This article was updated on the 11th of August 2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with crab imperial, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 36 of the most popular side dishes for crab imperial.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with crab imperial are hush puppies, garlic bread, and oven-roasted asparagus. A tossed green salad or coleslaw will keep it light, while a serving of fried green tomatoes will add extra crunch. For a tasty surf and turf twist, try searing a juicy steak.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
If you’re looking to make your crab imperial indulgent, pairing it with a starchy side is the way to go. You can never go wrong with a slice of crusty bread or biscuits to mop up that delectable creamy sauce. But you can also go all the way with a luscious mash.
Creamy crab imperial sauce is Y-U-M-M-Y, so it makes sense to serve something that you can use to mop up every last drop.
Garlic bread is a solid choice and making it is as easy as pie. This version from RecipeTin Eats is made even more special because it’s in a pull-apart style, which ensures every inch of the crumb is drenched in garlic butter. Plus, it has lots of cheese that becomes gooey when melted.
Psst… you better make a double batch because it’s a guarantee that everyone will be coming back for second helpings!
Fried hush puppies
No, this is not the fried version of your favorite shoes if that’s what you’re thinking.
Hushpuppies are a classic Southern side dish made of cornmeal and buttermilk. They’re soft and pillowy on the inside with a crispy coating on the outside. Kind of like tater tots.
You’ll often see them served with seafood, so they make an excellent pairing for your crab imperial.
Kay’s recipe also features a yummy remoulade dipping sauce, but you can skip it and simply smother them with your creamy crab imperial.
Mashed roast potatoes
Mashed potatoes are usually made with boiled spuds. But have you tried making them with roast potatoes instead?
Roasting will yield fluffier and more flavorful mashed potatoes – worthy of the extra time and effort. Drizzle melted butter on top before serving, and you’ve got one indulgent meal.
Pro-tip: Leave the skins on your potatoes for that extra roasted flavor.
These Angel biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to your crab imperial if you want to switch things up.
Unlike your traditional buttermilk biscuits, they have added yeast which makes them tall and oh-so-fluffy. They’re like a cross between regular biscuits and dinner rolls.
They’re great for mopping up your crab imperial’s sauce, but another way I enjoy them is by splitting them open and stuffing them with the creamy crab meat — it’s pure heaven in a bite.
Vegetables and salads
Veggie sides and salads are a must-have for indulgent dishes like crab imperial. Even if they’re not always the most exciting dish, they provide a fresh bite to cut through the creaminess of your crab imperial and make the meal more balanced.
Plus, adding more nutrients to your meal is never a bad idea.
Tossed green salad
With a dish as rich as crab imperial, you can get away with serving simpler sides like this tossed green salad.
Le Creme De La Crumb keeps it straightforward with a combination of different leafy greens tossed in a zesty vinaigrette, offering a nice contrast to the creaminess of your crab imperial.
But if you find this too plain, you can jazz it up with other veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. You can even throw in a couple of croutons if you like. This salad is endlessly customizable!
Air-fried green tomatoes
Bring a tasty Southern twist to your crab imperial with a side of these fried green tomatoes. They’re delightfully crunchy, with an acidic twist that makes them perfect for a dish as decadent as crab imperial.
Traditional recipes involve frying the breaded tomatoes to achieve that golden crust, but Vegetarian Mama’s version uses an air-fryer. This nifty gadget makes the process easier and healthier because you’ll be using less oil.
This sauteed broccolini is the nutritious boost you need for your crab imperial dish. Like its more famous cousin, broccoli, this veg is a great source of fiber and vitamins.
And you don’t need to do much to make broccolini tasty. Diethood’s recipe involves sauteing the broccolini with garlic, lemon zest, and butter to give the veg a bright flavor that holds up well to the richness of your crab imperial.
Pro-tip: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to give this side dish a mildly spicy kick.
Sweet vinegar coleslaw
A mayo-based slaw is too creamy to pair with crab imperial, so I recommend trying out this version instead.
As the name suggests, it features a vinegar-based dressing seasoned with caraway seeds, sugar, and celery seeds to give the crisp cabbage and carrots a sweet-tangy twist. It’s an excellent contrast to your creamy crab imperial.
Foodie Crush recommends making this slaw at least an hour in advance to let the flavors develop better, but you can also enjoy it immediately if you’re in a rush.
There are many ways to cook asparagus, but roasting has got to be my favorite method.
It’s no-fuss and easy, plus the oven’s high heat helps you achieve a crisp-tender texture to contrast your crab imperial’s soft bite. Another perk of roasting is it infuses the spears with a subtle smoky flavor that will bring out the natural sweetness of the crab.
Pssst…want to up the smokiness? Wrap the asparagus in some bacon.
Want to go all out? Why not serve your crab imperial with another protein on the side for a more indulgent meal? A juicy steak is a great option for a surf-and-turf twist, but you can always stick with a fish or shellfish dish for a true seafood lovers’ meal.
Marinated skirt steak
Crab imperial makes a great ‘surf’ dish in a surf and turf meal.
And if you’re looking for a cut of beef that won’t break the bank, skirt steak is for you. It’s tougher than premium cuts, but don’t worry. With this recipe’s marinade and you’re guaranteed it’ll become tender and juicy — just remember not to overcook it.
And as a bonus: the chimichurri sauce also adds an herby zing that offsets the richness of your crab imperial. Now that’s what I call a win-win.
Pan-seared salmon with lemon butter sauce
Can’t get enough seafood? Pair your crab imperial with a serving of this pan-seared salmon. It’s a simple dish, but the lemon butter sauce adds a fresh bite that’ll keep your crab imperial meal from becoming too overwhelming.
The key to searing salmon is to cook the filets in a preheated pan. A cold pan won’t give you the same crisp, golden texture and you might even end up overcooking the fish.
Sriracha honey chili popcorn shrimp
Curb your seafood cravings and serve your crab imperial with a side of this popcorn shrimp.
This recipe starts off with frozen popcorn shrimp, but recipe creator Courtney takes them up a notch by glazing them with a sweet chili sauce. This adds a deliciously zesty kick to these morsels, making them an excellent contrast to your creamy crab imperial.
The secret with these treats is that they’re baked with the sauce, ensuring maximum flavor. And don’t worry — the popcorn shrimp are tossed in cornstarch before getting drizzled with the sauce, which prevents them from getting soggy.
What To Serve With Crab Imperial [36 Ideas]
- 1 portion tossed green salad
- 1 portion garlic bread
- 1 portion sweet vinegar coleslaw
- 1 portion marinated skirt steak
- 1 portion fried hush puppies
- 1 portion popcorn shrimp
- … and more
- Prepare your shawarma according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: garlic bread, tossed green salad, fried hush puppies, air-fried green tomatoes, sauteed broccolini, sweet vinegar coleslaw, marinated skirt steak, omelet, popcorn shrimp, oven-roasted asparagus and mashed roast potatoes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.