Pure and Simple Crab Cakes - Dump and Go Dinner

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Pure and Simple Crab Cakes - Dump and Go Dinner

The Cook
8 Servings
7 Ingredients

These may not be the most budget friendly meal, but they are definitely worth the splurge for a pound of lump crab meat. A simple crab cake with virtually no filler makes for a light, delicious spring or summer meal that's worth pausing to savor.

8 Servings
7 Ingredients


  • 16 ounces Lump Crab Meat
  • ½ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ cups chop Parsley, Fresh
  • ¼ cups Mayonnaise, Light
  • 1 individual Egg
  • ¼ teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Serving Day Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil



  • Plastic Wraps
  • Labels
  • Baking Sheets

Cooking Instructions

Freeze For Later Cooking Day Directions

Easy Assembly/Dump and Go

These directions help you cook or prepare this meal PRIOR to being frozen for serving later (see Serving Day Directions when you are ready to prepare it to eat).

Why would I want to freeze this?

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.
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Make From Frozen Serving Day Directions


These directions help you cook or reheat this meal AFTER it's been frozen for when you are ready to eat it.

  1. Thaw: In fridge
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Make It Now Cooking Directions

These directions are for cooking this recipe to serve immediately and NOT to freeze for later.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop, form indicated number of crab cakes, placing on a baking sheet.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Add crab cakes and cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe
8 Servings
Serving Size
1 crab cake
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
WW Freestyle


Join the discussion
    1. You should heat a small amount olive oil in a large skillet and cook through for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned

      1. Best if fried in a cast iron skillet w/clarified butter. Just sayin’ . . . . if you’re gonna do it right . . . . might as well do it. I’m from Virginia and grew up catching, cooking and eating everything Blue Crab.

        1. Hi Sandy! Clarified butter is another name for ghee – which is created by melting butter and skimming the top solid part off. This removes the water and milk solids and leaves you with only the butterfat. It has a higher smoke point – which might be why it was recommended?

  1. After you mix together and put on a baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour….then what? there are no instructions unless you are freezing them.

    1. Per serving, it is 109mg according to the nutrition calculator. If you are looking to reduce that level, I think these would hold together just fine with egg white only instead of the whole egg.

  2. Help! It says form 8 crab cakes but than the servings are 4 at 1 cake per serving? Trying to stay on track with weight watchers and I’d like to be sure……..

  3. Fantastic recipe. Made these for mother’s day. Make recipe exactly as directed. Makes 4 fabulous crabcakes. I will only use this recipe for crabcakes. I used jumbo lump crab. Cost a little more but was worth it. I made mashed red potatoes on the side,and fresh asparagus with bernaise sauce. better than a restaurant!

  4. I’ve made crab cakes many times and can’t wait to make these. I just might chop a scallion or two as an add in. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you! I have been trying to find a pretty pure crab cake recipe (hate fillers) and yours sounds just perfect. I’ll have to sub out the panko for something gluten free, but that won’t be hard. Thanks!

      1. Nicole, I’ve made these adapted to our needs, I used almond meal instead of panko and it worked great! The GF Panko would be a great substitute as well.

    1. Did you include the egg and either refrigerate before trying to cook (or freeze if made ahead of time)? When you form the cakes, you should be able to form them into patties/cakes similar to a burger and refrigerating before cooking helps to keep them together.

  6. Or forego the crab and use tuna (in water and drained). I added some minced bell pepper and onion too! (I’ll admit that a recipe is merely a guide….the rest is art!)I’m on day two of cooking! Cost me $170 at the grocery and I have enough food to feed my two football players AND not break the bank! I have some easy fix tuna patties out of it all……of the boys don’t get to them first!

  7. This is a recipe that I have used for years. The only one I’ve used because it is the best. Pretty sure I got it from the back of the Old Bay Seasoning container.

  8. This is very similar to my families receipe. We are from Chesapeake bay area. We add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon yellow mustard depending on the size of the receipe.

