Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

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My classic Maryland-style Crab Cakes with Garlicky Yogurt Sauce are absolutely delicious – for dinner, lunch, or just a nifty appetizer! They are savory, summery, and totally addictive with my easy homemade crab cake sauce.

side shot of arranged crab cakes on a white plate

An Easy Crab Cake Recipe

This recipe hits all the right notes, and it’s a breeze from start to finish. The ingredients are all easy to find, even if you don’t live on the coast! Using canned crabmeat, mayo and dried herbs, and a few surprise ingredients (hello, Panko!), you’ll be able to pull this recipe off in no time.

A sprinkling of freshly diced red bell pepper accents the natural sweetness of the crab, while scallions and lemon juice add that zesty, coastal flavor.

INGREDIENTS

For the Crab Cakes:

  • Canned Crab meat: You can also use fresh! But canned is easy to find, and available year-round.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: You can use pork rind crumbs, regular crumbs, or just any seasoned bread crumbs that you have on hand!
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Scallions
  • Mayonnaise: It’s fine to use light, regular, or keto-friendly.
  • Egg
  • Lemon Juice
  • Old Bay Seasoning: This is a key ingredient! It really adds that authentic New England flavor.
  • Dried Herbs: I used thyme and oregano.
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder
  • Vegetable Oil and Butter

crab cakes mixture in a glass bowl

For the Crab Cake Sauce:

  • Plain Yogurt
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Dried Herbs
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

HOW TO MAKE CRAB CAKES

  1. Combine the “Filler” Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine panko crumbs, the peppers, scallions, mayonnaise, egg, and lemon juice, and the Old Bay seasoning, dried herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add Crabmeat: Drain and flake the crabmeat, add it to the filler, and stir it all together until well combined. If the mixture is too wet, add more Panko crumbs to reach desired consistency.
  3. Shape into Patties: Divide the mixture into eight portions. Roll into balls, and then coat the balls in Panko crumbs. Flatten into patties.
  4. Cook Patties: Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add crab cakes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer crab cakes to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. Prepare the Yogurt Sauce: In the meantime, prepare the dip by adding all the dip ingredients to a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!

cooking crab cakes in hot oil

TIPS FOR THE BEST CRAB CAKES

  • Chill your crab cakes: To firm up the cakes before cooking, try chilling them for 15 minutes. Make sure to cook thoroughly.
  • Try using lump crab meat: Lump crab meat makes the most hearty cakes, but any type of crab meat will be tasty!
  • Crab cakes can also be baked: Preheat the oven to 400˚F, line a baking sheet with parchment, and bake for about 10 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and cooked through.

close up shot of yogurt dip in a white bowl

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Crab cakes can be served in a number of awesome ways!

  • Appetizers: Try making mini-crab cakes and serving them  with dip. You can also place a thin slice of tomato, cucumber, or avocado on top of each cake with a toothpick.
  • Sandwiches: Crab cakes taste wonderful on a bun. Try using the dip instead of mayonnaise, and top with a crunchy piece of iceberg lettuce. If your patties aren’t very large, you can use a slider bun instead of a sandwich bun! Sweet Hawaiian rolls make fantastic sliders.
  • Fish ‘n’ Chips: Bake up a batch of steak fries and nestle them into a basket with two or three crab cakes for a tasty spin on fish and chips. Serve with malt vinegar.
  • With Salad: I love serving these crab cakes with a summery salad recipe, like Tabbouleh Salad or this Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn.

top shot of crab cakes served with yogurt dip

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS

  • To store: Wrap leftover crab cakes in plastic wrap, or gently fold up in clean paper towels and place in food storage bags or containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating in the oven: To reheat, in the oven, place the unwrapped cakes in a covered baking dish and heat for 10 minutes or so at 350˚F, or until heated through. Do not overcook, or the cakes will dry out.
  • Reheating on the stovetop: To reheat on the stove, melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet and gently saute the patties for 2-3 minutes per side, until heated through. Do not overcook, or the cakes will dry out.

More Easy Seafood Recipes

ENJOY!

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5 from 8 votes
side shot of arranged crab cakes on a white plate
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Crab Cakes

9 9 9
WW Freestyle: 12
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Delicious, easy Maryland-style crab cakes with a garlicky yogurt dipping sauce.
Course: Dinner/Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 305

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ to 2 cups pork panko crumbs, divided, (you can also use regular seasoned breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs, (I use thyme + oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) crab meat, drained and flaked
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Yogurt Dip

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs, (I used mint + parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Reserve 1/2 cup crumbs and set aside on a plate.
  • In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup crumbs, peppers, scallions, mayonnaise, egg, lemon juice, old bay seasoning, herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the crab meat and stir it all together until well combined. If mixture is too wet, add more crumbs to the crab mixture to reach desired consistency.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 balls.
  • Place reserved crumbs in a plate and roll each crabmeat ball in the crumbs; gently flatten to make a thick patty.
  • Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add crab cakes to the hot oil; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Flip over the crab cakes and continue to cook for 3 more minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Transfer crab cakes to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • In the meantime prepare the Yogurt Dip by adding all the Dip ingredients to a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine.
  • Serve crab cakes with the Dip.

Notes

NET CARBS: 4 g (with pork rind crumbs)
Nutrition Facts
Crab Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 97mg32%
Sodium 995mg41%
Potassium 303mg9%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 532IU11%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keywords: seafood, crab, crab cakes recipe, crab cake sauce, how to make crab cakes

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20 Responses
  1. Beth

    My daughter and I love crab! These are soon to be our favorite! I can’t wait to give these a try! Looks so delicious and yummy!

  2. Joe

    So wrong in so many ways. Old Bay does not add New England flavor. Old Bay is a Maryland original, and it is still made in Maryland. And no self-respecting Free Stater would ever add a filler like breadcrumbs to crab cakes.

    If you want a real Maryland crab cake recipe, search for Senator Barbara Mikulski’s recipe. That is how to make proper crab cakes.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Oh, Joe, you’re so fun! I guess this (you) is what a “self-respecting Free Stater” looks like?
      You know, there is a much nicer way to explain things to others without using that condescending tone, implying that someone is disrespectful, or even stupid. It is very off-putting and in no way encourages others to want to learn more, or listen to you any further.

      And, to those reading, if you weren’t aware, Joe’s comment is what “mansplaining” looks like.

  3. Natasha

    This is so much better than the restaurant versions. Your recipe made it so easy to make these! They turned out great can’t wait to do it again!

  4. Sara Welch

    Gave these a try last night and the whole family loved them! Even my picky eaters who say they don’t like seafood gobbled them up! Delicious!

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