It’s Soft Shell Crab Time, You Better Hurry!

Soft Shell Crabs on plate

It’s that time of year again! Usually from May to September in New Jersey, and it has to be just the right time to get them. Soft Shell Crabs are found up and down the coast from New Jersey to Florida on the East Coast as well as the Gulf.

Most Soft Shells come from the Chesapeake Bay area. They are really blue crabs that have recently shed their shells to grow bigger. It happens around 20 times in their lifetime to allow for their growth. Who knew? I am glad they do because this allows us to enjoy their tender, sweet meat in a delicious, edible, soft shell.

There are many ways to prepare soft shell crabs: in sandwiches, salads, sautéed, deep fried, breaded, floured, you name it, it has been done.

I remember eating my first soft-shell crab when I was 12 years old. I was already a seafood lover, from clams and mussels to shrimp, lobster, and crab, but this was different. You could eat the shell! As a kid, I thought that was pretty cool, still do.

Once you taste them there is no turning back, you will be hooked. Pardon the pun. My favorite recipe is simple and quick. Nothing fancy, but full of flavor. This recipe for Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs is a family favorite and makes a great dinner party dish, both easy and elegant. Just add some parsley rice, grilled asparagus, and a tossed salad; this dish will become a go-to for your next get-together. A nice light white wine and some candles on the deck and it’s a party!

Sautéed Soft Shell Crabs

soft shell crabs


  • 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 to 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


    1. Season crabs with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
    2. Dredge the crabs in the flour.
    3. In large frying pan add butter and oil and heat on medium till hot and add crabs.
    4. cook for 3 minutes both sides till lightly golden and crabs turn red.
    5. Remove and place in platter.
    6. Lower heat to medium low and add wine, lemon juice, capers and half the parsley and reduce for 3 to 5 minutes.
    7. Pour over crabs and sprinkle remaining parsley. 
    8. Enjoy immediately.


Michele Errichetti is from South Jersey born and fed. She comes from an Italian family where they eat, live, and breathe FOOD. Michele was cooking and eating under her grandmom’s feet every Sunday for “gravy” and at home with her mother (a Medigan or American) during the week. Nowadays, she cooks for her two sons, husband, and father most days of the week. She takes “Girl Road Trips” with her friends at least once a month that always culminate with you guessed it, FOOD. She hopes fresh, local, organic, and free range will become the norm. Michele is searching Atlantic County for everything that has anything to do with good food and she’s taking you along for the ride.