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This Crab Louie Salad with King Crab is a lighter version of the classic Crab Louie (or Crab Louis), and is topped with steamed crab and a spicy yogurt dressing.
Guys, I know that I’m here to help you find seafood ideas, but occasionally– you give me THE BEST ideas.
Seriously, you all are fantastic!
Over the summer, I made this Grilled King Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing, and the fabulous Meg (who lives near crabbing country and blogs at Meg is Well), told me I needed to turn it into a Crab Louie Salad.
NEEDED to! And so, I did!
This King Crab Louie Salad is a lightened-up version of the West Coast classic, and is made with freshly steamed king crab and a healthy spicy yogurt dressing.
Want more crab recipes? Try these: crab omelette, crab fries, Dungeness crab eggs Benedict and mini crab cakes.
How to Steam King Crab Legs
Have you worked with King crab legs before?
First of all– know that they’re big! Alaska king crabs can grow up to 5 feet long, and the legs can sometimes seem a little intimidating.
Never fear, crab lover!
They are 100% manageable, and with just a little bit of work– you can chow down on their sweet, sweet meat in (almost) no time.
Steam + Crack the Crab
To begin with, you need to warm the legs up!
Especially if they’re frozen.
I prefer to steam my crab legs in a large stockpot to warm them up.
Next, use a seafood cracker or kitchen shears to remove the crab shells.
If you need more help prepping the crab, read my tutorial on how to steam and crack crab legs.
After removing the crab meat, make sure to save the shells to make homemade seafood stock.
Can I Prepare the Crab Ahead of Time For This Crab Louie Salad?
You sure can!
The crab meat can be stored in the fridge for about three days.
Want more seafood salad recipes? Try these: langostino lobster rolls, salmon Caesar salad, mackerel Niçoise salad, and a salmon kale salad.
How to Prepare a Crab Louie Salad
Once you’ve got all the crab meat out of the shells, start putting the salad together.
You can use more or less of each ingredient (depending on what you’ve got on hand or what you prefer), but here’s how I make mine.
Start with a lettuce base. I like to use a spinach and Romaine blend.
Add boiled eggs, sliced avocado, diced tomato, and lightly blanched asparagus.
Serve your salad with the spicy yogurt dressing, and have a crab-tastic meal!
Crab Louie Salad with King Crab
- 1 pound King Crab Legs See Recipe Notes
- 4 ounces Fresh spinach
- 1 Romaine heart, roughly chopped
- 4 boiled eggs (or more if desired), halved
- 1 large tomato, diced (or more if desired)
- 1 avocado, cut into slices
- 6 asparagus stalks, raw, cut into 2″ pieces (Optional)
- 2 lemons, quartered
Spicy Yogurt Dressing:
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon horseradish root, freshly grated (or sub prepared)
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
Steaming the Crab Legs:
- Start with a stockpot large enough to hold all the crab legs. (If the legs just barely stick out of the top of the pot, you can still use the pot.) Fill the pot with about ½″ water, and bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add a steamer basket to the pot. Set the crab legs inside the pot, and cover with a lid. (If the legs stick out of the pot slightly, and prevent the lid from sealing, use a piece of aluminum foil as a lid and pinch it against the pot to create a sealed environment.)
- Steam the crab legs 4-6 minutes total for thawed crab legs or 10-11 minutes total for frozen legs.
- Carefully remove crab legs from the pot using tongs, and rinse the legs with cold water.
Removing Crab Meat:
- Use a crab cracker to remove crab meat from shells, or use a chef’s knife and kitchen shears. (Check the Recipe Notes for a tutorial link.)
Spicy Yogurt Sauce:
- Add all the sauce ingredients together, and stir. Salt to taste. (This dressing is thick, allowing it to work as both a dressing and a sauce to dip the crab into. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add more lemon juice.)
Assemble the Salad:
- (Optional): Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus for 1 minute or less, until bright green. Drain water, and set asparagus aside.
- Toss together the romaine hearts and spinach. Use the lettuce as a base for the salad, and then add the tomatoes, avocado, boiled eggs, asparagus, and crab. Serve with limes and the avocado dressing.
Analida @ ethnicspoon.com
The homemade dressing sounds fantastic and I love the tips on splitting the crab legs!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
I love crab, more than lobster! And this salad sounds so good!! Love that spicy dressing with that horseradish kick! There’s a little bit of work to get that meat out of the shell, but oh so worth it 🙂
Full disclosure – I have NEVER tried making crab legs at home. It’s always seemed so intimidating. I might have to give it a try just to eat this salad!
It’s not too bad! Just give yourself extra time to get the hang of it!
Meg | Meg is Well
Yay, I’m glad you’re doing a healthy Crab Louie Salad! Now I’ll kindly bring this up when it’s on the dinner menu again at my grandma’s because I can’t stomach the fatty dressing much anymore. I love the capers and horseradish additions too!
Aw thanks for the idea Meg! Enjoy!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
This is my kind of meal. Totally LOVE crab…and could eat it everyday. I have finally convinced hubby that it is delicious. I know he would love this.
Thank you for the tips on splitting the crab legs – I’ve been doing it all wrong!
I love crab Louis, but we spell it the angli-phone way (Louie). I really appreciate the instructions for getting all of the meat out of the legs. I usually end up butchering them. Thanks for the instructions.
No problem! I hope you get to try it out soon!
I’ve never made my own crab legs at home – these are such great tips! Not gonna lie… I’m pretty lazy when it comes to cracking crab shells and prefer to order them when we’re out and someone else does the hard work for me. ????
I totally respect that lol ????
Jessica (swanky recipes)
The hubs loves crab appetizers and I only make him something a few times a year due to allergies. I’m always looking for new recipes to surprise him with and can’t wait to give this one a try, especially with crab in season right now!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
I love crab meat just as much as lobster. Your salad looks like it came from a high-end restaurant — it would be a dish that I would order. YUM!! I’ll have to keep an eye out for the brand.
Ah YUM!! I can see why your friend told you that you had to try this salad, it sounds just amazing!! That dressing – amazing.
Such a light and fresh salad! It makes me long for Summer!
Aw me too! It’s still 6 months away!!! Lol
If I don’t have plain yogurt, can I use mayonnaise?
Hi Jerri, I haven’t tried it with mayo but I think that should be just fine!