Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe with Remoulade Sauce for Mardi Gras

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Dive into the festive spirit of Mardi Gras with our mouthwatering Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe.

These easy-to-make crab cakes are made with lump crab meat, shrimp, and Cajun spice and cooked to golden brown perfection. Paired with a creamy sauce, every bite is a taste sensation!

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While you may prefer to skip to the recipe card, we suggest reading the entire blog post to avoid missing valuable tips and substitution suggestions and to ensure you have the necessary ingredients, equipment, and understanding of the steps and timings.

A plate of Cajun crab cakes with two bowls of dipping sauce, and text overlay that says"Cajun Crab Cakes - Perfect for Mardi Gras"
Image for Illustrative Purposes

Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe

If you can’t visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras, bring the carnival to you!

It’s a bucket list destination for us at The Purple Pumpkin Blog, but until we get there, we love celebrating Mardi Gras at home.

Cajun food is influenced by West African, French, and Spanish immigrants to Louisianna during the 18th century and is often described as rustic. Cajun food often features seafood, as it is abundant in their locale. (As such, our crab cakes also have shrimp added!) Learn more about Cajun Cuisine here.

We first made this Cajun Crab Cakes recipe back in 2013 for a dinner party, and they were SO GOOD and really easy to make, too!

Serve your homemade crab cakes as an appetizer at a Mardi Gras-themed dinner party (like we did), or cook up a big batch for a larger gathering of friends. Don’t forget the dipping sauce!

We’ve paired the crab and shrimp cakes with an easy remoulade— a creamy, zesty, cold sauce originally from France—that pairs well with meat and fish and is often found in Louisiana cuisine.

Crab cakes also make a great main dish served with a side dish or two! Why not add them to a burger bun with some lettuce, tomato, and remoulade for a crab cake slider? Serve with some Broccoli Slaw and Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges.

How To Make Cajun Crab Cakes

If you want the quick printable recipe card, scroll to the bottom of this post to print it out. But for all the tips, keep reading!

Number of Servings: 12-16 Crab Cakes
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Chill Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 50 minutes

Step 1 – Gather Your Ingredients

The ingredients and tools in this recipe are conveniently linked to online retailers like Amazon or Amazon Fresh.

  • Fresh Produce – Spring Onions (Green Onions/Scallions), Lemons (for garnish/squeezing over crab cakes)
  • Protein – Lump Crab Meat (fresh or canned), Cooked Shrimp/Prawns
  • Chilled & Dairy – Large Egg
  • Pantry – Sea Salt, Black Pepper
  • Panko BreadcrumbsJapanese-style breadcrumbs made by lightly baking coarse breadcrumbs to give them more ‘crunch.’
    • Alternatively, you can use breadcrumbs made from wholemeal/wholegrain bread or cracker crumbs.
  • Cajun SeasoningCan’t find this ingredient? You can make your own homemade Cajun seasoning by mixing together:
  • Ketchup
  • Hot Sauce – Use your favorite hot sauce; we used Tabasco in this recipe.
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Creole Mustard – If you can’t find this ingredient, you can use Dijon Mustard or Whole Grain Mustard instead.
  • Vegetable Oil – For shallow frying. You can use any neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower oil

The complete list of ingredients with measurements is on the recipe card at the end of this post.

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Step 2 – Kitchen Tools

The Purple Pumpkin Blog uses both cups and weighted measurements in its recipes, making American cups and kitchen food scales valuable tools for trying all the recipes. We provide US customary, imperial, and metric measurements. Still, it’s important to note that while you can combine cup measurements with weighted measures, never mix US customary/imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.) with metric (kilograms, grams, liters, etc.).

Step 3 – Make Crab Cake Mixture

Place the crab, chopped shrimp, spring onions, Cajun seasoning blend, salt, and pepper into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine well. 

Add the beaten egg and panko crumbs to the bowl and bring together.

TIP! If your crab mixture is too wet, you can add additional breadcrumbs.

