Dig in—it’s crab cake time! This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or as an appetizer.

This no-fuss crab cake recipe has lots of flavor (and a lot of crab) in one bite. Crab patties are pan fried until crispy on the outside and tender inside.

plated Easy Crab Cakes with dip

You’ll LOVE These Crab Cakes Because…

  • They’re easy to make with lump crabmeat or canned crab.
  • Each bite is meaty and flavorful with bright herbs and a zesty citrus twist.
  • These have a perfect golden brown finish with a quick pan-fry.
  • These crab cakes are great as appetizers, side dishes, or the main course.

Choosing Crab for Crab Cakes

For the best flavor, choose fresh crab meat or a jar of lump crab meat, which includes both crabmeat and claws. This can usually be found near the seafood section in the grocery store. While I prefer lump crabmeat, canned crab can also be used.

Regardless of which type of meat you choose, always check for bits of shell or cartilage.

Other Ingredients

  • Seasoning: Dijon mustard, a hint of Worcestershire, and Old Bay seasoning. Fresh herbs add great flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs: I use very little filler, just enough to bind it together. Panko with a little bit of mayo is my favorite choice for the best texture. You can replace the breadcrumbs with crushed saltine cracker crumbs.

Variations

  • Add diced red or green onions.
  • Stir in a touch of cajun seasoning.
mayonnaise , seasonings , worcestershire , crab , egg, dijon , panko , parsley , oil and lemon to make Easy Crab Cakes with lables

How to Make Crab Cakes

  1. In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (recipe below). Toss very gently so you don’t break up the crab too much. Form into patties.
  3. Chill crab cakes and cook them in a large skillet until lightly browned.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and your favorite dipping sauce. Try homemade tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, or garlic aioli.

Storing Leftovers

Leftover crab cakes can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To make them crispy again, reheat them in a dry saute pan on medium heat or in the air fryer.

Freeze cooled crab cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. Leftover crab cakes can be chopped and added to a crab salad, or mixed into a cheesy crab dip.

More Crabby Favorites

Did you make these easy Crab Cakes? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Easy Crab Cakes with dip
4.99 from 107 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Crab Cakes

This crab cake recipe is easy to follow and makes juicy crab cakes with meaty crab in every bite!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 crab cakes

Equipment

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Ingredients  

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

Instructions 

  • Check the crab meat for any hard and sharp cartilage, remove, and discard.
  • In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, beaten egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Old Bay seasoning.
  • Add crab meat, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Gently fold to combine, being careful not to break up the crab.
  • Gently press to shape into 6-8 crab cakes using ⅓ cup each, then place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick over medium heat. Cook the crab cakes 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Video

Notes

Be gentle with the crab mixture so the crab doesn’t break apart. Don’t skip the refrigerating, or the crab cakes will not hold together.
To bake crab cakes: Preheat oven to 450℉. Place crab cakes on a foil-lined baking tray and bake for 13-18 minutes until browned.
Leftover crab cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan with a bit of oil over medium heat. 
4.99 from 107 votes

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.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. i am not sure what i did wrong, it would not hold togrther as a patty. i followed the recipe to a ‘t’
    i do not waste food so i put the whole thing in the pan added another egg also cheese to save it it was good.
    but i would like to know what you think i did wrong5 stars

    1. Oh no! I am glad you were still able to enjoy it. For the patties you want to make sure you don’t overmix and break up the crab too much as that can affect it’s ability to form into a patty.

  2. 1st time making these last night and they were a big hit. cooked in the air fryer for 20 minutes at 350 since they were thicker and they were perfect. we’ll be making it again when crab is on sale5 stars

  3. Holly, first of all, thank you for your wonderful every day and company-worthy easy recipes. Each one I have tried has turned out perfect and I am anxiously waiting for your cookbook that I pre-ordered for delivery in September of this year, (2024). Before making your recipe for Easy Crab Cakes, I wondered if I could use a defrosted package of frozen Simply Surimi Seafood In place of fresh or canned crabmeat. This would be made from wild Alaska Pollock, often a substitute for actual Crab. This substitute may make a much more attractive dish; the package also states that it has natural ingredients, (other than real Crabmeat). Do you think that would work in this recipe?5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and for following along, I cannot wait for your cookbook to arrive! I haven’t tried that variety of crab in this recipe and while I find it does tend to have a lighter flavor, I think it would work. You’ll want to drain well and dab dry with a paper towel if needed and chop it finely (or pulse in a food processor) so the crab cakes hold together. I’d love to hear how it works out for you.