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How to make Crab Cakes

Showing you how to make Crab Cakes with this easy family recipe that's full of jumbo lump crab meat and minimal filling!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword crab cakes, maryland crab cakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 195kcal
Author Blair


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
  • 5 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil, for frying (or more, as needed, to coat pan)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, for serving


  • Whisk egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add crab, saltines and parsley. Gently fold together, just until combined.
  • Form into 4 patties (about ¾-inch thick). Wrap patties in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add crab cakes and cook until golden and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Serve with lemon and tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.


  • Chilling the patties for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours) before frying helps them stay together when they cook. Nobody wants crab cakes that are falling apart as you cook them, so don't skip this step!
  • While you need eggs and mayonnaise to act as the binder in the crab cakes, a filler is also important to help hold the crab cakes together when they cook. Saltine cracker crumbs make the best filler for crab cakes. We keep the amount of filler to a minimum here, using just 5 crackers for the whole recipe. I do not recommend substituting with Panko breadcrumbs, which are flavorless and too crunchy. Instead, just put the Saltines in a little Ziploc plastic bag and crush them finely with a rolling pin or mallet. You can also process them in a mini food processor if you prefer.
  • You can add about 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning to the crab mixture for some added zest if you like.
  • I prefer the pan-fried crab cakes; however, you can also bake them in the oven. To make Baked Crab Cakes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet with butter, place patties on the pan, and brush the patties with melted butter. Bake crab cakes for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • If you don't want to splurge on a container of jumbo lump crab meat, you can also use lump crab meat (which is a little bit smaller than the jumbo lump) or even backfin crab meat in a pinch. I do not recommend using canned crab or claw crab meat for these crab cakes.
  • You can scale this recipe to feed any size crowd. If you're cooking for just two people, cut the ingredients in half and buy just an 8 ounce container of crab meat. If you want to feed a larger family, you can double all of the ingredients and cook the crab cakes in batches.


Serving: 1crab cake | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1395mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 346IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg