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Quick and simple mini crab cake recipe

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.

Mini crab cakes

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.
Mini crab cakes on a plate of greens, corn, and beans

More mini snacks and appetizers

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

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