Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes

Of the many species of crab inhabiting the East Coast waters, blue crab is the most plentiful, ranking behind lobster and shrimp in commercial value. The crab most often found on the menu at beach picnics, it is available from February, when the water turns warm around Florida, until cold weather returns. The stone crab, by contrast, is rare and expensive. Concentrated around Key West and Miami, it ranges up to the Carolinas and west to Texas. Only the claw meat is eaten: trappers break off one claw, and the crab regenerates a new one. The secret to making sure you get the most value for your lump crabmeat in this recipe is to make sure you don't overmix it with the other ingredients. Tossing until just combined creates a better texture and less monotonous tasting crab cake. These crab cakes are the perfect party-ready appetizer, but they can also be served as a main dish.

Active Time:
21 mins
Total Time:
33 mins
18 mini crab cakes


  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, divided

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided

  • 4 saltine crackers, crushed

  • Paprika

  • Lemon wedges

  • Garnish with freshly chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pick crabmeat, removing any bits of shell.

  2. Whisk egg in a medium bowl. Whisk in parsley flakes, next 3 ingredients, 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise, and 3/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning. Gently stir in crabmeat and cracker crumbs. Shape crab mixture into 18 (1 1/2-inch) patties. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

  3. Stir together remaining 5 Tbsp. mayonnaise and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning; spread on crab cakes, and sprinkle with paprika.

  4. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until golden. (Do not overbake.) Serve with lemon wedges. Garnish, if desired.

    Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes
    Southern Living
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