crab cakes on parchment paper with lemon aioli and spoon -horizontal

keto crab cakes with lemon aioli {gluten-free}

Crispy, full of flavor, and a cinch to make, these keto crab cakes with lemon aioli are a delicious and versatile food- call it dinner, lunch, or a tasty starter! Packed with meaty chunks of wild-caught crab, savory spices, and topped with a tart lemon aioli, keto crab cakes are the epitome of savory seafood perfection. And you know what? Who needs a special occasion to enjoy crab cakes?! They take only minutes to mix and even less time to pan-fry, which is reason number 178 why these low-carb crab cakes are a recipe you need. 😉

closeup of lemon aioli on keto crab cake

What’s not to love about these keto crab cakes? They are:

  • simple to make
  • gluten-free
  • grain-free
  • dairy-free
  • keto-friendly and low-carb

A quick disclaimer for you that is absolutely essential for me to make clear before you embark on your low-carb crab-cake-making process: these disappear quickly. Like, record-time in my house. And given that one batch will yield six crab cakes, I recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe if you’re making these crab cakes for a crowd (or if your people are extra hungry).

ingredients in keto crab cakes

If you’ve ever made homemade crab cakes, you know the crab cake recipe usually calls for a type of filler- saltine crackers, breadcrumbs, etc.- definitely not low-carb. Wonderful news: you don’t need any of that. Delicious crab cakes are still doable without the high-carb, high-gluten filling.

Instead of breadcrumbs, this keto crab cake recipe calls for coconut flour and… crushed pork rinds.

Yup, and it’s downright magical.

crab cakes on parchment paper with lemon aioli and spoon

the ingredient list

  • “clean” mayonnaise made without oils that are high in omega-6s and pro-inflammatory), I like Chosen Foods
  • egg
  • gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (I use this one)
  • Dijon mustard
  • fresh lemon juice
  • sriracha (or hot sauce of your choice)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut flour
  • pork rinds, crushed
  • paprika
  • green onion
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • wild-caught lump crab meat
  • avocado oil or ghee

Is imitation crab keto?

I do not suggest using imitation crab, as it will affect the flavor and the nutritional profile of these keto crab cakes. Imitation crab is made from a type of white fish that is then treated with added starches, flavoring, and sugar, in order to taste like the real thing. Because of the additives, it’s not a very keto-friendly option. Plus, wild-caught crab is better in every way and you can usually find wild-caught lump crab meat pretty easily.

the crab cake recipe to try!

To make these keto crab cakes, follow this simple recipe:

  1. Mix together the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice, and sriracha.
  2. Combine dry ingredeints. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, crushed pork rinds, paprika, onion and parsley. Stir in the wet mixture. Add the crab meat and gently fold it in until the crab cake batter is evenly combined. Refrigerate (optional) or move on to frying.
  3. Fry the crab cakes. Heat the ghee or avocado oil in a large skillet at a medium-high temperature. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out crab cake batter and gently form the crab cakes in your hands, flattening the out slightly. Place each crab cake in the skillet and pan-fry for about 3 minutes per side. You want each side a deep golden brown.
  4. Serve. Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm with the lemon aioli (recipe below!).

the easiest lemon aioli recipe

Lemon aioli isn’t a must, but if you want to take the keto crab cakes to the next level, this is how. Creamy and slightly tart, it’s a lovely dip for the crab cakes that compliments- but doesn’t overpower- that irresistible crab flavor.

how to make lemon aioli

  1. Zest and juice a fresh lemon.
  2. Combine the zest and juice with avocado oil mayonnaise and a sprinkle of salt.
  3. Spoon over the keto crab cakes and enjoy!

So simple and really, really worth the extra two minutes. 😉

keto crab cakes with lemon aioli

pro tips for keto crab cakes

  • These keto crab cakes with coconut flour hold together well, but to get them even more firm, refrigerate for an hour (or even overnight).
  • Be careful not to over-mix the crab cake batter after adding in the lump crab meat. Fold it in gently to keep those meaty chunks from breaking down.
  • Don’t squash the crab cakes when you’re forming the patties. Gently press them together so they’re about 3/4-inch thick, then place them directly in the pan.
  • Keto crab cakes will store well in the refrigerator for at least two days. To reheat them, bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 5-8 minutes, or until they’re heated through. This reheating method will help prevent them from getting soggy.

These keto crab cakes are no-fuss, quick to assemble, and work for any occasion, any time of day! Throw a crab cake in between some low-carb bread or enjoy one on top of a salad. Crab cake eggs Benedict? I’m all in. Extra lemon aioli, always.

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closeup of lemon aioli on keto crab cake

keto crab cakes with lemon aioli {gluten-free}

Yield: 6 crab cakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Crispy and full of tender chunks of wild-caught crab, these keto crab cakes with lemon aioli make the perfect dinner, lunch, or starter. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-carb.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I like Chosen Foods avocado oil mayo)
  • 1 egg (pasture-raised when possible)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup lump crab meat (wild-caught)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil

lemon aioli

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (opt for a clean mayo, like Chosen Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice and sriracha.
  2. In a larger mixing bowl, toss together the coconut flour, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, paprika, crushed pork rinds, green onion and fresh parsley.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the lump crab meat and gently fold it in, being careful not to over-mix or break down the chunks of crab.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight (optional) OR pan-fry immediately.
  5. To pan-fry, heat the oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium to medium-high temperature. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon out even portions of crab cake batter, pressing them slightly in between your hands. Place them in the skillet and fry each side for 3-4 minutes, or until it turns a deep golden brown.
  6. After frying each side, gently lift the crab cakes out of the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to cool for a couple of minutes.
  7. Make the aioli by whisking together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve the crab cakes warm with the aioli on the side.

Notes

The keto crab cakes hold together pretty well with the coconut flour, but to get them even more firm, refrigerate for an hour (or even overnight).

Do not substitute coconut flour for almond flour-- they are not 1:1 swaps.

These crab cakes will store well in the refrigerator for at least two days. To reheat, bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 6-10 minutes, or until they're heated through.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 5gNet Carbohydrates: 3gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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