How to Make Delicious Crab Cakes from Canned Crab






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When it comes to creating a restaurant-worthy seafood dish at home, few options compare to the beloved crab cake. However, attempting to use fresh crab can be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, the process to create a delicious crab cake using canned crabmeat is far simpler and budget-friendly. In this guide, we will explore step by step how to make crab cakes from canned crab, starting with the proper selection of canned crabmeat and finishing with the perfect combination of ingredients to create an unforgettable dish. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or new to the kitchen, these tips and tricks will leave your family and friends impressed with your culinary skills. So, let’s get started!

Why Choose Canned Crab for Making Delicious Crab Cakes

Crab meat is a delicacy that many seafood lovers crave, but not everyone has access to fresh crab. Fortunately, canned crab is a readily available and affordable alternative that can be used to make delicious crab cakes. In this section, we will explore the benefits of using canned crab and how it compares to other types of crab meat.

Convenience and Availability

One of the primary benefits of using canned crab is its convenience and availability. Unlike fresh or frozen crab, which may only be available during certain seasons or in specific regions, canned crab can be found year-round in most grocery stores. It also requires much less effort since it comes pre-cooked and ready-to-use.


Another advantage of using canned crab is its affordability. Fresh or frozen lump crab meat can be quite expensive, making it a luxury item for many people. Canned varieties are typically more affordable while still providing good quality meat.


While some may argue that fresh or frozen lump crab meat provides better quality than canned varieties, this is not always the case. Many high-quality brands offer premium products that are made from whole pieces of claw or lump meat with minimal additives or preservatives.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of canned versus fresh/frozen will differ slightly due to the processing method; however, there’s no significant difference when comparing both tastes side by side in dishes such as these popular cakes! With proper seasoning methods like Old Bay seasoning mix (for those who want some heat), finely chopped onions & celery (for those wanting more savory flavors), these cakes will come out deliciously with whatever type you choose!

Types of Canned Crab Meat

When choosing your canned crabs from your local grocery store shelf: You’ll find different types like:

  • Claw Meat: This type tends to have a stronger flavor profile compared to other types but has a more fibrous texture.

  • Lump Meat: This type of canned crab meat is considered to be the most premium type, as it consists of large pieces of crab meat with a sweeter flavor and delicate texture.

  • Backfin Meat: This type of canned crab meat is derived from the body’s back and has both claw and lump meat. It has an intense flavor profile that’s perfect for those who love bold flavors in their dishes.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Delicious Crab Cakes from Canned Crab

Crab cakes are a classic seafood dish that’s easy to prepare and delicious to eat. With canned crab meat, you can make this dish without spending too much time in the kitchen or breaking the bank. In this section, we will explore the ingredients you’ll need to make these mouth-watering crab cakes.

Crab cakes can be made deliciously using canned crab meat, which is more convenient, readily available, and affordable. When choosing canned crab, you should consider the type of meat, such as claw, lump, or backfin. To make perfect crab cakes, you need to mix your ingredients correctly, chill the formed patties before frying, and use the right cooking oil, such as vegetable or canola oil. You can serve crab cakes with lemon wedges, tartar or remoulade sauce, coleslaw, salad, or garnish with herbs. Pairing crab cakes with white or light red wine can enhance the overall experience.

Canned Crab Meat

The star ingredient of these crab cakes is canned crab meat. Choose high-quality canned crab meat that’s free from shells and cartilage for ease of preparation and even cooking.


Breadcrumbs help bind the ingredients together while also adding texture and flavor. Panko breadcrumbs provide a light and crispy texture, while regular breadcrumbs offer a denser texture.


Egg acts as a binder in this recipe, helping everything stick together during cooking.


Mayonnaise adds moisture to the mixture and enhances flavor with its creamy texture. Low-fat or light mayonnaise can be used for those watching their calorie intake.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard provides acidity that cuts through the richness of the other ingredients while also adding depth of flavor.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce adds an umami flavor profile that complements seafood well while balancing out other flavors present in your dish.


Seasonings are essential when making any recipe, but especially so when it comes to seafood dishes like these crab cakes! For optimal taste, consider using some or all of these seasonings:

  • Old Bay Seasoning: This popular seasoning mix features celery salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika & more! It’s perfect for those who want some heat!

