Cajun Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes

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These bite-sized Cajun Crab Cakes are a perfectly delicious appetizer, and they are super easy to make. 

Cajun Crab Cakes

Why Crab Cake Appetizers?

Everyone loves crab cakes!  These ones don’t have to be an appetizer, either. You can serve them along with a salad, or alongside Cajun Red Beans and Rice, for dinner. You can even make these into sliders, or make the patties larger for full-size burgers.

These mini Cajun Crab Cakes are a delicious addition to any appetizer platter,  garnished with a garlic chive aioli, and served on a bed of pea shoots. You can serve them at a Spring Wine & Appetizer Pairing, along with other delectable appetizers, like Asparagus Puffs, or Cucumber Radish Crostini.

Crab cakes on a plate, with a tray of crab cakes

Here’s What You Need to Make Cajun Crab Cakes

Crabmeat

You can use fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned crabmeat. Although fresh is always my first choice, any of those options will be delicious. Having frozen or canned crab meat on hand has the advantage of being able to whip these up anytime.

Mayonnaise

Real, full-fat mayonnaise is a must for this recipe. Sandwich spreads and “whips” don’t have the fat content that is required to give the crab cakes their crisp exterior and moist interior. Additionally, those spreads and whips contain sugar, which is not desirable in this recipe. 

Egg

Use a large egg for this recipe and beat it thoroughly.

Bread Crumbs

Fine, dry breadcrumbs, not fresh ones are required for the crispy coating. Panko is ideal (I used gluten-free).

Cajun Seasoning

If you have Cajun or Creole seasoning on hand use that, or you can easily make your own using this recipe: Easy Cajun Spice Blend

Lemon

Of course, anytime there’s seafood, there must be lemon. Fresh lemon juice and zest are essential.

 

The ingredients for this recipe on a wooden board.

Tips For Successful Cajun Crab Cakes

  • Start with cold ingredients. The patties will be much easier to shape and will hold together better.
  • Use parchment paper to line the baking sheet. This eliminates the need to grease the pan and makes clean-up easy.
  • Use a hot oven. These are baked at 425° A hot oven is the best way to get a super crispy coating.
  • Turn halfway through. Turn each patty halfway through the cooking time, and also rotate the baking sheet for even cooking. 

Two Cajun Crab Cakes on a small blue & white plate with peas shoots and a lemon wedge.

How To Make Ahead

You can make and bake the crab cakes, allow them to cool, and store them in the fridge for up to one day. To reheat, put them, on a baking tray in a 350° oven for ten minutes or until heated through. These cajun crab cakes are also delicious eaten cold as well.

How to Freeze Crab Cakes

This recipe can be frozen either cooked or uncooked. Either way, flash freeze the patties on a baking tray for about an hour or until firm. Then pack them into freezer-safe, airtight containers and freeze for up to 2 months.

To reheat frozen, cooked crab cakes, put the frozen patties on a baking sheet in a 350° oven and heat 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through. 

To cook frozen crab cakes, first, defrost them in the fridge overnight, then bake as instructed. 

 

A plate of food on a table, with Crab cake and Aioli

 

Crab Nutritional Information

Crabmeat is low in calories, and most of those calories are protein. Crab is a complete source of protein. It supplies all of the 20 amino acids that your body needs to make new proteins. It’s also an excellent source of B Vitamins, especially  B 12, a vitamin that enables your body to produce healthy red blood cells, strong brain function, and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

A plate of food on a table, with Crab cakes and lemon wedge

Choosing Sustainable Seafood

Those of us that eat food from the sea, as well as those that make their living supplying that food, are increasingly aware of sustainability. We need to ensure that our oceans are healthy and able to produce food. Not only for ourselves, but for so many other species who depend on it. Therefore, when shopping for seafood, look for the Marine Stewardship Council, or Ocean Wise label. These labels ensure that the fish was caught using sustainable practices.

