Crab cakes are such a delicious meal option that are also known as fish cakes. This recipe for Air Fryer Crab Cakes is healthy, satisfying, and so easy to make! Gluten-free option included.

cooked crab cakes in an air fryer

Old bay seasoning, red bell pepper, and Dijon mustard are mixed together with lump crab meat for a flavorful and delicious crab cake that your family is going to love.

Serve them as a main dish, put them on a brioche (or gluten-free) bun, or plate them next to a dipping sauce for a star worthy appetizer. This Air Fryer Crab Cakes recipe is a crowd pleaser.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • It’s a great way to change up dinner. If you’re tired of the same old chicken dishes, this crab cake recipe will be a tasty and welcome change to your normal routine.
  • Crab is high in protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and folate. A one-cup serving of cooked crab has 21 grams of protein and no carbohydrates. It’s super nutritious!
  • Air fryer crab cakes are a perfect recipe to meal prep. Double the batch and freeze half of the crab cakes for next time.
A stack of crab cakes

Key Ingredients

Lump crab meat is the star of the show here so be sure to buy the jumbo lump or lump crabmeat for it’s bright color and sublime flavor.

Old bay seasoning packs in flavor with only one ingredient (but lots of spices). It’s essential for a Maryland style crab cake and pairs well with all types of seafood.

Egg helps to bind the crab cakes together.

Mayonnaise gives the crab cakes their perfect and creamy texture. Even if you don’t like mayonnaise on it’s own you will still want it in there!

Saltine crackers add salty flavor and also act as a binding agent to help form the mixture into patties. Feel free to use gluten-free saltines.

ingredients for crab cakes

Recipe Steps

Step One

In a large bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, crushed saltine crackers, mayonnaise, egg, and Old Bay seasoning. 

Step Two

Add the diced red pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and finely diced shallot and combine. Gently mix in your crab meat.

collage with process photos for making air fryer crab cakes

Step Three

Chill the crab mixture for at least 30 minutes.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Four

Divide your crab mixture into 5 even balls and gently but firmly press into a patty. Don’t press too hard or it may get mushed.

Step Five

Preheat Air Fryer to 375° degree F, add parchment liner to your air fryer basket and then place the crab cakes on top in a single layer.

baked crab cakes on parchment paper liner in air fryer basket

Step Six

Bake for 12 minutes turning halfway through. They will turn a golden brown when they are done cooking.

Transfer crab cakes to a serving plate and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Crab cakes can be refrigerated up to 4 days in a tightly covered container. 
  • Crab cakes can be frozen uncooked or cooked. Uncooked crab cakes will last 2-3 months in the freezer, cooked will last 4-6 months.
  • You can serve these crab cakes alongside store-bought tartar sauce or cocktail sauce for an easy dip or you can make your own remoulade or aioli. Or, just serve them with your favorite sauce.

FAQs

Does it make a difference if I use Lump crab meat instead of Jumbo Lump Crab Meat?

Jumbo Lump Crab Meat is very flavorful and larger in size than lump crab meat. Lump crab meat is smaller in size and also has a very good flavor.

Should I get canned or fresh lump crab meat?

For the best flavor, you should get fresh jumbo or lump crab meat. This can be found usually in the seafood or meat department of your grocery store as it needs to be kept refrigerated.

Do I need to chill the crab mixture?

Yes, chilling the crab mixture allows it to bind together and will keep it from falling apart when handled and during cooking.

Can I eliminate the crackers and mayonnaise?

The crackers and mayonnaise are what will bind the crab cake together. Without these ingredients, the patties will not hold together.

What is Old Bay Seasoning?

You can buy Old Bay Seasoning; it’s a mixture of celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, and paprika.

What are air fryer liners?

Great question! They are new-to-me, too, but they are nice to have for this recipe. They are essentially round pieces of parchment paper with holes cut into them for ventilation. You can buy parchment paper air fryer liners in the size according to your needs. Use them when you are making something that may fall through the basket of your air fryer.

serving plate with crab cakes, lemon slices, and dipping sauce

Other Air Fryer Recipes You Might Like

Or, check out my entire list of gluten-free Air Fryer Recipes.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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crab cakes with tomato salad

Air Fryer Crab Cakes


Description

Crab cakes are such a delicious meal option that are also known as fish cakes. This recipe for Air Fryer Crab Cakes is healthy, satisfying, and so easy to make! Gluten-free option included.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (use a gluten-free brand, if necessary)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup saltine crackers, crushed (use gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 16 ounces fresh Jumbo Lump crab meat or Lump crab meat, patted dry
  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional, for serving)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, crushed saltine crackers, mayonnaise, egg, and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. Add the diced red pepper, chopped parsley, and finely diced shallot and combine.
  3. Gently add in your crab meat. Mix with the other ingredients, but try to keep some of the crab meat chunks.
  4. Chill the crab cake mixture for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour to help them stick together.
  5. Divide your crab mixture into 5 even balls (roughly 1 cup measurement) and gently but firmly press into a patty. Don’t press too hard; the patty should hold together but not be mushed. Make sure edges are smooth and evenly rounded.
  6. Preheat Air Fryer to 375°F, add parchment liner to your air fryer basket (add liner with your food, not before as it will get sucked to the heating element and burn), and then place the crab cakes on top.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, turning halfway through.
  8. Remove crab cakes to serving dish and serve hot with fresh lemon slices.

Notes

  1. Crab cakes can be refrigerated up to 4 days in a tightly covered container.
  2. Crab cakes can be frozen uncooked or cooked. Uncooked crab cakes will last 2-3 months in the freezer, cooked will last 4-6 months.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: healthy crab cakes, gluten-free crab cakes

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