There’s nothing quite as cozy or satisfying as a well-made grilled cheese sandwich—and when you add the rich flavors of fresh crab meat to the mix, this classic comfort food reaches new heights.

At NC Seafood Restaurant in Raleigh, we believe that the secret to the perfect crab meat grilled cheese lies in the quality and freshness of the ingredients, paired with a few expert tips to elevate an old favorite with new flavors. 

Tips for Crafting the Ultimate Crab Meat Grilled Cheese

Before you get cracking in the kitchen, here are some tips to keep in mind when making your crab meat grilled cheese. 

Choose Quality Ingredients

Opt for fresh lump crab meat from reputable sources, preferably sourced from coastal waters for unparalleled freshness and flavor. Select high-quality bread, such as sourdough or brioche, and sharp cheddar cheese to complement the delicate sweetness of the crab meat. Your local suppliers, including your local bakery, cheese shop, and seafood market are all great sources of high-quality, fresh ingredients. Trust us – choosing local ingredients is essential to making the best crab meat grilled cheese.

Spread Butter Evenly

To achieve a perfectly golden and crispy exterior, spread softened butter evenly on the outer sides of the bread slices before grilling. This step ensures even browning and enhances the overall texture of the grilled cheese.

Control Heat

Use a cast iron skillet or griddle heated over medium heat to grill the sandwiches. Avoid cooking over high heat, as this can result in burnt bread and unevenly melted cheese. Press down gently on the sandwiches with a spatula while cooking to encourage even melting and crispiness.

Experiment and Customize

Experiment with different types of cheese, bread, and additional ingredients to tailor the recipe to your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a classic rendition or a gourmet twist, let your culinary creativity shine through in every bite.

The Best Crab Meat Grilled Cheese Recipe

Ready to take a crack at making your own crab meat grilled cheese? Here’s how we do it: 


  • 8 ounces of lump crab meat 
  • 4 slices of your favorite bread (we recommend sourdough or brioche)
  • 4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: sliced tomatoes or avocado for added flavor and texture


Prepare the Crab Meat Mixture

In a mixing bowl, gently combine the lump crab meat with mayonnaise and Old Bay (one of the best seafood seasonings) until evenly coated. Be careful not to break up the crab meat chunks too much, as you want to preserve their texture and flavor.

Assemble the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Lay out the slices of bread on a clean surface. Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice. Then, place a slice of cheese on the unbuttered side of two bread slices, and divide the crab meat mixture evenly between the two slices of bread with cheese.

If desired, add sliced tomatoes or avocado on top of the crab meat mixture for extra flavor and freshness.

Top each seafood sandwich with another slice of sharp cheddar cheese, followed by the remaining slice of bread.

Grill the Sandwiches

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once it’s warmed up, carefully place the assembled sandwiches onto the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey.

Serve and Enjoy

Once the sandwiches are golden and crispy on both sides, remove them from the skillet and place them on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice each sandwich in half diagonally.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately, while the cheese is still warm and gooey.

The Best Sides for Crab Meat Grilled Cheese Sandwiches 

Whether you’re craving something light and refreshing or indulgent and savory, there are plenty of tasty side dishes to serve alongside your crab meat grilled cheese.

Creamy Tomato Soup

There’s no denying the classic combination of grilled cheese and tomato soup. A velvety-smooth tomato soup provides the perfect balance of acidity and creaminess to complement the richness of the crab meat grilled cheese.

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy sweet potato fries offer a delicious contrast in texture and flavor to the creamy and indulgent grilled cheese. Seasoned with a sprinkle of sea salt and paprika, these fries add a hint of sweetness and a satisfying crunch to each bite.

Tangy Coleslaw

Tangy coleslaw makes a refreshing and zesty accompaniment to the rich flavors of the crab meat grilled cheese. Made with crisp cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing, coleslaw adds a crunchy texture and a burst of freshness to your meal. Serve it on the side or pile it high on top of your sandwich for added crunch.

Roasted Corn on the Cob

Roasted corn on the cob is a classic summer side dish that pairs perfectly with crab meat grilled cheese. Brushed with butter and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of chili powder for a hint of heat, roasted corn on the cob adds sweetness and a satisfying crunch to your meal.

If you’re looking for a quick but flavorful recipe to add to your rotation, the crab meat grilled cheese is the perfect pick. Whether it’s a big family dinner on a Saturday night or a quick solo weekday meal, this updated classic offers the perfect amount of comfort wrapped up in a delicious combo of flavors.

Visit NC Seafood Restaurant in Raleigh for Freshly Fried Seafood

NC Seafood Restaurant has been serving our friends and neighbors the best seafood on the east coast since 1991. For those nights where you don’t feel like cooking–or for some sides to accompany your culinary accomplishment–swing by today and let us share our favorite Calabash-style seafood dishes with you! While we don’t serve crab meat grilled cheese, we offer freshly fried seafood plates served with perfectly cooked hushpuppies and creamy coleslaw.

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