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
- 8 ounces lump crab meat (canned is fine, but drain well)
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 green onion, sliced
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or other fish seasoning)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (more to taste - it can be very salty)
- 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.
Cherri Allen says
I absolutely love this recipe! Very easy and tastes great.
These are delicious and easy to make. My entire family (including the picky ten year old) love them. Thanks for all your amazing recipes!
C J Broadway says
Have you ever tried Pork Panko or crushed pork rinds instead of almond flour?
Please read the how to section as I already address that.
Pat Kaufman says
Perfect adaptation if traditional recipes which use bread crumbs or panko. I don’t have an air fryer so sauté them stove top. But now I use butter instead of oil!
So glad you like them!
Tried this with fresh shrimp. I pan fried but the cake was too loose and broke apart. Next time I will add a bit more flour. Great flavor husband really enjoyed them even though they turned in to bites.
Fresh shrimp doesn’t flake the way cooked crab does, so yes… I imagine that they would fall apart.
Carole Galassi says
Delicious! This is the best tasting low carb crab cakes i’ve ever made and that includes a high carb version! I used the plastic container crab from Costco which to me taste fresher then the one in the canned. I will also not add the salt the next time as mine came out just a tad saltier than I would like, but still good though. Carolyn you are a genius and I love your recipes! I already own 2 of your cookbooks and will be buying more for sure. Thank you!
So glad they turned out so well!
Absolutely loved these crab cake
Thank you for this recipe! I agree about using top quality crab meat. I’ve been using crushed pork rinds for binding and pork rind/Parmesan mixture to coat–haven’t tried using almond flour, so I’m going to try that. Sounds delicious.
Best tip I ever had for making crab cakes was to put the crabcake mixture in a sieve over a bowl when refrigerating to drain out the liquid that accumulates–either refrigerate for several hours to overnight or press on the mixture in the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Helps make them cook up super crispy!
Barbara Pampel says
Just found your website this morning quite by accident. I cannot wait to try these crab cakes!!! Will be back to spend a lot of time browsing around for sure. Was just put on a low carb regime and I’m finding it a happy challenge. So glad I found yo.
I’m glad you like what you see!
What would the cooking time be in a convection oven?
I’m really not sure, this recipe was developed for an air fryer.
michelle gawlik says
I love this recipe! I have a question. I read the nutrition disclaimer. I just wanted to ask what the percentage daily value is based on in the Nutrition Facts? I’m guessing Keto would have a higher percent daily value for fat than a regular diet?
Keto has a much MUCH higher percentage of fat and much much lower percentage of carbs. I don’t think that the daily values for a standard American diet apply here at all. I just ignore them. I can’t remove them from my recipe card so just ignore that part altogether.
I hate to ask about substitutions, but do think this could work with tuna or salmon. The recipe looks amazing, but serious shellfish allergy here. 🙁
It should! Use the search box to see my tuna patties recipe. I can’t see why they couldn’t be made in the air fryer too.
Susan Pelter says
I’m piggybacking onto this… I make salmon croquettes with basically the same ingredients and they are yummy! Have never tried tuna but bet that would be good, too.
Nova @ The High Strung says
Hey! The serving listed there is for 2 cakes and 1 tbsp of butter used for cooking. If you use butter spray or something you could cut down the calories a good bit and you’d be looking at closer to 150-200 calories per crab cake.
I have no idea what you mean. The serving is 1 crab cake and it’s already down below 200 calories per cake.
Susan Pelter says
These look amazing! I just made crab cakes the other night; they are a family favorite. As someone from Maryland (which makes me a crab snob) I SO agree about using good crab meat. You get the best taste and texture from lump, unless you can afford backfin. And I find that they stay together better if you really blot the crab dry before assembling the recipe. I pour mine from the container onto paper towels and get it as dry as possible before adding the eggs and seasonings. Another great recipe, Carolyn!
That’s a great tip! I don’t pretend that these are true Maryland Crab Cakes but they are really tasty!
Amy Locurto says
I’m obsessed with my air fryer and these amazing crab cakes!
My hubby loves crab cakes. Totally making this for his birthday!
My kids loved them! Really flavorful!
Rachael Yerkes says
so delicious! love them!
Katerina @ diethood .com says
Oh my, these sound amazing!! I can’t wait to try this recipe!! My family would LOVE this!!
Which air fryer do you use? Am currently shopping for my first…????????????❤️
I have the Cuisinart air fryer/toaster oven. it’s pricy but it’s been insanely useful to me. https://amzn.to/2KIp4w6
Thank you! Cuisinart products are very good, I have several… ❤️