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Crab Cakes Recipe (VIDEO)

Homemade Crab Cakes are better than any restaurant version because they are loaded with lump crab meat. This is the ultimate crab cake recipe with very little filler and seasoned to perfection.

If you enjoyed our Salmon Cakes or our popular Shrimp Cakes, you will love these!

Crab Cakes on serving platter with lemon slices

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Crab Cakes Recipe Video:

Learn how to make the best crab cakes! They are easier than you think, especially if you buy already hand-picked or fresh picked crab meat. If you pick the meat yourself, it takes a little more time but it’s well worth the effort. Watch the video tutorial and read all of our tips below then try this crab cake recipe fo yourself.

Up close crab cake on platter with lump crab meat

The Best Crabs for Crab Cakes:

As we shared with our Crab Legs Tutorial, crabs must be sold live or pre-cooked and will be either frozen or thawed from frozen. Since the meat is already cooked, all you need to do is remove it with a crab cracker then cooking crab cakes is quick and easy. I use the meat from the legs, claws, and even the loaded pockets of crabmeat in the body of the crab. As long as you can get lump crab meat out of them, a variety of crabs would work.

  • Blue Crab – from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The famous Maryland Crab Cakes are often made with Blue Crab Meat.
  • Stone Crab – from Florida and are common in that area for crab cakes.
  • Snow Crab – from the North Atlantic and North Pacific and are typically sold in clusters of legs and can be more expensive.
  • King Crab – from North Pacific waters – the most expensive crab meat, although it is easier to remove from the crab leg.
  • Dungeness Crabs – (from the Pacific Coast). These are the most readily available inland and tend to be the least expensive per pound so it is what I use. Per my request, the fish counter is always kind enough to clean the crab for me, which makes the process easier.

Cooks Tip: 2 Dungeness crabs can yield 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs of crab meat. I used 2 crabs for this recipe.

Crab with meat picked out for crab cakes

Can I Use Canned Crab Meat?

It’s best to use crab meat that is as fresh from the crab as possible and lump crab meat is important. If the crab meat is pre-packaged, it should come from the refrigerated section of the store. I have tried with crab meat from an aluminum can which resulted in overly salty, fishy-smelling crab meat and was a major disappointment.

Ingredients for making crab cakes

Tips for Making Crab Cakes:

  • Check for Shell Pieces – before adding the crab meat, I like to pick it apart to check for any stray shell fragments.
  • Refrigerate – chill the mixture for 30 minutes before forming your patties and they will hold together better. It also gives a chance for the flavors to meld.
  • Ice Cream Scoop – a trigger release scoop makes it easier to portion even crab cakes.
  • Wet hands – Keep a bowl of water for dipping while forming patties. Crab cake mixture won’t stick to your hands.
  • Non-Stick Pan – a good nonstick pan will keep the cakes from sticking to the pan and breaking apart. It also requires less oil and butter to sautee.

Step by step photos for making crab cake mixture

Can I Substitute Old Bay Seasoning?

Old Bay Seasoning is classic with crab and seafood. It can be found in the spice section of the grocery store (and may also be near the seafood department). If you aren’t able to find it locally, you can also get old bay seasoning online.

Cajun Seasoning is the best substitute I have found which compliments crab and seafood well, just like our Cajun Shrimp Skewers. Cajun seasoning can be spicier depending on the type you get so I recommend using 1 tsp of cajun seasoning or add to taste.

Stack of crab cakes seasoned to perfection

The Best Dip for Crab Cakes:

  • Lemon Aioli – the simple combination of 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tsp lemon zest, 2 Tbsp lemon, and 1 pressed garlic clove is simple and excellent! It’s the same one we love with Shrimp Cakes.
  • Tartar Sauce – you’ll love our homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe on all of your seafood. We use it on our Salmon Cakes.
  • Cocktail Sauce – this red sauce is popularly used on a Shrimp Cocktail Ring but also pairs well with Crab Cakes if you love those subtle spicy flavors.

Crab cake dipping into lemon aioli sauce

More Seafood Appetizer Recipes:

If you love these crab cakes, don’t miss these seafood appetizers. You are sure to find new favorites in this list.

