Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta Recipe

Plate of bruschetta Westend61 / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings

Bruschetta is a classic Italian snack of grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic (and sometimes a cut ripe tomato.) It's a simple, magical delight from which many variations have sprung, including this recipe which features lots of garlic, butter, and flavorful crabmeat. It may not be exactly orthodox, but it is wildly delicious!

These buttery delights can be served as appetizers, snacks, or a luncheon dish (with a mitigating green salad).

You don't need super expensive lump crab meat here (although it's fine if you want to) since the mixture is going to be spread out a bit. Less expensive grades will work just as well as long as they're light in color.

On the other hand, it is important to use real butter and top-quality Parmesan cheese in this recipe. This is meant to be a rich, special occasion appetizer, so don't stint on flavor in order to save a few calories or fat grams. Savor the real thing instead.

Serve with a crisp Prosecco or another dry, aromatic white wine.


  • 1 stick (4 oz) salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 8 oz crabmeat (Special or Backfin grades are fine; see cook's notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 8 thick slices of good quality Italian bread
  • Grated or finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Steps to Make It

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over Medium-Low heat. Add the finely chopped garlic and saute for about 1-2 minutes.

  2. When the garlic just begins to color (i.e., a very light yellow/gold), remove the pan from the heat. (see cook's notes)

  3. Gently fold in the crabmeat, the white pepper, and the parsley (Note: Don't add any extra salt.) Set aside.

  4. Grill the bread on one side or lightly toast it on both sides under the broiler. Spread the crab mixture on the bread slices (on the grilled side, if grilling)

  5. Sprinkle each with about 1 Tablespoon of freshly grated or shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Place the bread slices under the broiler or on the grill briefly, just until the cheese melts.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Tips

  • VERY IMPORTANT: If the garlic overcooks (i.e., turns brown), DON'T add the crabmeat! Discard the garlic butter, clean the pan and start over. This sounds wasteful, but the burnt garlic will ruin the flavor of the crabmeat, which is much more expensive than butter
  • This recipe can be made with any grade of crabmeat except claw meat, which is too dark. You can also use the meat from snow crab clusters, which is excellent for this. (For reference, four 7 oz clusters will produce about 1/2 lb of meat)