Cooking crab cakes in your air fryer means less mess and less clean up. This keto air fryer crab cake recipe is easy to make and absolutely delicious. You wouldn’t know they are grain-free and healthy!
Air fryers are definitely changing the game in the kitchen and this crab cake recipe is proof. Fast and easy, with less mess and fuss, and no splattering oil everywhere as you cook. I find myself using my air fryer multiple times a week these days. Check out my air fryer fish sticks for another great recipe.
I do love a good crab cake and I am always eyeing them on menus, wondering if there is any chance they might be made without gluten and carbs. But there’s little hope for that, most of the time. Traditional crab cakes are made with either bread crumbs or crushed crackers as a binder, and most restaurants don’t stray far from that formula.
So I have to make my own keto crab cakes at home. Thankfully, this turns out to be quite easy, and it’s even easier if you own an air fryer. But don’t worry if you don’t, I will also include instructions on how to fry them in a pan.
How To Make Keto Crab Cakes
The basics are pretty similar to traditional crab cakes, the only really difference is what you use for binding the ingredients together. You want something that will absorb the moisture but not too much.
I chose almond flour over coconut flour, as coconut flour can make things overly dry when used as a binder. You could also use crushed pork rinds for this recipe. An egg is critical to help everything hold together properly, and the almond flour gives the egg more to hold onto.
Do treat yourself to good crab meat, as it will make a difference. You don’t have to buy the super expensive fresh crab meat but get the cans of good lump crab meat. If it doesn’t say “lump crab meat”, then it’s finely shredded crab and won’t have great flavor or texture.
And if you are using canned crab, be sure to look at the DRY WEIGHT on the label, rather than the total weight. The total weight often includes some liquid and you need to know the true weight of the meat.
Please, whatever you do, do not get imitation crab. That stuff is full of junk and actually contains quite a few carbs!
The mixture will be quite wet and soft when you form it into patties, and so you want to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before air frying. An hour is even better.
Go easy on the salt. If you’re adding Old Bay to your crab cakes, it has plenty of salt as it is.
Cooking Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer
Air fryers are fabulous for making meals with less mess. I love frying in a pan too, of course, but it always results in a dirty pan and a splattered stove. Most of the time, that doesn’t stop me. But sometimes popping things into the air fryer is simpler and just as tasty.
And these keto crab cakes are a case in point. I was impressed at how well they turned out.
I’ve learned that the air fryer rack really should be sprayed or brushed with oil. And because I wanted a true fried flavor, I brushed both sides of the crab cakes with melted butter as well. I simply brushed them one side and set that side down on the rack, and then I brushed the other side.
Another trick to getting the most out of your air fryer is to flip things over partway through cooking. I’ve found that it does a fabulous job of getting the top crisp, but the underside is sometimes not quite as crisp as you might like. Flipping the crab cakes over helped them be browned and crisp on both sides.
I also whipped up some spicy mayo to serve with them, for an added kick of flavor. Absolutely delicious! If you own an air fryer, you simply have to try this easy crab cakes recipe.
Looking for more great easy keto meals?
Here’s a great list of Easy Keto Dinner Recipes for busy weeknights!
Be sure to check out this 4 Week Keto Meal Plan from eMeals.
And in case you didn’t know, I have a whole cookbook devoted to Easy Keto Dinners, available from many retailers! Grab your copy now.
Air Fryer Crab Cakes Recipe
- In a large bowl, break up the crab meat with a fork. Stir in the almond flour, parsley, green onion, Old Bay, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Stir in the egg, mayo, and mustard until the mixture is well moistened. Use your hands to form into 4 patties, each about ¾ inch to 1 inch thick. Place on a waxed paper lined plate and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Spray or brush the air fryer rack with oil (I used avocado oil spray). Brush melted butter over both sides of the crab cakes and place on the rack.
- Air fry at 350F for 10 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through cooking.
- For the mayo, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve the crab cakes with lemon and a dollop of spicy mayo.