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crab cakes on a bed of arugula

Maryland Crab Cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes made with jumbo lump crab meat, saltine crackers and Old Bay Seasoning. Paired with a creamy special sauce takes these crab cakes to the next level!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 crab cakes (3 oz. each)
Calories 297kcal


For the crab cakes

  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
  • 30 saltine crackers (divided), pulsed into crumbs. (20 saltines go into the crab cake mixture, 10 for rolling)
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3-5 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco)

For the special sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chives, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar


  • Gently combine the crab meat with the saltine crumbs, scallions and minced bell pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, tarragon, Dijon mustard, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning and hot sauce.
  • Gently fold mayonnaise mixture into crab.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. You can make the special sauce with the crabmeat chills. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and place in fridge until read to serve.
  • Shape the crabmeat mixture into 3 oz. crab balls. I like to use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to create uniform crab cakes.
  • Roll each crab cake in the saltine cracker crumbs. Flatten each ball into a ¾ inch thick disk and place on a baking sheet or parchment paper while you form the rest.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. (Don't let it get too hot). Cook the crab cakes in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Add in the crab cakes and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden and crusting on both sides. Work gently, you should only turn them once.
  • Transfer to plates and serve with the special sauce, lemon wedges and chopped chives.



  • Chill the crab mixture: chilling the crab meat after you mix in the mayo mixture helps the crab cakes maintain their shape when frying/sautéing.


Serving: 1crab cake with sauce | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 249IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg