This Healthy Crab Eggs Benedict is made with Dungeness crab legs, poached eggs, and a creamy yogurt sauce. It’s a lighter take on the breakfast classic!
Who loves crab!? (I do, I do!) Who wishes they could eat crab all the time? (Me, me, meeee!) If you, like me, find yourself with a craving for these crustaceous (and creepy-looking!) sea-creatures, you aren’t alone!
After you decide that you MUST EAT CRAB, and proceed to douse piece after piece in decadent, rich butter, you may decide that you… still want more crab!!! (In fact, I’m nearly positive that’s what will happen.)
Somewhere in the back of your brain, though, you may start to wonder if there’s a healthier way to eat crab. A crab-tastic recipe that’s butter-free, but still tastes crab-licious! (Warning– I make no promises to stop the corny crab jokes.) This Healthy Crab Eggs Benedict is light and flavorful, and highlights the flavor of the freshly steamed and delicious Dungeness crab.
Buying Dungeness Crab Legs
A Dungeness crab is the crab that you probably see in your mind when you think of “a crab.” (In other words, it looks like the little crab emoji on your cell phone.) Most Dungeness crab is harvested off the Alaskan shoreline, and like its crabby cousin the King Crab, is considered a sustainably-sourced seafood.
I got my Dungeness crab legs from Orca Bay, because their seafood is, without fail, delicious! Orca Bay’s frozen Dungeness crab legs are wild-caught, free from chemical additives, and were delivered frozen straight to my front door! They come in see-through packaging, and if you only want to use a few of the legs at a time (like for this recipe), you can easily pull out what you want, and store the rest in an airtight container or bag.
Order Orca Bay Online: Use my Ambassador Code: champagnetastes for 15% off!
Find Orca Bay locally: Use their store finder, or try these vendors: Costco, Ingles, Giant Eagle, Market of Choice, Whole Foods (Northwest Region), HyVee, Dierberg’s, Woodman’s, Acme Fresh, Hen House, Price Cutter, Harp’s, Price Chopper- Kansas City. (Note: if you don’t have one of these stores in your local area, but do have a health food store, check there! That’s where I find my Orca Bay fish.)
Steaming Crab Legs
Most crab legs, Orca Bay’s included, come precooked. That means that you simply need to heat them up, not cook them all the way through.
For this Healthy Eggs Benedict recipe, we’re steaming the crab legs. You’ll need a large lidded pot and a metal vegetable steamer basket. Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of the pot, set the steamer basket inside the pot, add your crab legs, and cover the pot. Steam them for 6 minutes if you thawed the legs, and 12 minutes if they’re still frozen. Then, plunge them into a bowl of cold water to stop them from overcooking. Next, you’re ready to crack open the shells.
Cracking Open Dungeness Crab Legs (Without a Crab Cracker)
First of all, know that there are a lot of tools made specifically for cracking open crabs. If you already own a crab cracker, or have worked out a crab-shelling technique after years of practice– keep at it! For those of us who don’t own crab crackers, or for those of you who DO own them, but can never remember where you stored your handy crab tools, this tutorial is for you! All you need is a large cutting board and kitchen shears.
- Break off any shoulder meat from the legs by bending the joint back and forth until it snaps.
- Next, break the crab legs at their joints by bending the legs in the opposite direction of their natural bend. Bend back and forth until they snap.
- Next, take kitchen shears and cut along the bottom, lighter-colored side of the legs. (Alternatively, set the crab leg on a hard surface so that it’s resting on the long, narrow edge of the leg. Using the back of your palm, push down and crack the leg.)
- Using your fingers, pry the shells off, and reserve the meat. Peel the shell off of the shoulder meat. Watch out for transparent shell pieces hidden within the shoulder meat. Discard the shells, collect the meat.
How to Poach an Egg (Without Vinegar, Water Swirling, or Gadgets)
Here’s the deal– there’s more than one way to poach an egg. Here’s my no-fail, no vinegar, no swirl, no gadget poaching method.
