Easy Crab Cakes

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This Easy Crab Cake recipe is not only simple to follow, it makes the most amazing crab cakes. Juicy, full of meaty crab chunks and with beautiful fresh flavors.

These easy crab cakes can be served as a snack or appetizer or even as a main dish with a nice fresh Cucumber Dill Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette!

Cast Iron pan with crab cakes and lemon

If you are looking for an easy and delicious recipe to impress your guests, look no further, this Crab Cake Recipe is always a winner.

These crab cakes are so juicy and full of fresh flavors from the lemon zest and fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro), that the are irresistible. Don’t you hate it when you go to a restaurant, order an expensive plate of crab cakes, to only realize that they probably used more bread crumbs than crab meat?! With this Crab Cakes Recipe, you can be certain that your crab cakes will be bursting with sweet crab flavor and texture.

How to Make Crab Cakes

The best part is that you will see that this is an easy crab cake recipe. First, you just have to make sure you are using high quality crab meat and fresh ingredients. After that, you add all the ingredients to a bowl, stir to combine, and shape the crab cakes, like little crab patties. If you have time, you can refrigerate them before cooking. This will help them maintain their share when cooking. When ready, sear them on each side until golden brown and serve with Tartar Sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice.

What is a Crab Cake?

A crab cake is a variety of fishcake that is very popular in the United States, made of crab meat and other ingredients, such as bread crumbs, mayonnaise, eggs, and seasonings.

Crab Cakes with sour cream and parsley

What is a good sauce for crab cakes?

I love to dip crab cakes in Tartar Sauce! This easy tartar sauce recipe takes just minutes to prep and is perfect for crab cakes but also for any other fish dish you may have!

Tartar Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup full fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or Stone Ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the Tartar Sauce, mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl until fully combined. Serve with crab cakes.

Pile on crab cakes on a plate with sour cream

What side dishes go with crab cakes?

I personally like to serve them with a simple green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. Here are a few more suggestions:

crab cakes in a cast iron pan
4.92 from 23 votes
Review Recipe

Crab Cake Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigeration Time (Prep) 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 crabcakes
Author Catalina Castravet
A Crab Cake Recipe that is easy to follow and makes the most amazing crab cakes. Juicy, full of meaty crab chunks and with beautiful fresh flavors.


  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or Stone Ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 dashes hot sauce or to taste
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs unflavored
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon white ground pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving

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  • Check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage, remove and discard them.
  • In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and Old Bay seasoning.
  • Add the crab meat, bread crumbs, chopped parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Gently fold mixture together with your hands until just combined. Take care not to shred the crab meat any more.
  • Shape into 6-8 crab cakes, about ½ cup each and place on a plate or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large nonstick pan and heat over medium heat. Cook crab cakes until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add more oil if needed and gently over. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

Prep time includes 60 minutes refrigeration.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 232, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 938mg, Potassium: 153mg, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 6.8mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Crab Cake
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


Repin this Delicious Recipe

Stack of Crab Cakes with a title


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About the author


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Catalina thinks that time in the kitchen should be fun, and we should spend less time cooking and more time eating! As a successful business woman with a busy career on Wall Street, she creates fool-proof recipes for busy weeknights. Catalina will inspire you to experiment with flavors, try new ingredients, use your slow cooker and pressure cooker and create easy meals with less effort and more flavor. You can visit her blog Sweet & Savory Meals for delicious dinner and dessert recipes that are husband and toddler approved!

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Recipe Rating


    1. I’ve only made the recipe as written, but I’m sure that would work just fine Darlene! Let us know if you try it!

  1. Can you use a can of salmon instead of crab and use the same ingredients? Thanks a bunch, we love salmon patties, but if you have a recipe I would love to have it. Thanks again.

