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Crab Melt

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The classic, old-fashioned crab melt is elevated with chunks of fresh crab, a creamy dressing and juicy tomatoes. This quick and easy recipe is inspired by a San Francisco crab melt recipe. It’s an open-faced sandwich that makes a delicious and flavorful lunch, dinner, or brunch.

We love to make crab melts using fresh sourdough bread but other favorites include a crab melt on English muffin or rye bread. Our sprouted rye bread is another great option!

A crab melt sandwich with melted cheese.

Loaded with fresh herbs, two types of cheese, and thick slices of juicy tomatoes, there’s a lot to love about this crab melt!

Similar to our Alaskan King Crab Cakes, we don’t skimp on crab with this recipe! It is the ultimate comfort food with a fresh, zesty spin!

Why This Crab Melt Recipe Works

Every bite of our crab melt is scrumptious and flavor-packed. From the chunks of fresh crab to the easy dressing and that creamy layer of melted cheese, what’s not to like!?

Plus, whenever fresh sourdough or rye bread or a warm English muffin becomes the vessel for all of this goodness, you know it’s open-faced sandwich perfection.

Here’s why we love this recipe:

  • It’s an elevated spin on a San Francisco crab melt.
  • We use fresh ingredients, including fresh crab meat, for the best flavor.
  • It is a quick and easy meal that’s ready in under 15 minutes
  • You can heat it in a regular oven or an air fryer

If you’ve never made a homemade crab melt, get ready for a tasty treat!

A fork scooping up the filling in a crab melt.

Crab Melt Ingredients

For this easy crab melt recipe, you will need:

  • mayonnaise
  • celery
  • green onions
  • fresh dill
  • lemon zest and juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • seafood seasoning
  • lump crab meat
  • bread of choice (we prefer sourdough or English muffins)
  • large tomatoes, sliced
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • grated Muenster cheese

Lump crab meat can be found at most grocery stores and is the easiest way to prepare this crab melt recipe. However, if you want to go for the ultimate flavor, you can always pull the meat from freshly-cooked crab legs, too!

And there is no crime if you want to use canned crab meat but if you can get your hands on fresh crab, this sandwich will be so much better.

Ingredients needed for crab melt sandwiches.

How to Make a Crab Melt

Let’s talk about the process. Most of the work is chopping and slicing and that’s about it! This simple crab melt only needs about three minutes under the broiler to get nice and toasted, just enough to melt the cheese.

For the full printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of the page. For now, here’s a quick look at the steps:

  1. Mix the ingredients: Make the creamy dressing then fold in the crab meat.
  2. Assemble the crab melts: Spread the crab mixture on lightly toasted bread and top with tomato and grated cheese.
  3. Broil: Place the pan under the broiler and cook just until the cheese melts and gets bubbly (about 2-3 minutes).
Six photos showing how to make a crab melt sandwich.

Tips for Crab Melt Success

While this process is soooo simple, keep these tips in mind when you’re preparing your crab melts.

  • Fold the crab meat in gently so the lumps do not break apart.
  • You can swap in dried herbs for fresh herbs but reduce the amount by half.
  • Watch the sandwiches as they broil since some broilers have hot zones. If needed, rotate the sandwiches as they broil.
  • Some broilers require the oven door to be cracked while the broiler is on. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for using your broiler.
  • If you want to use an air fryer, heat it in the air fryer at 400°F for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese gets bubbly.
  • Serve with our air fryer French fries and a wedge salad.

? More Crab Recipes

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we frequently have an abundance of crab meat. We have classic dishes like Dungeness crab cakes with garlic butter sauce to a simple crab dip. Here are a few more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What goes nice with crab?

A simple side salad like our Little Gem Caesars would go wonderfully with these tasty crab melts! Fire-roasted tomato soup is another great option if you’re looking for a hearty side to complement your meal.

What does crab taste like?

Crab is slightly sweet in flavor and tastes similar to shrimp but it has a more delicate texture. It’s tender, meaty, and scrumptious, and it has a more neutral flavor profile than other seafood which makes it a wonderful option for pairing with other bold flavors.

How many calories are in a crab melt sandwich?

This easy crab melt recipe makes four servings and each portion has under 350 calories.

A crab melt sandwich on a plate with lemon wedges.

This easy-peasy crab melt recipe is a new favorite of ours and one you can enjoy any time! It is quick to prepare and is a tasty, elegant version of a tuna melt.

Sure, the San Francisco crab melt has earned a reputation for a reason, but this simple recipe proves you can easily make one from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Helpful Tools

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

This is the best Steak and Lobster Sandwich. Enjoy surf-and-turf sandwich-style! This delicious sandwich includes meaty steak and lobster topped with melted cheese. It’s all tucked into homemade garlic bread to create one epic and memorable sandwich!

Our Crab Stuffed Shrimp makes a great party appetizer. The ultimate seafood appetizer, this recipe is a delicious and impressive way to serve shrimp. It’s an elevated and sophisticated recipe that is easy to prepare and is sure to be the star of your dinner party!

Grab your favorite dippers of choice and dig into all of the hot, melted, cheesy goodness of this hot crab dip. It is super easy to make and you’ll be blown away by all of the flavors!

This is the most delicious seafood mac and cheese you’ll ever taste. Loaded with shrimp, Dungeness crab meat and tender chunks of salmon, this mac and cheese is topped with bread crumbs to give it a crunchy topping.

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An open face crab melt sandwich.

Crab Melt

Tender chunks of fresh crab get blended in a creamy dressing and topped with juicy tomatoes and melted cheese. This open-faced sandwich is perfect for a quick lunch, dinner, or brunch and is easy to make.
We used sourdough bread for a slightly tangy note but feel free to use any bread you like. Rye bread and English muffins are some more favorites with this sandwich.
4.67 from 12 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 346kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 celery stalk finely diced
  • 2 to 3 green onions diced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill and chives
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 10 ounces crab meat
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread or 2 English muffins split
  • 2 large tomatoes cut into 4 slices
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Muenster cheese


  • Add the mayonnaise, celery, chives, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and seafood seasoning to a bowl. Stir to combine. Gently fold in the crab meat. 
  • Lightly toast the bread and place on a baking sheet. Spread the crab mixture over the bread. Top each piece with a slice of tomato and grated cheese. 
  • Slide the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese melts and gets slightly bubbly (about 2 to 3 minutes). 


  • Fold the crab meat in gently so the flakes stay in large lumps. 
  • If you want to use dried herbs (chives and dill) use half the amount.
  • Keep an eye on the sandwiches while they are under the broiler. Some broilers have hot zones and you will need to rotate the sandwiches as they broil. 
  • Some ovens require that you keep the door cracked while the broiler is on and other ovens direct you to close the oven door when the broiler is in use. Refer to your manufacturer's instructions for your broiler. 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 925mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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4.67 from 12 votes (12 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

Stacey M

Wednesday 7th of February 2024

I added a few dashes of Tabasco - we like it a bit spicy. Really delicious - thanks

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 7th of February 2024

Thanks for the comment! Tabasco sounds great with this.

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