  • Salt & Pepper: These basic seasonings bring out natural flavors present in your foods; black pepper adds depth with its spicy finish!

  • Garlic Powder: Adds some extra flavor to your cakes without the strong garlic flavor if you’re not a fan of it.

Optional Ingredients

  • Finely Chopped Onion & Celery: Adds some savory flavors and additional texture to your crab cakes.

  • Hot Sauce: For those who love spicy food, hot sauce can be added for an extra kick of heat!

Making the Perfect Crab Cake Mixture

Once you have all your ingredients ready, making the perfect crab cake mixture is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. In this section, we will explore some tips and tricks to help you make a perfect crab cake mixture every time.

Making crab cakes from canned crab is a convenient, affordable, and delicious way of enjoying this seafood delicacy. When selecting canned crab meat, consider factors such as flavor profile and texture. When cooking, aim for a golden-brown crust, and serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, coleslaw, or salad. Pairing with white wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc or light reds like Pinot Noir also enhances the dining experience.

Choosing the Right Ratio of Ingredients

The key to making a great crab cake mixture is finding the right balance between all your ingredients. Using too much or too little of one ingredient can throw off the flavors or texture of your cakes. A good rule of thumb is to use around 1/3 cup breadcrumbs per 1 can of crab meat.

Preparing Your Ingredients

Before mixing all your ingredients together, it’s essential to prepare them correctly for optimal results:

  • Drain and pick through canned crab meat for any remaining cartilage or shells before adding it into a mixing bowl.

  • Beat an egg in another bowl until it’s well-combined before adding it into your main mixing bowl.

Mixing Your Ingredients Together

When combining all your ingredients together, be gentle as overmixing will break apart lumps in lump canned meat varieties! Here’s how:

  • Begin by stirring together breadcrumbs and seasonings in a separate small bowl.

  • Add in mayonnaise, Dijon mustard & Worcestershire sauce; then mix them thoroughly.

  • Finally, add drained canned crabmeat & beaten egg; gently fold these two into breadcrumb-seasoning-mayonnaise-Dijon-Worcestershire sauce mix without breaking up lumps from lump variety cans!

Forming Your Crab Cakes

After getting your mixture ready: It’s time to form that beautiful shape that makes everyone hungry!

Here are some steps that’ll guide you through forming perfect-sized cakes:

  1. Divide Prepped Mixture: Divide prepared mixture into equal portions using an ice cream scoop (for consistent size).

  2. Shape Each Portion: Flatten each portion with your palms to form a patty shape approximately 3-4 inches in diameter and around an inch thick.

  3. Chill Your Crab Cakes: Place the crab cakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper, and then chill for at least 30 minutes before cooking! Chilling will help hold the cakes’ shape during cooking and prevent them from falling apart.

Cooking Your Crab Cakes

Now that you have prepared your perfect crab cake mixture and formed them into patties, it’s time to cook them to perfection:

  • Heat some oil (olive oil or vegetable oil) in a skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

  • Add the chilled crab cakes to the skillet and cook for around four minutes per side or until golden brown, flipping once using a spatula!

The Secret to Flawless Frying

Once your crab cakes are formed and ready to cook, the next step is frying them to perfection. In this section, we will explore some tips and tricks for achieving flawless frying results every time.

When making delicious crab cakes at home, using canned crab meat is a convenient and affordable option that’s available year-round. Choosing high-quality canned crab is important, and there are different types to select from. The key to a perfect crab cake mixture is finding the right balance of ingredients and handling them gently. Cooking and frying the crab cakes correctly are crucial for achieving the desired texture and taste. Serving suggestions and finishing touches, such as lemon wedges, tartar or remoulade sauce, coleslaw, salad, and herbs, can elevate the dish’s flavors.

Choosing the Right Oil

Choosing the right oil for frying your crab cakes is essential. Here are some oils that work well with crab cakes:

  • Vegetable oil: This is a popular choice since it has a high smoke point and neutral flavor profile.

  • Canola oil: Similar to vegetable oil, canola also has a neutral flavor profile and high smoke point.

  • Peanut oil: This type of oil has a nutty flavor that complements seafood well while also having a high smoke point.