  2. Ugh, I used the whole tsp of salt. Noe I wasted expensive crab meat. Way too salty. I guess I should have used better judgement but no one really mentioned the salt amount.3 stars

    1. Oh no, I am sorry to hear that Steve. Did you use Kosher salt? We enjoyed this recipe as written, but you can definitely adjust the amount of salt if you prefer it less salty.

  3. I see salt and pepper on the ingredient list, but not in the instructions. Do you add for your taste preference, or…?

    1. Hi Natasha, you can add them to taste or in the quantities listed. I would add these in step 3 of the recipe.

  4. Just watched your hash brown breakfast casserole video. I would love to try it, but can’t seem to find the recipe.
    Can you help me?

  5. Trying this recipe at my sons request for crab cakes. It looks awesome after combining ingredients. Refrigerate them till morning for his dinner on Sunday. I am sure he will love them. They look to be super moist. Also very meaty

  6. We’re going to try your recipe, but will add some finely chopped celery for some crunch. They sound wonderful!

        1. If you have a favorite I would go with that one. Otherwise, I just try to purchase high-quality crab meat for this recipe since it’s the primary flavor. Enjoy Portia!

  7. What’s with all the recipes with canola oil? It’s the worst oil you can put in your body! I would use olive oil or butter

    1. You can certainly use another type of oil if you’d prefer. I choose canola oil due to the high smoke point and the neutral flavor.

  8. This is the best crab cake recipe I have ever tried! These turned out better than any I have ever gotten in a restaurant. We use a little less lemon zest, because we don’t usually use lemon on our seafood very often, and a full tablespoon made it a bit too lemon-y for us. Otherwise, it was absolutely PERFECT. I didn’t save or print the recipe, because I thought it would be just another one like the rest. I searched and searched until I found it again, because it definitely is NOT like all the rest. This is the BEST!5 stars

  9. Holly I’m thankful for you and your recipes. The recipes are delicious and mouth watering.Thank You for your time and your work on the recipes.5 stars

  10. Being a DC seafood snob- I make it a sport to eat crab cakes whenever on any menu. What you have shared here reminds me of a very very talented chef that left Baltimore and moved to Key West FL to share his crab cake there too- and it was a huge hit.
    This recipie is right up there gurl- If not very very close!
    I ate it standing up in the kitchen while I fried the rest.
    I made my own version of a jalapeño mayo instead of tarter- yumms.
    For a home fry/try- this IS hands down a keeper. Bravo.
    As they say: rotation rotation rotaion!
    Thanku-5 stars

    1. I love the idea of a jalapeno mayo, sounds perfect! So glad you loved them and thank you for your kind words!

  11. This recipe is easy and SO delicious! I don’t usually put much, if any, lemon on my seafood, tho, so I’ll be putting a little less lemon zest in next time. But they tasted amazing! And this is such an easy recipe, without a ton of filler. This is my new go-to recipe for crab cakes. :D5 stars

  12. Excellent recipe!!! I am a huge fan of going out for crab cakes BUT NOW…..fo get about it! (said like my Italian Uncle) Love all the ingredients and it was easy. Thank you for your mad skills and I will be taking full credit Kidding, have already shared your site!5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried baking these. I’d suggest trying at 375°F for 25-30 minutes (and flip half way through cooking). Let us know how it goes!

  13. What a lovely recipe! Made these as my husband loves crab and have tried several blah recipes out there! I made half of the recipe crab half of it substituting canned pink salmon as some prefer salmon to crab. They were wonderful with perfect balance of seasoning to meat. Definitely a keeper, the other crab cake recipies got tossed! Thank you for a great meal, made your tarter sauce and cucumber dill salad as well! 5☆’s5 stars

  14. I would probably be the only one to eat these..can the left over cakes be frozen either before cooking or after?

    1. Yes, the crab cakes can be frozen before cooking for about 1 month. I would recommend defrosting them before cooking.

  15. My husband loves crab cakes, and I have been looking for a recipe ~ this looks perfect! Thank you! And thanks for all of the wonderful recipes you post! :)5 stars