Broiled Brioche Dungeness Crab Melt Recipe

Image Credit: Rob Howard @ Food and Wine

Host a delicious luncheon that your guests will be talking about for a while with this unique take on a seafood melt. Dungeness crab meat, along with the light and crisp flavors of apple, red onion, and parsley will satisfy your taste buds. After adding in truffle butter and Gruyère cheese, you will have yourself a seemingly fancy and impressive lunch; but keep the secret to’s actually quite an easy and simple recipe to make. 

With over 1,500 5-star ratings on Food and Wine, this recipe is a winner.

Vitaly Paley, the chef and owner of Paley's Place, created this deliciously indulgent version of the classic tuna melt while competing in a cook-off sponsored by the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. Pairing moist chunks of crab with brioche, truffle butter and nutty Gruyère cheese easily snagged him a first-place prize.

Total Time: 30 mins 

Serves 8 

Note: Learn how to eat Dungeness Crab from our blog!


  • 8 small, round brioche or buttery dinner rolls, split crosswise
  • 6 tablespoons truffle butter or unsalted butter, softened (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple—quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

**You can substitute live Dungeness crab that you have cooked and cleaned yourself.

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese


  1. Preheat the broiler and begin preparing the brioche by spreading the cut sides with the truffle butter onto a baking sheet. Ensure cut sides are up. 

  2. Broil brioche until toasted by placing rolls 6 inches from the heat. Once toasted, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. 

  3. Next prepare the crab melt mixture by combining the mayonnaise, red onion, parsley, lime juice, apple and hot sauce into a large bowl and mixing well. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

  4. Gently fold in crab meat.

  5. The mixture is ready to be placed on the bottom brioche halves and sprinkled with Gruyère.

  6. Bake in the upper third of the oven until the cheese is melted.

Top off each with the top half of brioche and serve! 

Feel free to add in whatever other flavors you desire. This simple recipe can be spiced up however you see fit. 

Head on over to Fathom Seafood’s site to purchase the Dungeness crab for your brioche melt recipe and you will receive it within 24 hours of placing your order. If this will be your first order, use code FATHOM10 and get 10% off! 

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