Step 4 – Form the Crab Cakes

Use an ice cream scoop to form 12 balls of the crab mix, and flatten slightly. Place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD! You can make the crab cakes ahead of time—ideal for a party, or when you know you’ll be pressed for time. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container with a piece of wax paper between each crab cake. Cook when ready to serve, as this is how you get to eat the best crab cakes!

Step 5 – Make Remoulade Dipping Sauce

Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard in a bowl. Add Tabasco sauce, Cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Step 6 – Pan Fry the Crab Cakes

Heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, then carefully place the crab cakes into the oil.

Reduce to medium heat (or even medium-low) to gently fry the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and warmed through. Transfer the cooked crab cakes to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel, and keep warm while you cook all of the crab cakes.

Serve the crab cakes with the remoulade sauce and a wedge of lemon on the side. Enjoy!

TIP! When cooking in batches, you must add and heat up extra oil. Adjust burner temperature as required.

Can I Bake Crab Cakes?

Of course! If you don’t want to fry your crab cakes, you can bake them in the oven (400°F/200°C/Gas 6) for 20-25 minutes (turning halfway through).

Can I Air Fry Crab Cakes?

Yes, you can! You can also cook them for 10-15 minutes in an air fryer (375°F/190°C) for 10-15 minutes—spray them with a little oil before cooking.

Storing Leftovers & Freezing

  • Storing Leftovers:
    • Cool (within 1-2 hours), transfer to an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing Instructions:
    • You can freeze both cooked and uncooked crab cakes. Ensure cooked crab cakes are cooled before freezing.
    • In both instances, place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to flash freeze for 1-2 hours.
    • Transfer the frozen crab cakes to airtight containers or food bags.
    • Label with the dish’s name, thawing/reheating instructions, and the date to keep track of your food storage.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
    • You do not have to defrost the crab cakes before cooking in the oven. If you wish to pan-fry them, you must defrost them first.
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6, and place the crab cakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping once, until piping hot throughout and golden brown.
  • With all leftovers, ensure the food looks and smells okay before consuming.
  • Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart for Cooking
  • You can always consult the Food Standards Agency in your country for the most up-to-date advice on storing and freezing foods: Food Standards Agency (UK) | Food Safety (USA).

Printable Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe Card

 

The printable recipe card is below. Any demonstration photos on the recipe card are not printed out to save ink.

We appreciate it when you review the recipe and leave a star rating to share your experience with others!

A pile of Cajun Crab Cakes on a black plate with dipping sauce on the side.

Cajun Crab Cakes

Yield: 12-16

Dive into Mardi Gras spirit with our Cajun Crab Cakes Recipe! Savor the blend of juicy crab meat, spicy Cajun flavors, and a creamy remoulade sauce. Perfect for any feast.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/450g lump crab meat, remove any shell
  • 12oz/340g cooked and peeled shrimp/prawns, chopped
  • 8 spring onions (green onions), finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Remoulade Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp Creole or Dijon mustard
  • Hot Sauce - such as Tabasco, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For Serving

  • Lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Place the crab, chopped shrimp, spring onions, Cajun seasoning blend, salt, and pepper into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine well. Add the beaten egg and panko crumbs to the bowl and bring together—you may need to add additional breadcrumbs.
  2. Use an ice cream scoop to form 12 balls of the crab mix and flatten slightly. Place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard in a bowl. Add Tabasco sauce, Cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to your taste. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Heat a little bit of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, then carefully place the crab cakes into the oil. Reduce to medium heat to gently fry the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and warmed through. Transfer the cooked crab cakes to a plate lined with a kitchen paper towel, and keep warm while you cook all of the crab cakes.
  5. Serve the crab cakes with the remoulade sauce and a wedge of lemon on the side. Enjoy!

    A pile of Cajun Crab Cakes on a black plate with dipping sauce on the side.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 947mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Dinner Party Menu Suggestions

You’ve made the appetizer/starter, but what about the rest of the courses?

Here are additional recipes to create a menu for a dinner party or special meal:

More Cajun Recipes

Want to make more dishes with Cajun flavors? Check out these recipes next:

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