Easy Homemade Crab Cakes With Lemon Garlic Aioli

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After a long day, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour preparing dinner for a family who is too tired to really enjoy it. So we either order in, or we throw something together that makes our parent-guilt shoot through the roof and we spend half the night not sleeping because we’ve failed our family. No? Just me? Okay… But the truth is, homemade doesn’t have to be hard. And good meals don’t have to take forever to make. This easy homemade crab cakes with lemon garlic aioli recipe is so fast and simple that not only could you make it in a snap, but with a little help, you could even teach your kids to make it. Or, your spouse…I mean…maybe. IDK, have you checked the batteries in your fire alarm? Check those, then teach your spouse. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Crab Cakes With Lemon Garlic Aioli

This makes 4 patties (each patty is a serving), so plan accordingly!

What You Need To Make Easy Homemade Crab Cakes With Lemon Garlic Aioli

Crab Cakes:

Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you…you can substitute pretty much anything!

  • 2/3 cup panko (or preferred breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat, (can be canned or fresh…imitation works fine as well!)

1 tablespoon oil, for frying

Lemon Garlic Aioli:

Aioli is just a fancy word for mayonnaise!

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

How To Make Easy Homemade Crab Cakes With Lemon Garlic Aioli

Crab Cakes:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup breadcrumbs with all of the crab cake ingredients (except the crab). Mix until well blended.

Lightly mix in crab meat until just blended. (here’s where you can refrigerate mixture to firm up for later!)

Place remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.

Separate crab mixture into four servings, then roll each into a ball. Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs, then flatten into patty form (they’ll end up about 4 inches across).

Use oil to coat skillet, then heat over medium high heat.

Cook the patties about three minutes on each side, until golden. All four should fit in the same skillet, so if you’re planning sides with dinner, prep them first. These are ready FAST!


While the crab cakes are cooking, blend all aioli ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Serve aioli either on top of or beside crab cakes, for dipping.


Pro Prep Tip: Make the crab cake mixture in the morning and just refrigerate in a covered bowl until you get ready to cook them that night. It’ll help them hold together better while they’re being cooked!

Pro Serving Tip: If you’re going to serve the aioli on top of the crab cakes, don’t put it on until right before serving. It IS prettier to serve with the sauce already on top, but if you put it on too early, the cakes will get a little mushy under the sauce. Optional, garnish with a tiny sprig of dill and a few capers. Add a couple of slices of lemon to the side and your dish will be dressed to impress!

Pro Substitution Tip: No crab meat? You can use tilapia, salmon, tuna, or any other fish you have on hand for a quick and delicious meal your family will love.

Kid Tip: Forget the breadcrumbs! Instead, use an equal amount of crumbled Ritz or Saltine crackers! Your kiddo’s will love mashing them up, and it won’t change the final flavor.

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  1. Here is a substitute recipe for Old Bay seasoning

    2 tablespoons celery salt.
    1/4 teaspoon paprika.
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
    1 pinch dry mustard.
    1 pinch ground nutmeg

  2. In Australia what can I use in lieu of the Old Bay seasoning?

    TIA, Karen