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How to Cook Crab Cakes & What to Serve with Them

How to Cook Crab Cakes & What to Serve with Them

Last Updated on 15th February 2022 by

Is there a better appetizer for a seafood-centric meal than crab cakes? I highly doubt it, and I think it’s worth your time to learn how to make crab cakes at home.

What Are Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are fried (but sometimes baked) balls or patties that are made with crab meat, bread crumbs, and seasoning. They’re typically held together with egg, which is the binder for these patties.

If you’ve seasoned your crab cakes well, they can be served on their own without any dipping sauce, but many people prefer to have a dipping sauce available when eating crab cakes.

Depending on how you make them look, they can be a guilty pleasure or a refined finger food that classes up your meal. You can make them with either imitation crab or real crab, depending on what your budget is for the meal.

There are tons of different ways you can make crab cakes, and I will share with you my favorite recipes for how to cook them whether you prefer frying or baking.

How to Cook Crab Cakes

There are a lot of ingredients that will go into your crab cakes, but I guarantee the work will be worth it. Every one of those ingredients plays an important part in making this dish a real treat.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 1 pound of crabmeat
  • 3/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • Tartar sauce
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cooking oil


  1. Start by beating the egg well in a bowl and then add in your mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, stir the parsley, crabmeat, and bread crumbs together.
  3. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into that and use it to make 8 patties. You can make these on the countertop or another flat, clean surface.
  4. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with cooking oil and heat on medium until it begins shimmering. Add in your crab cakes and cook them with enough space for them not to overlap. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes for each side of the patties, until they become crispy and have a golden color.
  5. Serve the crab cakes with tartar sauce and lemon.

What to Serve with Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes work well as an appetizer on their own or as part of a larger meal. Now you know how to fry crab cakes, let’s talk about what you can serve them up with.

Crab cakes make an excellent addition to a seafood meal, pairing well with fish filet, lobster, hush puppies, and seafood salad. You can add them to a homestyle Southern meal, and fried food is always a great addition to that kind of spread.

You might include crab cakes with mashed potatoes, collard greens, steamed vegetables, fried chicken, cornbread, baked beans, and other Southern staples.

Crab cakes are often served with a dipping sauce, or lemons to spritz them with a few drops of citrus juice. You can serve them with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and other common seafood dips.

What to eat with crab cakes is up to you, but it’s worth trying out a few different types of sauces to see what you like best. You may enjoy horseradish, Thousand Island dressing, or other unconventional sauces with this dish.

How Long to Cook Crab Cakes in Oven

There are many different methods you could use for how to cook crab cakes on stove or oven, but the oven is my preferred method. It’s less messy, there’s not as much oil involved, and I like the way the texture of the crab cakes comes out at the end.

You’ll use the same ingredients as what I gave you above for the fried crab cakes, but the difference is that we need to refrigerate the patties for about 30 minutes. You can do this while the stove is heating up. Be sure to refrigerate before you turn your crab cake batter into patties.

When you’re ready to bake the crab cakes, grease a baking pan and place them on there. Make sure there’s enough space for all the crab cakes to fit on the sheet and then bake them at high heat for about 12 minutes.

To ensure that they crab cakes are baked, you want to measure them out with 1/2 cup scoops.

How Long to Bake Crab Cakes?

That would depend on what temperature you’re using and how you shape the crab cakes. If you’re making a thick ball rather than a flatter patty, it will take longer to cook the crab cakes all the way through.

How long to cook the crab cakes depends on how high you want your stove set to.

At 375 degrees Fahrenheit with crab cake balls, it can take about 25 minutes. If you do flat patties at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then it should take around 12 to 15 minutes.

Keep in mind that crab cakes cook longer from frozen as well. If you prepare them ahead of time and then froze them, you can either thaw them out first or cook them in the oven while they are still frozen. How to cook frozen crab cakes?

It takes a little longer to bake them then if they’re already thawed, as you would imagine. You will need to preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and once it is warm, put your crab cakes into bake for about 12 minutes.

Then, flip them over and cook for another three or four minutes on the other side. By that time, they should have cooked all the way through.
As you can see, making crab cakes isn’t very difficult.

The complexity of this dish is more in the number of ingredients that are required than any difficult cooking process.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here