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Classic Crab Cakes

Our region is known for good seafood, and crab cakes are a traditional favorite. I learned to make them from a chef in a restaurant where they were a best-seller. The crabmeat's sweet and mild flavor is sparked by the blend of other ingredients. —Debbie Terenzini, Lusby, Maryland
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 pound fresh or canned crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup each chopped celery, green pepper and onion
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, optional
  • Lemon wedges, optional


  • In a large bowl, combine the crab, bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, vegetables and seasonings. Shape into 8 patties. Broil or cook patties in a cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet in oil for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. If desired, serve with lemon.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled crab cakes in freezer containers, separating layers with waxed paper. To use, reheat crab cakes on a baking sheet in a preheated 325° oven until heated through.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 282 calories, 22g fat (3g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 638mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 14g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Valerie
    Jan 3, 2021

    I made this recipe last night with 1 lb of canned crab. I reduced the bread crumbs to about 1/2 cup italian seasoned panko and eliminated green pepper, hot sauce and seafood seasoning, due to allergies. I sautéed the onion and celery in a bit of butter and added a tbl of sherry, so it's hard to rate properly, but I find this to be a very good basic recipe. I also used 6 quail eggs, due to chicken allergy. I do enjoy Baltimore Crab Cakes, but they are good with fresh crab. We are landlocked and don't have access! Thanks for the recipe. BTW I froze 4 of the crab cakes before cooking. I do this all the time with no problem.

  • Ernest
    Dec 20, 2020

    This is not a really good recipe. 1st. of all ,you never said at what temp. to cook the crab cakes!!!!Next, I would never cook the crab cakes and then freeze them for a later use and then thaw them for use(not a wise decision for seafood) or anything else for that matter..Seafood is better served "FRESH", always.Next, having grown up on the water on the east coast & live on a saltwater creek where crabs are plentiful, I have crab meat in the freezer all the time.And yes, I know how to make crab cakes.Also,Craig, you asked why am I even looking and I'm not an expert, but I know a few things about "fish',"shellfish", "oysters",etc:.BTY, crab cakes are supposed to taste like "CBAB" not "BISCUITS"???????

  • Bonnie
    Mar 22, 2020

    Please remove Matthew's review. Cursing certainly isn't necessary. Thanks for the recipe, Debbie.

  • Craig
    Nov 23, 2019

    Wow, lots of negative reviews from crab snobs (crab cakes aren't a hard recipe, but you don't need to whack the author on the head because you prefer it a different way... so why are you even looking at crab cake recipes if you are an expert??). Tried the recipe as-is, and also tried with panko bread crumbs and 1/2 the veggies for some picky people in the house. Delicious! We served with tartar sauce, tho some friends swear by dijon mustard to dip. The kids wanted ketchup, of course... :-)

  • Matthew
    Nov 17, 2019

    Very good recipe as is.. donnaruth52 below is a troll and clearly has no concept of posting a recipe vs. reviewing one. It’s cool to change one or two items and post about it but this bitch is insane... what she describes is not the recipe at all... I’m sure her food taste like shit. Old is probably the only accurate thing she wrote.

  • donnaruth52
    Nov 10, 2018

    As an old Marylander, I know that Maryland IS the best place for crab cakes. I also know that you do not put onions, celery and especially green peppers in them. Those things will take away from the taste of the crab. Too much bread crumbs will do the same. Scale back on the crumbs, eliminate the other aforementioned ones, and make the hot sauce an option (it's not needed with the seafood seasoning like Old Bay) and you will have an excellent crab cake.

  • Susie77
    Jul 4, 2015

    This recipe was excellent! I used opilio (snow) crab meat (and have the sore fingers to prove it). Left out the hot sauce. Substituted light Miracle Whip for the mayo. I only used 3/4 cup of bread crumbs because I prefer the cakes to be mostly crab. Had no problem with them holding together when fried.

  • mbritton
    Jun 20, 2015

    What is included in the seafood seasoning? Living in western NE we don't see a lot of seafood, but I would like to try this. May have to mix my own seasonings though.

  • Ozarkagirl
    Jun 20, 2015

    This is a very good recipe and I have made it many times over the years since it was first published in 1999 in TOH. I also substitute canned salmon for crab. The seasonings add to the flavor and since my husband likes fresh parsley and I have it growing in my garden, I double the amount. I would like to point out to the last five reviewers who obviously have never made the recipe that there is a big difference between using SOFT bread crumbs (slightly dried crumbled bread), versus packaged or homemade dried bread crumbs, which are a lot denser and make for a heavy cake instead of a lighter cake. It would be nice to see a little more cooking effort by some before reviewing something you've never made and giving a rating that means nothing. I really like the idea of using cornbread crumbs instead of bread for a different taste and texture and will try that next time.

  • annecooks
    Jun 20, 2015

    Two lbs. of crabmeat should be used if you're going to use 2 c of bread crumbs..