Baked Crab with Garlic-Chile Butter

This baked crab is a cross between a crab cake and crab dip. It's full of crab and has tons of flavor from the garlic-chile butter, which is good on anything, especially crab, lobsters and oysters! It's a perfect summertime treat. I spend a lot of time in Delaware and Maryland during the summer and there's always lots of crab around!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat or lump crabmeat (or a combination of the two)

1 cup Garlic-Chile Butter, recipe follows

Kosher salt

Crostini, recipe follows

Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Garlic-Chile Butter:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped Calabrian chiles, jalapenos or red finger chiles

2 ounces Romano cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Crostini:

1 Italian or French bread, sliced 1/4 inch thick on a slight bias

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the garlic chile-butter from the refrigerator and using a spoon, scrape about 1 cup of the butter into shards. Add 3/4 cup of the shards to a small bowl; set aside the remaining shards.
  2. Add the crabmeat to the small bowl and toss gently with the butter to avoid breaking up the crab too much. Lightly season with salt. Transfer to a broiler-safe baking dish, such as ceramic (but not glass) that's about 7 by 5 inches in size (or similar) and top with the remaining butter pieces.
  3. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat the broiler to medium-high.
  5. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and remove the plastic wrap. Broil until the top is golden brown and bubbling, rotating the dish a few times so it browns evenly, 7 to 10 minutes total. Carefully remove the dish from the broiler.
  6. Garnish the dish with a few sprigs of parsley and a few lemon wedges to squeeze over the top. Serve with the crostini.

Garlic-Chile Butter:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Freeze the butter just until firm enough to shave with a spoon, about 10 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Alternatively, transfer the butter to a sheet of parchment paper and form into a log. Wrap tightly with the parchment and plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 cups.

Crostini:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the bread on a baking sheet and season with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.

Cook’s Note

You can also bake the crab in individual ramekins or crab bodies for different presentations. The smaller the vessel, the less time it will take to bake. The key is to get it really nice and golden brown on top and make sure it's warmed all the way through. You can easily double or triple the recipe to have extra to keep in the freezer.