Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

December 12, 2020

The holidays are a special time to slow down, connect with people you love and celebrate the season with family traditions. Most of these traditions start right in our kitchens, centered around a special meal or delicious sweet treats to eat and share. We all have our favorites we look forward to, but maybe this is the year to create a new tradition.

“Crack” open the holiday cheer with crab legs!
Shellfish is rich in lean protein, healthy fats and minerals. Eating shellfish may strengthen your immunity, aid in weight loss and promote brain and heart health. Crab legs, like other seafood, can be a little intimidating when it comes to purchasing and preparation, but it doesn’t have to be. At Hy-Vee our Seafood Department has the freshest seafood in the Midwest and the most knowledgeable staff to help you choose the best crabs legs to be the new star of the show at your special holiday get-together.

Crab Legs Preparation
• Allow crab to thaw in refrigerator overnight before reheating, for best flavor.
• Suggested serving size: 3 lbs. serves 2 to 3 people for entrée
• 1 leg per person for appetizer

Crab Legs Cooking Tips
Crab legs are pre-cooked; all it takes is 5 to 10 minutes to reheat. How easy it that?
• Steam: Boil 2 cups of water, place crab legs in basket and steam for 4-5 minutes.
• Boil: Bring large pot of water to a boil, place crab legs in water and boil for 5 minutes.
• Bake: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place crab legs on sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

Cracking Crab Legs Using Kitchen Shears

  1. Hold the hot crab leg in a cloth napkin or small towel. Break the crab leg apart at the joints. A whole crab leg will have at least two joints.
  2. Insert kitchen shears (or poultry shears) into the shell, then clip the length of the shell. If necessary, split the shell down two sides. Insert a fork or seafood fork inside the split shell to remove the meat in a single piece.
  3. Use the fork for dipping the crab meat into drawn butter and for eating the meat.

You can use crab legs as the main dish, a side dish with a little butter, or in an appetizer like our Creole King Crab Cakes.

Creole King Crab Cakes
Serves 4

All You Need:
1 Hy-Vee large egg, lightly beaten
2½ tbsp Hy-Vee Select chipotle mayo sandwich spread
1½ tsp dried parsley
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
½ tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp Hy-Vee Dijon mustard
3 slices Hy-Vee whole-wheat sandwich bread, crust removed and finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
1 lb Alaskan King crabmeat, shelled
1 tsp Hy-Vee honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 cup arugula
Bottled Louisiana remoulade seafood sauce, for serving

All you do:

  1. Preheat broiler on HIGH. Line a baking sheet with foil; lightly spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine egg, chipotle mayo, parsley, Cajun seasoning, black pepper and Dijon mustard. Stir in bread and celery. Carefully add crabmeat to mixture. Shape into 8 patties: place on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Place baking sheet under broiler 6 inches from heat. Broil for 8 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  4. Combine honey and lemon juice; gently toss with arugula. Serve crab cakes on top of arugula with remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from: The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.