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Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Prepare to have your mind blown by these air fryer crab cakes! You’ve never seen crab cakes as easy as these and thanks to the air fryer, they are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and completely guilt-free.

These air fryer crab cakes are full of flavor from seasonings like Old Bay, Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. And, of course, they’re loaded with sweet juicy lump crabmeat in every bite. 

Three crab cakes stacked on a white plate.

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Crab cakes are one of those special dishes that my husband absolutely loves. But traditional fried crab cakes can be heavy, calorie-dense, and a mess to make. That's why I was so excited to try making crab cakes in the air fryer!

They come together quickly, with just a few simple ingredients, and the air fryer gives them a wonderfully crisp crust without the need for deep frying. The end result is a crab cake with lots of crab and a satisfying crunch in every bite.

I love to eat crab cakes on their own with zesty remoulade sauce and a side salad or some roasted vegetables, but they’re also great on a sandwich (have you had a crab cake BLT? Incredible.) and they work great as an appetizer. 

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make crab cakes set out on the counter.
  • Lump crab meat: Look for high-quality crab meat that's sweet, tender, and free of any shells or cartilage.
  • Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs help bind the air fryer crab cakes together and provide structure.
  • Egg: Acts as a binder to hold the crab cake ingredients in place.
  • Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is a must in air fryer crab cakes. 
  • Green onion: Chopped green onions add a fresh savory flavor. 
  • Mayonnaise: Adds moisture and a subtle creamy richness.
  • Dijon mustard: Adds tanginess to the air fryer crab cakes.
  • Old Bay seasoning: A classic seasoning blend for seafood that adds warmth and a hint of spice.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhances all the other flavors.

How To Make Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, and green onion in a mixing bowl.
Crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, and green onion mixed together in a mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, and green onion. Mix everything together until well blended.

Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper added to crab mixture in the mixing bowl.
Crab cake mixture combined in a mixing bowl.

Add the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Continue mixing until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Scooping crab cake mixture from the mixing bowl with a large cookie scoop.
Scooped balls of crab cake mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Crab cake patties are placed on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Scoop the crab cake mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet using a cookie or ice cream scoop. Gently shape the scoops into patties that are about 3/4-inch thick.

Refrigerate the shaped crab cakes for 20 minutes. This helps them firm up and hold their shape better during cooking.

Preheat your air fryer to 350°F. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray.

Crab cakes are placed in an air fryer basket in a single layer.
Air-fried crab cakes in an air fryer basket ready to serve.

Carefully transfer the chilled crab cakes to the prepared air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip the cakes and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until they're golden brown and crispy.

Remove the air fryer crab cakes from the basket and serve immediately, with remoulade sauce for dipping.

Three crab cakes on a white plate with a bite out of one.

Can I bake these crab cakes instead of air frying?

Absolutely! To bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the formed crab cakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown.

Storing and Freezing

Store: Leftover air fryer crab cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place them back in the preheated air fryer and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until hot and crispy.

Freeze: You can also freeze the uncooked crab cake patties for longer-term storage. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. When ready to cook, add a few minutes to the air frying time.

Recipe Tips

  • When scooping the crab cake mixture, press the filled scoop against the side of the bowl to help the patties hold their shape.
  • Refrigerating the formed crab cakes before cooking is crucial for getting them to hold together in the air fryer.
  • Be sure to flip the crab cakes carefully using tongs to avoid them falling apart.
  • For the best texture, serve these air fryer crab cakes immediately after cooking. They're at their crispiest straight out of the air fryer.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. 
  • For a crunchier texture, substitute panko breadcrumbs for the traditional breadcrumbs. 
Three crab cakes served on a white plate.

Here are a few more delicious easy air fryer recipes!

These air fryer crab cakes are an indulgent, restaurant-quality dish that you can feel good about enjoying at home. With their crispy exterior and juicy, flavorful interior, they're sure to become a new family favorite. 

Three Crab Cakes stacked on a white plate.

Air Fryer Crab Cakes Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
These air fryer crab cakes are full of flavor and loaded with sweet, juicy lump crabmeat in every bite. They are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 127 kcal


  • 8 ounces lump crab meat (drained)
  • cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon green onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • In a medium mixing bowl, add crab meat, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, and green onion. Mix together until well blended.
  • Add mayonnaise, mustard, and dry seasonings and continue mixing.
  • Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture onto a pan lined with wax paper. Shape the patties with your hands and press lightly to flatten them to ¾ inches thick.
  • Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees.
  • Spray inside of the basket with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook the patties for 5-7 minutes, then flip carefully and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until they begin to brown.
  • Remove from air fryer and serve with remoulade sauce.


This recipe will make 4 -6 crab cake patties, depending on the size and thickness you make them.
Flip carefully in the air fryer using tongs to keep it from falling apart.
These are best served warm and immediately from the air fryer.
Leftover air fryer crab cakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 13gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 911mgPotassium: 168mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 184IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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