Heating Your Oil Properly

When heating your chosen type of cooking fat in preparation for frying those delicious patties:

  1. Place enough cooking fat into your pot or pan around 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches around 375°F on thermometer!

  2. Once you’ve reached this temperature range, you’re ready to fry those beautiful patties!

Fry Your Crab Cakes in Batches

Frying too many crab cakes at once can cause overcrowding which leads to uneven cooking & sticking together! To avoid this:

  1. Fry them in batches; three or four at a time depending on their size while keeping others chilled until ready for use!

  2. Adjust stove’s heat if needed between batches so that your pot or pan stays within the desired temperature range (350°F – 375°F) throughout cooking process.

Cook Until Golden Brown

When placing those chilled patties into hot oils; keep an eye out as they start turning golden brown from all sides! Flip after two minutes or when one side turns golden brown before continuing with other side until both sides are crispy-looking & cooked perfectly through without burning any edges!

Drain Excess Oil

Once your crab cakes are finished cooking, you will want to drain off any excess oil to ensure the perfect texture and taste. Here’s how:

  1. Remove fried patties from hot oil using a slotted spoon or spatula.

  2. Place cooked crab cakes onto paper towels to absorb any excess oils.

Serve Immediately

It is best to serve your crab cakes immediately after frying them for optimal taste and texture! Your guests will appreciate that crispy exterior with the juicy interior that only freshly cooked seafood can provide!

Serving Suggestions and Finishing Touches

Now that your crab cakes are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve them up! In this section, we will explore some serving suggestions and finishing touches to elevate your crab cakes.

Lemon Wedges

A classic accompaniment to seafood dishes is a wedge of lemon. Squeeze some juice over your crab cakes for an added burst of flavor!

Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is a creamy condiment made from mayonnaise, pickles, capers & spices; it’s perfect for dipping into those delicious patties! Here’s how you can make homemade tartar sauce:

  • Combine 1 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of chopped pickles, 1 tablespoon of capers & 1 teaspoon each lemon juice and Dijon mustard in a bowl.

  • Whisk together until smooth; season with salt & pepper to taste.

Remoulade Sauce

Remoulade sauce is another popular condiment that pairs well with crab cakes. It is similar to tartar sauce but has more spices like paprika or cayenne pepper for an extra kick. You can make homemade remoulade sauce by following these steps:

  • Mix together half cup mayo, two tablespoons mustard (preferably Dijon), one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one minced garlic clove & hot pepper flakes in a small bowl.

  • Add finely chopped parsley and green onion tops along with caper berries or cornichons (finely chopped) if desired! Whisk everything together gently until smooth!


Coleslaw makes the perfect side dish for crab cakes as its fresh crunchiness complements the rich flavors perfectly. Here’s how you can make coleslaw at home:

  • Shred cabbage and carrots using either food processor or grater then mix them in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add mayonnaise dressing (made from mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar & seasonings) and toss together until everything is well combined.


A light salad can be a refreshing way to balance out the richness of the crab cakes. A simple mixed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette will do the trick!

Garnish with Herbs

For a pop of color and added flavor, garnish your crab cakes with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro or dill!

Wine Pairing

White wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pair well with seafood dishes like crab cakes. If you prefer red wine, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice as it’s light enough not to overpower the delicate flavors of the dish.## FAQs

What ingredients do I need to make crab cakes from canned crab?

To make crab cakes from canned crab, you will need canned crab, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You may also need additional breadcrumbs for coating the crab cakes before frying.

How do I make crab cakes from canned crab?

To make crab cakes from canned crab, start by draining the canned crab of any excess liquid. In a mixing bowl, combine canned crab, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients together well and form the mixture into patties. Coat each crab cake with additional breadcrumbs and fry in a skillet until golden brown on both sides.

Can I freeze leftover crab cakes made from canned crab?

Yes, you can freeze leftover crab cakes made from canned crab. Allow the crab cakes to cool completely after frying, then place them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, bake the frozen crab cakes in the oven at 375F until heated through.

What can I serve with crab cakes made from canned crab?

Crab cakes made from canned crab can be served with a variety of side dishes such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a green salad. Tartar sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice is a classic accompaniment, but you can also try serving with a spicy remoulade sauce or a sweet and tangy mango salsa for a fresh twist.

Jessica Hartley

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