• Appetizers + Snacks | Main Dishes
  • Crab Cakes

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    Simple and easy to make these fried crab cakes are so perfectly crispy and make for a wonderful appetizer. Super quick to prep, every bite is so delicious!

    crab patties with tartar sauce on a plate

    I can not wait for you to try this tasty crab cakes recipe! So easy to make, they are perfectly seasoned and simple to cook, I just know you are going to love them!

    Made with lump crab meat and seasoned with lemon, mustard, parsley, and old bay seasonings, they are light and fresh with the most delicious texture.

    Be sure to try my Salmon Patties and Fish Cakes too!

    Why you will love this recipe!

    • Quick and easy: It takes no more than 10 minutes to make up your crab cake patties and they are so quick to cook.
    • Versatile: Great to serve as a sit-down appetizer, or serve them as part of the main meal with a salad or a side dish.
    • Family-friendly: This is a great recipe that kids of all ages will love, be sure to make a double batch as they will disappear quickly! Thes are the best crab cakes!
    seafood patties with tartar sauce

    Ingredients for crab cakes

    • Egg: To bind the ingredients together
    • Mayonnaise: Mayo adds a great creamy texture. I used full fat, but you can use a reduced-fat or avocado oil mayo if you prefer.
    • Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce: For a tangy and umami flavor.
    • Seasonings: Old bay, salt, and pepper.
    • Parsley: For freshness and a nice herby flavor.
    • Lemon: We use both lemon juice and zest for a bright and zingy flavor.
    • Crab meat: I use canned lump crab meat for these patties. You can also use fresh.
    • Panko breadcrumbs: For texture and to help absorb the moisture to hold the homemade crab cakes together.
    • Oil: For cooking. I like to use olive oil, but coconut oil or a high heat oil will work well.
    ingredients for crab cakes

    Best crab meat to use

    The best crab meat for these crab cakes is fresh lump crab meat, and make sure it’s labeled “hand-picked” or “fresh picked“. You could also use canned but the flavor won’t be the same and it won’t be as delicious. The fresher the crab meat, the better the crab cake will taste.

    I got this lump crab meat at Costco, found it in the refrigerated shelves next to the seafood section and it was sold in a 1 lb plastic tub. You can look for fresh crab meat in the seafood section at your local grocery store.

    How to make crab cakes

    • Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley, and lemon juice & zest in a large bowl, and mix well.
    • Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and panko; using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat.
    • Shape into 6 cakes (each about ½ cup) and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
    • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This helps them set.
    • Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the crab cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter.
    • Serve immediately with tartar sauce, remoulade, or a squeeze of lemon.
    process shots of making crab cakes

    Can you make them ahead of time?

    Yes! You can make these crab cake patties up to a day ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. Cooked crab cakes will keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes to warm them through.

    Can you freeze them?

    You can freeze the uncooked patties for up to a month, I like to make a couple of batches to enjoy a week or two later. Freeze the patties solid on a baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw them in the fridge before cooking as per the recipe.

    Cooked crab cakes will keep well frozen for 4 to 6 months and should be thawed before reheating in the oven.

    close up shot of the crab cakes

    Can you oven bake them?

    I prefer to fry crab cakes so that you get some nice crispy edges, but you can cook them in the oven if you prefer. Bake them on a greased or lined baking sheet at 350F for around 25 minutes until golden brown.

    Serving Suggestions

    These crab patties are perfect to serve by themselves with tartar sauce, aioli, remoulade, or a squeeze of lemon juice. These easy crab cakes are also great to serve as a fuller meal with a salad or a veggie side dish. Some of my favorite sides to serve these simple crab cakes with are:

    tartar sauce on cakes made with lump crab meat

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips for crab cakes

    • Be sure to check the crab meat for any hard and sharp cartilage before mixing with the other ingredients.
    • It’s best to use fresh lump crab meat found in the refrigerated seafood section of the grocery store.
    • Allow time to let the crab cakes chill in the fridge. This will help them to set and hold together when you fry them.
    • Use a large ice cream scoop or a measuring cup (1/2 cup for regular or 1/4 cup for smaller crab patties) to portion even crab cakes.
    • Wet your hands. Dip your hands in a bowl of water before forming each pattie to prevent the crab mixture from sticking to your hands.
    • Let the oil get hot before cooking the patties in the skillet.

    More Seafood Recipes

    Crab Cakes

    Simple and easy to make these fried crab cakes are so perfectly crispy and make for a wonderful appetizer. Super quick to prep, every bite is so delicious!
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Chilling time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
    Servings 6 crab cakes
    Calories 141kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Combine the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley and lemon juice & zest in a large bowl and mix well.
    • Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and panko; using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat.
    • Shape into 6 cakes (each about ½ cup) and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This helps them set.
    • Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the crab cakes in the pan and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter.
    • Serve immediately with tartar sauce, remoulade or a squeeze of lemon.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Be sure to check the crab meat for any hard and sharp cartilage before mixing with the other ingredients.
    • It’s best to use fresh lump crab meat found in the refrigerated seafood section of the grocery store.
    • Allow time to let the crab cakes chill in the fridge. This will help them to set and hold together when you fry them.
    • Use a large ice cream scoop or a measuring cup (1/2 cup for regular or 1/4 cup for smaller crab patties) to portion even crab cakes.
    • Wet your hands. Dip your hands in a bowl of water before forming each pattie to prevent the crab mixture from sticking to your hands.
    • Let the oil get hot before cooking the patties in the skillet.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine American
    Keyword crispy crab cakes, fried crab cakes, how to make crab cakes
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