  9. We don’t do mayo at our house as my husband won’t eat it. Do you think I could sub something? Maybe greek yogurt? Thoughts anyone?

      1. I am too, Kelly…I like it but he won’t touch the stuff! I’m going to give it a whirl with the plain greek yogurt ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. My husband HATES mayo as well. You should just do what I do. Add it and don’t tell him ?. He gobbled it right up and thought it was delish!

  10. Help!!! I accidentally added 1/2 cup of mayo instead of 1/4. Any suggestions? My cakes are currently chilling in the fridge.

  11. This is a great recipe to customize for your own flavor pallet! We added a little lemon over the crab to freshen the flavor as it was 2 days old. Since we didn’t have a full 16 oz of dungeness, (from Central coast of CA) also added some finely minced celery and celery leaves and minced red onion. doubled up on the old bay and added a couple of pinches if sweet/hot red chile flakes from a local farmer. oh and freshly ground pepper!
    After forming the patties we added a light sprinkle of the panko crumbs to each side. Now its not so simple, but it sure was good!!

  12. I have never made anything with crab. Do I use the cans of lump crab (Chicken of the Sea)I found next to the tuna or is this meant for lump crab from the seafood section of the store?

  13. These crab cakes were absolutely incredible! And they were so easy! I made 6 from the recipe and froze 2; my husband isn’t a fan of seafood so I have a great meal waiting for me when he’s in the mood for something else. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Stephanie – so glad you loved these! And sometimes it is fun to have your own little treat waiting in the freezer isn’t it?

  14. i used claw crabmeat instead of the lump and i baked mine at 400* until they got a nice brown color. they werent to bad.i used an ice cream scoop and got 10 crab cakes.

    1. Karen – Thanks so much for sharing your adaptations to this recipe with us! Ice Cream scoop is a brilliant idea for the perfect sized crab cake!

  15. I use same method except do NOT add any bread type filler. After making patties, I sprinkle with crumbled Ritz crackers, and then pan fry with a blend of peanut oil and butter!

  16. Thank God for minimalists. I live in MD near Baltimore/Eastern Shore. I maintain I have never had better crab imperial than mine, no matter how much the restaurant charges because I add next to nothing
    For great dinner/appetizers I use 1 lb. JUMBO LUMP crabmeat (expensive, but worth every penny);1 egg; 1/4 c. or less (add 1/2 of it at a time so you don’t add too much); SQUEEZED LIME JUICE (lemon if that’s all you have); add a LITTLE mayo; chopped green or spring onions (start with one bunch, taste and add more to taste). Between the egg, mayo and crumbs, you want just enough that it will stick together. Add parsley, lemon pepper (McCormick). The secret to success is that you can always add more, not less. Stuff into large mushrooms with stems removed. I have tried to add stems to crab mix – makes it tough – don’t do it. Butter baking dish. Place mushrooms, mushroom side down, onto the baking dish. Pour dabs of melted butter over mushrooms (as much as will keep tops from burning). Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer. Rich and filling. For PURIST CRAB LOVERS. GREAT COLD. Very RICH. 3-4-5 per serving depending on mushroom size. If you do not like mushrooms then put into buttered casserole dishes – it’s the same recipe for CRAB IMPERIAL.

    1. Actually, I forgot, the mushrooms should be dipped in melted butter before stuffing with crabmeat mixture. And use BUTTER, not margarine or anything else. Maybe not the healthiest, but this is my birthday splurge.

      1. I’m going to assume that it goes without saying that the mushrooms get stuffed with the crab mixture prior to baking.

  17. Breadcrumbs are for amateurs. Three ingredients. Period.Jumbo or Super Lump
    Old Bay SeasoningNo filler. Ever. Only buy crab in season and straight from the dock.

    1. I thought the breadcrumbs were needed for binding. Maybe I’ll try it next time without them or use less than the recipe requires.

