious).
If desired, you’ll also need some melted butter for dipping and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to add a pop of flavor to the crab. Easiest Valentine’s Day dinner ever? I think so.
How to Cook Crab Legs
We’ve cooked Alaskan king crab legs every which way—except in a Crockpot because that would just be not right. We’ve boiled, sautéed, steamed, broiled, and bar-b-qued.
The best way we’ve found to cook up these leggy supermodel crustaceans is by binding them up in paper towels and plastic wrap like little high school wrestlers trying to make weight before the big match and using most cooks’ day-to-day, go-to kitchen-cooking-contraption, the good old microwave.
Since crab from the grocery store freezer bin is already flash cooked, the problem with cooking at home is just that. You’re cooking it twice! So instead of cooking it again, to shreds, to rubbery smithereens, just give it a little warm up.
Thanks to Alton Brown and his uber scientific genius ways, we have our favorite crabby-crab recipe to dip in fatty-mcfat buttery goodness with a squirt of lemon. Enjoy!
How Long to Steam Crab Legs?
Because we’re making steamed crab legs in a slightly unconventional manner, the cook time is reduced dramatically. Once you’ve wrapped up the Alaskan king crab legs, they’ll need to steam in the microwave for just 2 minutes.
Can I Use Another Type of Crab Leg?
Not for this particular recipe, no. Alaskan king crab legs are quite large, so you really can’t substitute other types of crab in this steamed crab legs recipe.
Tips for Making Alaskan King Crab Legs
Be sure to cut the crab legs at the joints so they fit comfortably in your microwave. You don’t want the legs touching the walls of the microwave as they cook.
Since the king crab legs have been steamed and thus the shells are softened, I use kitchen shears to open the crab legs rather than a crab cracker. Makes life so much easier!
The lemon juice and melted butter and totally optional when enjoying your steamed crab legs, but highly recommended. If you have another favorite dipping sauce for crab legs, I’m all ears.
More Easy Date Night Dinners You’ll Love
- Easy Chicken Breasts with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Salmon Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
- Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
- Mustard Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
- Blackened Seafood Pasta
- Easy Chicken Piccata
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.
Steamed Alaskan King Crab Legs
- 6 Alaskan king crab claws , thawed
- 4 sprigs fresh dill
- Cut claws at joints to fit into your microwave. Wrap 3 claws in damp paper towels with 2 sprigs of fresh dill and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place wrapped claws in the microwave 1 package at a time and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove and carefully unwrap, they’ll be steamy so be careful of the full-facial steam.
- Serve and enjoy with melted butter and plenty of napkins.
- Since the legs have been steamed and thus the shells are softened, I use kitchen shears to open the crab legs rather than a crab cracker.
- recipe: Alton Brown
More Valentine’s Day Recipes, Just Because
- Easy 3-Ingredient Chocolate Sauce
- Valentine’s Sugar Cookies
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Classic Fat Witch Dark Chocolate Brownies
- Devil’s Food Bundt Cake with Chocolate Espresso Ganache
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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We’ve used AB’s methods for years, and it never fails. I don’t even bother to thaw them. Two long legs per packet, 2 minutes on high, and leave them wrapped until ready to eat. It keeps them nice and hot. Yum! Making them tonight for our anniversary.
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Made this last night, without the Dill. Thank you for posting, and you are right, by far the best way, and easiest way, to make Crab ! Turned out so well !
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Those crab legs are beautiful! I just “pinned” them.
Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet
Everything looks fantastic!! Happy Valentine’s Day Heidi!
I couldn’t stop looking at the photo of those gorgeous legs on TS. I could eat a dozen easily! Love your quickie nuke for them – I’ll have to use that method next time I pick some up :)
It’s seriously the easiest and quickest way to enjoy legs!
I had no idea that you could just pop them, frozen ones, in the microwave. Really good to know! Your photos have made my crab craving go into overload. Great roundup and recipes.
The prettiest crab legs I have ever seen:) A dinner in is always better than a dinner out-especially on Valentine’s Day!
Jennifer @ Mother Thyme
You got me in the mood for these delicious crab legs! When we lived in Virginia we used to pick crab legs up often and make them at home. We haven’t had them in awhile but I am thinking these just might be what we have on Valentine’s Day now, so yummy!
What a delicious looking round up, and thank you so much for the mention. I seriously can’t pick the favorite. Thank you.
Heidi- so sweet of you to give some lemon fire love. What a fun post!! I am dying for a little crab over here, looks so delish and bright!! Love to you!
Love the round-up, thanks for the mention! Drooling over those crab legs…
Gorgeous photos! I totally agree that crab legs shouldn’t be relegated to restaurant-only meals. When I was a kid, my parents and I would drive down the coast from Vancouver to the Cannon Beach area in Oregon. One of my favorite rituals was visiting the local fishmonger, picking up whole Dungeness crabs for my dad and me (scallops for my crustacean-allergic mum), take them back to our condo and steam up the crabs for a feast, complete with drawn butter and bibs. I have to treat my kids to that sometime!
Yvette ~ Muy Bueno
YUM! I have been craving crab legs and this truly made my tummy growl!
My family really wanted to eat several sea foods, Simply most crab. Delicious!
Those crablegs looke delicious! The photo is amazing. That mocktail looks pretty yummy too. :-)
I looooove simplicity. And I don’t have valentine’s day dinner planned. This sounds pretty much perfect. And the photos are GORGEOUS!
GOOOOD grief. Look at those legs. Absolutely gorgeous. We’re doing lobster and I’m already having 30 plus heart attacks. I might change my mind and get some LAIGS!
Gorgeous! I’m a big, big lover of crab legs. They may be my favorite food. Because I live in Holland, I only have them once in a while (when I’m in the US, I always have them way more often!). There’s something about that satisfaction after you cracked one open…
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
Those are the prettiest crab legs! I have never cooked crab. Crazy but true. I wouldnt know where to begin but the microwave is one place I would have never thought…but love. I love my nuke box.
And those potatoes. TOO Cute!