Crab Cakes and Cocktail Sauce

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Whether it’s a special holiday, romantic occasion, or you’re having guests over, these crab cakes and cocktail sauce are a surefire way to impress.

crab cake recipe

When I visit my family in New Jersey, I eat crab the entire time I am there. I love crab. When I see jumbo lump crabmeat in the store, I always bring some home. For New Year’s Eve, I always try to make something a little extra special and this year was no different. I made a filet and crab cakes (my version of surf and turf).

This recipe is very easy to make and perfect for a romantic dinner for two. You can prep everything ahead of time and sauté the crab cakes right before you are going to serve them. I served this with a simple caprese salad and a glass of champagne, and rang in the new year in style.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • The crab cakes are crispy, warm, and pack in a lot of delicious flavors in each bite.
  • This zesty, tangy cocktail sauce pairs amazingly with seafood – especially these crab cakes.
  • You can make this recipe ahead of time with ease.
  • This recipe is perfect for a special occasion or just because, and you can serve it with an array of sides or main dishes.

Ingredients

You may want to make note of the ingredients for the cocktail sauce; I make it regularly for an assortment of seafood dishes.

The Crab Cakes:

  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For Dredging:

  • 1/2 cup Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup flour

To Cook:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup butter

The Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • hot sauce, to taste
crab cake recipe
cocktail sauce recipe

How to Make Crab Cakes and Cocktail Sauce – The Steps

Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together all of the crab cake ingredients except the crabmeat.

crab cake recipe

Step 2: Gently fold the crabmeat in. You spent a lot of money on crabmeat, so it is nice to keep it as a whole as possible.

crab cake recipe

Step 3: Line a baking sheet with tin foil, form the crab into patties, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. There is not a lot of filler in these crab cakes, so chilling them really helps hold them together.

crab cake recipe

Step 4: Combine together the Saltines and flour in a small bowl for dredging.

crab cake recipe

Step 5: Dredge the crab cakes in the mixture of flour and Saltine crackers.

crab cake recipe

Step 6: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt together the butter and oil. Cook the crab cakes for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the crab cake over and brown the other side.

crab cake recipe

Step 7: Mix the cocktail sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

cocktail sauce recipe

Step 8: Put the cocktail sauce in a ramekin or other dipping container and serve with the crab cakes.

cocktail sauce recipe

Variations to This Sauce

Traditional cocktail sauce consists primarily of ketchup and horseradish. Aside from citrus and Worcestershire, another component that I added is chili sauce or any form of hot sauce. I discovered during one of my European trips that over there, cocktail sauce consists of mayo and ketchup similar to fry sauce or thousand island dressing. If horseradish isn’t available, hot sauce is a great substitute to get that pungent taste. A small amount of wasabi can also be used to get that radish-y taste, but with less heat.

Serving Suggestions

These crab cakes and cocktail sauce are extremely versatile. Serve them for brunch, lunch, dinner, or an appetizer. I like to plate mine with a cucumber tomato salad for a light meal. You could also serve it with even more seafood, like roasted shrimp cocktail, and a side of creamy grits.

cocktail sauce recipe

FAQs

What other sauces go well with these crab cakes?

There’s remoulade which is a mayonnaise-based French sauce. I also like spicy chipotle sauce made from real chilis. But in truth, any creamy or tangy sauce should pair well with these crab cakes.

How can I make these ahead of time?

Your crab cakes will keep in the fridge when chilling, so you can prepare these the night before and wrap them in plastic wrap before dredging. The next day, when you’re ready to serve, simply dredge and sauté them, then serve them hot. The cocktail sauce can be prepared days in advance as well.

I can’t eat fried food. Is there a way to prepare these without frying them?

Absolutely! You could broil them, or line a baking sheet and bake them. Just keep an eye on your crab cakes because cooking times will vary.

How to Store Crab Cakes and Cocktail Sauce

Crab cakes are best kept in the refrigerator rather than the freezer. You can keep them wrapped in plastic wrap, in a Ziploc bag, or in an airtight container for up to 4 days. When you want to reheat them, either bake your crab cakes at 375°F for about 10 to 12 minutes, or warm them on the stove top on each side until heated through.

When it comes to the cocktail sauce, because of the lemon’s acidity and the sauce’s naturally low PH, your sauce will be preserved for up to 2 weeks. You can store this in the fridge in a squeeze bottle or an airtight jar and you’ll have a flavorful sauce anytime.

crab cakes with cocktail sauce
crab cakes with cocktail sauce

Crab Cakes and Cocktail Sauce

bakedbree
Whether it's a special holiday, romantic occasion, or you're having guests over, these crab cakes and cocktail sauce are a surefire way to impress.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Course seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 4 to 6
Calories 322 kcal

Ingredients
  

The Crab cakes:

  • 1 lb jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1/3 cup Saltine crackers crushed
  • 3 green onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For Dredging:

  • 1/2 cup Saltine crackers crushed
  • 1/2 cup flour

To Cook:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup butter

The Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1 bottle chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • hot sauce to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together all of the crab cake ingredients except the crabmeat.
  • Gently fold the crabmeat in. You spent a lot of money on crabmeat, so it is nice to keep it as whole as possible.
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil, form the crab into patties and chill in the fridge for at least a hour. There is not a lot of filler in these crab cakes, so chilling them really helps hold them together.
  • Combine together the Saltines and flour in a small bowl.
  • Dredge the crab cakes in the mixture of flour and Saltine crackers.
  • In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt together the butter and oil. Cook the crab cakes for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the crab cake over and brown the other side.
  • Mix the cocktail sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Put the cocktail sauce in a ramekin or another dipping container and serve with the crab cakes.

Notes

These can be made smaller as appetizers, or bigger for crab cake burgers.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 322kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 18gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 910mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Keyword cocktail sauce, crab cakes, crab cakes and cocktail sauce
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