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Easy Crab Cakes

READY IN LESS THAN 30 MINUTES! This Easy Crab Cakes recipe will be your go-to Crab Cake Recipe from now on!

These MOIST, TANGY, SATISFYING and HEARTY crab cakes are gonna win your heart! These are RESTAURANT quality (and according to the Chief Tasting Officer – Mr. Loaves and Dishes) better than most restaurants.

Two crab cakes on a silver plate with green lettuce.

Hearty, Chunky, meaty Crab Cake Recipe!

Why This Recipe Works

  • So EASY!
  • Ready in 30 MINUTES!
  • Ingredients you probably already have at home (except the crab maybe!)
  • Use any crab meat you want!
  • Easy to make for a CROWD!

Here’s How To Cook Crab Cakes…

STEP 1.

Spread the crab meat into the bottom of a large bowl.

glass bowl of meat with red spatula and hand

crab claw meat

STEP 2.

Sprinkle the crushed saltines over the top.

glass bowl of meat and crackers

crab claw meat and saltines in a bowl

STEP 4.

Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and then GENTLY combine the ingredients with your hands or rubber spatula. Then put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

glass bowl of meat mixture and wet ingredients

Add the wet ingredients to the meat and crackers

STEP 5.

Pat into patties (about 3 inches across) and place back in the fridge for an hour.

hands patting out crab patties with baking sheet and bowl in background

Pat into patties

STEP 6.

Brush with melted butter and BROIL on HIGH for 6-8 minutes. Carefully flip over, brush with butter and broil for another 6 minutes. Then Serve HOT!

photo overhead of two cakes on a silver plate with lettuce

All Done!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Who Invented Crab Cakes?

According to the most recognized source on Google, Boxhill Pizzaria, Crosby Gaige developed the main recipe that we now know as a crab cake!

What Are Crab Cakes Made Of?

Crab Cakes are made of crab meat, spices, breadcrumbs and usually some mayonnaise and egg as a binder.

What’s The Best Kind of Crab Meat to Use for a Crab Cake?

  • For the BEST sweetest and most tender meat, try the CLAW meat.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to use LUMP crab too (it’s more affordable).
  • I’ve never tried IMITATION CRAB in crab cakes, but if it is what you have, try it!

Where Do I Buy the Crab Meat for Crab Cakes?

Your grocery store will have crab meat. It comes a couple of ways…

  1. In the meat section, crab meat is often found in small containers like yogurt and will be refrigerated.
  2. In the canned seafood section (like where you buy canned tuna), you’ll often find crab meat there.

Either one of these will work for this recipe.

***CHECK the date on the container and make sure it is in date***

DO NOT BUY fresh crab or frozen crab legs for this recipe – that would be a colossal expense and waste of time.

How Can I Tell If Crab Meat Is Bad?

The NOSE KNOWS!  Give your crab meat a smell, if the smell is bad or overpowering, it is bad.

You can also look for a slimy texture or green colored meat.

Throw it out if you notice these.

Is It Better to Fry or Broil Crab Cakes?

I find that broiling is the BEST and EASIEST! No need to worry about the  falling apart in the frying pan and they are easily heated through that way.

Can I Fry These Crab Cakes?

Yes, Absolutely, you can.  Just be careful, they fall apart easily.

Can I Use Something Besides Crackers?

No, you should NOT do so.

We have tried SEVERAL variations including Panko, Breadcrumbs and bread.

The saltine crackers deliver the flavor and binding that you want for this EASY CRAB CAKE RECIPE.

How to Bake Crab Cakes in an Oven

When cooking crab cakes in an oven, You’ll want to set your oven on “Broil”, place them on a baking sheet and broil for 6-8 minutes per side.

How Long To Bake Crab Cakes?

Broil them for 6-8 minutes per side in this crab cake recipe for the oven.

How Do You Know When Crab Cakes Are Done?

These  are done after being under the broiler for 6-8 minutes.

They will be a dark golden brown color and should be sizzling slightly.

Can I Freeze These Crab Cakes!

Absolutely!  Simply wrap in good freezer wrap once they are cooked and cooled. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How Can I Reheat These Crab Cakes?

Place the thawed patty on a baking sheet and heat at 350 degrees in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Is There a Good Crab Cake Sauce?

  • 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs Old Bay
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder.

Mix together well (use a whisk) and chill before serving.

What Can I Make With Crab Cakes?

My family enjoys corn dishes with this Easy Crab Cake Recipe.

Enjoy with a big glass of Southern Sweet Tea!

Try Corn on the Cob or Scalloped Corn and a good Arugula Caprese Salad!

Or try any of our AMAZING side dishes!

TIPS & TRICKS for these EASY CRAB CAKES

  • Crab meat is expensive, so you’ll want to follow the directions exactly to have these come out perfectly.
  • You can make these half size and use as an appetizer, you’ll need to watch them carefully in the oven, when they are browned and sizzly, it’s time to turn them.
  • You’ll want to use a good mayo such as Hellman’s, Dukes, Blue Plate or Aldi brand.
  • The mustard gives a ton of flavor, use a quality DIJON mustard not a yellow mustard.

PRO TIP:  The egg and mayo act as binders. One without the other doesn’t work (I’ve tried it).

The cracker is a little bit of a filler, but not so that you can use less crab. Instead if fills in the spaces between the chunks of meat and you need it as well.

