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cooked king crab leg clusters with a dish of lemon butter sauce and lemon wedges

How to Cook Frozen King Crab Legs (the Easiest & Best Way!)

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x



2 pounds frozen king crab legs, thawed

5 tablespoons butter

1 garlic clove, lightly crushed

2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375℉. Arrange thawed king crab legs on a large sheet pan or shallow baking pan in a single layer. Once the oven comes up to temperature, bake the king crab legs for 15 minutes. (Remember the crab legs are already cooked, so we are using the "cooking process" to evaporate the water inside the legs and re-heat the meat, without drying out our delicious crab legs. You'll know the crab is ready when it is fragrant and very warm to the touch. Depending on the size of the legs, you may need to let them bake another 3-4 minutes.)
  2. While the crab is baking, make your lemon butter sauce. Add salted butter, a lightly crushed garlic clove and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan. Melt the butter and steep the garlic clove over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the melted butter. Stir to combine and taste. Add more lemon juice, if desired. Remove the crushed garlic clove and keep the butter over low heat until ready to serve.
  4. When the crab is finished baking, transfer to a serving platter. For king crab, I use kitchen shears to gently split open each crab leg to make it easier to remove all of the big chunks of meat inside the legs. For snow crabs, serve the legs with a seafood cracker.
  5. Serve the crab legs with lemon wedges, lemon garlic butter dip and garnish with chives or parsley, if desired.


Almost all crab legs in the US are sold already cooked and frozen. The crab legs are steamed or boiled and frozen shortly after they are caught to preserve freshness. So if you're cooking crab legs at home, they are most likely frozen.

You do not have to thaw the crab legs before cooking. If you have time to thaw the crab legs, the cooking process will be shorter. 

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Easy Recipes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American