Crab Cakes for Frugal Crab Cake Lovers

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I absolutely love crab cakes – they’re my favorite thing to order at restaurants! If there’s a crab cake on the menu, chances are it will end up in front of me. They’re just so hard to resist…especially when paired with another delicious component! 

I love being able to recreate my favorite restaurant dishes at home. Many years ago my Nana and I made a recipe for crab cakes that she clipped from a magazine. I have enjoyed making this recipe at home, using imitation crab meat for a frugal twist!

This recipe makes a delicious, basic crab cake that you can serve with different sauces or with various dishes.

Crab Cakes – makes 6 small crab cakes 

  • 1 8 oz package of flake style imitation crab meat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cup bread crumbs (panko or regular) – plus extra for dredging
  • 1/8 cup melted butter

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions (I use a measuring cup to keep them uniform) and pat into 2 inch rounds. Pour about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs on a plate or shallow dish and dredge each crab cake in the crumbs to coat.

In a 10 inch skillet, heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry crab cakes 3-4  minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce, atop a fried green tomato or with eggs benedict!

A Few Tips:

  • These are best fried in a cast iron skillet, but you can certainly use a regular nonstick skillet. Trust me though – it’s worth picking up a cast iron skillet just for this recipe! I have a 10 inch skillet that I love!
  • Shred the crab meat before adding it to the other ingredients and mix everything together with a fork or a similar tool – I actually use a pastry cutter! It helps the imitation crab meat to take on the texture you get from the real thing. 🙂
  • This recipe only makes 6 small crab cakes, which is plenty for two adults. I usually serve these with a salad, baked potato and another vegetable on the side. You can easily double the recipe if needed.
  • Frugal tip: Always check Ibotta when you purchase your imitation crab meat. There’s often a rebate for $1 or more off your purchase! I wait until my grocery store has it on BOGO sale, then stack that with the Ibotta offer for some really frugal crab meat! 🙂

I hope you’ll try this delicious recipe!


4 thoughts on “Crab Cakes for Frugal Crab Cake Lovers

  1. I’m with you – I just LOVE crab cakes. I’ve never purchased this imitation crab meat. I’ll have to check it out. I haven’t been using Ibotta as much as usual. Grocery pick up has been cramping my stye because it’s so much more difficult to use deal saving apps with the pick up receipts.


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