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Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Flavorful Air Fryer Crab Cakes are loaded with crab meat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and seasoning to create the ultimate fresh and juicy crab cake you’ve ever had.

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Air Fryer Crab Cakes stacked on each other with a bite taken out of the top one

Make the best crab cakes you’ve ever eaten using your air fryer!

This recipe uses simple ingredients that taste like they’re from a restaurant. Just make sure you use good quality lump crab meat to get that fresh taste you love.

Serve these air fried crab cakes on a toasted brioche bun or with your favorite vegetable for a full dinner.

Air Fryer I recommend: Large, easy to clean, square basket, burner on top and bottom. Click to see it.
Ingredients in bowls needed to make crab cakes in the air fryer

How to Cook Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

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STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, add the lump crab meat, pepper, green onions, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, Old Bay Seasoning, and lemon juice and mix until just combined into a crab cake mixture.

STEP THREE: Take the crab balls and form four evenly-sized crab patties. It’s important to be gentle when handling the crab cakes. Lump crab meat has a lot of juices inside and you want to keep as much in as possible.

Raw crab cake patties inside the air fryer

STEP FOUR: Place a piece of parchment round down inside the hot air fryer then carefully place each crab cake in the air fryer in a single layer in the air fryer basket or tray.

STEP FIVE: Air fry crab cakes for 8-10 minutes until the crust turns golden brown.

STEP SIX: Remove the air fryer crab cakes and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce and fresh lemon juice on top, if desired!

Cooked crab cakes in the air fryer

Tips to Make the Best Air Fried Crab Cakes

  • Use a high quality crab meat. They can be expensive, but once you try the good stuff, you’ll be making restaurant-quality crab cakes at home all the time. Jumbo lump crab meat works well.
  • The Old Bay Seasoning makes this recipe what it is. It’s the traditional seasoning used in many crab cakes, especially Maryland crab cakes. I do not recommend substituting or omitting this ingredient.
  • Use a parchment paper rounds or silicone liner! This is one of the few recipes I recommend using parchment paper rounds for. The crab meat is very moist, which can cause the crab patty to stick to the basket.
  • Do not flip the crab cakes. They can fall apart when handled only halfway cooked.
  • Be super gentle when mixing the ingredients. Crabmeat is very fragile and can break apart easily. The goal is to keep the crab meat in as whole of pieces as you can.
  • For an easier-to-handle crab cake, refrigerate them for 30 minutes after forming them into patties. This will firm them up making them easier to place into the air fryer.
Fork with a bite of air fryer crab cake with plate in the background

How Long to Cook Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

Air frying crab cakes takes 8 to 10 minutes to cook with this recipe.

If using a storebought crab cake that’s refrigerated, allow an extra 1 to 2 minutes to cook.

Just make sure you are using thawed crab cakes or you will need to use directions on frozen ones below.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Crab Cakes:

Closeup of stacked crab cakes with a bite taken out of top one

Variations to Air Fryer Crab Cakes

  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce if you like spicy crab cakes
  • Use panko breadcrumbs or crushed crackers instead of Italian breadcrumbs
  • Use cajun seasoning instead of Old Bay seasoning if you’re in a true pinch

How to Cook Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

Frozen crab cakes are precooked, so you just have to heat them up using the directions below.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the frozen crab cakes in the air fryer and air fry crab cakes for 7-8 minutes until warmed thoroughly.
  3. Remove the crab cakes from the air fryer and enjoy!

If using frozen mini crab cakes, check them at around 5 minutes. Since they are smaller in size, they will cook faster than regular-sized ones.

Read more about making frozen crab cakes in the air fryer here.

Two air fryer crab cakes on a white plate with dipping sauce and lemon wedges

What Are the Best Frozen Crab Cakes?

I personally love Phillips Maryland Style Crab Cakes from frozen over other brands, but here are a few other great options:

  • Handy crab cakes
  • Dockside Classics
  • SeaPak
  • Publix Brand crab cakes
  • Trader Joe’s frozen crab cakes
Air Fryer Crab Cakes spread on a white plate with green garnish on top


How Do I Reheat Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer?

Store leftover crab cakes in a fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the leftover crab fritters in the air fryer reheating crab cakes for about 3 minutes until warmed thoroughly.
  3. Remove them from the air fryer and enjoy!
Air Fryer Crab Patties on a white plate with green garnish

More Air Fryer Seafood Recipes

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Cooked crab cakes in the air fryer

Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Samantha Erb
Crab cakes are made in the air fryer with lump crab meat and Old Bay Seasoning for a flavorful appetizer.
4.58 from 21 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Air Fryer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 158 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1 red bell pepper de-seeded and chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Optional

  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, add the lump crab meat, pepper, green onions, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, Old Bay Seasoning, and lemon juice and mix until just combined.
  • Gently form four evenly sized crab patties. Lump crab meat has a lot of juices inside and you want to keep as much in as possible.
  • Place a piece of parchment round down inside the hot air fryer then carefully place each crab cake in the air fryer.
  • Cook the fresh crab cakes in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes until the crust turns golden brown. Do not flip while cooking.
  • Remove the crab cakes from your air fryer and enjoy with your favorite sauce and extra lemon on top, if desired!

Video

Notes

How to Cook Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
2. Place frozen crab cakes in the air fryer and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until warmed thoroughly.
3. Remove them from the air fryer and enjoy!

How to Reheat Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Place leftover crab cakes in the air fryer and cook for about 3 minutes until warmed.
3. Remove them from the air fryer and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 12gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 1251mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


samantha

About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

10 thoughts on “Air Fryer Crab Cakes”

  1. I am not sure if the bay seasoning measurement is correct but using 2 tablespoons made the crab cakes inedible. Way too salty. I ended up throwing them out.

    Reply
    • Hi Julie, the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning, not tablespoons. I agree, 2 tablespoons would be very overpowering. I hope this helps!

    • Yes, you can make this using solely the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid! No pressure cooking is needed for this recipe.

  2. I am new at using an air fryer. I bought crab cakes at the grocery store today. I was so happy to see your article on seafood. I know how to cook my crab cakes now.
    I have a Chefman air fryer so I have three racks not a basket. A few times I have been confused. But, I am learning a lot and enjoying my air fryer.
    Thank you

    Reply
  3. We tried this recipe the other day! Super delicious, however, the crab cakes fell apart when I took them out of the air fryer! Did I do something wrong?

    Reply
    • Hi Christy!
      Crab Cakes are very easy to fall apart. I would suggest being very gentle with them or even cooking them an extra minute or so which would make them a little crispier on the outside and hold them together a little more. Let me know what works for you!
      Thanks 🙂

4.58 from 21 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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