Air Fryer Crab Cakes are a blend of tender lump crab meat mixed with flavorful seasonings, formed into patties and cooked to golden perfection in an air fryer. For a citrusy zing, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve with tartar sauce. Pan-frying and oven instructions are also included. I also have Salmon Patties you may want to try!

Plate of Crab Cakes on a wooden table from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crab Meat: Look for canned lump crab meat, which comes from the body of the crab. It is one of the highest grades of crab meat available. If you can’t find lump crab, you could substitute canned white crab, but it may affect the final flavor of the crab cakes. Drain the crab before adding it to the seasoning mixture.

Egg: A large egg is a binding agent to help hold the ingredients together.

Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise helps keep the ingredients together and also adds creaminess and moisture to the crab cakes. Together with the lemon juice, it also adds a subtle tang.

Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices often associated with seafood. Worcestershire sauce is also added for flavor.

Sriracha: Sriracha is a popular hot sauce that adds some depth to the crab cakes. But, don’t let that keep you from using it; the crab cakes are not spicy. If you are hesitant, just use a little less, like 1/2 teaspoon.

Panko: Panko is added to the mixture for more texture. Look for plain Panko breadcrumbs, which are a Japanese-style breadcrumb that is lighter and will stay crispier longer. Look for panko in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store. You could use regular bread crumbs in a pinch, but the crab cakes will have a different texture.

Optional Garnish & Condiment: Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for dipping. Aioli would be delicious with the crab cakes, too!

Plate of Crab Cakes with one crab cake halved showing inside texture.

Can I Make Crab Cakes Ahead Of Time?

Yes, crab cake patties can be formed in advance. Once formed, but before cooking, store them, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Or, for longer storage, form the patties and freeze them. To freeze, first, place the formed crab cakes onto a lined baking sheet and into the freezer for about an hour. Once solid, store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 1-2 months. When ready to cook the crab cakes, let them thaw in the refrigerator, or cook them from frozen, adding more time.

How To Serve Crab Cakes

Serve crab cakes in a variety of delicious ways. Here are some options for serving crab cakes:

  • Enjoy them as an appetizer with a side of dipping sauce like mayonnaise or aioli
  • Serve as a main course with sides like coleslawroasted potato wedges, or a fresh salad, just to give you a few ideas.
  • Put a crab cake (or two) in between a couple of slices of toasted bread or bun for a crab sandwich.
  • Make a crab salad by crumbling a crab cake over a bed of lettuce or mixed greens.
  • Serve with poached or fried eggs for a lovely and tasty breakfast.
Stack of Crab Cakes with top crab cake broken show ing inside texture.

How To Store Crab Cakes

Although best served fresh, you can store extra crab cakes to enjoy within a couple of days. To store them, first, let the crab cakes cool to room temperature. Next, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat the crab cakes in the oven, air fryer, or microwave.

Plate of Crab Cakes with sauce and fresh lemon.
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Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Air Fryer Crab Cakes are a blend of tender lump crab meat mixed with flavorful seasonings, formed into patties and cooked to golden perfection in an air fryer. For a citrusy zing, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve with tartar sauce. Pan-frying and oven instructions are also included.


  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) lump crab meat, drained
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup (54 g) plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)
  • tartar sauce, for serving (optional)


  • Line the basket of your air fryer with parchment paper.
  • To a large bowl, add egg, lemon juice, mayonnaise, Sriracha, parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Gently fold in the crab meat.
  • Using about ⅓ cup of mixture per patty, form into 6 patties that are about 3 inches in diameter.
  • Working in batches, place the patties into the basket of your air fryer*. Air fry at 350°F for 10 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through cooking.
  • Serve warm with lemon wedges and tartar sauce (optional).



*Frying and Baking Instructions
Frying Instructions:
  1. To a large skillet over medium-low heat, add about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  2. Once hot, add the patties to the skillet in an even layer. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Place the cooked patties on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Baking Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place formed patties onto the lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


We tested these a few different ways and the air fryer was definitely the way to go. Crispy on the outside and filled with flavor, but not too "fishy".


These crab cakes are really flavorful with a nice crispiness to them. And, I love that they are made in an air fryer.


Wonderful crab cakes! I loved them with a squeeze of lemon and some tartar sauce! The air fryer gets it perfectly crispy all over!


I really liked these. The air fryer was the perfect way to cook these. It made them just so crispy and perfectly browned on the outside.


I am not much of a crab fan, but these crab cakes are decent! I personally would load up on some tartar sauce and lemon juice.


These crab cakes are so tasty! They have a crisp outer layer, and the perfect moist texture on the inside.

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