4.86 from 14 votes

10 Minute Crab Pasta

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Need a tasty dinner ready in 10 minutes and tastes like it was made in a restaurant? Try this mouthwatering 10-minute crab pasta!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
£1.02
Makes: 5
mains
Italian
Freezable

This delightful 10-minute crab pasta is made with fewer than ten ingredients (you read that right!), plus a few cupboard essentials. It’s fresh, easy to make, and a great option for days when you want a pasta dish that doesn’t feel too rich or heavy!

Close up  of crab linguine in a pan with cherry tomatoes and broccoli, topped with fresh chopped parsley on a blue background.

Why this recipe works

Crab pasta is an easy dish that uses budget-friendly ingredients. Even though this imitation crab pasta tastes restaurant-worthy, you’d never know that each portion costs less than £2.00. This dish is great for impressing guests, as it’s quite flavorful and filling due to the crab’s protein and broccoli’s nutrients.

I also love how versatile crab pasta dishes are, as you can adjust the type of pasta, veg, and even what seafood you incorporate. Whether you prefer a seafood mix or a vegetarian alternative, this is one of the imitation crab pasta recipes that’s ideal for everyone.

If you feel like creating different pasta recipes alongside this imitation crab pasta during the week, try making 10-minute Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles, Creamy Tomato and Spinach One-Pot Pasta and Pasta with Peas.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make crab linguine laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Shredded Crab Meat
If you’re vegetarian/vegan, you can swap shredded crab meat with an alternative, like seasoned jackfruit or hearts of palm. Ensure you add sufficient seasoning (like red pepper flakes and lemon juice), and you’ll have veganised crab pasta in just a few minutes.

Alternatively, you can use other precooked seafood mixes if you don’t enjoy crab but still want to include a seafood protein source.

Cherry Tomatoes
Any tomatoes will work in this crab linguine dish, even tomatoes on the stem. For larger tomatoes, ensure you chop them into bite-sized pieces before incorporating them into the dish. Sundried tomatoes are also a great option.

Tenderstem Broccoli
Here’s where you can get creative with imitation crab recipes/pasta with crab. Swap broccoli for whichever veg you prefer, such as fresh spinach, destemmed kale, or asparagus. Cauliflower is another great substitute for tender stem broccoli in this crab pasta recipe.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

How to make this recipe

  1. Start by adding garlic, tomato puree and chilli flakes to a deep non-stick frying pan with some extra virgin olive (Image 1).

2. Gently fry together on a low heat while stirring (Image 2).

2 step by step photos, the first with garlic, tomato paste and chillies in a pan , the second with the red mixture being mixed with a spatula.

3. In the meantime, add your linguine to boiling water with lots of added salt. Once the pasta is half cooked, add your broccoli for the remaining time until the pasta is al dente (Image 3).

4. Time to add linguine and broccoli to your spicy garlic tomato puree, mix along with the important 2-3 ladles of pasta water (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with spaghetti spread out in a saucepan, the second with the spaghetti and broccoli mixed together in the pan.

5. Then add the drained crab along with the sliced cherry tomatoes into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency (add more pasta water if needed) (Image 5).

6. Mix together and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Season with flaky salt and chilli flakes for that added kick and enjoy! (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with cherry tomatoes and crab meat added to the pan, the second with all the ingredients mixed together in the pan ready to serve.

Here are some other fish recipes you should try out after this recipe;

Tips and Tricks

Don’t toss the pasta in the water too early.
Waiting for water to boil for crab pasta can be challenging, especially if you’re already hungry. However, waiting until your water is boiling is essential for the best crab meat pasta recipes. If you don’t wait, you’ll have mushy noodles on the outside that are crunchy/undercooked on the inside.

Salt the pasta water, but skip the oil.
Salting pasta water for this crab pasta recipe (and other pasta recipes) is essential. For one, the salt helps keep your pasta from sticking, so you’re not left with a blob of pasta when you drain it. Salting your noodles also adds flavour to the dish. Avoid adding olive oil to the water; it will make the crab sauce slide off your pasta with crab meat.

Avoid rinsing your pasta.
Like other canned crab meat pasta recipes, you’ll want to avoid rinsing your pasta once it’s cooked. When you rinse pasta, it makes the noodles absorb less of the sauce. Plus, the noodles produce starch when cooked, which helps bind the sauce. Never rinse cooked noodles unless you’re whipping up a refrigerated pasta salad.

Note: Don’t forget to keep a cup of reserved pasta water to the side for this recipe.

Here are some other tasty spaghetti recipes for you to try:

Close up of crab linguine with cherry tomatoes and broccoli stems, topped with fresh chopped parsley.

FAQs

Which crab meat shall I use?

Any canned or imitation crab will work well in this dish, as it will offer a delicious seafood flavour. If you have extra time and a higher budget, you can also spring for fresh crab meat or jumbo lump crab meat. However, you’ll need to cook it and remove the shell before adding it to the dish.

What pairs nicely with crab?

Many veggies work great with crab, such as corn, potatoes, etc. If crab pasta is not enough to fill you up, consider making a salad like Homemade Caesar Salad and Air Fryer Green Beans also make an excellent appetizer or side for crab and pasta recipes.

Can I reheat it?

Yes, you can reheat leftover pasta even though it has crab. Typically, seafood dishes can be reheated up to four days after being cooked. However, it’s best to only reheat the portion you’ll be consuming, as reheating multiple times can cause the crab to dry out. Simply di

How to meal prep this recipe

To meal prep, reserve some of the pasta water to add a splash onto each serving before popping in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Store the fresh parsley separately and garnish right before eating. This recipe is freezable but I’d recommend consuming within 5 days for best results.

Here are some other meal prep recipes for you to enjoy:

Crab linguine in large pan with broccoli stems, cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley on a blue background.

If you tried this Spicy Crab Linguine recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

10 minute Crab Pasta

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4.86 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
£1.02
mains
Italian
Freezable
Servings: 5
Need a tasty dinner ready in 10 minutes and tastes like it was made in a restaurant? Try this mouthwatering 10-minute crab pasta!

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (£0.69/3)=(£0.23)
  • 400 g linguine (£0.65)
  • 160 g tenderstem broccoli, sliced into chunks (£1.09)
  • 145 g (1 tin) shredded crab meat, drained (£2.00)
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved (£0.48)
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped to serve (£0.50)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve (£0.59/4)=(£0.15)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt/Flakey Salt

Method

  • Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a deep non-stick frying pan on a low heat. To that, add the garlic, tomato puree and chilli flakes. Gently fry on a low heat.
  • Meanwhile, add the linguine to salted boiling water (heavily salted), setting your timer to the packet time minus two minutes. Add the chopped broccoli into the water half way through the cook time.
  • When the pasta is al dente and the tomato puree has darkened, transfer the linguine/broccoli into the pan along with 2-3 ladles of pasta water.
  • Stir the drained crab and sliced tomatoes into the pan and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, until the pasta water has absorbed to a saucy consistency. Add more pasta water if it starts to dry out.
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Season with flakey salt & some additional chilli flakes for an extra kick.

Notes

  • Don’t overcook the spaghetti as it will carry on cooking while you add the vegetables and the crab meat.
  • Before draining the pasta, reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water. This starchy water will help bind the sauce later.
  • Feel free to customise the recipe by adding extra vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, or sliced bell peppers for added colour and nutrition.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 8g
Calories: 393kcal
Carbohydrates: 65g
Protein: 15g

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