Air Fryer Crab Cakes


5 from 15 votes
Jump to RecipeRate

Learn to prepare air fryer crab cakes; crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Ready in 8 minutes, they have a restaurant-worthy flavor but are so easy to make!

air fryer crab cakes.

Traditional fried food made healthier in the air fryer? Count me in. If you’ve tried our air fryer fried chicken, fried pickles, or French fries, you’ll no doubt love these crab cakes. 

They turn out just as tender and juicy as you’d expect!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick. From prep the plate, these crab cakes take minutes to make.
  • Truly crispy. The hot air of the air fryer helps to create a crispy and golden brown crust every time. 
  • Healthier. Air frying crab cakes are a healthier option than deep frying, as it requires much less oil.
  • Deceptively easy. Sure, pre-made crab cakes are easier, but homemade ones take no time.

What I love the most about this recipe is just how incredible the texture is- Crispy and golden on the outside and juicy and moist in the middle.

Ingredients needed

Just like traditional crab cakes, the other difference between the two is the lack of oil or butter needed for these. Here is what you’ll need: 

  • Crab meat. Use jumbo lump crab meat, either in brine or canned. if you can’t find lump crab meat, you can use imitation crab.
  • Egg. Room temperature. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs. To bind the mixture.
  • Cooking spray. To grease.
  • Mayonnaise. Home-made or store-bought.
  • Dijon mustard. You can also use regular mustard.
  • Worcestershire sauce. For that fabulous umami flavor.
  • Old bay seasoning. The secret ingredient that is a must for any good crab cake.
  • Salt and white pepper. To season.
  • Celery. Finely chopped.
  • Red bell peppers. Diced.
  • Parsley. Chopped.

How to make crab cakes in the air fryer 

Follow these simple steps to make crab cakes: 

Step 1: Prepare the crab cake mix

Mix the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, white pepper, celery, bell pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley, bell pepper, celery, and crab meat by sprinkling it into the wet mixture and the bread crumbs. Fold the mixture with till everything is combined well.

air fryer crab cake ingredients.

Step 3: Shape the patties

Divide the crab mixture into equal portions and shape them into cake patties. Freeze them for 5 minutes to firm up. 

Step 4: Prepare the air fryer

Now, preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Grease the air fryer basket with the cooking spray to keep crab cakes from sticking.

Step 5: Cook the crab cakes

Place the crab cakes in the air fryer basket and spray them lightly with the cooking spray before letting them air fry for 8 minutes at 400°F. Flip them at the 4-minute mark to cook evenly on both sides.

how to air fry crab cakes.

Can I bake these? 

Yes, you can bake these crab cakes. To do so, preheat the oven to 200C/400F, line a baking tray with parchment paper or a baking sheet, and move to step 5. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them halfway until baked.

Tips to make the best recipe 

  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Fold only till the ingredients are well combined so as not to break apart the crab. 
  • Shape the crab cakes with lightly wet hands, so the mixture doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • Add enough bread crumbs to bind the patties and keep them moist simultaneously. Adding too much will result in dry crab cakes.

What to serve with this dish

Crab cakes are a meal with a fabulous balance of protein and complex carbs. I like to keep things light with some vegetables, like asparagus, green beans, or broccoli.

Leftovers can be used in sandwiches, in a toasted brioche bun (kind of like a burger), or over a more hearty salad, like a rice salad or orzo salad

Storage instructions 

To store. In airtight food containers, you can refrigerate leftover crab cakes for up to 5 days.

To freeze. Place the cooled crab cakes in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up two months.

Reheating. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F before putting in the crab cakes. 2 to 3 minutes is enough to reheat them thoroughly.

crab cakes air fryer.

More air fryer seafood to try

Frequently asked questions

Can you air fry store-bought crab cakes? 

Yes, you can air fry store-bought crab cakes. Cook them in the air fryer at 200C/400F for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through.

How long do you cook pre-made crab cakes?

Both homemade and pre-made uncooked crab cooks have the same cooking time, 10-12 minutes.

How do you air fry thawed crab cakes?

After the crab cakes are thawed, preheat the air fryer to 400°F before greasing up the air fryer basket and cooking for 8 minutes.

Are these gluten-free? 

For gluten-free crab cakes, swap out the panko breadcrumbs for either gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten-free panko crumbs. 

air fryer crab cakes recipe.

Air Fryer Crab Cakes

5 from 15 votes
Learn to prepare air fryer crab cakes; crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Ready in minutes, they have a restaurant-worthy flavor but are so easy to make!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes


  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 small bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb crab meat canned or fresh
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Add all the ingredients, except for the bread crumbs, until combined. Fold through the bread crumbs at the end.
  • Form the mixture into eight crab cakes and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Freeze the plate for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
  • Grease the air fryer basket and place four crab cakes in it. Air fry for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Repeat the process until all the crab cakes are cooked.


TO STORE: In airtight food containers, you can refrigerate leftover crab cakes for up to 5 days.
TO FREEZE: Using freezer-safe bags/ containers and parchment paper, you can freeze them for up to 1 month.
TO REHEAT: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F before putting in the crab cakes. 2 to 3 minutes is enough to reheat them thoroughly.


Serving: 1crab cakeCalories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 13gFat: 6gSodium: 737mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 425IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

Never Miss a Recipe!
Subscribe to get my recipes directly to your inbox

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These crab cakes look so good and colorful. I can’t wait to try them. I’m not usually like that with fish or seafood. What have you done to me? Lol