These Maryland-style Air Fryer Crab Cakes are easy to make and done in 15-minutes! An easy recipe for an appetizer packed with fresh crab meat that will delight your guests. These can be made ahead and cooked just when you need them. Serve the homemade air fryer crab cakes with lemon juice your favorite sauce.
Why this works
- Super simple - so easy to make you can even show the kids how to do this one. They would love to make personal air fryer naan pizzas too.
- Delicious - the ingredients for Air Fryer Crab Cakes are pantry staples but combined together into a delicious appetizer without much filler and big chunks of crab meat. Try out some Buffalo Chicken Meatballs as another appetizer to pair with these.
- Make ahead - these can be assembled up to a day in advance and kept refrigerated until you are ready to cook them much like my stuffed mushrooms recipe.
- Minimal fillers - this recipe focuses on crab meat, and there are just enough filler ingredients to make delicious crab cakes.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
- Crab meat - at your seafood market be sure to buy fresh jumbo crab lump meat from your grocery store. This kind works out best for crab cakes, but you can use imitation crab meat to still get a good crab cake.
- Dijon mustard - complements the recipe well but yellow mustard can be substituted if needed.
- Old Bay seasoning - you can use Cajun seasoning as well.
- Parsley - I think fresh is best as it has a nice flavor pop, but dried can also be used.
- Bread crumbs - can substitute with crushed pork rinds for a keto-friendly diet.
How to make this
Step 1: Prepare the crab cake mixture
Combine into a large bowl the crab lump meat, bread crumbs, parsley, Old Bay seasonings, mayonnaise, egg white, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything together thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula.
Step 2: Air frying the crab cakes
Divide the crab mixture into four equal portions. Use gloves when assembling for less mess on your hands. You can also make more with a smaller amount for mini crab cakes.
Form them into patties, but be careful not to overwork the crab mixture. If you overwork them they will come out dense and the crab will fall apart.
Lightly spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Place patties in a single layer on the parchment paper liner. If you have to preheat your air fryer wait until you have done that before adding the parchment paper. Since there is nothing to weigh it down it will fly around and be a fire hazard.
There is no need to preheat the air fryer for this recipe. Cook at 370 degrees for a total of 10-minutes.For best results, flip the crab cakes halfway through the cooking time so the crab patties are golden brown on all sides when done.
If the crab cakes are not browned to your liking cook them for some additional time. Remove to a plate or baking sheet for serving.
Buy high-quality crab meat for this recipe! The crab is the star of the show and big chunks of fresh crab are a signature quality of this dish. Make sure the crab is chilled before using. Be gentle when mixing the crab doesn't like it like when you're rough! LOL Using an ice cream scoop can help you form them into patties.
This Air Fryer Crab Cake is a classic Maryland-style crab cake but don't be afraid to experiment. You can add finely diced red bell pepper or green onion to the mixture for something different. You can also play around with the spices to turn up the heat.
Not having enough binder. While crab is naturally moist the key is to have a proper balance of binders to keep it together. Egg plus a starch binder is required. Be careful though.... too much binder will create a not-so-tasty texture.
You can soak the crab in milk for 20-minutes then drain and pat dry to eliminate a fishy taste. The casein in milk binds to TMA which is the fishy culprit and is drained away. However, be sure the crab is fresh it shouldn't smell bad.
Air Fryer Crab Cakes are usually served with saltine crackers, a lemon wedge, or a sauce like tartar sauce or hot sauce. They can also be dipped in a tasty garlic aioli or remoulade sauce.
They are wonderful as an appetizer for steak, other seafood, or a main dish with salad. These crispy crab cakes make a great crab cake sandwich too.
Storage & reheating
Store leftover crab cakes in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in either the microwave or air fryer. To reheat in the air fryer just cook at 370 degrees for a minute or two.
Crab cakes can be frozen cooked or uncooked. Wrap each crab cake in plastic wrap, and then freeze for up to one month. Defrost in the refrigerator.
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Air Fryer Crab Cakes
- 8 ounces crab lump meat
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup bread crumbs can substitute with crushed pork rinds for a keto diet
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tablespoon parsley
- ½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard can also use yellow mustard
- Combine all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.
- Form the mixture into four patties.
- Add to your air fryer. It helps to spray a little olive oil or to place parchment paper in the the basket.
- Cook at 370-degrees for 10-minutes. Turn halfway through the cooking time.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in either the microwave or air fryer. To reheat in the air fryer just cook at 370-degrees for a minute or two.
- Crab cakes can be frozen cooked or uncooked. Wrap each crab cake in plastic wrap, and then freeze for up to one month. Defrost in the refrigerator.
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