Crab Cakes Recipe

5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Crab Cakes on serving platter with lemon slices

Homemade Crab Cakes are better than restaurant versions because they are loaded with fresh lump crab meat. We love this crab cake recipe because it has very litter filler and is seasoned to perfection.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $25-$30
Keyword: crab cakes
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Calories: 156 kcal
Servings: 15 crab cakes

Ingredients

Crab Cake Ingredients:

Lemon Aioli Dip:

Instructions

How to Make Crab Cakes:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp oil and sautee diced bell pepper and onion until golden and soft (7-9 min) then remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp mayo, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning or 1 tsp cajun, 1 tsp garlic salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

  3. Drain and pick over the crab meat to make sure there aren’t any stray shells, lightly breaking up big pieces of meat. Transfer to the large bowl with egg mixture.
  4. Add cooled bell pepper and onion, panko crumbs and parsley and stir until combined and moistened. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  5. Divide mixture into about 15 cakes. With wet hands, lightly shape into 1/2” thick patties. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat with 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter and sautee crab cakes in batches for 4-5 minutes per side (reduce heat if browning too quickly). Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with remaining crab cakes adding more oil and butter.

How to Make Crab Cake Dip:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon aioli dip ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with the warm crab cakes.
Nutrition Facts
Crab Cakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 156 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 501mg22%
Potassium 102mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 303IU6%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Mary Margaret
    September 19, 2020

    This is such a great recipe and easy to make! I have even convection baked them on parchment paper with drizzled oil. So good!

    Side note: The out take section was hysterical! Nice belch!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 19, 2020

      Hi Mary! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for sharing that wonderful feedback!

      Reply

  • Irit
    September 19, 2020

    Your recipes are delicious and your personality is the “cherry on the cake” ! Live watching you and making your food! I’ll let you know how the crab cake came out once I’ll do it.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 19, 2020

      You’re so nice! Thank you! Thank you for the wonderful feedback Irit!

      Reply

  • Bonnie Kinsler
    September 5, 2020

    Can u freeze the crab cakes before sautéing them?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 5, 2020

      Hi Bonnie, I have not tried freezing it but I imagine that should work. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic freezer bag and defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

      Reply

  • Shelley
    September 4, 2020

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy watching you on facebook. Thanks for all the free recipes. Everything that I’ve made tastes delicious. I’m a huge fan! Shelley

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 4, 2020

      Hello, Shelley thank you for your kind words and for always watching my videos. I appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Sally
    September 2, 2020

    Can you substitute lobster? If not will you be coming out with a lobster cake recipe? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 2, 2020

      Hi Sally, I have note tested that but I imagine it could work! If. you experiment please let me know how you like that!

      Reply

  • Ann Bianco
    August 27, 2020

    Can these be frozen?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 27, 2020

      Hi Ann, I have not tried freezing it for a long period of time but I imagine that should work. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic freezer bag and defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

      Reply

  • Kaye Elle
    August 27, 2020

    I don’t know if I messed up. I doubled recipe so maybe that threw it off. But the combo of garlic salt and old bay ended up too salty and overwhelming. Plus mixture was very wet. A lot of prep and anticipation for not very good crab cakes. This one was a miss

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 28, 2020

      Hi Kaye, it could be due to doubling the recipe – also, make sure to drain the crab meat well to prevent a wet mixture or it will be difficult for it to hold together.

      Reply

  • Betty Z
    August 24, 2020

    Black pepper: over or under seasoning won’t make a big difference, but is it 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp? Thanks for clarifying.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 24, 2020

      Hi Betty, thank you for catching that! It is 1/2 tsp of black pepper.

      Reply

  • Anna
    August 24, 2020

    Natasha…….
    Living on the Rappahannock River, we have fresh bluecrab
    everyday and your recipe is by far the best!
    Just another UK fan of yours.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 24, 2020

      That’s just awesome, Anna! I imagine this tastes that much better with fresh blue crab!

      Reply

  • Lina
    August 20, 2020

    What do you do with the onion and pepper after it’s been cooled? I’m guessing it goes in the egg mixture with the crab? I didn’t see it in your steps listed

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 20, 2020

      Hi Lina, you are totally right – I forgot to put that into the print-friendly recipe. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Reply

  • Theresa Garrett
    August 20, 2020

    I’m also from Maryland and there are too many add-ins where you wouldn’t taste the crab like you should. We don’t even cover with bread or panko crumbs to fry.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 20, 2020

      Hi Theresa, this is how we make and love our crab cakes. Different parts of the country make them differently all the way down to the type of crab meat used. We don’t cover with panko crumbs either, but only include them in the crab cakes to help them hold together.

