Caught all along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, crabs are a highly-valued part of the American seafood diet. Crab legs, specifically, are often enjoyed as full meals, especially among coast-lying towns and in areas where they’re heavily imported.
When considering what side dishes to use with your crab legs, there’s a couple of things to take into consideration. Texture and taste are very important. Crab leg meat is chewy, and the taste is going to be fishy and sweet.
We’ve compiled a list of seventeen delightful side dishes that will be perfect for serving alongside crab legs, taking all of these things into consideration. Keep reading for our selections!
17 Side Dishes to Serve With Crab Legs
Prepare yourselves for our great list of seventeen delightful side dishes to serve alongside this incredibly popular and highly sought-after dish!
1. Roasted Vegetables
Crab legs have a sweet taste, so it’s important to choose side dishes that don’t attempt to overpower the taste of crab legs. Roasted vegetables are a good choice for this.
Many vegetables, when roasted, take on a nutty, earthy flavor that will complement the simple tastes of crab legs wonderfully. Carrots, asparagus, and brussels sprouts are among the best choices, but anything works.
2. Creamy Potatoes
With soft tastes, mashed potatoes are going to be great alongside crab legs. Textures also match, too, with both food options being relatively soft to consume. If that matters to you, then creamy potatoes are perfect!
We recommend drizzling butter or sour cream over your mashed potatoes to turn them into “creamy” potatoes. Both of these flavors work well with crab legs; butter especially, since it’s already on the legs themselves.
3. French Fries
Since crab legs are generally seen as finger food, pairing them with another finger food like French fries is a fantastic choice. Fries go with a plethora of foods, and crab legs are no exception.
If you’re looking for contrasting textures in your meal, then French fries can provide that. They’ll give a nice, satisfying crunch to pair with the soft meat of crab legs.
4. Cocktail Sauce
Sometimes, crab legs do just fine on their own, given that you add a little extra flavor to them on the side. This is where a great cocktail sauce can come into play.
You can either make your own or buy some from the store, but either way, this option is sure to add brand new flavors that will add tons of life to the otherwise soft and sweet flavors of crab legs.
5. Cheddar Biscuits
If you’ve ever been to Red Lobster, you’re probably familiar with their famous cheddar biscuits. A seafood-focused restaurant chain serves these for a reason; they’re savory and great with seafood!
Crab legs are no exception to this. If you want your meal to feel like it was just whipped up in a great restaurant, then serve those crab legs up with some cheddar biscuits!
6. Cheesy Potato Pancakes
Notice how potatoes appear a lot in this list; that’s because potatoes go fantastic in almost any form with crab legs. Cheesy potato pancakes are a delightful take on this.
If you want to present a classic type of seafood side dish with a twist, then cheesy potato pancakes are for you. Not to mention that they’re filling!
7. Corn on the Cob
If you’ve ever had crab legs at a restaurant, then you might recall they may have been served with corn on the cob. This side dish option is an absolute classic to serve alongside crab legs.
Since corn on the cob is generally served with butter, it’ll provide a nice consistency of flavors. It’s also finger food; since you’re already supposed to eat crab legs with your hands, this is perfect!
Ever heard of a surf ‘n turf style meal? They’re often offered at seafood restaurants, and for good reason! The savory flavors of a good steak will create a dynamic offering of flavors when paired with the softer, sweeter flavors of crab legs.
You’ll also notice a texture difference; steak is tougher than crab legs. If texture differences are important to you, then this is another great option to pick for your crab legs!
9. Bread and Deviled Eggs
This option is a unique one for anyone who doesn’t want to follow the traditional grain with their crab leg side dish. Bread and deviled eggs are savory, so they’ll offer a nice change of flavor.
It’s also a very simple side dish, perfect to throw together if you’re not interested in something that is going to take you lots of steps and hours to complete. And, once again, it’s finger food!
10. Baked Potato
Here are those potatoes again. Baked potatoes are awesome because of how customizable they are; if the previous potato suggestions felt too limiting to you, this is your solution!
There are tons of things you can do to flavor a baked potato while simultaneously complementing the flavors of your crab legs. Add some butter or sour cream, for example, and you’re golden!
11. Steamed Vegetables
Steamed vegetables are a really healthy option to serve alongside crab legs. Seafood is often understood to come with lots of health benefits, and crab legs are not necessarily an exception to this.
If you’re looking to continue with the “healthy” theme, then try out some steamed vegetables. They’ll still offer new flavors and textures, too, so it’s a win on all fronts!
12. Fresh Artichokes
This is definitely a fancier side dish to serve alongside your crab legs, but who said that every side dish had to be simple? This type can work just fine, too!
The nutty and simple taste of good artichokes won’t overpower your crab legs, but will instead complement their taste in a delightful way. Plus, they’re finger food, so they’re perfect for finger food like crab legs.
13. Asian Noodles
The United States isn’t the only place in the world that enjoys seafood, so why not throw an international-inspired dish into your crab leg meal?
The spiciness of Asian noodles will give your crab leg meal a distinctive taste; just be sure to not go too crazy on the spices so you don’t overpower your crab legs. The chewy, soft texture of noodles will also work well to complement the soft texture of crab legs.
14. Dipping Sauces
If you want to let your crab legs shine on their own but still feel they’re too basic, then try presenting them alongside a selection of different dipping sauces! This will allow you to spice up your crab leg dish without relying on a complex side dish.
There are lots of different options out there to choose from. Try to go with sauces that are on the creamier side, since creamy sauces generally work best with sweet seafood like a crab.
15. Mandarin Orange Salad
This is another healthy option for you to serve alongside your crab legs. As we mentioned above, crab legs are fairly healthy, so it’s definitely okay to keep up with that trend!
Mandarin orange salad will be sweet, which will work well with the sweetness of your crab leg meat. The salad will also give your meal a great crunch, which is great for those of you looking to offer multiple different textures.
16. Sweet Potato Wedges
If you want some kind of “potato” option but feel that ordinary potatoes are too unhealthy or unappealing, try out some sweet potato wedges!
Sweet potatoes are naturally fairly sweet, so their taste will blend well with the sweet tastes of crab leg meat. Plus, when served as wedges, they’re finger food. Great for anyone not interested in picking up a utensil while they eat their crab legs!
17. Vegetable Hash
If roasted or steamed vegetables feel too boring to you, try whipping up some vegetable hash! This side dish, when drizzled with some butter, will offer crunchy textures and a buttery flavor perfect for crab legs.
We recommend putting together a combination of diced onion, corn, and zucchini. We feel that these vegetables create the best flavors for a crab-leg-designed vegetable hash. It’s also a great way to use corn in a different way than corn on the cob!
We hope you’ve learned some great things from our list of seventeen delightful side dishes to serve alongside crab legs. Remember that you have to take the sweetness of crab legs into consideration when thinking about what to serve with them, as well as their soft texture. Share a picture of how your meal turned out!