  18. Light mayonnaise?? Listen people, I live just 1/2 mile from Crab Alley. Use Duke’s mayonnaise (or any REAL mayo without sugar – Hellman’s now adds sugar and is only my fallback if I cannot find Duke’s). Old Bay. Watch for cheaper alternatives as they fill their spice with SALT. Even the low sodium Old Bay is fine. If you can, only Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. Here, you can buy hand-picked backfin crab which is in plastic containers, found in the seafood section, half-buried in crushed ice. Purists will look for the “Maryland With Pride” logo. There is a certain flavor which cannot be met. I think it’s the mustard and juice of the crab. Any other crab? They taste…. well, sterile, the farther from the bay that they’re caught. Gulf and asian crabs are the worst meats. And DO NOT squeeze a crab cake. It should be formed into a mound, not a hockey puck. Just ball it into your flat hand with your main hand as a scoop to form. A true Eastern Shore (NOT Maryland “Style” or anything-style) keeps the cake simple. Crab, Old Bay, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire, no-sugar-added mayonnaise, one egg, mustard. DO NOT USE olive oil. Use lightly-salted REAL butter to fry. Olive oil is never meant for higher heat. Let the butter start getting lightly browned to add a good flavor. Either start by broil and finish by pan-fry, or pan-fry throughout. Do not overcook. Never add a glob of tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or mustard, and Maryland crab cakes should never be eaten with a frigging saltine. That’s for children. A glorious crab cake will always stand on its own flavor. If a crab cake crumbles, you will NEVER se ANYONE return it because a piece fell off. They will eat it all and ask for more.
    And the bottom line. Forget EVERYTHING I say, if you swear by your own recipe. You find your own sweet spot recipe, and stick to it.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Karl! This recipe was developed for our diet menu, with calorie and fat conscience folks in mind. With that menu we keep to a specific criteria of fat, calories, carbs, etc. That being said, by all means sub in the freshest possible crab and your choice of mayo and oil. You hit the nail on the head, find what fits your lifestyle.

    1. Sure, Myra! We realize real lump crab meat may not always be readily available to all. Imitation will slightly alter the end results. It wont have the flaky middle texture.

    2. Of course you CAN but I wouldn’t recommend it. Real crabmeat isn’t that expensive when on sale abd it tastes sooooo much better.

  19. Thanks for the recipe looks just like how Mom did them growing up In Tidewater VA. Posted to also say thanks for not giving two pages of info NOT about the food. Cant stand clicking on a link for a recipe and having to page through personal dialog or vacation pictures to get to it.

  20. The key to a great crab cake is to mix all ingredients before adding the crab. This keeps the lumps nice and large in your cake. Barely mix the crab in before forming into cakes. Crab is delicate. Butter baking dish and add a pat of butter to top of each cake. Broil until slightly brown but do not overcook

    1. I wholly agree with making the mixture before adding the crab. Worked out perfectly! Although pan frying with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil didn’t overcook the cake as I feared broiling would.

  21. Excellent basic recipe. Made crab cakes for the first time ever and they were perfect–if I do say so myself! My challenge: I had only eight ounces of crab meat left over from another recipe so I had to halve this one and I didn’t mess it up. Now I want crab cakes every week.

    1. This is a very popular recipe and we are glad that you liked it so much. We will take a look at quantities but it could be that you used a little too much in the previous recipe. Sometimes the actual predicted amount per oz/lb can be a little off too.

  22. I make these all the time. I google your recipe. Iโ€™m sorry you have to deal with people that donโ€™t even read the directions before asking questions. They are INCREDIBLE.

    1. Hi Teresa, Yes. These can be frozen before cooking. This version of the recipe was created exactly for that reason. Just use the “Freezer for Later” instructions and package them. They will stay good for roughly 3-6 months. You can read more about how long freezer meals stay good for in this post. Then when you are ready to cook them – you will pull them from the freezer and thaw for the appropriate amount of time – and follow the “Make from Frozen” directions.