This delicious air fryer crab cakes recipe is the ideal way to add a little gourmet seafood flare to your next meal. Not only are these tasty treats bursting with flavor, but they're also fast and simple to prepare. Whether you're hosting a holiday meal, special event, or just trying out something new at home, you are going to love these air fryer crab cakes.
If you're looking for a tasty, easy-to-make seafood dish that's sure to impress your guests, look no further than these air fryer crab cakes. The air fryer helps keep the crab cakes super moist, while still creating a crispy exterior. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time needed, these air fryer crab cakes are perfect for busy weeknights or any special occasion.
These delicious crab cakes go really well with elote in a cup or sauteed green beans. You can also make these air fryer potato wedges or air fryer frozen French fries. before air frying the crab cakes and then keep them warm in a 200 degrees f oven until the crab cakes are done. Serve the crab cakes with tartar sauce, this easy remoulade sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.
⭐ Why You’ll Love Them
- Festive main course or appetizer.
- High quality without the cost of buying ready-made crab cakes.
- Can be made ahead of time and frozen. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled so you can make a large quantity for later.
- You control the ingredients, including adjusting the spiciness or the quality of each ingredient. All they require are a few simple ingredients.
The exact measurements and ingredients are in the recipe card below.
Egg acts as a binding agent, helping to keep the crab cakes together. It also helps to provide structure and moisture so the cakes don't become too dry or crumbly when cooked.
Mayonnaise adds extra moisture and richness to the crab cakes. Its subtle tangy flavor also helps to bring out all of the other flavors in the dish while providing a light, creamy texture that really appeals to the palate.
Dijon mustard adds a nice kick and tanginess to the crab cakes. Its mild flavor helps to balance out the richer components while still providing some spiciness. By melding together with the other wet ingredients, Dijon makes sure that every bite is full of flavor.
Hot sauce adds a spicy kick to balance out the richness and tanginess of the other ingredients while also adding an interesting hint of heat. You can also add more or less hot sauce to suit your tastes without affecting the structure of the crab cakes.
Old Bay Seasoning is a beloved seasoning that adds classic taste to seafood. Its blend of herbs and spices helps to bring out all of the other flavors in the dish while providing a unique, earthy taste that pulls everything together.
Lump crab meat is the star of the show and adds excellent texture and flavor. The sweetness of the fresh crab meat and its succulent, juicy consistency gives the crab cakes its beloved and well-known flavor.
Saltine crackers make a great binder for the crab cakes. They don't turn soggy or clump like bread crumbs. I personally love the saltiness and overall taste of saltine crackers compared to breadcrumb in my crab cakes.
Sliced green onion provides a nice fresh flavor and texture to the crab cakes. They also help bring out the sweetness of the crab meat. Only use the white and light green parts of the onion.
Lemons add a bright, acidic flavor to the crab cakes that helps to cut through the fat and richness of the other ingredients. You will find most seafood served with a lemon wedge on the side.
🔪 How To
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg and mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, and lemon juice from one lemon.
- In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, crushed crackers, and green onions. Add the wet ingredients to this mixture.
- Combine crab mixture with your hands. Refrigerate for 1 hour to meld the flavors and bind the crab cake mixture together.
- Using your hands form the crab meat mixture into balls or cakes. Line the basket with a parchment paper liner. Then, add the crab cakes in a single layer to the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Air fry the crab cakes until they are crisp, golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.
💭 For Best Results
✔ Use fresh lump crab meat for the best flavor and texture. Select high-quality crab meat for this feature ingredient.
✔ Minimize the amount of filler, such as breadcrumbs, in the crab cakes to allow the crab flavor to shine.
✔ Chill the crab cakes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cooking to help them hold their shape.
✔ Be gentle when handling the crab cakes to avoid breaking them apart during cooking. Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauce or garnish.
✔ For crispy crab cakes, spritz the cakes in the air fryer with small bit of oil. Do not use a nonstick cooking spray.
Worcestershire sauce is a great substitute for those who don't want to add hot sauce to the mixture or don't have it on hand. It adds a wonderful bit of umami to make great crab patties.
In place of sliced green onions (scallions) add a chopped red bell pepper to the mixture. Not only do they add flavor, they add nice texture and color to the homemade crab cakes.
Main dish crab cakes can be formed into patties or into balls as shown here.
Mini crab cakes make an excellent appetizer, especially when served with your favorite sauce. Form the crab cakes into smaller balls. The cooking time will be a bit shorter, so check on them earlier.
Make ahead crab cakes. Add the uncooked crab cakes to a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place them in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove them from the pan and store them separated by plastic wrap in an airtight container.
- Leftover crab cakes can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the crab cakes in the 250 degree air fryer for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
- Leftover crab cakes may also be frozen in an airtight container for up 3 to 6 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the air fryer.
Easy Crispy Air Fryer Crab Cakes
- Air Fryer
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup real mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste such as Franks or Tabasco
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 lemons
- 1 pound lump crab meat drained
- ¼ cup saltine crackers crumbled
- ⅛ cup sliced green onions
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, seasoning, and juice from 1 lemon. Mix well until combined. Taste, and add more hot sauce ¼ teaspoon at a time until your desired spiciness.
- In a large bowl, add the cracker crumbs, crab meat, and green onions. Toss until combined. Add the egg mixture and using your hands, combine the ingredients. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour.
- Scoop out ¼ cup of the mixture and using your hands, form it into a ball. Continue until you have 8 crabmeat balls. At this point, you can either gently flatten your cakes into thick patties or you can leave them in a ball.
- Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Arrange the crab cakes on parchment paper in the air fryer basket. Spritz the cakes lightly with oil. Cook, turning once and spritzing with oil, for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cakes crisp and turn golden.
- Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Transfer the crab cakes to a serving dish. Serve with the lemon wedges and dipping sauces.