Herbed Crab Cakes With Green Goddess Dressing


Green never looked so good.

Herbed Crab Cakes with Green Goddess Dressing
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Cook Time:
10 mins
Active Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins

We're keeping things light and fresh with these Herbed Crab Cakes with Green Goddess Dressing. Rather than loading on the Old Bay, we take a more delicate approach with these homemade crab cakes, using lemon zest and juice—as well as fresh herbs—to brighten up the classic seafood dish.

A trio of herbs (chives, cilantro, and tarragon) pairs well with the fresh crabmeat without overpowering its delicate sweetness. The Green Goddess Dressing, which can be made a day in advance and chilled in an airtight container, is a delicious topper for the crab cakes and salad greens. In fact, we recommend keeping this creamy, herby dressing on hand for your weekday salads; it also doubles as a delicious dip for crudité.

We always keep a sleeve of Saltine crackers around for simple snacking or hosting emergencies (Alabama Fire Crackers make the best impromptu appetizer). Rather than breadcrumbs, Saltine crackers act as the ideal, salty binder for these crab cakes.

These crab cakes would be a lovely addition to any weekend brunch—in fact, you can make them ahead for the utmost ease. Just form the patties the night before, refrigerate overnight, and throw them in the pan the morning of; serve with a light salad and a sunny-side-up egg.


Crab Cakes

  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers (about 40 crackers)

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained and picked over

Green Goddess Dressing

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro (tender stems and leaves)

  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves

  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

  • teaspoon black pepper

Additional Ingredients

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. spring mix salad greens

  • Lemon wedges


  1. Prepare the Crab Cakes: Process saltines in a food processor until consistency of fine crumbs, about 1 minute. Stir together egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest and juice, chives, cilantro, tarragon, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Gently stir in crabmeat and 1 cup saltine crumbs. (Reserve remaining crumbs for another use.) Let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Shape crab mixture evenly into 8 (3-inch) patties (about ½ cup each). Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover; chill at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Green Goddess Dressing: Process mayonnaise, cilantro, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 24 hours.

  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, add Crab Cakes to skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch, flipping once halfway through cook time.

  5. Top salad greens with Crab Cakes. Drizzle with Green Goddess Dressing, and serve with lemon wedges.

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