These Tex Mex Crab Cakes are loaded with fresh lump crab meat, chunks of pepper and cilantro and seasoned with a signature Tex Mex seasoning blend. Baked or shallow fried, enjoy a perfectly tender and flavorful bite with this simple recipe! Easy to make at home, these crab cakes are perfect for serving as an appetizer or main dish for the family.
All about these Crab Cakes…
- Light on fillers, but loaded with additional flavors to give you a tender perfect bite each time! The bits of peppers, green onion and cilantro don’t impact the texture or ability of the crab cake to hold it’s form and you still get a perfectly tender bite of crab meat mixed with the flavorful add ins.
- Quick and easy to make: not all restaurant quality seafood dishes are easily made at home. These crab cakes are a different story! They come together easily with ingredients that are easy to source at your local market or pantry.
- Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish: this recipe can work double duty by performing in either role. Serve smaller crab cakes as an appetizer to a main meal, or make 6 larger crab cakes to serve as a main dish with some vegetables on the side for the family.
Notes on some ingredients:
- Lump Crab Meat: this can be fresh from the meat counter at your local market or canned lump crab meat will work. I do not recommend making this recipe with imitation crab.
- Crackers: butter round style crackers give a wonderful richness to the finished recipe, but you can use saltines as a neutral option if needed.
- Mayonnaise: this and egg are used as a binder to hold the crab cakes together. This is a traditional ingredient used for making crab cakes, you will not notice a flavor in the finished recipe.
- Red Bell Pepper & Jalapeno: both peppers are used to give a variety of colors to the cakes. Feel free to substitute with any peppers you would prefer.
How To Make (step-by-step):
- Step 1: Combine the crab with the add-ins. Gently stir these together to keep the crab meat as intact as possible. We want to keep huge chunks if we have them.
- Step 2 & 3: In a small bowl combine the binding ingredients (mayo, egg, crackers, seasonings) then add to the crab meat. Again, fewer stirs helps keep our crab meat as intact as possible.
- Step 4: Form into patties, then lay the patties on a baking sheet, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Can be stored overnight if making ahead. Then cook in a skillet with a small amount of oil or bake.
- Filler Options: in addition to using egg and mayonnaise to bind our crab cakes together, we need another ingredient to act as a filler. Some recipes call for bread crumbs(flavor-less and too crunchy), others use saltines (fairly neutral), I find that using Butter Round crackers are a great option! They give a wonderful richness to the finished dish.
- Baking Instructions: these crab cakes can easily be baked if you would prefer to skip the shallow frying in a skillet. To bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or spray with non stick cooking spray. Line the crab cakes on the baking sheet, brush with a small amount of melted butter and bake for 12-14 minutes until baked through. Should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (this recipe contains eggs).
- Freezing & Make Ahead: make this recipe ahead of time and simply store the crab cake patties covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. Then remove and cook when ready to serve. Crab cakes can be store in the freezer also. Store raw or cooked. If storing raw, place a piece of parchment paper between the patties to make it easier to separate when ready to remove to thaw. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then cook when ready to serve. If stored cooked, to reheat the crab cakes, bake in the oven preheated to 350 degrees, cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove the foil and broil for a couple minutes to get a crispy outside. Or you can heat in a skillet with a small amount of cooking oil until warmed through.
Crab Cakes: FAQS
The best way to prevent your crab cakes from falling apart during cooking is to ensure they have time to chill beforehand. After forming the crab cakes into patties, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
Egg is a main binder in the crab cakes, this is an ingredient that helps them form and keep from falling apart when cooking. Mayonnaise is another binder that is used. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, you can’t taste it in this recipe!
If you are frying your crab cakes you want to use an oil with a high smoke point. Options would include: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable/canola oil.
What to Serve with Crab Cakes:
- Mexican Grilled Street Corn (Elotes)
- Tex Mex Roasted Potatoes
- Southern Potato Salad
- Creamed Corn
If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!
Recipe first published August 11, 2016. Updated June 17, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.