Gluten-free keto crab cakes are made with almond flour instead of breadcrumbs. They are absolutely not a compromise! They are wonderfully crispy and very flavorful.
These crab cakes are amazing. They are crispy, delicious, and very filling. My entire family loves them, so I make them quite often. They're so good, in fact, that I often serve them as a main dish rather than as an appetizer.
They don't contain any breadcrumbs. Instead of those, I use almond flour. The result is marvelous - just as crispy and tasty as traditional recipes.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make keto crab cakes. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Egg: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included. Make sure it's truly large - you need it to help bind the ingredients together.
Fresh lump crabmeat: The fresher the better, or the cakes could end up with a fishy smell and taste. This is one item I splurge on - I get it fresh at Whole Foods whenever possible.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Out of fresh garlic? Garlic powder works too.
Mayo and mustard: Definitely use Dijon mustard. It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. And it's way more delicious!
Seasoning: Kosher salt, dried thyme, and just a touch of cayenne pepper. Make sure the thyme is fresh - a stale herb can easily ruin a dish. And if you opt for fine salt rather than kosher, use less of it.
Chopped parsley: I wouldn't skip this ingredient. It adds flavor as well as color.
Almond flour: I use blanched finely ground almond flour in this recipe.
Butter and olive oil: Used for frying the cakes. I like to use a mix of both - the oil helps prevent the butter from browning too much, and both impart wonderful flavor.
How to make keto crab cakes? It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the details. Here are the basic steps:
Mix together all the ingredients except for the butter and olive oil, which you will use for frying. I usually start with lightly whisking the egg, then I mix in the crabmeat. Next, I add the creamy stuff (mayo and Dijon), the garlic, and the seasonings. The last step is to add the parsley and the almond flour. Make sure the mixture is completely uniform and well-combined.
Form the mixture into six patties. I use a ¼-cup scoop to portion them out, then shape them with my hands.
Chill the patties in the fridge for at least an hour. This will help prevent them from falling apart as you cook them.
Fry the patties in a mixture of butter and olive oil over medium heat, 4-5 minutes per side.
Use fresh crab meat. As always when using crabmeat in recipes (such as these amazing crab stuffed mushrooms), the fresher the crabmeat you use in these keto crab cakes, the better the dish will taste. Fresh crabmeat is delicate and sweet.
But the supermarket lump crabmeat that comes in small plastic containers tends to be quite fishy. If you don't want to steam your own crabs (who does?) and you have Whole Foods in your area, try the crabmeat sold at their seafood counter. It's the best I've found, so far.
Chill them prior to cooking. It's very important to chill the crab cakes for at least an hour prior to frying them, so please don't skip that (admittedly annoying) step. They are quite delicate and could easily fall apart when you fry them if they're not chilled first.
Don't skimp on the oil! At least half the cooking fat will remain in the skillet but is needed for properly cooking the patties. The nutrition info reflects this.
Use a nonstick skillet and don't overcrowd it. If you don't have a skillet large enough to accommodate all patties, fry in two batches, and keep the first batch in an oven set to "keep warm."
Frequently asked questions
It is. Most crabs contain no carbs, making their meat suitable for a keto or low-carb diet.
I like to fry them. It achieves a crispier result. You can experiment with baking them in a 350F oven, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, for 15 minutes per side. Make sure to spray them with oil prior to baking.
You can, as long as you replace the traditional breadcrumbs with a low-carb ingredient such as almond flour.
If you'd like to serve these crab cakes with a sauce, try mixing ¼ cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon sugar-free ketchup, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Or try this delicious homemade tartar sauce.
What about side dishes? When I serve these crab cakes as a main dish rather than as an appetizer, I like to serve them with cauliflower potato salad, with creamy cucumber salad, or with asparagus salad.
I like the fact that I can make these salads ahead of time so that I can focus on frying the patties.
Storing the leftovers
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. They keep quite well, actually.
Make sure you reheat them very gently. You can use the microwave on 50% power, or reheat them in a 250F oven. Reheating in the oven better retains their crispness. They are also very good cold, straight out of the fridge! I sometimes just grab one as a snack.
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Crispy Keto Crab Cakes
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 8 oz fresh lump crabmeat gently picked through and shells removed
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ½ cup blanched finely ground almond flour blanched finely ground
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg with a fork. Mix in the crabmeat. Mix well with a fork, pressing on the crab meat with the fork and breaking up any large pieces.
- Mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic, kosher salt, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Then Mix in the parsley and the almond flour.
- Use a ¼-cup scoop to portion out six portions of the mixture. Use your hands to form the portions into six ½-inch-thick patties.
- Place the crab cakes on a platter lined with wax paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add the crab cakes. Cook them for about 4 minutes without moving, until you can see on the edges that the bottoms are browned.
- Carefully, using two spatulas, flip the crab cakes. Very gently press on their tops to slightly flatten, then cook on the other side until browned, about 3-4 more minutes. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towels, then serve.