Maryland homemade air fryer crab cakes are easy to make using canned seafood. Lightly breaded, crispy and crunchy on the outside. Fun appetizer.
Whether you choose to serve these air fryer crab cakes as a meal, side dish or fun appetizer they are always a hit. Yes you can buy them frozen but homemade is always best, and easier to make than you might think. Just one of many easy air fryer recipes on The Typical Mom blog. (originally published 1/22, affiliate links present)
Red Lobster Crab Cakes
If this is one of your favorite restaurants, these taste very similar. You can make our cheddar bay biscuits like they have there too, they are killer air fryer dinner recipes served together.
If this sounds way too complicated let me ease your mind. I do not to hard. You do NOT need to boil an actual crab, crack the claws and scrape all the meat out. UM, that would be a no. Just use a can that is already cooked and shredded found near the tuna fish at the grocery store. 😉
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Fried Crab Cakes
If you don’t have one of these handy dandy countertop appliances, first off you should. BUT you can still make these with a pan on your stovetop too.
- Just follow the same directions but preheat a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat instead.
- After they are all breaded and the pan is hot place them in without letting them overlap. Leave a bit of space so you can get a spatula in there to flip them over.
- Now you are just getting the outside to be a nice golden brown color so let them cook a few minutes on each side.
- When they look perfect to you remove and set them on a few paper towels to absorb the excess oil, if any.
I personally do not deep fry anything. I suppose you could do that if that was your preference though. Just make sure they are really in tact so they don’t fall apart when submerged into the oil. These other ways are healthier though.
Aioli for Crab Cakes
You could make your own dipping sauce but typically I just buy one to make it easier to serve quickly. You could go with just some tartar sauce too or some like dijon mustard.
Crab Cakes Air Fryer
Let’s talk about what was thrown into this mixture. By thrown in I mean just that, the easier the better if you ask me. Once everything is together you should taste and adjust seasonings as need be. If you want them spicier you can add dry Sriracha, chili powder, cayenne pepper or cajun seasonings.
- Can of lump crab meat it’s less than $3 here so don’t freak out, it’s cheap
- buy an extra can and make air fryer crab rangoon with it too
- Diced bell pepper
- Some green onions are great
- Egg and mayonnaise
- Garlic powder
- A sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning is great too
- Large bowl is helpful to blend it all together
And then start to taste as far as some salt and pepper you want. You can add all the seasonings you want into the bread crumbs as well to add flavor. If you wanted a smoother mixture you could use a food processor to blend all ingredients together like our old fashioned salmon patties.
Air Fryer Maryland Crab Cakes
Once you get it all combined you’ll want to break or cut it up into equal portions. The bigger they are the longer they’ll take to cook all the way through. I prefer smaller than larger to get a really nice and crispy on the outside. You could add other diced things like celery or onions if you wanted too.
It should be wet so it sticks together. If it seems a bit dry then just squeeze in a little bit more mayonnaise. You definitely don’t want them falling apart or the breading to not stick well. That in itself lends a lot of flavor to this deliciousness.
I always suggest to spray the inside of your air fryer basket with a bit of olive oil or non stick cooking spray but especially with these. If they stick there’s no way to “put them together again” if you know what I mean.
There is a complete recipe card you can print at the bottom of this post. I have a quick rundown here but you should refer to that for exact amounts of each ingredient.
How to cook crab cakes in air fryer
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F for a good 5 minutes.
- Put 2/3 of a cup of breadcrumbs into a shallow dish. In a mixing bowl combine 1/3 cup remaining breadcrumbs with remaining ingredients.
- Gently fold in your canned crab meat at the end so it doesn’t break apart.
- Divide this crab cake mixture into 8 equal pieces. Scoop up one part and form into a ball. Then gently press down so it’s like a patty.
- Put into bread crumbs dish and coat outside on all sides. Spray inside of air fryer basket with non stick spray and lay each one inside.
- Spray tops with olive oil spray so they get crispy.
- Do not overlap, if basket is small you may need to make 2 batches.
- Air fry at 370 degrees for 8 minutes. Then very gently flip each one over after 4 minutes. Spray the top again when flipped.
When you think they look crispy enough then take them out and serve with a lemon wedge and we like fry sauce too.
Homemade crab cakes with canned crab
This whole prep and cooking takes less than 30 minutes. If you want to make a really large batch, prep the patties and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then cook them in batches when everyone is ready to enjoy them.
If you want the same thing much faster you can cook air fryer frozen crab cakes this way too. I highly recommend the SeaPak Maryland version which is so delicious.
Crab deviled eggs and these are very easy side dishes great with air fryer frozen fish. If you want to go all out with the ultimate seafood dinner I’d make these with our Instant Pot crab legs together!
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Air Fryer Crab Cakes
- 1 c Italian breadcrumbs divided
- 1/4 c bell pepper diced
- 2 green onions diced
- 1/4 c mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 12 oz crab 2 cans, precooked, drained
- Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Put 2/3 cup of breadcrumbs into a shallow dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine 1/3 cup remaining breadcrumbs with remaining ingredients, gently fold in canned crab meat at the end so it doesn't break apart.
- Divide mixture into 8 equal pieces. Scoop up one part and form into a ball, gently press so it's like a patty.
- Put into bread crumbs and coat outside on all sides. Spray inside of air fryer basket with non stick spray and lay inside, and spray tops with olive oil spray.
- Do not overlap pieces, if basket is small you may need to make 2 batches.
- Cook at 370 degrees for 8 minutes, gently flip each one over after 4 minutes spraying the top again when flipped.
- Serve when crispy with a fresh wedge of lemon.