Do NOT try to use panko or some other filler, it doesn’t work as well.

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy…

How to Cook Frozen Lobster

How to Cook Frozen Shrimp

Would You Love to Cook the PERFECT Southern Dinner?

IMAGINE YOU, COOKING THESE! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Southern Sweet Tea

Served with (choose one)

Chicken Fried Steak or

Chicken Pie or

Marinated Pork Chops

And…

Pinto Beans

Southern Cooked Cabbage

Collard Greens

Add A little Yum Yum Sauce

Deviled Eggs made with this Easy Peel Hard Boiled Egg

And finish it all off with…

Banana Pudding!

YA’LL HELP ME OUT, OK?

I need your help! Please leave me a 5 STAR  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in the comments below and let me know if you tried this recipe or plan to! A 5 STAR 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 review lets the internet know that THIS IS THE PLACE for wonderful comfort food!

Two crab cakes on a silver plate with green lettuce.

EASY CRAB CAKES

READY IN LESS THAN 30 MINUTES! This Easy Crab Cakes recipe will be your go-to Crab Cake Recipe from now on! These MOIST, TANGY, SATISFYING and HEARTY crab cakes are gonna win your heart!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crab cakes, easy crab cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 544kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1 LB Crab Claw Meat Drained
  • 20 Saltine Crackers crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbs Parsley - chopped fine - optional
  • 4 Tbs butter - melted.

Instructions

  • Drain the crab meat well and then evenly spread it across the bottom of a large bowl using care not to break up the crab meat pieces.
  • Sprinkle the crushed saltines over the top (Do Not mix together yet)
  • In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce, pepper, salt, dijon, old bay, worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, egg, mayo, lemon juice and Parsley (optional).
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the crab meat and saltines and then VERY GENTLY, using your hands, fold together the ingredients until well mixed. Do your best not to break up the crab meat.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Remove the bowl from the fridge and pat into patties. (This recipe makes about 6 patties).
  • Place the patties back into the fridge for at least an hour.
  • When ready to bake - preheat the oven to BROIL HIGH. Allow the oven to come to full temp (it will take about 10- minutes or maybe a little more).
  • Brush the tops of the crab cakes with the melted butter and Broil on HIGH for 8 minutes on the first side.
  • Carefully turn the crab cakes over and brush with butter on the other side. Broil for another 6 minutes. Serve Hot.

Notes

  • Crab meat is expensive, so you’ll want to follow the directions exactly to have these come out perfectly.
  • You can make these half size and use as an appetizer, you’ll need to watch them carefully in the oven, when they are browned and sizzly, it’s time to turn them.
  • You’ll want to use a good mayo such as Hellman’s, Dukes, Blue Plate or Aldi brand.
  • The mustard gives a ton of flavor, use a quality DIJON mustard not a yellow mustard.
  • The hot sauce adds flavor, so don’t worry about the heat.
  • Use a quality hot sauce like Cholulas.
PRO TIP:  The egg and mayo act as binders. One without the other doesn’t work (I’ve tried it).  The cracker is a little bit of a filler, but not so that you can use less crab. Instead if fills in the spaces between the chunks of meat and you need it as well. Do NOT try to use panko or some other filler, it doesn’t work as well.
SUBSTITUTIONS
This is super important. Don’t make any substitutions.  Everything in this recipe is important to the outcome.
The one substitution that I’ve been able to make without a decline in the performance of the recipe is to use a pinch of cayenne instead of the hot sauce.  But the hot sauce was better.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
EASY CRAB CAKES
Amount Per Serving
Calories 544 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 126mg42%
Sodium 1437mg60%
Potassium 195mg6%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 935IU19%
Vitamin C 9.7mg12%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

***If you’ve been a reader of Loaves and Dishes for a while, you’ll know that I am allergic to all seafoods and do not eat them. Special thanks to Mr. Loaves and Dishes and Son-in-law of the site for suffering through SO MANY renditions of this recipe until I could get it “just right”***

A VERSE TO SHARE

This seem especially pertinent right now, so this is the verse I shall share today…

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

A view into the cut pound cake with glaze dripping down the side
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Recipe Rating




Robert Z

Sunday 6th of September 2020

These are perfect! Like what I remember having as a kid in Philly, Baltimore, and Chincoteague restaurants. Most other recipes call for lump crab meat, which certainly would change (and improve) texture of these. But I had claw meat on-hand, chose this recipe because of that, and the flavor was perfect. Cooking directions also spot-on. My wife loved them.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 7th of September 2020

Hi Robert, I'm glad you enjoyed them so much, I had to go look up Chincoteague! Since it's a total seafood place, I'm glad these crab cakes tickled that memory! Feel free to do these with lump crab as well, we often do. My family favors the claw meat because they like the big chunks of crab that result in these crab cakes. If you prefer smaller lumps or even the more stringy meat, then that would be the best option, just follow the same directions and use the same amount. Thanks for leaving a comment!

Nikita Beatty

Sunday 12th of January 2020

I made this for my husband who LOVES crab cakes. My only suggestion is to use unsalted saltines so that that they are not salty.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 13th of January 2020

Thank you Nikita for coming back and leaving a comment.Your suggestion is a good one for folks who are salt sensitive. My family loved them as is, but you point out that these small kinds of changes are what makes things work for specific tastes. Have a great week!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 13th of May 2019

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