Crispy, full of flavor, and a cinch to make, these keto crab cakes with lemon aioli are a delicious and versatile food! Call it your main dish or a tasty starter. Packed with meaty chunks of wild-caught crab, savory spices, and topped with a tart lemon aioli, this keto crab cakes recipe is 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. 😉
why this keto crab cakes recipe works
What's not to love about crab cakes? They're the perfect appetizer and you can even jazz them up to make a yummy keto crab cake eggs Benedict.
This a great recipe if you're looking for crab cakes that are keto diet friendly. Fresh crab meat delicious seasonings come together to create these low-carb and gluten free crab cakes that will have everyone raving.
While traditional crab cakes usually call for bread crumbs in the crab mixture, these low carb crab cakes swap in crispy and flavorful pork rinds!
They are the best option for a breadcrumb substitute. With their crunchy texture, crushed pork rinds will give you the best results.
These easy keto crab cakes are:
- simple to make
- gluten-free and grain-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.
To make keto crab cakes with pork rinds, you will need these simple ingredients:
- "clean" mayonnaise made without oils that are high in omega-6s and pro-inflammatory), I like Chosen Foods
- 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
- green onion
- fresh parsley, chopped
- wild-caught lump crab meat (not imitation crab meat)
- avocado oil or ghee
is imitation crab keto?
Since lump crab meat is the main ingredient in these keto crab cakes, I do not suggest using imitation crab meat, as it will affect the flavor and the nutritional profile pretty drastically.
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 jumbo lump crab meat pretty easily. Check out the seafood counter at your local grocery store- any kind of crab meat will do as long as it's real crab. 😉
recipe for the best keto crab cakes
To make these keto crab cakes, follow these simple steps (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page).
- Mix together the wet ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice, and sriracha.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a large 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.
- Fry the crab cakes. Heat the ghee or avocado oil in a large skillet or frying pan at a medium-high heat. Use an ice cream scoop or large cookie 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.
- Serve. Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool on a paper towel-lined plate or on parchment paper. Serve warm with the lemon aioli as a dipping sauce (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
- Zest and juice a fresh lemon.
- Combine the zest and juice with avocado oil mayonnaise and a sprinkle of salt.
- Spoon over the keto crab cakes and enjoy!
So simple and really, really worth the extra two minutes. 😉
pro tips for keto crab cakes
- These keto crab cakes with coconut flour hold together well, but to get them even more firm, refrigerate them for an hour (or even overnight). Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator.
- 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 ¾-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.
- I like the neutral taste and high smoke point of avocado oil and ghee for frying, but you can also use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute.
- For the best crispy outer layer, pan fry these just a notch above medium heat (I usually go for medium-high heat). They will cook quickly so make sure you watch them closely.
- Do not substitute almond flour for coconut flour as it's not as absorbent and could affect the results.
These gluten-free 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.
you might also love...
- Keto gumbo with shrimp, sausage and tender shredded chicken makes a flavorful, keto dinner that will make any night feel special!
- Brussels sprouts and kale salad with maple bacon vinaigrette is the salad of my dreams. Crispy bacon, roasted fennel, and a sweet/salty vinaigrette. Need I say more?
- Keto stuffed mushrooms with sausage and sage has a creamy (dairy-optional) sausage and sage filling in tender roasted mushroom caps.
- 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)
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ⅓ cup crushed pork rinds
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup lump crab meat (wild-caught)
- 2 tablespoons ghee or avocado oil
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise (opt for a clean mayo, like Chosen Foods)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice and sriracha.
- In a larger mixing bowl, toss together the coconut flour, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, paprika, crushed pork rinds, green onion and fresh parsley.
- 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.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight (optional) OR pan-fry immediately.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make the aioli by whisking together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add salt to taste.
- Serve the crab cakes warm with the aioli on the side.
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.