Easiest Oven Baked Crab Legs Recipe

You certainly do not need to be a world-class chef to whip up some baked crab legs. In fact, it's relatively easy and requires very little of your time. Another plus? This recipe only calls for a few ingredients, making grocery shopping a breeze! Crab legs can be prepared in several ways and can be boiled, steamed, grilled, or deep-fried. There's really no right or wrong way to enjoy this tasty dish.

Hayley MacLean of Happy Healthy Hayley developed this recipe for oven-baked crab legs, and we must thank her for such a tasty and easy recipe. MacLean shares that her favorite part about the recipe is how easy it is. "The butter sauce is as simple as popping it in the microwave, and they come out so flaky and perfectly warm," she shares. "It's like enjoying a dinner on the coast from your own kitchen!" If your mouth isn't watering already, it probably is now, so let's get started! Keep scrolling to find out how to make these baked crab legs in no time.

Gather the ingredients for your baked crab legs

First, gather all of your ingredients together. Luckily, you may already have some of these at home, but whatever you don't have, a quick trip to the grocery store may be on your radar. All you need are two pounds of crab legs (make sure you get ones that are pre-cooked), a stick of butter, Old Bay Seasoning, a lemon, and finely chopped parsley (this is totally optional, by the way). MacLean says that frozen crab legs are okay to use. "If you do get frozen ones, just put them in the fridge overnight to thaw, and they'll be ready to go the next day," she says. "You can even use them straight from frozen if need be — they can just be a little more difficult to cut and will take longer to heat through." 

Now that you have everything you need, it's time to prep!

Preheat and prep

To start things off, you'll want to make sure that you preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, break the crab legs at the joints. The photo is a great guide to see exactly how you can do it. Then, cut them into shorter segments using either kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. When they're segmented, cut them in half lengthwise (like a hot dog) to expose the crab meat in both halves of the shell.

Get ready to bake

Now, line a baking sheet with parchment paper so the entire pan is covered. This leaves more room for more crab, which is always a good thing! Arrange the crab legs in segments, and make sure only to put them in a single layer so none of them overlap. Once those are all situated, you will want to get together your Old Bay Seasoning butter. Trust us when we tell you that it's super simple and super delicious!

Get the Old Bay butter ready

Grab a mixing bowl for your butter spread. Take one stick of butter (or half a cup), and place it in the bowl to melt.

"To melt the butter, it usually only takes about 30 seconds at most. To be safe, it's best to do it in 10-second increments and check to make sure it doesn't get too bubbly!" MacLean says. Then, you can stir in the Old Bay Seasoning with the melted butter and you have yourself one heck of a sauce! 

Alternatively, MacLean says you can use either garlic and herbs or lemon pepper in lieu of Old Bay. 

Brush the crab legs

When you finish the mixture, it's ready to go right where it belongs ... on the crab legs! Use a brush and put half of the mixture evenly on each of the crab legs. Alternatively, you can drizzle the butter evenly instead of using a brush. Reserve the rest of the butter to use for dipping once the crab meat is cooked. Hang in there, only one more step, and then you're ready to enjoy this amazing meal. 

Cook and enjoy

Once the crab legs are all buttered up, cover them with foil — this will prevent them from drying out when they go in the oven. Set your timer for 13 to 15 minutes, and bake the crab legs until they're heated through. Once the timer goes off, you can remove them from the oven. Squeeze half of a lemon over the cooked crab before serving. You can also garnish with one tablespoon of chopped parsley.

"To serve, some roasted corn on the cob and potato salad would make for the perfect summer evening meal," MacLean suggests. "The leftovers can be used in meals like a crab Benedict or in a crab Louie salad as well!" 

How easy was that?

Easiest Oven Baked Crab Legs Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
You certainly do not need to be a world-class chef to whip up some baked crab legs. In fact, it's relatively easy and requires very little of your time.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Easiest Oven Baked Crab Legs on a plate
Total time: 17 minutes
  • 2 pounds king crab legs, precooked
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Juice from ½ lemon
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Break the crab legs at the joints. Then, cut the crab leg sections into shorter segments with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife.
  3. Cut the segments in half lengthwise to expose the crab meat in both halves of the shell.
  4. Arrange the crab leg segments in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  5. Make the Old Bay butter by melting ½ cup butter in a mixing bowl, then stirring in 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning.
  6. Brush or drizzle half of the butter mixture onto the crab meat, reserving the rest for dipping the crab meat after cooking.
  7. Cover the crab legs with foil to avoid them drying out, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until heated through.
  8. Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice from ½ a lemon over the crab before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Calories per Serving 794
Total Fat 48.9 g
Saturated Fat 29.6 g
Trans Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 312.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.4 g
Sodium 3,798.8 mg
Protein 83.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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