Easy Oven Roasted Dungeness Crab

Easy Oven Roasted Dungeness Crab–because it’s crab season!

There is a magic moment, usually in mid-November, when my Australian friend, Leanne Sarasy will call and say, “Come for dinner…we have crab!” Yesterday it was a text and I canceled any plan I had because the first oven roasted Dungeness crab of the season is truly close to a religious experience. (And, of course, let us not forget that crab, along with all other fruits of the sea, are considered the playthings of Aphrodite and a conduit to games of love.)

Leanne’s husband, Brian, is an avid fisherman and hunter so there is always something good in her kitchen from the land or sea. She is a magnificent chef, having cooked on board yachts around the world for years. I always say…give her four ingredients and she can make a three-course meal. She’s a culinary genius.

Crab in this household is not just boiled or steamed. It may start steamed but then Leanne tosses it in aphrodisiacs including fresh garlic, chili flakes, Italian parsley, preserved lemons (or fresh) butter and olive oil. Then she sprinkles it with more parsley and garlic on top and throws it in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Is there anything sexier to eat than fresh crab? Cracking it and tearing it apart with your hands, then stabbing it with the little seafood skewer or simply prying it out of its shell with your fingers. It’s messy, delicious and always memorable. This Oven Roasted Dungeness Crab preparation doesn’t even call for clarified butter in which to dip the crab flesh but plan on many napkins!

3.34 from 3 votes
Easy Oven Roasted Dungeness Crab
Easy Oven-Roasted Dungeness Crab
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Once you try your crabs oven roasted, you'll never boil them again! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dungeness Crab
Diet and Health: Healthy, low carb
Seasonal: New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, winter
Ingredient: Dungeness Crab
Servings: 1 crab per person
Created by: Leanne Sarasy
Per 2-lb Dungeness Crab
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic finely chopped (divided
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley finely chopped (divided)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes more or less to taste
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a small dish. Add half the garlic, half the parsley, the chili flakes and lemon juice.
  3. Put the crab (or crabs) on a sheet pan and coat with the butter and olive oil mixture. Top with the remaining garlic and parsley.
  4. Cook for 16-22 minutes. (The cooking time will vary slightly based on how many crabs you’re cooking. For 1-2 crabs, check for doneness after 16 minutes.

Plan on one 2-pound(ish) Dungeness crab for each diner as a main course. Half a crab per person works as an appetizer. However, if you're feeding a crowd, you may want to roast a few extra crabs as these crabs are hard to resist! 


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