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Quick and simple mini crab cake recipe

Sarah's love of food led her down what she calls "the culinary rabbit hole," leaving her management job to first apprentice on an organic vegetable farm and then to write about and photograph food professionally. Her agricultural backgro...

These crab cakes take less than 30 minutes to make

I used to think of crab cakes as too fancy for my humble kitchen, but this easy recipe proves they're for anyone.

My mother-in-law is a former chef, so the meals we eat at her home are always fabulously delicious, not to mention plated beautifully. On a recent visit I was chatting with her in the kitchen, and it occurred to me as I watched her preparing crab cakes for dinner that they looked pretty simple to make.

So, with tips from the master in mind I created a recipe for crab cakes I could whip up in less than 30 minutes. I pared down the ingredient list to only necessary components without compromising the characteristic flavors like fresh parsley, tangy lemon and seafood's best mate, Old Bay seasoning. I kept the panko bread crumbs, which lend a lighter feel than traditional bread crumbs.

You could make these a regular size, but I love serving them in miniature so they're ideal party fare or after-school snacks. I even make them this size for dinner, and my toddler loves to serve himself using party forks — mini food is always more fun.

These crab cakes take less than 30 minutes to make

Mini crab cakes recipe

Makes 20-25 cakes


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1-1/4 cups panko bread crumbs, divided use
  • Butter, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Old Bay, salt, onion and parsley. Add the crab meat and stir to evenly coat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the panko over the crab mixture and stir to combine.
  2. Add the remaining 3/4 cup panko to a medium bowl. Shape the crab mixture into approximately 2-tablespoon-sized discs, placing each one in the panko bowl and turning to coat. Place on a large plate or baking sheet. At this point, you can either cook the crab cakes or move them to the refrigerator until you are ready to fry.
  3. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and melt enough butter to fill the pan at least 1/8 inch. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the crab cakes in a single layer. Once one side is brown, flip and brown the second side before moving to a paper towel-lined plate. Add more butter as needed and continue frying until all the crab cakes are cooked. Serve immediately.
These crab cakes take less than 30 minutes to make

More mini snacks and appetizers

Mini banana split bites
3 Loaded, bite-size grilled cheese sandwiches
Mini corn dog muffins

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