Bring about 3″ of water to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer. Then, crack your eggs, one at a time, into a mesh sieve. The layer of albumen around the egg (a.k.a. the ugly part that floats in the water around the egg, leaves your poached eggs disfigured, and doesn’t taste good anyway), will drain straight through the mesh.
Then, slowly pour your eggs, one at a time, into your simmering water. Poach them 3-5 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Take them out of the water with a slotted spoon, and set them on a towel to dry.
Making Healthy Crab Eggs Benedict
Once you’ve prepared the crab (which can be done ahead of time), and poached the eggs, all that’s left is to make the yogurt sauce, toast the bread, and slice the avocado. I do all of this while the eggs are poaching. Then, assemble your Healthy Crab Eggs benedict, serve them with the yogurt sauce, and dig in to your crab-tastic breakfast!
Note: Did you click on this “Healthy Crab Eggs Benedict,” but still hope to see a traditional, buttery Hollandaise sauce? If so, I admire your buttery-optimism. If you’re set on using a butter sauce, simply swap out my yogurt sauce for Hollandaise. (This Easy Hollandaise from Pinch Me I’m Eating is a little ‘lemon-forward,’ and should work well with the crab.)
Healthy Crab Eggs Benedict
Healthy Seafood Breakfast or Brunch
Crab Eggs Benedict:
- 6 oz Dungeness crab legs (~3 crab legs) Orca Bay Dungeness Crab Legs recommended
- 2 eggs
- 1 English muffin, toasted
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, diced (for garnish, optional)
Creamy Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 TB Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- pinch salt, to taste
Steaming the Crab Legs:* (See Recipe Notes)
In a large pot, bring 1" water to a boil. Set a metal vegetable steamer inside the pot. Add crab legs (they should not be touching the water), and cover pot. Steam 6 minutes for thawed legs, or 12 minutes for frozen legs.
After crab legs are done steaming, set them in a bowl of icy water to stop them from cooking further.
Removing Crab Meat:
Break off any shoulder meat from the legs by bending the joint back and forth until it snaps.
Next, break the crab legs at their joints by bending the legs in the opposite direction of their natural bend. Bend back and forth until they snap.
Next, take kitchen shears and cut along the bottom, lighter-colored side of the legs. (Alternatively, set the crab leg on a hard surface so that it's resting on the long, narrow edge of the leg. Using the back of your palm, push down and crack the leg.)
Using your fingers, pry the shells off, and reserve the meat. Peel the shell off of the shoulder meat. Watch out for transparent shell pieces hidden within the shoulder meat. Discard the shells, collect the meat.
Poaching the Eggs:
Bring about 3" water to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Set a mesh sieve in sink or over a bowl, and crack 1 egg into sieve. Allow egg to drain for a few seconds, and then carefully pour egg into the water. Repeat for each egg. Simmer eggs 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon. Set eggs on a paper towel to get rid of excess water.
Making the Creamy Yogurt Sauce:
Add all ingredients for the sauce into a bowl and mix. Salt to taste.
Assembling the Crab Eggs Benedict:
Assemble your Eggs Benedict by layering one slice of the English muffin, half the avocado, half the crab meat, and then repeat with the rest of the bread, avocado, and crab meat.
Add a small spoonful of the yogurt sauce on top of the crab meat to help hold it together. Top each stack with a poached egg, and more sauce on top.
Garnish with green onion if desired. Serve immediately.
*Note: Crab legs can be steamed and shelled 1-2 days in advance to speed the recipe time. Refrigerate crab in an airtight container until you're ready to use it.
*Dungeness Crab legs are typically sold pre-cooked, and simply need to be heated up. The cook time for this recipe assumes your crab legs are pre-cooked, so if you're using fresh, uncooked crab legs, the cook time will be longer.
Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.