These Easy Homemade Crab Cakes are the best I’ve ever tasted! They are full of crab meat and have the most delicious flavor. With onions, garlic, peppers, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, parsley, and so much yummy crab meat!! Bonus, they freeze great too!
How is it already February and Valentine’s Day this weekend!? The days and months just seem to fly by and run together these days.
Speaking of Valentine’s Day how are you celebrating? I’m guessing many of you will be staying in, enjoying a homecooked meal with your loved ones.
And if that’s your plan I have the perfect recipe for you… these easy homemade Crab Cakes!
If you’ve had my Salmon Cakes or my incredibly popular Tuna Cakes, you’re gonna love these!
They are chock full of crab meat – to be specific, I used lump crab meat and claw crab meat for this recipe.
How to make gluten free crab cakes:
I used almond meal and an egg for the binder to keep them together, which also makes them low-carb and gluten-free!
You can swap the almond meal out for gluten-free breadcrumbs, if carbs are not a concern. Or use regular breadcrumbs if neither carbs nor gluten are concerns.
If you can’t find almond meal in the store you can purchase it online at Amazon or better yet make your own. It is soo easy and it only requires 1 ingredient. Annd I happen to have instructions on how to make almond meal right here on the blog.
Of course the key ingredient for this crab cake recipe is… crab. There are options when it comes to what crab you use.
The best crab meat for crab cakes
So you have several options when it comes to crab meat. It all depends on the price you are willing to pay. To compare easily I’ll give you the price of 8 ounces for all of these options. Note that we're in FL, so regional pricing may vary depending on where you live!
- First, there’s Jumbo Lump Crab Meat which was the most expensive option at my grocery store, at $24.99 for 8 ounces.
- Next was Lump Crab Meat, which was the second most expensive option: $14.99 for 8 ounces.
- There are also King Crab Legs or Alaskan King Crab, which will run about $12.50 for 8 ounces. This is sold still in the shell, so you’ll have to do some work removing the crab from the shells.
- Our grocery store also sells Claw Crab Meat in sealed 8-ounce plastic containers, and that was $9.99 for 8 ounces.
- Dungeness Crab was priced at $7.50 for 8 ounces, and Snow Crab was priced very similarly at $7.00 for 8 ounces. For these two options, you’re also going to have to remove the crabmeat from the shells yourself.
- Finally, there’s canned crab meat. Most of those come in 6-ounce cans, that actually contain 4.25 ounces of “dry weight” crab… To compare it with all the other options in this list, 8 ounces of canned crab meat ranges from $11-$17. Also, canned crab meat can have a pretty strong fishy smell and flavor, and the can actually instructs you to “rinse lightly in cold water for better flavor.” So if you go that route I recommend rinsing it and patting it dry. To do this, use a fine strainer so you don't wash the crab meat down the drain.
You might also be wondering about using imitation crab meat. Allow me to share my thoughts on this with you…
Can I use imitation crab meat?
There is imitation crab meat available but it is not my favorite option. And honestly I wouldn't recommend it.
Here’s why… Imitation crab is a highly processed food made by combining minced fish with starch, egg whites, sugar, salt and additives to mimic the flavor, color and texture of real crab meat. Although it's significantly less expensive than real crab, it's also less nutritious and laced with questionable additives. But for people looking for lower-cholesterol options in their diet, Imitation Crab is a good substitute for real crab.
BTW, Imitation crab is not considered keto or gluten free because it usually contains wheat flour and sugar. Imitation crab has 11 grams of carbs for just a single ½-cup serving, which is on the high side for a small portion.
How to make low carb crab cakes
In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onion, pepper, celery and garlic, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Then remove from heat and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together egg, almond meal, garlic powder, onion powder, Cayenne, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and parsley.
Next, fold in the crab meat and the cooked onion/pepper mixture. Stir together until well combined. Then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Use a ⅓ measuring cup and form the crab cakes. Press the crab mixture into the measuring cup so that the crab cake is packed together well.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat and saute the crab cakes in batches for 4-5 minutes per side (reduce the heat if they are browning too quickly). As they finish cooking, transfer them to a serving platter and repeat with remaining crab cakes, adding more oil if needed.
These Easy Homemade Crab Cakes are over the top! They’re so flavorful and a little sweet, full of crab meat with very little filler and they are just delicious.
Whether you make these for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner you will be in seafood heaven. And since they’re low carb and gluten free you can eat twice as many – right!!?? Lol
How to freeze crab cakes
You can certainly freeze these crab cakes but I doubt you will have any leftover.
After you saute the cakes, allow them to cool completely. Wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer storage bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Enjoy my friend!
(PS: the nutrition info in the following recipe excludes the chipotle mayo!)
Easy Homemade Crab Cakes (Gluten Free)
Easy Homemade Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayo... the best you'll ever taste! Full of crab meat, and almond meal to keep them gluten-free!
For The Crab Cakes:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- ½ red pepper, seeds and membranes removed, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup almond meal, breadcrumbs, or gluten free breadcrumbs (if carbs are not a concern)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne (depending on your desire for spicy heat)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 pound lump or claw crabmeat, drained and lightly rinsed. (Break up the lump crab meat into smaller pieces so the crab cakes stays together and keeps it shape.) *See Note!
For The Chipotle Mayonnaise (optional):
- ½ cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chipotle chile sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping tablespoon of diced dill pickles
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and sauté onion, celery, red pepper, and minced garlic, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together egg, almond meal, garlic powder, onion powder, Cayenne, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and parsley.
- Next, fold in the crab meat and the cooked onion/pepper mixture. Stir together until well combined. Then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Use a ⅓ measuring cup and form the crab cakes. Press the crab mixture into the measuring cup so they’re packed together well.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium high - medium heat (adjust as needed) and sauté the crab cakes in batches for 4-5 minutes per side (reduce the heat if they are browning too quickly).
- As they finish cooking, transfer them to a serving platter and repeat with remaining crab cakes, adding more oil if needed.
- To make the chipotle may (or "chipotle aioli," imply whisk the listed ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
The nutrition info in this recipe excludes the chipotle mayo!
You can use canned crab meat but I recommend using either lump or claw crab meat. If you do use canned crab meat, I suggest a good rinse, and then pat it dry because the canned meat can have a prominent fishy-smell and salty falvor.
If using lump crab meat break up the meat so the crab cakes stays together and keeps its shape.
Serving Size1 Cake (without sauce)
Amount Per Serving Calories 165Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 70mgSodium 658mgCarbohydrates 9gNet Carbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 12g
This nutrition card uses an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. This estimate is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice!
16 oz lump crab in fridge section of Sams or Costco is less than $24. Makes for great crab cakes!
Thanks for that tip, I'm sure all our readers with Sam's/Costco memberships will take advantage of that! 🙂 - H&B