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Air Fryer Crab Cakes

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With canned or fresh lump crab meat, you can make your own air fryer crab cakes in 30 minutes with this easy air fryer crab cakes recipe. Sea food seasoning, bread crumbs, mayonnaise and red bell pepper make an effortless and quick homemade seafood meal!

thick, savory crab cakes

These Maryland-style crab cakes are thick and soft on the inside, yet crisp on the outside. Our family makes this easy dinner with shrimp and grits and other seafood favorites, like salmon patties.

ingredients

ingredients for air fryer crab cakes including lemon, red bell pepper, dijon, mayo, and lump crab meat

This recipe uses simple ingredients you likely already have on hand. You may use fresh crab meat or canned, drained lump crab meat for crab cakes made in the air fryer.

instructions

Follow these simple steps for making crab cakes in the air fryer.

For this recipe, you’ll need to begin by lining the air fryer basket with aluminum foil, then spray it with cooking spray.

how to make the spicy tartar sauce

what you’ll need

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños 
  • 2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
large crab cakes on a platter with a lemon wedge and tartar sauce

sauce instructions

This crab cake sauce is too easy! While the crab cakes are cooking,

  1. combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce
  2. stir well
overhead shot of crab cakes on a platter with sauce

expert tips

Follow these tips for perfectly air fried crab cakes, every time.

  • Time saver: make the sauce ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to the crabmeat and refrigerate for an hour before adding the remaining ingredients for super juicy crab cakes.
  • fresh lemon wedges really bring out the rich flavor of the crab cakes
  • take care to not overcrowd your air fryer basket and when flipping the crab patties
a dozen crab cakes on a large platter with lemon wedges and tartar sauxe

FAQ

recipe substitutions

  • red pepper– substitute for yellow or green pepper
  • breadcrumbs– you may use homemade, Italian, or regular bread crumbs
  • jalapeño– for a less spicy tartar sauce, use pickled banana pepper or store-bought tartar sauce
  • seafood seasoningOld Bay Seafood Seasoning is the recommended seasoning for crab cakes- it’s simply the best!

leftovers

  • Store leftover crab cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

can I freeze crab cakes?

  • Freeze crab cakes for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the air fryer for 3 to 4 minutes.
hand holding a large crab cake

what goes with crab cakes?

The best side dishes for crab cakes include:

crab cake with a bite taken out revealing soft inside

Air Fryer Crab Cakes with Spicy Tartar Sauce

These air fryer crab cakes are made in under 30 minutes with a spicy tartar sauce. Make this easy recipe the healthy way with red bell pepper, bread crumbs, Old Bay seasoning and mayo.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 705kcal
Author: Amber

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh crabmeat or canned
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning or cajun seasoning
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup red bell pepper finely diced
  • ¼ cup celery finely diced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest grated
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapenos diced
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Combine the crab meat, breadcrumbs, seafood seasoning, eggs, mayonnaise, bell pepper, celery, Dijon mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until well mixed.
  • Shape a large tablespoon size of the crab mixture into a small patty and place in the air fryer basket. Do not over crowd. Make in batches.
  • Air fry at 375° for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the crab cakes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • While the crab cakes are cooking, mix the ingredients for the tartar sauce and stir well.
  • Serve with tartar sauce.

Notes

 
  • You can make the sauce ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • For super moist crab cakes, add the breadcrumbs to the crabmeat and refrigerate for an hour before adding the remaining ingredients.
Leftovers
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw and reheat in the air fryer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 705kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 34g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1741mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1013IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 2mg

more seafood favorites…

parmesan crusted air fried tilapia with tartar sauce and lemon wedges

Air Fryer Tilapia

crisp golden fish sticks broken in half, revealing flaky center

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

crisp air fryer calamari in a bowl

Air Fryer Calamari

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Recipe Rating




Susan

Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

These are similar to what my grandma used to make, thick and delicious! My family gobbled them up!