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Whip up delicious small batch crab cakes in no time! Perfectly seasoned and bursting with flavor, this easy recipe is great for one or two people to enjoy.

Ready for an easy and delicious seafood feast? Look no further than our small batch crab cakes. Made with lump crabmeat, these cakes are a flavor powerhouse. A blend of spices adds the perfect kick, while a touch of fresh veggies brings it all together. The best part? This recipe is tailored for one or two people, making it a quick and satisfying meal option.

Why You’ll Love This Crab Cakes Recipe

  • Gourmet Flavor: Enjoy the taste of lump crab meat enhanced by a blend of spices and fresh veggies.
  • Just Enough: This small batch recipe serves one or two, making it ideal for a personal treat or a cozy meal.
  • Ingredient Flexibility: Customize the recipe easily with your choice of herbs and spices.
  • Baked, Not Fried: These crab cakes are baked to perfection, offering a healthier alternative to traditional fried versions while still delivering on flavor. Plus, they’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them as nutritious as they are delicious.
  • Step-by-Step Guidance: Clear instructions make the cooking process enjoyable and stress-free.

What Are Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are a classic seafood dish that combines crab meat with a variety of other ingredients, forming them into cakes. While many recipes call for frying, we’re baking these beauties to keep things a bit lighter without sacrificing any of the flavors.

Ingredients

crab cakes ingredients on a kitchen counter.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

  • Crabmeat: Aim for 8 to 8.5 ounces of lump crabmeat. You have two options: you can either use two 6-ounce cans, which will give you a bit over 8 ounces after draining, or opt for refrigerated crab meat. When I use canned crab, I usually choose Bumble Bee brand, which you can find near the tuna in the canned fish aisle of most grocery stores. For refrigerated crab meat, I prefer Phillips brand, commonly available in the refrigerated seafood section of many markets.
  • Egg: Binds the crab cakes together.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds creaminess. Can be replaced with Greek yogurt for a healthier version.
  • Dijon Mustard & Hot Sauce: Brings a tangy kick. If you don’t have it, regular mustard will do. Adjust the hot sauce according your taste or leave it out altogether for crab cakes that are milder in flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth of flavor. Soy sauce can be an alternative.
  • Spices: Paprika and salt for seasoning. Feel free to add other spices like black pepper, garlic powder, or even a hint of cayenne for some extra kick.
  • Veggies: For a vibrant and flavorful touch, include red bell pepper, green onion, and parsley in your small batch crab cakes. To ensure these veggies integrate smoothly into the crab cake mixture, make sure to chop them finely. Utilize both the white and green sections of the green onion to maximize flavor and color. If red bell peppers aren’t your thing, try using finely chopped yellow or orange bell peppers for a different flavor and color profile. You can also experiment with chives or cilantro instead of green onions and parsley.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Adds crunch. Gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used for a GF version.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

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How To Make Crab Cakes

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a small batch of baked crab cakes. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Position the oven rack in the lower third section of your oven. Then, set the oven to preheat at 425° F (220° C).
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, start by cracking an egg and whisk it until it’s well-beaten. Follow this by adding mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and salt. Whisk all these ingredients together until fully combined.
  3. Incorporate the finely chopped red bell pepper, green onion, and parsley into the existing mixture by stirring gently.
  4. Add the crab meat and breadcrumbs into the bowl. Fold these into the mixture carefully to combine. Once mixed, cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
crab cakes mixture in a bowl
  1. Lightly mist a rimmed baking sheet with oil spray or manually apply a small amount of olive oil, ensuring the surface is evenly coated.
  2. Take the crab mixture and form it into three equally sized patties. Place these patties onto your prepared baking sheet.
three unbaked crab cakes on a baking sheet.
  1. Put the baking sheet with the crab patties back in the refrigerator for an additional 10-minute chill time.
  2. Bake the crab cakes in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready to flip when the bottoms are lightly browned and can be easily lifted with a spatula. After flipping, bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the other side is also lightly browned.
three baked crab cakes on a baking sheet.
  1. Once baked to perfection, transfer the crab cakes onto a serving plate and finish them off with a fresh squeeze of lemon.
crab cakes topped with lemon juice on a plate.

