Dig in; it’s crab cake time! Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or as an appetizer.

These no-fuss crab cakes have a lot of flavor (and a lot of crab) in a one bite. Crab patties are pan fried until crispy on the outside and tender inside.

This classic recipe is a keeper for party food like appetizers, side dishes, or even a light entrée with a side salad!

close up of Easy Crab Cakes

Easy Crab Cakes

  • Fresh ingredients: Experience a jumbo lump crabmeat explosion with minimal fillers and panko breadcrumbs, ensuring each bite is meaty and flavorful with bright herbs and a zesty citrus twist.
  • Easy-peasy Lemon Squeezy: Never made a crab cake? No worries, they’re easy! Mix, shape, and pan-fry (or bake) to achieve that perfect golden brown finish with a quick pan-fry.
  • Versatile: These crab cakes are great as appetizers, side dishes, or even the main course. Pair them with your favorite greens, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or a splash of hot sauce for an extra kick.
stack of Easy Crab Cakes

Ingredients for Crab Cakes

  • Crab Meat: Go for those meaty lumps and claws! Ensure you pick high-quality fresh crab meat, and always check for any sneaky bits of shell or cartilage. While I prefer lump crab meat, you can use canned crab as well.
  • Seasoning: Dijon mustard, a hint of Worcestershire, and fresh herbs add great flavor. for the ideal flavor. And don’t forget the iconic Old Bay seasoning to elevate the taste.
  • Breadcrumbs: I use very little filler, just enough to keep it all together. Panko with a little bit of mayo is my fave choice for the best texture. You can use crushed saltine crackers in place.
  • Variations: Customize to your heart’s content! Add diced red or green onions, bell peppers, or even a touch of cajun seasoning. Watching your carbs? Swap out the panko with crushed pork rinds for a delicious, low-carb alternative.
mayonnaise , seasonings , worcestershire , crab , egg, dijon , panko , parsley , oil and lemon to make Easy Crab Cakes with lables

How to Make Crab Cakes

For the best crab cakes, chill them so they keep their shape while they cook.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (per recipe below), being gentle so you don’t break up the crab too much.
  3. Chill crab cakes and cook them in oil for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through and lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

What to Serve With Crab Cakes

Serve crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or light garlic aioli.

Leftover Crab Cakes?

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

Easy Crab Cakes on a blue dish with lemon wedges

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

Easy Crab Cakes with lemon
4.98 from 69 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 that have 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

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. 
4.98 from 69 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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plated Easy Crab Cakes with lemon slices and writing
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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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