Crisp outsides and delicate sweet crab insides, Louisiana Crab Cakes are loaded with flavor and pan fried to a golden brown to create a classic southern seafood favorite anyone can make! Serve them as appetizers at parties, brunches and showers, as a main dish your family will love or on sliders buns for a tasty crab cake sandwich!
What Makes Louisiana Crab Cakes Special?
Everybody knows that Maryland is famous for its crab cakes, but is there any surprise that Louisiana has its own southern style of crab cake? Not when you know that Louisiana has been noted as one of the world’s largest blue crab fisheries.
Blue Crab live along Louisiana’s coastal waters, but most are harvested from Lake Pontchartrain and the Terrebonne Basin. And with the long Louisiana crabbing season (May-October), there is plenty of time to catch and cook up delicious, crispy crab cakes!
Even though both Maryland and Louisiana rely on fresh blue crab for the best crab cakes, Louisiana crab cakes are highly seasoned and lightly breaded, or dredged, in flour or a flour/cornmeal mix then pan-fried in oil instead of butter. They are always enjoyed with a dash or two of hot sauce or healthy dunk Louisiana remoulade sauce, homemade tartar sauce or spicy cocktail sauce.
Louisiana Crab Cake Ingredients
- lump crab meat, shells picked out
- red bell pepper
- green onions
- lemon juice
- All Purpose Creole Seasoning (or Old Bay Seasoning)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Creole/spicy or whole grain mustard
- crushed crackers (multi-grain club crackers recommended)
- flour for dredging
- oil for frying
How To Make Crispy Louisiana-Style Crab Cakes
Mix Up The Ingredients. Use a gentle hand (so the crab doesn’t break down) to mix all of the ingredients, except crackers, flour and oil, together in a large bowl. Add crushed crackers, starting with ½ cup, to bind the ingredients together. Add more crackers if the mixture is too wet.
Make the Cakes/Patties. Form small 3 inch patties using the wet crab mixture. Gently dredge patties through the flour, lightly covering both sides.
Fry the Cakes. Carefully place the crab cakes in a heated frying pan with vegetable oil. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side. Gently turn the cakes over and cook until golden brown. Remove the crab cakes from the skillet and let drain on a paper towel.
What is the Best Crab Meat to Use for Crab Cakes?
While many restaurants use jumbo lump crab to make their cakes, I’ve found that using lump or special crab meat or a combination of the two works best for making homemade crab cakes that are easy to handle and keep together while cooking.
Even if you don’t have a fresh seafood market, you should be able to buy quality lump crab in the grocery store no matter where you live.
Is it Better to Pan Fry or Bake Crab Cakes?
I prefer to pan fry my crab cakes because I like the crispy outsides and juicy, tender insides it creates. It’s also how traditional southern crab cakes are made.
However, crab cakes can be baked in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or lightly sprayed with olive oil and cooked in the air fryer for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees.
How to Keep Crab Cakes From Falling Apart
Crab cakes fall apart while cooking when there isn’t enough binder (eggs & mayo) to hold them together. A little filler (crackers or breadcrumbs) helps too, but don’t add too much! Keep your crab mixture sticky & wet to make patties.
Secondly, chilling the crabmeat patties for 15-30 minutes before frying also helps keep them together. Regardless, crab cakes require a careful, gentle touch during the cooking process.
Freezing & Storing Louisiana Crab Cakes
Both cooked and uncooked crab cakes freeze well. Layer with parchment paper in an air tight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To store leftover crab cakes, just cover tightly or put in a zip top bag and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Heat leftover cakes underneath the oven broiler or in an air fryer for crispy outsides.
Making Crab Cakes Ahead of Time
Louisiana Crab Cakes are perfect for making ahead of time for a party, brunch, cookout or family meal. Just prep the vegetables and make the crabmeat mixture the night before. Cover & refrigerate. Make the patties, dredge and fry the next day.
What to Serve with Crispy Louisiana Crab Cakes
Serve these crab cakes as a main dish, on sweet slider buns for delicious crab cake sliders, or make smaller sized cakes and serve as an appetizer. For a meal, whip up any of these side dishes to serve with your crab cakes!
- Apple Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing
- Sweet Potato Wedges
- Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Creamy Dill Potato Salad
- Chilled Avocado Soup
- Spicy Watermelon Salad
Other Seafood Recipes You’ll Love
- Million Dollar Shrimp & Crab Dip
- Spicy Creole Shrimp Foil Packets
- Southern Shrimp Salad Roll with Lemon Dill Mayo
- Louisiana Shrimp & Crab Deviled Eggs
- New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
- Easy Sheet Pan Pineapple Shrimp
If You Love Easy Seafood Dinners & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & Leave A Fun Comment! Or Tag Me @SouthernDiscourse On Social Media To Be Featured. I Love Hearing From You!
Best Louisiana Crab Cakes
- 1 pound lump crab meat, shells picked out
- ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon All Purpose Creole Seasoning (or Old Bay Seasoning)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Creole mustard (or spicy or whole grain mustard)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ -1 cup finely crushed crackers (multi-grain club crackers recommended)
- all purpose flour for dredging
- canola oil for frying (or vegetable oil)
- Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in a cast iron (or other deep) skillet over medium high heat.
- Use a gentle hand (so the crab doesn't break down) to mix all of the ingredients, except crackers, flour and oil, together in a large bowl. Add crushed crackers, starting with ½ cup, to bind the ingredients together. Add more crackers if the mixture is too wet.
- Form 3-4 inch patties using the wet crab mixture. Gently dredge patties through the flour, lightly covering both sides.
- Carefully place the crab cakes in a heated frying pan with oil. Turn stove top down to medium- low heat. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side. Gently turn the cakes over and cook until golden brown. Remove the crab cakes from the skillet and let drain on a paper towel.
- Serve with remoulade, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.