Tender crab meat with all the right seasonings, these crispy air fryer crab cakes are crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Serve with remoulade sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice for the perfect seafood appetizer.
There was a local restaurant to us call Crabby Boil. They had the BEST crab cakes. They closed their doors recently, so I set out to make my own version to enjoy at home!
These crab cakes are made with classic Baltimore style flavors like quality lump crab meat (I used claw meat), Old Bay Seasoning, and just a little bit of breadcrumbs to bind things together.
A crispy crab cake that will transport you to the east coast! Pair them with air fryer lobster tails for a full on seafood feast!
There are different types of crab cakes out there, and terms you will hear a lot are Maryland-Style crab cakes and Baltimore-Style crab cakes. So what's the difference?
Maryland Style Crab Cakes vs. Baltimore Style Crab Cakes
- Maryland style is very no nonsense. The crab meat takes center stage and there is little else in there. Some chefs would even get offended at the mention of breadcrumbs or egg.
- Baltimore Style still uses quality crab meat, but with a little more added, such as Old Bay seasoning.
This recipe would fall closer to the Baltimore side, but since I added in things like green onion and parsley, I won't call it that, at risk of offending locals!
Why make crab cakes in the air fryer?
- Air frying crab cakes is a great way to enjoy this dish at home whenever you'd like.
- It is easier to handle. Crab cakes are a delicate food, especially if you don't add much filler to hold the patty together. By making them in the air fryer, you can have more control and don't even need to flip them if you don't want to.
- There is less mess to clean up. The only oil you use is a little spritz from the spray can to give them a nice crust while cooking
- They take less than 10 minutes to cook, making them a great seafood appetizer!
More air fryer appetizers
- lump crab meat
- green onions
- Old Bay Seasoning
- dijon mustard
- panko breadcrumbs
- fresh cracked black pepper
- cooking spray
- lemon juice, for serving
How to make crab cakes in the air fryer
Combine crab meat, green onions, parsley, dijon mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, mayo, ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, egg, and salt in a mixing bowl until everything is well incorporated.
Form crab cake mixture into 8-10 evenly sized patties.
Coat each crab cake in remaining breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs into the cakes to help them stick.
Place crab cakes in air fryer basket and spray with oil of choice (I used avocado oil).
Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.
Set air fryer to 390 degrees and 9 minutes cook time. Flip at the 5 minute mark and spray with additional oil to coat the underside.
Finish cooking and remove from air fryer.
Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
What to serve with crab cakes
I like to keep it simple with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and my homemade remoulade sauce. Tartar Sauce is a great pairing, as well. If you add a side salad, crab cakes easily can become a full meal.
Reheating crab cakes in the air fryer
Store leftover crab cakes in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place back in the air fryer and cook for 3-4 minutes at 390 degrees.
Freezing crab cakes
You can totally freeze this crab cake recipe and it is actually a great way to prep ahead if you want to make a large quantity for a party.
Prepare crab cakes through all of the steps, stopping before you cook them.
Freeze on a flat surface, such as a baking sheet, for 30 minutes. Then place into an airtight container in layers, with wax paper between each layer. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Air frying frozen crab cakes
To cook the crab cakes in the air fryer from frozen, simple add 3 minutes to the overall cook time (making it 13 minutes) to ensure they are cooked through.
Crispy Air Fryer Crab Cakes
- 2 cups 16 oz lump crab meat
- 2 tbsp. green onions
- 1 tbsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
- cooking spray as needed
- lemon juice for serving
- Combine crab meat, green onions, parsley, dijon mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, mayo, ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, egg, fresh cracked black pepper, salt in a mixing bowl until everything is well incorporated.
- Form crab cake mixture into 8-10 evenly sized patties.
- Coat each crab cake in remaining breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs into the cakes to help them stick.
- Place crab cakes in air fryer basket and spray with oil of choice (I used avocado oil).
- Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.
- Set air fryer to 390 degrees and 9 minutes cook time. Flip at the 5 minute mark and spray with additional oil to coat the underside.
- Finish cooking and remove from air fryer.
- Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.