Expert Tips

  • Before you start cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your crab cakes turn out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Optimal Crabmeat: Choose quality lump crabmeat for the best texture and flavor.
  • Baking vs Frying: Since these cakes are baked, make sure your oven is preheated properly for even cooking.
  • Portion Control: Use an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup for uniform crab cakes that bake evenly.
  • Don’t Rush the Mix: Combine ingredients gently to retain the crabmeat’s texture. Overmixing could lead to dense cakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Freeze Crab Cakes?

Yes, you can freeze the uncooked crab cakes. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Can I Use Imitation Crab Meat Instead Of Lump Crab Meat?

While it’s possible to use imitation crab meat, the flavor and texture won’t quite match the richness of genuine lump crab meat. If you’re in a pinch, go ahead, but for the best experience, stick with the real deal.

What Is The Best Way To Store Leftover Crab Cakes?

Store any leftover crab cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

a crab cake topped with remoulade sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Want to make your crab cakes even more memorable? Pairing them with the right sides and sauces can make all the difference. Here are some ideas:

Recipe Variations

Looking for some recipe variations? Here are some simple ways to customize these crab cakes to your liking:

  • Spicy Kick: Add some cayenne pepper or extra hot sauce for crab cakes with a kick.
  • Herb-Infused: Mix in some fresh herbs like cilantro or basil for a unique flavor profile.
  • Cheesy Delight: Add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan into the crab mixture for a cheesy twist.
  • Go Tropical: Incorporate a small amount of diced pineapple or mango for a sweet, tropical touch.

Each of these variations offers a unique spin, adding a personal touch to this already versatile dish.

a part of a crab cake on a fork.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’re interested in more recipes that use similar ingredients, check out other options on our site. To find them, simply use the search feature to look for recipes by specific ingredients.

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this small batch crab cakes recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Crab Cakes

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 3 crab cakes
Whip up delicious small batch crab cakes in no time! Perfectly seasoned and bursting with flavor, this easy recipe is great for one or two people to enjoy.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 medium green onion , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat (½ pound) , picked over for shells and drained
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • oil spray or olive oil for greasing the baking sheet
  • lemon wedge

Instructions 

  • Position the oven rack in the lower third section of your oven. Then, set the oven to preheat at 425° F (220° C).
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, start by cracking an egg and whisk it until it's well-beaten. Follow this by adding mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and salt. Whisk all these ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Incorporate the finely chopped red bell pepper, green onion, and parsley into the existing mixture by stirring gently.
  • Add the crab meat and breadcrumbs into the bowl. Fold these into the mixture carefully to combine. Once mixed, cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly mist a rimmed baking sheet with oil spray or manually apply a small amount of olive oil, ensuring the surface is evenly coated.
  • Take the crab mixture and form it into three equally sized patties. Place these patties onto your prepared baking sheet.
  • Put the baking sheet with the crab patties back in the refrigerator for an additional 10-minute chill time.
  • Bake the crab cakes in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. You'll know they're ready to flip when the bottoms are lightly browned and can be easily lifted with a spatula. After flipping, bake for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the other side is also lightly browned.
  • Once baked to perfection, transfer the crab cakes onto a serving plate and finish them off with a fresh squeeze of lemon.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Before you start cooking, make sure to read the entire recipe, including the Ingredient Notes section, and examine the process photos. This detailed guide will help you understand how the recipe unfolds, ensuring your crab cakes turn out perfect every time. All the information you need is found within the body of this recipe post, so don’t miss a thing!
  • Optimal Crabmeat: Choose quality lump crabmeat for the best texture and flavor.
  • Baking vs Frying: Since these cakes are baked, make sure your oven is preheated properly for even cooking.
  • Portion Control: Use an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup for uniform crab cakes that bake evenly.
  • Don’t Rush the Mix: Combine ingredients gently to retain the crabmeat’s texture. Overmixing could lead to dense cakes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1crab cake, Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 509mg, Potassium: 223mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4 Comments

    1. You can definitely use canned crab for this recipe. In the ingredient notes, I mention that two 6-ounce cans should give you a bit over 8 ounces after draining, which works well for these crab cakes. Just make sure to drain the canned crab thoroughly to avoid excess moisture.