Four photos of Jordan Winery Dungeness crab recipes

Our Best Dungeness Crab Recipes

Each corner of the U.S. has its favored crab: Maryland feels pride in their blue crabs, Florida celebrates their beloved stone crab and, here on the west coast in California, we champion the Dungeness crab. In wine country, eager foodies await the beginning of “crab season” when we consume our fair share of the over 20,000 tons enjoyed annually around the world. (This year, the official start to Northern California’s crab season was delayed twice, worrying seafood lovers that their Christmas and New Year’s dinner party menus might have to be crab-free, but good news arrived in mid-December). Dungeness — or any crab really — is an ideal pairing for Chardonnay, with this crisp wine complementing the tender, delicious flesh. But don’t make the mistake of serving this coveted crustacean with an overly oaked wine, since that might overpower the delicate flavor. Seek out a crisp Chardonnay that’s balanced with acidity, oak usage and creaminess to enjoy with this ocean delight. To highlight one of our favorite ingredients in California wine country–and the official start to Dungeness crab season today–we’ve assembled our best Dungeness crab recipes, from dips to soups to elegant appetizers. Get crackin’.

Our Best Dungeness Crab Recipes

Dungeness crab with chardonnay drawn butter on blue plate with Jordan chardonnay glass

Dungeness Crab Boil with Chardonnay Drawn Butter

As the Italians have taught us, the simplest recipes are often the best. Our classic crab boil recipe with an elevated twist, it is an annual tradition on our holiday tables. Crab boils require minimal work, leaving time to relax with family and friends. The flavor payload goes off the charts, too, since fresh crab takes the center stage. Serving your crab feast with ramekins of chardonnay drawn butter always delights wine lovers.

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dungeness crab over bean salad in bowls with Jordan chardonnay wine glasses

Crab with Cannellini Bean Salad and Citrus Vinaigrette

A sophisticated, company-worthy appetizer, this show-stopping salad tops our list of best Dungeness crab recipes. Crab and California ruby grapefruit show off their affinity for one another, and the creamy textural element of the gently simmered cannellini beans creates a perfect pairing with Jordan Chardonnay  Achieve a touch of extravagance by using a garnish of Jordan Chef’s Reserve Caviar.

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Dungeness crab cocktail with miso vinaigrette on spoons
Photo courtesy of A Side of Sweet.

Dungeness Crab in Miso Vinaigrette

Our favorite crustacean is prepared and enjoyed differently all around the globe. For an exotic crab dish with some Asian flair, our minimally adorned, luscious appetizer recipe features winter’s fresh Dungeness with an umami-rich vinaigrette. The dish comes together easily and pairs well with Chardonnay, of course. It’s a staple on our New Year’s Eve party menu.

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Jordan Winery dungeness crab salad in crab shell with caviar

Sonoma Dungeness Crab Salad

An elegant, inventive take on seafood salad with an impressive presentation, this recipe is served inside a Dungeness crab shell to wow dinner party or beach picnic guests. Garnish with California caviar for an indulgent touch.

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Jordan Winery pea soup with dungeness crab in white bowl

Pea Soup with Dungeness Crab

To celebrate the arrival of spring, this effortless pea soup recipe is ideal when the garden’s earliest fresh pea shoots and blossoms appear after the long colder months. We use local Dungeness crab, but substituting Pacific rock crab, Maine lobster and even Drakes Bay oysters will also be delicious.

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Growing up in Hawaii, Todd Knoll developed a strong connection to the land and the ocean at an early age. As executive chef at Jordan Winery, he grows hundreds of heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs, cooks hors d’oeuvres and meals for guests, makes olive oil, and tends to the estate’s honeybees and chickens. A visual artist at heart, Chef Knoll spends his free time with his son and wife, Nitsa Knoll, exploring the diverse terrain of Sonoma County with camera and pencil in hand, capturing moments in nature to inspire his next recipe.

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