      Reply

    • Kaye Elle
      August 27, 2020

      Agreed Theresa. I was ok with panko as filler but it ended up mushy. The garlic salt was unnecessary also in my opinion. We’re very particular in MD!

      Reply

  • Kate
    August 20, 2020

    I’m a Maryland girl born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay. Old Bay Seasoning … absolutely! Peppers … red, green, or otherwise … nope! Peppers, especially green peppers, overwhelm the delicate taste of the sweet crab meat. Crushed saltines, a little Worcestershire, a dab of Dijon, a splash of lemon juice, fresh parsley, maybe a pinch of salt, and just enough egg and/or mayo to hold it together. When a restaurant advertises authentic Maryland crab cakes with peppers in their recipe, I keep on walking. It’s my hill to die on.

    Reply

  • Linda Canzano
    August 20, 2020

    Love all your recipes Natasha!
    My husband and I both cook all the time. Your recipes are always a pleaser and very simple And delicious.
    Thank you! Linda

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 20, 2020

      You’re welcome, Linda! Thank you for that lovely comment and compliment! you’re so nice!

      Reply

  • Landa
    August 20, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Can the crab meat be substituted for shrimp? I see you have a shrimp cake recipe but just wondering if this one would be good also with shrimp?!

    Reply

  • Capt. JT
    August 19, 2020

    My mom made a similar recipe with the onion , pepper’s and other ingredients you have . However she added some diced “fried bacon” to the mixture ! We were from Southern Maryland and used Blue Crab.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 19, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me!

      Reply

  • Pay
    August 18, 2020

    I love your recipes but no no no panko breadcrumbs or any breaded crumbs. Ugh.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 19, 2020

      Thank you for that feedback Pay!

      Reply

  • Rick and Susie
    August 18, 2020

    I made them so my wife could take a break from cooking in all this heat. Unfortunately, we only had canned crab meat, but they turned out perfectly GREAT! We have been around the country and eaten all different recipes of this and yours is the best by far. Since Dungeness Spit is close by, we’ll use fresh meat next time. Love your recipes!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 18, 2020

      Super! Love that the canned crab meat also worked well. Thanks for trying out this recipe and I hope you and your wife will love every recipe that you will try!

      Reply

  • Patricia Baty
    August 17, 2020

    Can I use imitation crabmeat.patricia

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 17, 2020

      Hi Patricia, I honestly haven’t tried that so I’m not sure if it would hold together properly. Let me know if you experiment.

      Reply

  • Melissa
    August 17, 2020

    I love crab! Your recipe made it so easy to make these! They turned out great can’t wait to do it again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 17, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Melissa! Isn’t it amazing how easy this recipe is!!

      Reply

  • Dina
    August 16, 2020

    I just noticed your blog is mentioned in the show Young & Hungry!!! S.2 Ep. 14 I believe. So cool!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 17, 2020

      It really is a very fun feature that they did, especially since the episodes keep re-running!

      Reply

  • Kim Lippy
    August 16, 2020

    #1, if you are harvesting your crab meat from the shell, there is nothing easy about this recipe. It took us hours to glean 1 pound #2) you may want to consider doing a different sauce. We followed this recipe to the nth degree (1st time). We do like lemon, but the lemon in this sauce was totally bitter and overwhelming.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 17, 2020

      Hi Kim, you can also buy just the meat that is hand-picked already to save time (see notes in the recipe for more about that). If you sensed bitterness in the sauce, it would be due to grating too deep into the lemon – if you get the white pith in the sauce, it will taste bitter. Make sure you are only getting the outermost yellow part of the lemon.

      Reply

  • Rose Guindon
    August 16, 2020

    For your recipes, it would be easier to have the ingredients as regular measurements. Instead of 0.2 red bell pepper finely diced, can’t you just change it to a regular measurement. 0.2 cups panko bread crumbs. What would that equal in regular measurements.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 16, 2020

      Hi Rose, thanks for your feedback. Another way to see the metrics is to click on Jump to recipe and click Metric. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Judy jones
    August 16, 2020

    I am interested in ordering some of your cooking tools. Where is the info please

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 16, 2020

      Hello Judy. You can see the kitchen tools that I use here in our Amazon Shop. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Svetlana
    August 15, 2020

    These turned out perfectly! My husband loves crab cakes, and he always orders them, whenever they are present on restaurants’s menus.
    So, having tried various types of them, he announced “mine” “Fantastic”! 😄
    One small comment, the directions are missing a step, when we should add the sautéed onions and bell peppers to the mix 😊

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Thank you for sharing that with us! I recommend watching the video tutorial as I show the whole process. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Nancy
    August 15, 2020

    Have you made these in your air fryer? if so, what temp, how long and top or bottom shelf? I use your chicken wings recipe which is always a hit. Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Hi Nancy, I have not tried making this in an air fryer to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes!

