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AIR FRYER CRAB CAKE SANDWICH

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This air fryer crab cake sandwich is irresistibly tasty! It delivers all the crabby flavors and ocean goodness of Maryland-style crab cakes. The patties are garnished with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt. They’re snuggled within slider buns with homemade tartar sauce and layers of produce.

PIN CRAB CAKE SANDWICH

Air fryer crab cake sandwich on a wooden board with knife and wedge of juicy lemon.

This traditional recipe for crab cakes was inspired by the Maryland Office of Tourism. It serves up an authentic Maryland food experience! Make an air fryer crab cake sandwich when craving coastal food from Chesapeake Bay.

If you’ve experienced crab cakes in the Old Line State, bring back those treasured vacation memories! Enjoy visions of eating this meal with feet in the sand. Or feel more connected to family and friends on the East Coast.

These restaurant-worthy sandwiches make a healthy mid-week meal, or Game Day eats. Serve with coleslaw or crispy oven-baked French fries.

Without bread, crab cakes become a fabulous party appetizer. Serve with chipotle mayo, aioli, or pesto sauce. Include juicy lemon wedges on the side.

Overhead view of air fryer crab cake sandwich on a bun with produce, spread and lemon.

INGREDIENTS

This easy air fryer recipe comes together quickly with fresh crab meat and some basic pantry staples. If making larger crab cake patties, purchase regular-size buns. For the sandwich fixings, adjust them to your liking.

AIR FRYER CRAB CAKES

  • Large egg
  • Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s or Duke’s)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Fresh Italian parsley
  • Fresh lump crabmeat
  • FOR GARNISHING: Lemon wedges and sea salt

ALSO NEEDED: Olive oil spray

SANDWICH FIXINGS

  • Slider buns
  • Microgreens or butter lettuce
  • Red onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Tartar sauce or chipotle mayo
  • Cocktail sauce
Crab cake ingredients measured out in small dishes on the countertop.

EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Missing an ingredient for these crab cake sandwiches? Don’t put on your shoes and head to the market. Instead, head to your fridge or pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps.

It’s convenient and money-saving to use ingredients you already have on hand! Especially during stay-at-home times.

  • MAYONNAISE: If you don’t have Hellmann’s or Duke’s on hand, Best Foods Mayo is also a great high-quality choice. In a pinch, you can sub this ingredient with Miracle Whip.
  • DIJON MUSTARD: Sub with yellow mustard. It’s tarter than dijon and not as tangy, but has the same thickness and creaminess. Honey mustard is also a good option. It’s sweeter, but the flavor pairs well with crab cakes.
  • PANKO BREAD CRUMBS: This ingredient is the binding agent for the crab cakes. The best sub is ground buttery crackers (like Ritz crackers). Or make your own bread crumbs: Shred pieces of white bread in a food processor with shredding disk to make coarse crumbs. Spread crumbs on a baking tray. Bake 6 to 8 minutes at 300°F until dry but not toasted.
  • OLD BAY SEASONING: Use J.O. Crab Seasoning instead. Cajun seasoning is another great stand in. But this option will deliver more heat. Or you can make an Old Bay Seasoning substitute. Mix together: 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1 pinch of each: cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne.
  • FRESH ITALIAN PARSLEY: Use dried parsley instead.
Air Fryer Crab Cake Sandwich with a knife and spread, produce and lemon.

recipe steps

RECIPE PREP: Line air fryer basket with parchment paper. Lightly spray it with olive oil spray. Have a few paper towels at the ready for wiping your hands as needed.

  • STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined and slightly frothy.
  • STEP 2: Add panko breadcrumbs, Old Bay Seasoning, and chopped parsley to the bowl. With a rubber spatula, mix to combine. Gently fold in lump crabmeat until just combined. Try to keep the pieces whole. We don’t want them broken up or shredded. Remove and discard any hard pieces or sharp cartilage.
  • STEP 3: Lightly spray your hands to prevent the seafood mixture from sticking to them. Divide the mixture into patties. For sliders or appetizers, form 8 patties. For large crab cake sandwiches, make 4 patties. Lightly spray both sides of the cakes with olive oil.
  • STEP 4: Arrange patties inside the air fryer basket, leaving room between the pieces. Don’t overcrowd the basket. For smaller appliances, you may need to cook them in batches. Air fry at 375°F. For smaller patties, cook 12 to 15 minutes. For larger patties, cook 15 to 17 minutes. The crab cakes are done when they’re golden blonde and the centers are 160°F to 165°F when checked with an instant-read thermometer.

RECIPE TIP / OPTIONAL STEP: Chilling uncooked crab cakes in the fridge before air frying will help ingredients bind together better. Transfer uncooked patties to a tray. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.

How to make air fryer crab cakes in 4 easy steps.

GARNISH AND SERVE: Squeeze lemon juice over patties. Add a sprinkling of sea salt. Place crab cakes between slider buns (or hamburger buns). Serve the crab cake sandwiches with your favorite condiments and produce.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly asked questions when making air fryer crab cake sandwiches, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

CAN I USED CANNED CRAB MEAT FOR CRAB CAKES?

No, it’s not recommended. The taste and texture of shelf-stable canned crab meat is completely different than fresh lump crabmeat. The product also contains additives. It’s not a tasty option for crab cakes.

