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There is nothing like a Maryland-style, jumbo lump crab cake. But, making them homemade can be a challenge as many recipes have too much breading and not enough crab. This Air Fryer Keto Crab Cakes recipe is the perfect solution. It takes less than 5 minutes of prep and is low-carb and gluten-free. Enjoy it with my homemade tartar sauce.
Why Make This
- Fits gluten-free, low-carb and keto ways of eating since it does not use traditional breading and bread crumbs
- Highlights the crab, not breading: contains just enough almond flour to hold it all together
- Quick and easy to make: you can largely just add most of the ingredients and cook
You can visit the recipe card for the full list of ingredients. But, here are some notes:
- crab meat: I use fresh lump meat because it gives the crab cake some bite. I find it at the seafood counter or in the nearby refrigerated section.
- vegetables: I add shallots and red bell peppers since they are slightly sweet and don’t overpower the crab. You can add red onions, yellow onions, or another bell pepper.
- almond flour: this helps to bind the crab cakes. It’s a gluten-free alternative to regular flour and bread crumbs.
- egg and mayo: works with the almond flour to hold them together, but it also helps to keep the crab cake moist.
How to Make Air Fryer Keto Crab Cakes
Add the lump crab meat to a large bowl and use your hands to feel for the shells. Even though they are supposed to be shell free, no process is perfect and sometimes people make mistakes.
Whisk the egg and mayo in another bowl. This allows you to get those fully incorporated without having to overmix the crab meat.
Add all of the spices, vegetables and the egg and mayo mix to the bowl with the crab meat. Use a rubber spatula or mixing spoon to gently incorporate.
Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator.
Form 8-10 crab cakes, depending on how large you want them. I add about four to the air fryer cooking basket at a time and cook it on 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
Recommended Side Dishes & Sauces
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Homemade Tartar Sauce
- Remoulade Sauce
Top Cooking Tips & Recipe FAQs
- Whisk the egg and mayo separately: though it might be easier to just dump everything in the bowl and mix, I mix the egg and mayo separately to keep as many chunks of crab meat in the cakes as possible.
- Don’t skip the chill: this step makes it easier for the crab cakes to be shaped. It also allows the flavors to come together.
- Let them cool: these can be hard to lift when they are very hot. I allow mine to cool for at least 5 minutes before lifting them out of the air fryer.
Can you substitute another crab meat?
You can save on this recipe by mixing half lump crab meat with half claw crab meat. While it’s possible to use only claw meat, I wouldn’t for this and other crab cake recipes. It tends to be very shredded and lower on flavor.
Can you make keto crab cakes in the skillet?
Yes! When I first shared this recipe, I made them in my cast iron skillet. Using an air fryer allows you to skip several of the steps.
In a skillet, first, I sauté the shallots, bell peppers, and garlic until they are translucent (about 2-3 minutes). This helps to cook them down so they aren’t raw.
Then, I mix and chill the crab cake mixture as listed in the recipe below. I cook the crab cakes on medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
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Keto Crab Cakes Recipe
Use DRDAVINAHS at checkout to save on some equipment & ingredients!
- Add the crab meat to a large bowl. Use your hand to feel for shells and remove, if necessary.
- Whisk the eggs and mayo in a small bowl
- Add the remaining ingredients and the egg/mayo mix to crab meat. Gently mix to fully incorporate.
- Allow the mixture to chill for 20-30 minutes
- Form 8-10 crab cakes
- Add 4 crab cakes to the air fryer basket at a time. I line minute with 9-in round cake parchment paper.
- Use the "air crisp" function to cook the crab cake cakes at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes
- Allow the crab cakes to cool. Serve with a squeeze of lemon, fresh parsley or dill, and tartar sauce.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!