Crab Cakes with Homemade Cocktail Sauce are easy to make!
This version has as little filler as possible so you can really taste the sweet crab flavor
These morsels are packed with crab and are perfect for appetizers or light dinnersJump to Recipe
Making your own at home is easy and guarantees that there is just a little filler and lots of the delicious taste of crab! The same idea goes into our homemade cocktail sauce with just 5 basic ingredients.
In my many years of catering, as well as hosting parties, these mini crab cakes are the first things to go at any party. Making your own cocktail sauce is easy and comes together in a flash. The taste is superior to the bottled version and you probably have the ingredients on hand.Jump to Recipe
Ingredients needed for Crab Cakes with Cocktail Sauce
This crab cake recipe can be used to make bite-size, minis, or regular-size crab cakes. This zesty cocktail sauce works great with lots of things and we talk all about it in our delicious and Easy Seafood Cocktail Sauce post.
(See the recipe card below for the exact quantities)
For the Crab Cakes:
- Red Bell Pepper
- Onion and Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Dijon Mustard and Worcestershire Sauce
- Seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay), Salt, and Pepper
- Panko or Breadcrumbs
- Flat Leaf Parsley
For Cocktail Sauce:
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Hot Sauce – such as Tabasco or Cholula
How to make Crab Cakes:
- Whisk together everything for the cocktail sauce and set aside or refrigerate for up to 5 days
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil
- In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering
- Add red pepper and onion/shallot and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 1 more minute. Set mixture aside to cool to room temperature
- In a large bowl combine cooled bell pepper and onion mixture, egg, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, mustard, and seasonings
- Blend well and then add the crab and ½ cup of the panko
- Blend gently, but do not over-mix. You want crab meat to retain small chunks
- Test to see if the crab cakes will hold together by creating a sample crab cake. If too loose add a little more panko
- Form into small rounds and dredge in the remaining panko
- Wipe the pan clean and heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat
- Cook crab cakes in batches. Leave enough room to easily turn them in the pan
- Saute for about 4-5 minutes, per side, or until they are golden brown
Baking crab cakes:
- Transfer the crab cakes to the prepared baking pan to finish in the oven
- Bake for about 15 minutes until firm on the outside and warmed all the way through
- Serve warm or at room temperature with the cocktail sauce on the side
Tips for making Crab Cakes:
Crab cakes are super simple however there are a few basic tips and tricks to achieve the best results.
- Buy the best crab you can find because that is the flavor that shines in this recipe!
- Pick through your crab to make sure there are no small pieces of shell hiding in there!
- When combining the mixture use a gentle hand because you want to preserve the lumps to give your crab cakes texture
- Onions/Shallots and red bell pepper are actually optional but give the crab cakes a nice flavor, and the bell pepper adds a pop of color
- Mix everything together in a large bowl before adding the crab and panko so that you don’t over-mix the crab
- To make small patties use about 2 Tablespoons of the mixture. You can also use a large cookie scooper
- Use 1/4 cup for larger crab cakes
- This recipe will make 10-12 full-size patties instead of minis, which makes a fantastic lunch or dinner with a green salad. We love to pair them with our Asian Cucumber Salad
How to make ahead and freeze Crab Cakes
These crab cakes can be made ahead, cooled, and then frozen tightly sealed for up to 3 months. To thaw place on a baking sheet and bring to room temperature or gently reheat in a 350˚F oven.
The cocktail sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Suggested Wine Pairings from Sommelier Jayne
Crab cakes pair well with medium-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, or Chenin Blanc. A lighter Chardonnay will work well too.
Sparkling wines are always a fan favorite with seafood! Here are some of our recommendations.
Your weekday wine:
- New Zealand Malborough Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Your weekend wine:
- Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
- Domaine Weinbach Reserve Pinot Blanc, France
Special occasion wine:
- Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne, France
- Taittinger Brut Champagne, France
Some of our other favorite Appetizers:
- Mini Taco Salad Cups
- Baked Brie with Garlic
- Szechuan Air Fryer Wings
- Easy Bacon Beignets with Maple Syrup
- Bloody Mary Shooters with Shrimp or Oysters
Crab Cakes with Cocktail Sauce
- 1 cup red bell pepper finely diced
- ½ cup onion or shallots finely diced
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp Italian parsley, fresh finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp Seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb lump crabmeat
- 2-3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 cup Panko, divided or breadcrumbs, more as needed
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp prepared horseradish, or to taste
- 1 dash hot sauce, such as Tobasco, or to taste
For the Crab Cakes:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Heat oven to 350°F.
- In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add red pepper and onion/shallot and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for about 1 more minute. Set aside to cool.
- In large bowl combine bell pepper onion mixture, egg, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, mustard, and seasonings. Blend well and add crab and ½ cup panko. Blend gently, but do not over mix as you want crabmeat to retain small chunks.
- Test to see if the crab cakes will hold together in a small patty. If too dry, add a small amount of extra mayonnaise. If too loose, add a bit more panko.
- In a shallow bowl add remaining ½ cup of panko or breadcrumbs.
- Wipe sauté pan clean and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat pan. Heat to medium.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of mixture for mini’s and about ¼ cup for large crab cakes into a thick patty. Roll lightly in remaining panko to coat.
- Sauté on medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer crab cakes to the prepared baking sheet. Bake crab cakes in the oven for about 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned and firm on the outside.
- Let cool slightly, remove to a serving platter and serve with cocktail sauce.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adjust seasoning to your taste.
- Cocktail sauce can be made ahead, up to 5 days, refrigerated