These moist, meaty, tangy, savory, perfectly cooked crab cakes will soon become your favorite, quick seafood dish to serve as an appetizer, a main course, or just to impress your friends and family!
Be sure to serve these with my favorite Tartar Sauce (the Best Crab Cake Sauce ever)!
For more easy seafood recipes everyone will enjoy, head on over to my recipes for Cajun Shrimp Skillet, Easy Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, and Sheet Pan Jambalaya.
I know crab cakes kind of seem like a break from my norm but for good reason! I love, love, love to order crab cakes whenever I see them on a menu on vacation. Because, let’s face it, ordering crab cakes in the middle of a landlocked state can sometimes be dicey. However, I just can’t wait for the next seaside trip, so I had to come up with my own recipe, and now everyone can benefit from my impatience. These crab cakes are so good, you’ll be making them at least weekly from here on out.
- Lump crab meat – I use blue crabs or jumbo lump crab meat, but you could use any crab meat you like. Make sure it’s “lump” crab though and not imitation. Claw meat also works well, or you can mix a couple different kinds.
- Mayo – I used reduced fat olive oil mayo but you can use any mayo you like.
- Egg – Any large egg is fine.
- Egg white – The white of any large egg is great here.
- Dijon mustard – I like to use name-brand Dijon it really makes the difference.
- Worcestershire sauce – A little salt and umami here with this Worcestershire sauce makes these crab cakes really delicious.
- Crushed red pepper flakes – For a little spice, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes. Or you could substitute a favorite hot sauce too.
- Panko breadcrumbs – The best for a little bit of crunch, any brand of Panko works here.
- Parsley and baby dill – Fresh parsley and baby dill are best. Chop them fine for best results.
- Salt and coarsely cracked black pepper – I use any old regular finely ground salt and pepper.
- Olive oil – Evoo is best for pan frying these crab cakes.
- Tartar Sauce/Crab Cake Sauce – For the best tartar sauce try this recipe, you won’t regret it – so fresh tasting and it has the lovely zip of lemon juice too. (Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side in case you need more lemony flavor.)
Here’s How You Make It
Making this crab cakes recipe is so easy you’ll wonder why you haven’t made them before!
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the tartar sauce. Stir till combined.
- Drizzle olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat.
- Scoop the crab cake mixture using an ice cream scoop. You should be able to make 6 patties, less than ½ an inch thick each.
- Put the patties in oiled skillet, being careful not to crowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary.
- Cook each crab cake for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp around the outside.
- Repeat with all the crab cakes.
- Serve warm with tartar sauce for dipping.
Why This Recipe Works
Lump crab – I say don’t even bother with anything but lump crab meat. It may be a little more expensive than the alternative, but it’s soooo worth it. You want to taste those big meaty chunks of crab, not bite into something that tastes like a bean patty right? And forget about imitation crab – it just doesn’t work.
Tartar sauce – Make my original tartar sauce with these crab cakes, they are meat to go together. The salty, herby seafood patties with the tangy, creamy sauce on top – it just can’t be beat!
Easy – You can make this crab cake recipe in less than 20 minutes, and that includes cooking time!
Versatile – Eat these crab cakes on sliders or sammies, as-is with a big dollop of tartar sauce or sitting atop a crunchy slaw.
Storage and Reheating
Cooked crab cakes can keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze uncooked crab cakes. Keep them in an airtight container in a single layer in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat crab cakes from frozen, first thaw them in the fridge overnight. Then, take thawed crab cakes and put them on a baking tray in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.
How Do You Keep Crab Cakes from Falling Apart
Are you having trouble keeping your crab cakes together while you cook them in the pan? Here’s a little trick: put them in the fridge after you patty them up but before you cook them. Cover them up in a bowl or plate and then pop them in the fridge for an hour or so before frying. This will help the eggs bind the patties together better and stay together while they cook.
Is It Better to Fry Crab Cakes or Bake Them?
I like crab cakes both fried and baked. For this recipe, I chose fried because it’s faster and I like the outsides of the crab cakes to be crispy and browned when I bite into them. Baking the crab cakes is still delicious, they just won’t get as crispy or browned.
If you want to bake this recipe, then preheat the oven to 450 degrees and follow the instructions up through making them into patties. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment or use cooking spray to keep from sticking.
Place the patties on the baking sheet and put in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top.
Ideas for Customizing this Recipe
- Once the patties are out of the oven, squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top for an extra tangy patty, before layering on the tartar sauce.
- For a stronger onion flavor, use chopped green onions instead of parsley (or in addition to).
- Not a fan of tartar sauce? Then other great sauces that go well on top of crab cakes include chipotle sauce, cocktail sauce, or remoulade sauce. I’ve also been known to top my crab cakes with homemade ranch or creamy honey mustard too.
- Make crab cake bites by rolling twice as many crab patties (12). Cook about 3-4 minutes, turning often, till all sides are browned and cooked through.
- For more seafood flavor, add a teaspoon or two of Old Bay seasoning to the crab cake mixture.
- If the outside of your patties is getting too browned before the center cooks through, just turn the heat down a bit on your burner and continue to cook, watching so they don’t burn.
- Cooked crab cakes will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
- If you don’t have panko, you can substitute regular, plain breadcrumbs or Italian style breadcrumbs instead.
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Did you try these amazing crab cakes? EXCELLENT! Please rate the recipe below!