 

Crab cakes on a plate, with a tray of crab cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes

Cajun Crab Cakes are an easy to make and delicious appetizer that bakes in the oven and can be made ahead, too.
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Cajun
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 crab cakes
Calories: 93kcal
Author: Colleen

Ingredients

Cajun Crab Cakes

  • 1/2 lb shelled crab meat
  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1.5 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon juice and zest of, reserving 1 tbsp for Garlic Dill Aoli
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup fresh pea shoots

Garlic Dill Aoli

  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives chopped
  • fresh chives for garnish

Instructions

Cajun Crab Cakes

  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, gently combine crab, mayonnaise, egg, 3/4 cup of the panko crumbs, lemon juice and zest, and Cajun seasoning.
    Ingredients being combined in a glass bowl.
  • Put the remainder of the panko crumbs on a plate
  • With your hands, shape the mixture into balls, about 2 tbsp each, then flattening each ball with your palm into a small patty.
    Shaping the mixture into balls.
  • Press each patty gently into the panko crumbs on the plate, then turn to coat the other side. Transfer patties to the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced.
  • Bake in center of the oven for 15 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and firm.
  • Scatter pea shoots on a platter, then transfer baked Cajun Crab Cakes on top 

Garlic Chive Aioli

  • In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, reserved lemon juice, garlic, and chives. 
  • Spoon a dollop of Garlic Chive Aioli on top of each Cajun Crab Cake
  • Garnish with fresh chives

Notes

Starting with cold ingredients, including the crabmeat, mayonnaise, and egg make the patties easier to work with and ensures they won't fall apart.
You can substitute two six oz cans of crabmeat, drained for the fresh crab.

Nutrition

Serving: 1crab cake | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 66mg | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 15.7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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24 thoughts on “Cajun Crab Cakes

  1. Those look fabulous! I don’t know why I don’t, but I do not cook with crab nearly often enough. This must be remedied!

  2. Thank you for baking these. I’m such a sucker for a good crab cake, but the traditional preparation isn’t the healthiest. But this version, I could have a couple of times a week without guilt.

    1. Hi Katherine, I too, would have these a couple of times a week, if only crab weren’t so expensive! (At least where I live) But they are super delicious, so worth the expense every so often.

  3. YUP….perfection for sure. I would eat this ALL year long. Crab is so delicious and such a great seafood to work with. I wish I lived closer to the water to get it fresh…frozen works, but fresh is best.

  4. It’s been such a long time since I made crab cakes, but these look so crispy and cooked to perfection that I might just need to make a batch for my next get together. They really make a fantastic appetizer, especially for spring!

  5. Made this last night! Delicious!!! Everyone loved them and will definitely make them again! Thanks for the awesome recipe! (ps–they were just as good for breakfast!!)

    1. Hi Jack! So glad that you loved the recipe! And yes, how delicious these crab cakes would be, topped with a poached egg for breakfast. Thanks for the great tip! And thanks for stopping by.

  6. These look awesome! They would make a great appetizer on my catering menu’s! I love making crab cakes but never do for myself at home…I probably should because its one of the few ‘seafood’ meals my wife actually loves! I’ll be making these soon!

    1. Hi Markus. These are delicious and also easy to make ahead. I think they would be perfect for a catering menu. I hope you (and your wife) love them!

  7. Thanks so much Denise, I know that you will love these. (crabmeat bought at Codfathers :-)) And we have tried to ban frying in our kitchen, not just for health reasons but also because of the wear and tear of the kitchen when there is so much grease. Baking these works great!

  8. I look forward to trying your crab cake recipe for so many reasons, Colleen. Firstly, I love small plates appetizers such as these. Secondly, baked rather than fried really appeals to me. I also love the combination with fresh pea shoots and garlic dill or chive aioli – so appealing in texture and flavour. Thank you for sharing! ?. They look so yummy!

  9. Everything about these crab crabs screams spring!
    I absolutely love the flavor combinations. I also love the fact that they are baked… always a winner in my books. I have pinned to try. Thanks for sharing Colleen ♥

    1. Hi Maria! Spring is such a short season that we have to savour all that it offers us in the way of food, right? And baking these, to me, makes them so much better than frying because you just taste the crab and seasonings without all the grease. I hope you love them as much as we do!

  10. Hi Colleen! I have crabcake memories, but have not had them in ages. I once tried to make them and they sort of fell apart – still edible of course. Anyhow, maybe it’s time to try again. You make them sound easy and tasty. I even have a local farmer who’s selling pea shoots. Can’t wait to try these. Thx for sharing nutritional benefits as well! Diane from Kitchen Bliss (FBC)

    1. Hi Diane! These ones didn’t fall apart at all, maybe because of the egg and mayo. And they are truly easy and delicious. Hope you try them, and grab those pea shoots while you still can. 🙂

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