      Reply

  • Nancy Gouge
    August 15, 2020

    Have you made these in your air fryer? I use your chicken wings recipe in the air fryer. If you have, could you please share temperature and time (top shelf or bottom shelf?) Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Hello Nancy, I haven’t tried making this using an air fryer yet. Maybe others here have tried, can you share with us some tips?

      Reply

  • Karen Peterpaul
    August 15, 2020

    We made the crab cakes today to try them out for possible dish or appetizer for our large family Christmas eve party. These were the best we’ve had and I try crab cakes everywhere they say there the best and here in the Houston area there’s a lot of them, However these are very simple to make, We are freezing some now to cook next week and see if they’ll be just as good,Thank You so, so much!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      I’m so glad you loved it, Karen! Thanks for your wonderful feedback, we appreciate you should it with us.

      Reply

  • Michael Fox
    August 15, 2020

    Loved crab cakes! Great recipe. I substituted crushed fried pork rinds as substitute for bread crumbs to accommodate my Wife’s KETO plan. Works as binder and fits many KETO recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      So great to hear that you were able to find a substitute that works! Thank you for sharing that with us.

      Reply

  • Ron
    August 15, 2020

    Natasha,
    I make my crab cakes the same as accept I never considering adding onion and red pepper. I am going add them to my crab cakes. It better be good or I will trash your recipe. (a fan ) Ron

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      We love it with onion and red pepper but it depends on your preference. Sure just give it a try and let us know how you liked it!

      Reply

      • Ron
        August 20, 2020

        Natasha,
        Made it and you got it right, as it seems you always do.
        Ron

        Reply

  • Alberta Ristine
    August 15, 2020

    These Crab Cakes look absolutely delicious.
    Can you freeze the crab cakes? I live alone and couldn’t possibly eat all of these in one or two meals. If so about how long can you freeze them?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Thank you, Alberta. I have not tried freezing it for a long period of time but I imagine that should work. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic freezer bag and defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

      Reply

      • Alberta Ristine
        August 16, 2020

        Thank you

        Reply

  • Tanya
    August 15, 2020

    You must of been reading my mind. Checked your page for crabcake recipe and didn’t find one and then this popped up on Facebook. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Oh wow perfect timing. I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Chris
    August 15, 2020

    Natasha, Loved your crab cakes. Try substituting raw shrimp whipped in lieu of eggs. (4 to 5 large shrimp.) Yumm

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Maggie Wright
    August 15, 2020

    This nearly duplicates my recipe that I have been making for over fifty years with freshly caught Dungeness Crab. I add a scant half teaspoon of dry mustard to the mix.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Oh so nice to know that you’ve been using a recipe close to this! I hope you like our version too.

      Reply

  • Carol
    August 15, 2020

    Can the crab cakes be baked?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      Hi Carol, I honestly haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes.

      Reply

  • Lorraine
    August 15, 2020

    Love your videos!!! Can I substitude with lobster or salmon?

    Reply

  • Laurie
    August 15, 2020

    These look amazing. Can you cook them and then freeze and warm up? I would love to make for my mom who now has trouble cooking. Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 17, 2020

      Hi Laurie, I have not tried freezing it for a long period of time but I imagine that should work. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic freezer bag and defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

      Reply

  • Kim Lippy
    August 15, 2020

    Is the crab cooked or raw going into the recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 15, 2020

      It needs to be cooked

      Reply

  • MARIA PETITO
    August 14, 2020

    Love following your receipts
    the fried rice is great . Crab cake is next. Keep it comming

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 16, 2020

      Sounds like a great plan, enjoy!

      Reply

  • Lucy
    August 14, 2020

    Looks yummy!!! I’ll have to make it myself! thank you for sharing this recipe

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 14, 2020

      You are very welcome. I hope this crab cake recipe becomes a new favorite for you.

      Reply

    • AdeleRossi
      August 15, 2020

      Can I make a photo copy?

      Reply

  • Lily
    August 14, 2020

    These were super easy to make and tasted amazing. I served them with tartar sauce and they disappeared within minutes.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 14, 2020

      You were quick to make these! I’m so glad you enjoyed the crab cakes and the sauce.

      Reply

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