Make it Naked

Crab Frittata

Hello. My name is Krissy and I have a crab addiction. It started at a young age. I blame my father. We would drive out to our “spot” (which I now realize was trespassing) and we’d spend a fun-filled day on a rickety dock with chicken tied to lines waiting and watching for a bite. We’d go home with a cooler full of blue crabs and cook them in my dad’s special mix of mustard, beer and Old Bay. It was heaven. But I don’t live there anymore. I live right outside of Washington DC, where trespassing would almost guarantee pictures of yourself on the evening news. Turns out the best way to get some crab around here is to stalk your local fishmonger. So I did.

This day of stalking began when I walked into Whole Foods where a wonderful sign greeted me at the front door: KING CRAB LEG SALE.  I headed (read: ran) to the seafood department, but my excitement was quickly squelched…there were no crab legs in sight.  I noticed a man in yellow rubber waders unloading a cart full of fish. On the bottom, packed under ice, were a few huge king crab leg clusters, too few. I needed those crab legs. I followed him, fearful that the second I walked away someone else would take them. And besides, what did I have to lose? These people already think I’m nuts anyway. Remember, I returned bad cheese.

My standing around was getting awkward. I decided to do a quick loop around the store. I returned – still no crab legs. Was this guy stashing these crab legs away for himself? Maybe he was just entertaining himself by seeing how long I would stand there? I looked at every single item in the seafood department. I read every label. Twice. I perfected the use of peripheral vision on both my right and left sides. This was ridiculous. Finally, I figured it would be better to be that annoying customer who asks for merchandise buried under piles of other merchandise than to risk a restraining order. To my surprise, he was happy to stop his work and dig through the cart. Maybe he was just happy to get rid of me. I didn’t care. I had a cart full of crab legs.

A cart full of crab legs meant I could almost eat my weight in crab and still have leftovers. Crab frittata for breakfast? Absolutely. Crab frittata for lunch…and dinner? Yes…and yes. The hardest part of this recipe is cracking all the crab legs and not eating the meat. Huge chunks of crab are baked throughout an egg and cheese mixture. The flavor of Old Bay, onions and garlic make this savory meal more than just another egg dish.

The valuable lessons my dad taught me on our crabbing adventures are endless, but I’ll name a few:  Trespassing is ok, as long as you don’t get caught. Beer and Old Bay can make anything better. And most importantly, patience is a virtue when crabbing… and when stalking.

Crab Frittata


1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion (about 1/4 cup), chopped
8 oz fresh king crab leg meat, picked through for shells
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and cook the onion and garlic until the onion is clear. Add the crab meat and a sprinkle of Old Bay. Stir until combined and let cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the 2 eggs, 2 egg whites and milk. Stir in the cheese,1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay and crab mixture.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into a lightly greased pie plate. Top with another sprinkle of Old Bay and some freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the frittata comes out clean.


  1. You can replace the king crab leg meat with any crab available to you. The crab legs were already cooked so I was just heating the meat. Be sure to steam your crabs first if they’re not cooked.
  2. I used 2 eggs and 2 whites to make this lighter. You can use whatever combination of eggs and egg whites you’d like but you’ll need the equivalent of about 3-4 large eggs.
  3. I also used skim milk because that is what we had. I have no doubt this would be fantastic with whole milk or cream.
  4. I used pepper jack for the same reason as the milk above. Use what you have. This is meant to be easy.

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Posted on January 12, 2011

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