What to Serve with Crab Legs: Perfect Pairings for Crab Legs Dinner

What to serve with crab legs? You’ve wrestled with the shell cracker, wrested out that glistening piece of succulent crab meat, and now you’re wondering what’s next. Fear not, because the ideal sidekick for your crab leg caper is ready to make a splash.

Move over, mundane meal mates—it’s time to add a stroke of color and a dash of class to your special menu with the best side dishes for crab legs. Dive into a sea of colorful recipes that promise a seafood feast your taste buds won’t soon forget.

Every dish in our curated collection is nothing short of a flavor fest, created to complement and enhance the natural taste of the sea on your plate.

What to Serve with Crab Legs: Complementary Textures & Flavors

Hand holding crab leg with plate of crab legs on the background.

Crab legs, with their rich buttery flavor, deserve side dishes that complement their decadence and elevate the entire dining experience. A well-curated side dish not only enhances the flavors of the crab but also adds visual appeal to your plate, turning dinner into a vibrant feast. Here’s a guide to selecting sides that harmonize beautifully with crab legs:

Spice-Infused Fried Okra

Experience the crispy lightness of fried okra with a twist—infused with a hint of spice, it adds a warm contrast to the delicate flavors of crab. This side is perfect for those who appreciate a textural contrast and a slight kick to balance the sweetness of the crab.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Grilled corn on the cob brings a sweetly smoky flavor to the table. Its juicy, tender kernels, charred to perfection, pair wonderfully with the soft texture of crab meat, enhancing the overall smoky notes of your meal.

Grilled corn on a cob topped with spices on a plate with lime.

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes

These cheesy, indulgent potatoes are a luxurious complement to crab legs. The richness of twice-baked mashed potatoes, with their creamy texture and deep flavors, makes every bite of crab meat even more satisfying.

Hot-and-Sweet Coleslaw

Add a crunchy, refreshing twist to your crab leg feast with hot-and-sweet coleslaw. This side dish is zesty and slightly spicy, offering a vibrant flavor profile that cleanses the palate and complements the richness of crab legs. For those curious about crafting the perfect coleslaw or exploring what goes into this dish, a deeper dive into coleslaw ingredients can provide additional inspiration and guidance.

Close up of coleslaw on a plate.

What to Serve with Crab Legs: Rich & Creamy Accompaniments

When you’ve got a hankering for something heartier to pair with those succulent crab legs, look no further than the rich and creamy side dishes that turn a simple meal into a lavish feast. These gourmet twists on classic recipes ooze with opulence and are sure to solidify their place as the ultimate side dish for any seafood spread.

Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes

Your taste buds will sing with the symphony of flavors in these Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes. With just the right measure of salty ham and the aromatic whisper of thyme, these potatoes are nothing short of a luxurious addition to the crab leg centerpiece. And the Gruyère? Oh, it melts into a rich, velvety layer that’s simply divine.

Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Imagine caressing your fork through a cloud of the fluffiest, most buttery mashed potatoes. This is the kind of comfort food that wraps your soul in a warm embrace. We take the simple mashed potato and elevate it to gastronomic art with a swirl of herbed brown butter, transforming it into the stuff foodie dreams are made of.

Herbed Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes with Coriander

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes offer a rich blend of garlic’s robust flavor and Parmesan’s salty tang, creating a creamy and indulgent side that complements the natural sweetness of crab legs perfectly.

Related Article: Wondering about leftovers? Check out tips on how long mashed potatoes last to ensure your creamy delights stay fresh and delicious.

What to Serve with Crab Legs for a Southern Twist

When you’re looking to add a Southern twist to your Southern crab leg meal, it’s all about infusing classics with a touch of down-home comfort. Let’s transform your seafood spread with classic Southern sides that blend perfectly with the delicate taste of crab.

Close-up of beautifully arranged and cooked artichokes on a pot

Fried Artichoke Hearts

Enjoy the crispy, golden delight of fried artichoke hearts, breaded with seasoned breadcrumbs. Each bite offers a satisfying crunch that contrasts beautifully with the tender crab meat, making it a must-have for any Southern-inspired meal.

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Casserole

Elevate your side dishes with a Brussels sprouts and bacon casserole, where the smoky flavor of bacon and the rich, caramelized taste of Brussels sprouts combine to create a hearty companion to your crab legs. This dish can even inspire you to try variations like a Brussels sprout salad for lighter fare.

Cornbread with Bacon Drippings

No Southern table is complete without authentic cornbread made with savory bacon drippings. This fluffy, savory bread is perfect for sopping up rich sauces from the crab legs, enhancing every flavorful bite.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Introduce a tangy crunch to your crab legs dinner with fried green tomatoes, an iconic Southern specialty that adds a fresh contrast to the richness of the meal.

