Why I love these air fryer crab cakes
Do you have an air fryer? I’m not typically a huge fan of one purpose appliances, so I was really on the fence when it came to buying an air fryer. But, I picked one up at Costco this past summer, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.
It’s really convenient for appetizers like crab cakes – I’m sure it’ be great for fish cakes, too – and it makes a really great baked potato.
These air fryer crab cakes are perfection. They’re made with crushed Ritz crackers and pretzel crumbs (so we’re avoiding the dairy in breadcrumbs) and they’re heavy on the crab meat.
How to make crab cakes in the air fryer
Make some crumbs. Put your pretzels and Ritz crackers in a food processor and blend until you get a fine crumb. You can also put them into a large zip-top bag and crush them using a rolling pin or even your hands. Make sure the crumbs are fine, but don’t worry if you have a few bigger pieces. It won’t affect the recipe.
Mix the ingredients. In a big mixing bowl, combine the crab meat with the remaining crab cake ingredients. Use a fork to gently mix them together and until they’re evenly combined. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just mixed.
Form the patties. Scoop the mixture into small balls (about 3 tablespoon per cake) and flatten them into patties. Place them on a cookie sheet or plate to keep them organized. When you have them all formed, spray them with an olive oil cooking spray. Set aside until you’re ready to cook.
Make the sauce. You can mix the sauce while the crab cakes are cooking, but to make things a little less chaotic (especially if I’m entertaining), I like to mix the sauce up before I even put the crab cakes in the air fryer.
Simply mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. If you don’t want your sauce spicy, go easy on the seasoning.
Air fry the crab cakes. Heat your air fryer to 400˚F. When it’s hot, place the crab cakes into your air fryer basket and air fry them for about 8 minutes. Make sure you leave some space between the cakes in the basket so they aren’t over crowded. This helps the air flow around them and helps them crisp up.
FAQs and tips for making the best crab cakes
Yes, claw meat is okay to use for crab cakes. I like to use the lump crab meat so there are large pieces of crab for biting into. The claw meat is usually a darker meat of the crab and will have more intense crab flavor.
Baking crab cakes is definitely healthier than frying them in oil. Making crab cakes in the air fryer is the best of both worlds, they turn out with a golden crispy crust without all the oil.
If you find that the crab cakes are not binding together well for cooking, you can stick them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Keep in mind that this may extend the cooking time. Alternatively, you can add extra binding ingredients. This recipe uses mayonnaise which works with the crumbs to hold the cakes together.
More dairy free appetizers:
- Bacon wrapped water chestnuts
- Grape jelly meatballs
- Olive oil bread dip
- Beer battered onion straws
- Baked scallops
More dairy free dinner ideas:Print
For the crab cakes:
1 pound lump crab meat
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 crushed Ritz crackers
1/4 cup crushed pretzels
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
Olive oil cooking spray
For the remoulade sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
For the crab cakes:
- Preheat air fryer to 400˚F.
- In a large mixing bowl, gently mix crab cake ingredients together with a fork until combined.
- Divide the mixture into portions about 3 tablespoons in size. Shape into patties and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Working in batches, add crab cakes to the air fryer basket with ample spacing between the cakes. Air fry for 8 minutes. Repeat until all the cakes have been cooked.
- Serve with remoulade sauce and lemon wedges.
For the remoulade sauce:
- Add ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until combined.
- Adjust seasoning with salt &. pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 78
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 58.1 mg
- Fat: 4.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.2 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 8.6 g
- Cholesterol: 29.5 mg
Keywords: air fryer crab cakes, crab cakes in air fryer, quick crab cakes, dairy free crab cakes
Published: January 24, 2022. Updated: January 30, 2023.
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