WHERE TO FIND LUMP CRABMEAT?

At seafood markets you’ll find fresh lump crabmeat at the seafood counter resting on ice by other fish products like fresh salmon. At standard grocery stores, look for pasteurized lump crabmeat in small plastic tubs in the refrigerated section. It’s available year round.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TYPES OF CRABMEAT?

Lump crabmeat is from the body of the crab. Jumbo lump refers to nice large chunks of crab that have an elegant presentation. But it’s also the priciest type. Flake crabmeat consists of smaller pieces from the body. It’s cheaper than jumbo flake. The least expensive type: claw meat.

WHAT TYPE OF LUMP CRABMEAT FOR CRAB CAKES?

The larger the chunk, like jumbo lump, the pricer it will be. For making crab cakes, it really doesn’t matter how large the pieces are as they’ll be assembled into patties. What’s important is that the crab is fresh.

MY CRAB CAKES ARE COOKED BUT ARE NOT GOLDEN BROWN, WHY?

Each air frying appliance is different. With some air fryers, the crab cakes can be completely cooked through without the surfaces becoming golden. Do not overcook the patties or they’ll be dried out.

CAN CRAB CAKES BE ASSEMBLED IN ADVANCE?

Yes, the prep work can be done in advance. Assemble the seafood mixture and form the crab cakes. Arrange them in a single layer on a small metal tray. To stack, separate the layers with parchment paper. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Crab cake sandwich on a wooden board with knife, chipotle mayo spread, and slice of lemon.

MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES

If you enjoyed these tasty air fryer crab cakes, you’ll also enjoy these quick easy recipes! Add them to your collection of good eats. Print them out. Pin them to Pinterest.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Friends who’ve munched down on these air fryer crab cakes during Game Day say they rival those from eateries in Maryland. They’ve walked away from my home with recipe in hand!

If you too think these air fryer crab cake sandwiches are deeply delicious, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero! Share it with a friend. Everyone’s on the lookout for great new recipes.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Overhead view of air fryer crab cake sandwich on a bun with produce, spread and lemon.

AIR FRYER CRAB CAKE SANDWICH


Description

This air fryer crab cake sandwich is packed with delicious coastal flavors. Make sliders or serve on hamburger buns. For crab cake appetizers, serve with a dipping sauce and juicy lemon wedges.


Ingredients

Scale

AIR FRYER CRAB CAKES

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Hellmann’s or Duke’s)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh lump crabmeat

FOR GARNISHING: Lemon wedges and sea salt

SANDWICH FIXINGS

  • 8 slider buns (or 4 regular-sized hamburger buns)
  • Microgreens or butter lettuce
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Tartar sauce or chipotle mayo
  • Cocktail sauce

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Line air fryer basket with parchment paper. Lightly spray it with olive oil spray. Have a few paper towels at the ready for wiping your hands as needed.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined and slightly frothy.
  2. Add panko breadcrumbs, Old Bay Seasoning, and chopped parsley to the bowl. With a rubber spatula, mix to combine. Gently fold in lump crabmeat until just combined. Try to keep the pieces whole. We don’t want them broken up or shredded. Remove and discard any hard pieces or sharp cartilage.
  3. Lightly spray your hands to prevent the seafood mixture from sticking to them. Divide the mixture into patties. For sliders or appetizers, form 8 patties. For large crab cake sandwiches, make 4 patties. Lightly spray both sides of the cakes with olive oil.
  4. Arrange patties inside the air fryer basket, leaving room between the pieces. Don’t overcrowd the basket. For smaller appliances, you may need to cook them in batches. Air fry at 375°F. For smaller patties, cook 12 to 15 minutes. For larger patties, cook 15 to 17 minutes. The crab cakes are done when they’re golden blonde and the centers are 160°F to 165°F when checked with an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice over the hot crab cakes. Sprinkle with salt. Assemble crab cake sandwiches with slider buns, your favorite condiments, and fresh produce. Serve while the patties are warm.

RECIPE TIP / OPTIONAL STEP: Chilling uncooked crab cakes in the fridge before air frying will help ingredients bind together better. Transfer uncooked patties to a tray. Cover with plastic. Chill 1 hour. 

Notes

TYPE OF LUMP CRABMEAT TO BUY FOR THIS RECIPE: The larger the chunk, like jumbo lump, the pricer it will be. For making crab cakes, it really doesn’t matter how large the pieces are as they’ll be assembled into patties. What’s important is that the refrigerated crab is fresh. Flake crabmeat will work just fine. (Do not use shelf-stable canned crabmeat.)

  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • OPTIONAL CHILLING TIME: 1 Hour
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Air Fryer Crab Cake Sandwich, Crab Cake Sandwich, Crab Cakes in Air Fryer, Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

air fryer crab cake sandwich > YOUR THOUGHTS

Are you a big fan of Maryland-style crab cakes? What do you think of this easy air fryer recipe? Would you like to make them as Game Day snacks? Share your thoughts on this air fryer crab cake sandwich in the comments!

5 thoughts on “AIR FRYER CRAB CAKE SANDWICH”

  1. These crab cake sandwiches were delicious! Made them for a family gathering. It’s a great switch-up from traditional sliders and chicken sandwiches.

    Reply

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