Hush Puppies

Round out your feast with hush puppies—deep-fried balls of dough that are ideal for capturing and savoring the luxurious flavors of your crab leg spread. Their crispy exterior and soft, doughy interior make them irresistible.

What to Serve with Crab Legs: Salads That Enhance Crab’s Delicate Flavor

Pairing crab legs with the right salad can transform your meal into a seaside escape, enhancing the delicate flavors of the crab with refreshing, crisp ingredients. Here’s how to complement your crab feast with salads that are as refreshing as a gentle sea breeze.

Crab salad tray on a table

Orange Fluff Salad

This whimsical fruit salad blends the brightness of mandarin oranges with fluffy whipped topping and mini marshmallows, creating a light, playful addition to your crab meal. It’s a cheerful mix that promises to add a fun twist to your dining experience.

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Imagine the freshness of cucumber, the juiciness of ripe tomatoes, and the creamy richness of avocado coming together. This salad is a burst of freshness that perfectly cuts through the richness of crab legs, offering a balanced and refreshing side.

Bowl of Cucumber Tomato Avocado salad on a plate.

Crunchy Citrus Snap Pea Salad

With sugar snap peas at its core, this salad is all about crisp textures and vibrant flavors. Almonds add a satisfying crunch, and a hint of Creole seasoning introduces a subtle spiciness that complements the citrus dressing beautifully. It’s a vibrant side dish that’s both invigorating and satisfying.

Peach-and-Arugula Salad

For a truly refreshing twist, try a combination of sweet, charred peaches and peppery arugula leaves, all dressed up with a tangy arugula salad dressing. This arugula pear salad sings with high notes of sweet and spicy, making it a standout companion to your crab legs. Plus, it’s a great segue into exploring other arugula-based salads, like a Strawberry Arugula Salad.

What to Serve with Crab Legs: Carbs & Grains

Pairing the delicate taste of crab legs with the right carbohydrates can create a meal that’s both filling and refined. Here are some classic dishes that provide a perfect balance of heartiness and lightness, enhancing the luxurious experience of enjoying crab legs.

Lobster Mac alongside Crab Legs

Imagine the luxury when the ocean’s bounty graces your plate twice—welcome to the heavenly match of lobster mac paired with crab legs. The creamy opulence of cheddar, the smooth melt of Velveeta, and the delicate texture of ricotta converge in the lobster mac to create a side dish that’s not just hearty—it’s downright decadent.

This is one of those satisfying grains that waltz seamlessly beside the light and relatively simple-tasting crab legs, giving you a hearty pairing that’s hard to resist and even harder to forget.

Creamy Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

On to a dish that exudes Southern charm like beaded droplets of sweet tea on a glass—the beloved Creamy Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese. It’s your go-to when yearning for familiar comfort carbs that blend seamlessly with the rich canvas of flavors offered by seafood.

This classic dish brings the family together, making everyone feel at home with its golden-hued, cheese-stretched bliss. So, the next time you’re looking to harmonize the delicate with the hearty, don’t forget to scoop a generous serving of this Southern comfort next to your crab legs—your palate will thank you for it.

Related Article: For more delightful combinations that enhance the flavors of Mac and Cheese, check out our guide on What Goes with Mac and Cheese, offering a variety of options to complement this classic dish.


Can I serve rice with crab legs?

Yes, rice, especially flavored or seasoned rice like garlic butter rice or saffron rice, makes an excellent side as it absorbs the flavors of the crab.

What are the best vegetables to pair with crab legs?

Lightly steamed or grilled vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or bell peppers complement the sweetness of crab legs without overpowering the delicate flavors.

What types of sauces go well with crab legs?

Besides the classic melted butter, garlic aioli, Yum Yum sauce, cocktail sauce, or a Dijon mustard sauce can add a flavorful twist to your crab legs meal.

Crab Legs on Leaf with Sauce on the table

Is pasta a good side dish for crab legs?

Absolutely! Light pasta dishes, like linguine with olive oil and herbs, complement crab legs by not overshadowing their subtle taste.

Can I make a gluten-free side dish for crab legs?

Yes, quinoa salads or roasted vegetables are excellent gluten-free options that also add color and nutrition to your meal.

What sorts of bread pair perfectly with a crab leg feast?

For crustacean bliss, nothing beats the magic of warm, freshly baked cornbread. If you’re leaning towards a touch of European charm, bake up some buttermilk biscuits or soft, slightly sweet rolls. They’re the comforting, yeast-laden hugs that perfectly round off the hearty flavors of crab.