I make a double batch of the BEST gluten free mini crab cakes every holiday season and they really couldn’t be easier! Loved by gluten and non gluten eating people alike and super easy to prep ahead. Check out my simple recipe for your stovetop or air fryer and a quick lemon aioli dipping sauce, too! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Confession: I felt so ahead of the holiday madness in October.
I remember as clear as day – my son was sick in bed, sleeping most of the day, and I was happily snuggled next to him, buying all the things on Amazon and feeling like a superwoman.
And then I blinked and it’s now mid December and I’m in full panic mode, while simultaneously trying to create as much magic as possible for my kids who all of a sudden feel really grown up.
I also host Christmas Eve and need to start planning that menu like yesterday. One thing I know we will have for sure, though, are these Gluten Free Mini Crab Cakes! We are OBSESSED with crab cakes and
How to Make Gluten Free Crab Cakes at home
I know it might seem intimidating, but making your own Crab Cakes at home it super easy! And these Mini crab Cakes are the perfect appetizer for your party, but if you are looking to make dinner sized Crab Cakes, check out my 21 Day Fix Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes recipe!
Ingredients for Gluten Free Crab Cakes
You don’t need a lot of ingredients for these crab cakes – just a few simple things go in this delicious recipe!
- olive oil
- olive oil spray
- butter or ghee
- 1/2 small onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (Use Gluten-free bread for GF Crab cakes)
- old bay seasoning
- egg white
How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs
Of course you could use already prepared breadcrumbs, but this is so much easier and more cost effective! I love using the end pieces of the bread that nobody eats for this.
What kind of Crab Should I use for homemade crab cakes?
Jumbo lump crab meat is the only way to go for these! Yes, it’s pricier, but it’s totally worth it. Around the holidays and in the summer, you can find great deals on crab meat, so definitely look around that time. I also find that small seafood markets tend to have excellent crab meat for a great price!
Why do I need to chill my crab cakes before cooking them?
Once you mix up your Crab Cake mixture, it’s really important to let them chill for an hour or so before shaping them into cakes – or mini balls as I like to do for these. This will help them stick together without a lot of filler! That’s what’s so delicious about these crab cakes – they are almost ALL crab!
Homemade Crab Cakes Pan Fried vs Baked
I enjoy a lot of things baked in my oven. Crab cakes just aren’t one of them. But the good news, you can use just a small amount of oil and butter to pan fry these crab cakes until the exterior is crispy and they taste perfect and not greasy at all!
Gluten Free Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer
Another option that I like is using my Air Fryer for these crab cakes. This is helpful if I am busy cooking other things or don’t have the time to babysit the crab cakes in the pan. They come out nice and crispy and cook in about two batches.
This is a great little trick for lots of different air fryer recipes – like my Healthy Air Fryer French Toast Sticks, not just these crab cakes!
What kind of sauce do I serve Mini Crab Cakes with?
When we eat my Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes we typically go without sauce and just add some fresh lemon, but for these mini crab cakes they are just asking to dipped, amirite? So I made a quick and easy Lemon Aioli using a lot of the same ingredients as in the crab cakes to keep it simple and budget friendly!
Can I make these mini Crab Cakes ahead of time?
YES! I love prepping these the day before a party, storing in the fridge, and then just crisping them up right before my guests arrive. The sauce can also be prepped a day (or more) before, too.
Can I double this recipe? How do I store leftovers?
Of course! I highly recommend this! You can double or triple this recipe for a crowd and if you have leftovers (I NEVER do), you can store them in your fridge for 2-3 days or freeze for 2-3 months. Just reheat on the stovetop or in your airfryer!
Looking for more Gluten-free party apps? Check out these ideas:
The Best Gluten Free Mini Crab Cakes
For the Crab Cakes
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Olive oil spray
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
- 1/2 small onion finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs Use Gluten-free bread for GF Crab cakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Lemon wedges for garnish
For the Lemon Aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mix ingredients for Lemon Aioli and place in the refrigerator to chill
- Spray a non stick pan with olive oil spray and cook onion for 4-5 minutes over medium-low heat until the onion gets kind of caramelized, and in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Dump that into a bowl and fold in the crabmeat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg white, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp of salt, old bay, and chives, mixing just until well blended, being careful not to break up the lump crab too much.
- Using a melon baller or a tablespoon, shape the mixture into 12 mini crab cakes. Sprinkle with a little more salt and put them on a plate, cover, and stick them in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. Add the crab cakes – four to six at a time so you can flip easily – and cook for about 4 minutes each side until nice and crisp. Be careful flipping, as they can fall apart, but they will be delicious even if they do!
- Serve with lots of fresh lemon slices and lemon aioli
- Line your Air Fryer with parchment and place 6 crab cakes at a time in the basket. Spray with olive oil spray and cook for 10 minutes on 375, flipping halfway and removing the parchment paper.
- Serve with lots of fresh lemon slices and lemon aioli.