Garlic Butter King Crab Rolls (video)

garlic butter king crab rolls on tray with lemon wedges

These are the best crab rolls I’ve ever had! My garlic butter king crab rolls are out of this world delicious! They’re made with a smoky garlic herb butter, chunks of real king crab, all served on soft and warm brioche buns with a squeeze of lemon juice! If I had a last meal request, these would be it! This seafood recipe is super easy to prepare, even if you’ve never made these before! Have these rolls ready in under 20 minutes!

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Ingredients for Rolls

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make these garlic butter king crab rolls:

  • King crab legs: I used cooked king crab legs that I purchased at Costco. Most king crab found in stores will already be precooked since it’s hard to transport it fresh. You can make this recipe with snow crab legs or fresh crab, too. Check out my cooking instructions below!
  • Brioche hot dog buns: these are the best buns for crab rolls. The bread is super soft and slightly sweet.
  • Butter: for making the butter sauce.
  • Dill, chives & parsley: fresh chopped herbs will add the most flavor to this recipe.
  • Smoked Paprika: this smoky spice adds tons of great flavor to the dipping butter.
  • Garlic Powder: I like to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, which can be a bit overpowering.
  • Lemon: for squeezing over the crab. It really balances out the richness and sweetness of the crab!
close up of crab roll with king crab leg meat, butter and fresh herbs

Making the Smoky Garlic Herb Butter

Before I get started on the crab rolls, I like to make the easy butter dipping sauce! Use this butter for reheating cooked crab and for spooning over the rolls.

  1. Place salted or unsalted butter into a small saucepan and melt it over medium heat. You can also melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. Remove the butter from heat and add in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Use this butter to reheat the crab.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, add some fresh chives, dill and parsley to the butter.
king crab meat in pan with garlic herb butter

How to Make King Crab Rolls

These amazing seafood rolls are actually super easy to make! You can have them ready to enjoy in about 20 minutes. Here’s how to put them together!

  1. Start by preparing the garlic herb butter. Keep it warm on the side.
  2. If you’re using precooked king crab, take it out of the refrigerator and put on a pair of gloves. I like to use cut gloves with disposable gloves over the top. Using kitchen shears, cut through the thick crab shell and gently remove the crab from its shell. Use a small fork to remove any smaller pieces.
  3. Place the shelled crab into a large bowl and break apart the larger pieces into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of the prepared butter.
  5. Once hot, add the crab and toss it very gently in the butter. Heat it for a few minutes, just until the crab is hot and steaming. Do not over cook the crab; it will become rubbery! Only reheat it!
  6. Season the crab with fresh chives, dill and parsley and add the juice of half a lemon.
  7. While the crab is reheating, toast the brioche buns in the oven. Place them onto a baking sheet and under the oven broiler for about 3 minutes, until they’re warm.
  8. Use tongs to spoon chunks of crab into each brioche bun, top with spoonful’s of the prepared garlic butter and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top. Enjoy immediately!
king crab rolls with brioche bread and garlic herb butter

How to Cook Fresh Crab

I used precooked king crab legs that I purchased at Costco for these garlic butter king crab rolls. You can, however, make this recipe using fresh crab! I recommend using either snow crab legs or king crab legs for this recipe. Steaming crab is the best option since it preserves the flavor and texture the best!

  1. Use a large pot that comes with a tight-fitting lid. Place a steamer basket or a wire rack onto the bottom of the pot and add a cup or two of water. Bring the water up to a boil.  
  2. Place the crab/crab legs onto the steam basket and steam for 7 to 12 minutes, depending on size. Each type of crab has a different cooking time. Larger crabs will take longer to cook than smaller ones. The shell should turn a bright red color and it should be piping hot.
  3. Use thawed or fresh crab for faster cooking. Frozen crab will take longer to steam since it needs to defrost.
close up of crab roll with king crab leg meat, butter and fresh herbs

Common Recipe Questions

Can I make these ahead of time?

I recommend serving these crab rolls right away, however, you can prepare the different components and keep them separate until you’re ready to assemble. You can make the butter ahead of time, clean the crab and have the brioche buns ready to go.

Can I use any type of seafood?

Yes! This recipe will work great with snow crab legs, lobster meat and shrimp, too!

How many rolls does this recipe make?

This recipe, as written using 2 pounds of crab, makes about 6 to 7 crab rolls. You can scale this recipe up or down depending on how much crab you have.

More Recipes!

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Garlic Butter King Crab Rolls video recipe board

Easy Garlic Butter King Crab Rolls

15 mins prep + 5 mins cook
6 crab rolls
Easy and delicious crab rolls with king crab legs, smoky garlic herb butter and brioche buns!

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds king crab legs
  • 6 to 7 brioche bread rolls
  • 1 large lemon

For Garlic Butter:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp fresh chives, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • This recipe makes 6 to 7 crab rolls. It can be scaled up or down depending on how many rolls you need.

For Garlic Butter:

  • Prepare the butter sauce first. Place salted or unsalted butter into a small saucepan and melt it over medium heat. You can also melt the butter in the microwave. Remove the butter from heat and add in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  • Next, prepare the crab. If you need to steam your crab first, see my cooking instructions in the post above.

Preparing the Crab:

  • If you’re using precooked king crab, take it out of the refrigerator and put on a pair of gloves. I like to use cut gloves with disposable gloves over the top. Using kitchen shears, cut through the thick crab shell and gently remove the crab from its shell. Use a small fork to remove any smaller pieces.
  • Place the shelled crab into a large bowl and break apart the larger pieces into bite-sized pieces.

Cooking the Crab:

  • Preheat a frying pan over medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of the prepared butter.
  • Once hot, add the crab and toss it very gently in the butter. Heat it for a few minutes, just until the crab is hot and steaming. Do not overcook the crab; it will become rubbery! Only reheat it!
  • Season the crab with fresh chives, dill and parsley and add the juice of half a lemon.
  • While the crab is reheating, toast the brioche buns in the oven. Place them onto a baking sheet and under the oven broiler for about 3 minutes, until they’re warm.
  • Add the remaining fresh herbs to the melted butter.
  • Use tongs to spoon chunks of crab into each brioche bun, top with spoonful’s of the prepared garlic butter and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top. Enjoy immediately!

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1843mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 841IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg