Keto Crab Cakes Recipe

Keto Crab Cakes Recipe

A classic crab cake is many things at once: Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, full of juicy chunks of crab meat, and lightly spiced with Old Bay seasoning. You might think there are many swaps needed to make this appetizer or light lunch keto-friendly, but it actually only takes one to get a crab cake that’s not only keto-friendly, it’s also gluten and grain-free.

We swap the crackers or bread crumbs traditionally used in crab cakes for almond flour with a touch of coconut flour. To make these crab cakes, you’ll mix crab meat with eggs, mayo, mustard, seasonings, and the keto flours and form them into patties. They’ll need to set up in the fridge for a moment, but that time will be well worth it for a crab cake that’s indistinguishable from the original. Once thoroughly chilled, you’ll fry them up and have a light keto lunch or lovely appetizer ready to eat.

Serve these traditional-tasting, healthier crab cakes with this sauce (with sugar swapped for an appropriate substitute), over keto coleslaw, or alongside other keto appetizers for an afternoon soirée.

“These keto crab cakes were quick, easy, and delicious! They needed a total of about 12 minutes to get to 165 F, so I turned the heat down a bit once they were brown. They had plenty of flavor with the Old Bay, and we enjoyed them with a drizzle of lemon juice and some tartar sauce.” —Diana Rattray 

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound lump crab meat

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Keto Crab Cakes ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium bowl, add crab, eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon and whole-grain mustards, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, almond and coconut flours. Gently fold well combined.

    Crab, eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon and whole-grain mustards, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, almond and coconut flours in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Form the mixture into eight equal size patties, pressing gently so that the cakes hold together. Place them on a lined cookie sheet or a plate, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    Crab patties on a lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Put the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the crab cakes and cook, in batches if necessary, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Refresh the oil in the skillet as needed.

    Crab cakes cooking in a pan on a burner, with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Transfer the crab cakes to a wire rack as they become done. Let cool for 1 to 2 minutes before serving.

    Keto Crab Cakes on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Tips

  • Unsure about how to choose crab meat? For this recipe, lump crab or lump crab meat is a safe bet. Purchase it fresh or frozen from the seafood counter of your grocer.
  • Because the texture of crab is an integral part of the cakes, refrain from over-mixing. You want to still see visible lumps of crab.
  • If you find that they seem soft when you form them, you can add an additional teaspoon of coconut flour.
  • You can prep these crab cakes up to a full day ahead before frying. Store refrigerated in a tightly sealed container until ready to cook.

Recipe Variations

  • Serve the crab cakes with lemon wedges for brightness.
  • Add a pop of color and extra flavor with some finely chopped parsley, chives, or fresh dill.

How to Store and Freeze

Once made, leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container for one to two days. To reheat, crisp them in the oven at 375 F until warmed through.

If you'd like to freeze these crab cakes, you should do that before cooking them. Freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to three months, then thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, follow the recipe steps for frying.

Is it better to fry or bake crab cakes?

Crab cakes are great baked or fried. For keto dieters, shallow pan-frying is an easy way to keep your macros on track.

The crab cakes can be baked on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 425 F for 16 to 18 minutes, until golden.

Is crab meat okay on keto?

Like other meats and seafood, crab does not have any carbs. It has very little fat and is mostly protein.

How do you know when crab cakes are done?

Crab cakes are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 F.


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