These crispy pan-fried lump meat crab cakes are loaded with crab flavor and little filler. Then, they’re topped with a bright and tangy Louisiana-style remoulade sauce.
The best crab cakes have noticeable lumps of crab meat, perfectly balanced flavorings, and as little filler as possible. That’s exactly what these crab cakes are! Top them off with a homemade cajun remoulade sauce for the ultimate flavor pairing.
Looking for more seafood? Try these Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeño Crema for an easy weeknight meal. Or, try this Creamy Lemon White Wine Pasta with Blackened Salmon for a hearty pasta dish. Looking for something lighter? Then you’ll love this Lemon Dill Salmon with Fennel and Potatoes.
Crab Cake Ingredients
Remoulade Sauce Ingredients
Key Ingredient Notes
Crab Meat – Choose fresh high-quality lump crab meat either from a seafood market from the seafood section at your grocer. Avoid canned crab meat.
Panko – Helps to bind the crab cakes together.
Old Bay – A spice blend often paired with seafood.
Dill, Celery, and Green Onion – Add freshness and flavor without overpowering the crab.
Mayo – The base of the sauce.
Sweet Pickle Relish – Adds sweetness and balances the other flavors.
Cajun Spice Blend – A spice and herb blend that adds flavor and heat to the sauce.
Hot Sauce – Cholula and Louisiana hot sauces are both good options for this recipe. Or, use your favorite hot sauce.
Horseradish – I like to use freshly grated horseradish but prepared horseradish will also work.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Make the remoulade sauce
Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Step 2: Make the Crab Cakes
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, egg, mustard, old bay, celery, green onion, dill, salt, and pepper.
Add the crab meat and panko crumbs to the wet mixture. Gently toss to combine trying not to break up the pieces of crab.
Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts about 1/3 cup each. Gently press them together to make 3/4-inch thick patties. Place them on a plate or baking sheet to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the crab cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until they are brown and crispy and cooked through. Add a bit more oil between each batch.
Serve the crab cakes warm with the remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.
Tips & Tricks
- Be sure to pick through the crab meat before mixing it into the sauce. Sometimes shell pieces are left behind and you don’t want to bite into one!
- Press the crab cakes together firmly but gently and avoid breaking up the crab as much as possible.
- Fully chill the crab cakes before cooking will allow the panko crumbs to fully hydrate and hold everything together better. These can actually be made the day before and kept covered in the fridge until ready to cook.
Storage, Reheating, & Freezing
Keep the crab cakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Heat a pan over medium-low heat and cook the crab cakes for 7 to 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the crab cakes on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F. Cook the crab cakes for 4 to 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Uncooked crab cakes can be frozen. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Then, wrap each one in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Fully thaw in the fridge before cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you would rather bake the crab cakes, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Yes! Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F. Place as many crab cakes as will fit without overcrowding and cook for 10 minutes. Repeat until all the crab cakes are cooked.
It’s possible that they are falling apart because they were too loosely formed into patties. It also could be that they weren’t refrigerated long enough. When making the crab cakes, be sure to form the patties firmly without overworking them, and allow them to chill for at least 30 minutes but longer if you have the time. Also, handle them gently when cooking and flipping in the pan.
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Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
- 1 cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon horseradish prepared or freshly grated
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 cup celery finely diced
- 1/4 cup green onions finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper preferably freshly cracked
- 1 pound lump crab meat picked over for shells
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- lemon wedges for serving
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
- Whisk together mayo, egg, mustard, old bay, dill, celery, green onion, salt, and pepper.
- Add the crab meat and panko. Gently toss to combine trying not to break up the pieces of crab meat.
- Divide into 8 equal parts, about 1/3 cup each. Gently press into 3/4-inch thick patties. Place the patties on a plate or baking sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
- Cook four crab cakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until well-browned and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack. Add another tablespoon of oil and cook the other four crab cakes.
- Serve warm with the remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.