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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries (or Frozen Sweet Potato Fries)
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Air Fryer Hush Puppies
- Air Fryer Green Tomatoes
- Remoulade sauce or tartar sauce
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.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
- Place the frozen crab cakes in the air fryer and air fry crab cakes for 7-8 minutes until warmed thoroughly.
- 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.
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
- Publix Brand crab cakes
- Trader Joe’s frozen crab cakes
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.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
- Place the leftover crab fritters in the air fryer reheating crab cakes for about 3 minutes until warmed thoroughly.
- Remove them from the air fryer and enjoy!
More Air Fryer Seafood Recipes
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Mahi Mahi
- Air Fryer Salmon Patties
- Air Fryer Tuna Melt
- Air Fryer Scallops
- Air Fryer Cod
- Air Fryer Haddock
- Air Fryer Shrimp
More Crab Recipes
- 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
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- 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!
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!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 1251mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.