Crab Cakes with Cocktail Sauce

Crab Cakes with Cocktail Sauce

Crab Cakes with Homemade Cocktail Sauce are easy to make!

I experimented with many versions until I created the one that was perfect. This one has as little filler as possible so you can really taste the sweet crab flavor.

Making your own at home is easy and guarantees that there is just a little filler and 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.

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How to make Crab Cakes:

  • Whisk together everything for the cocktail sauce and set aside or refrigerate up to 5 days.
  • Preheat the oven 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 aside to cool.
  • In 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 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. If not, add a little more panko.
  • Form into small rounds and dredge in remaining panko.
  • Wipe the pan clean and heat remaining olive oil over medium heat.
  • Cook crab cakes in batches. Leave enough room to easily turn them in the pan.
  • Saute about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Baking the crab cakes:

  • Transfer the crab cakes to the prepared baking pan to finish in the oven.
  • Bake crab cakes in the oven for about 15 minutes until lightly browned and firm on the outside and warmed all the way through.
  • Serve warm or room temperature with the cocktail sauce.
6 crab cakes on a baking sheet

Tips for making Crab Cakes:

Crab cakes are super simple but there are a few basic tips and tricks to achieve the best results.

  • Buy the best crab you can because that is the flavor that counts 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. You want to preserve the lumps to give your crab cakes texture
  • Onions/Shallots and red bell pepper are optional but give it a nice flavor and color.
  • Mix everything together in a large bowl before adding the crab and panko so that you don’t over mix.
  • To make small patties use about 2 Tablespoons mixture
  • Use 1/4 cup for larger crab cakes
  • This recipe can make 10-12 full-size patties instead of minis, which makes a fantastic lunch or dinner with a green salad.
Baked Crab Cakes with Zesty Cocktail Sauce

Make Crab Cakes ahead and Freeze:

These crab cakes can be made ahead, cooled and frozen, tightly sealed for up to 3 months. Make the sauce fresh or up to 5 days ahead of time.

Suggested Wine Pairings

This dish pairs well with medium-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Blanc. Sparkling wines are always a fan favorite with fried foods. Look for any available vintages of the following:

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 favorite Appetizers:

6 stacked crab cakes
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5 from 6 votes

Crab Cakes with Cocktail Sauce

Crab cakes with zesty homemade cocktail sauce are the perfect appetizer. Great on top of a salad or as a light meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 mini crab cakes or 12 full size
Calories: 64kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Cocktail Sauce

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Cocktail Sauce:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adjust seasoning to your taste.
  • Cocktail sauce can be made ahead, up to 5 days, refrigerated

Notes

Note: nutrition information does not include cocktail sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg


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