Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites are a perfect party #appetizer!

Thanksgiving is canceled.

It sounds like a joke but, at least at our home, it’s kind of true. My family has always been very untraditional when it comes to the holiday season. When I was growing up we celebrated a fairly traditional Hanukkah. I was always slightly resentful about the fact that I was one of the few kids in my school not celebrating Christmas. I wanted ornaments instead of dreidels and a Christmas tree instead of the menorah. Now that we’re all adults, Hanukkah has kind of evolved into a simple gift exchange without any rituals attached. Which is completely fine with me. We do Christmas with Jeff’s family and Thanksgiving with mine. Well, that’s how we normally do it.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites are a perfect party #appetizer!

This year planning just felt like too much of an ordeal. I’m exhausted. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband has suffered a minor health crisis and will be having surgery next week. I didn’t feel like cooking and my mom didn’t feel like entertaining. So we scrapped the whole thing and are going out to dinner instead. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. If Thanksgiving is about celebrating all that we’re thankful for with our loved ones, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate in a restaurant where someone else does the cooking and the dishes. All we have to do is show up, enjoy one another’s company and relax. I guess when you look at it that way, Thanksgiving isn’t actually canceled. It’s just… slightly different, that’s all. Next year we’ll get back to life as usual.

For those of you who are having guests over, I highly recommend serving these jumbo lump crab cake bites as an appetizer. They might not be traditional Thanksgiving fare but they’re really good. I’ve reworked my family crab cake recipe to create this light crowd pleaser. Is your Thanksgiving menu already set for this year? Totally fine. These will also be fabulous at Christmas and New Years events.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: approximately 21 bites
  • 16 ounce container fresh jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup regular mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon fines herbs
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • optional: dijon mustard for serving
  1. Set the oven to broil and place the oven rack near the top.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, gently pick through the crab meat to remove any shells. Try not to break up the lumps.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the mayonnaise until well combined.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, Old Bay, fines herbs, garlic powder, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until well combined.
  5. A little bit at a time, gently fold the wet mixture into the crab meat. This part takes some patience because you really want to avoid breaking up the lump meat.
  6. Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 1 ounce bites and gently shape them with your hands.
  7. Lightly grease the bottom of a baking sheet (baking spray works well) and place the crab cake bites on the sheet.
  8. Place a small piece of butter on top of each crab cake bite.
  9. Broil for 7-10 minutes, keeping a close eye to make sure they don't burn. Allow them to cook on one side the entire time (the lack of filler makes them very delicate). If the tops seem like they're going to burn, lower the oven rack or switch the broiler to a lower setting. You're not cooking the meat but you want the filling to solidify and the egg to cook through.
  10. When the tops are golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. Place a toothpick in each crab cake bite before serving.


Tools I Used

(links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls
Focus Foodservice Aluminum Half Sheet Pan

More Appetizer Recipes

Savory Simple – Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Savory Simple – Cream of Winter Squash Soup with Spicy Candied Pecans
Savory Simple – Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Galette
Local Milk – Truffled Deviled Eggs with Crème Fraîche
Naturally Ella – Marinated Brussels Sprout Skewers with Ginger-Barley Pilaf
The FauxMartha – Cranberry Butter

  • http://veryculinary.com/ Amy @Very Culinary

    Growing up, I longed for a Christmas tree and lights on the house, as well. I hated that my holiday was always weeks before all my friends. It’s entirely possible that Paul being (a non-practicing) Catholic was a huge selling point in marrying him. Now my kids get both holidays and it’s freaking awesome. Also? There ain’t nothing wrong with going out to dinner for Thanksgiving. I’m secretly jealous.

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love crab cakes, these bites are brilliant! Nothing wrong with canceling Thanksgiving – in all honesty, the meal is not my favorite (I’d much rather do grilled pizzas or something nontraditional!).

  • http://writemeg.com Meg

    I can definitely see the appeal of going out for Thanksgiving — especially as an adult. No expectations, no scrambling, no cleaning and cooking for days. Even for those who love to cook, it’s exhausting! I hope everything goes well for your husband and y’all enjoy your holiday. And as a lifelong Marylander, I’m absolutely loving the look of these crab cake bites!

  • http://www.tablefortwoblog.com Julie @ Table for Two

    Yes, you’re completely right! As long as you can just BE together, that’s more than enough and you don’t need to go the traditional route. Sometimes, I think these holidays are way too exhaustive because of how much energy everyone around you has about them. I love it, but then sometimes I’m like STOP and I just want to breathe. I hope your husband’s surgery goes smoothly! These crab cake bites are perfect for entertainment! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Jen!

  • http://theviewfromGreatIsland.com Sue/the view from great island

    These are right up my alley, and frankly, I could just eat these and be very happy on Thanksgiving. Sorry about your husband, mine is in the same boat, he just had back surgery and we’re simplifying this year, too. I’ll have to make a batch of these.
    Have a wonderful holiday weekend and hope your husband recovers smoothly—

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com Rosa

    A great idea! Those crab bites must taste divine. Perfect party food.



  • http://www.pinkpatisserie.blogspot.com Maria | Pink Patisserie

    What a lovely, lovely appetizer and you are absolutely right about Thanksgiving. It’s the thanks, not the meal necessarily that matters! Enjoy your relaxing time with your loved ones!!

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com Valerie

    Actually, the idea of someone else doing all the cooking and dish cleaning sounds brilliant! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving – enjoy the peace and relaxation. xo

    These crab cake bites look divine!!

  • http://ny-foodgasm.blogspot.com Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    Perfect appetizer!! Everything you want in a crab cake in a small bite!

  • http://www.savorysimple.net/winter-squash-recipe-roundup/ Terry

    Thanksgiving is about family, friends and loved ones ~ being together and thankful for all that this year has brought their way. Celebrated in a home or restaurant it doesn’t matter ~ being together is all that counts!
    Happy Thanksgiving and wishing your husband a healthy and quick recovery!

  • http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday.com/ Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today

    I do not really celebrate Christmas myself. We simply go to a restaurant with Tomasz. Maybe I’ll start when I have children? We’ll see :) Nice snack, as I am close to a fresh sea food nowadays, I’ll try it.

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    My friends and I are going out to dinner, too :) These crab cakes look great – lately I’ve been liking crab more and more. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  • http://www.girlinthelittleredkitchen.com Susan

    I was that Jewish kid too that longed for Christmas, I think we all did. By the time I was in high school, my bff started to invite me over to trim her family Christmas tree. Wishing your husband a speedy recovery and enjoy a relaxing day Thursday. p.s. the crab cakes look great!

  • http://www.happyvalleychow.com Happy Valley Chow

    Wow those look fantastic, can’t wait to try, great idea!

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Nothing wrong with doing celebrations on your terms! I can imagine that you’d be much less stressed and will enjoy yourself more. Good luck for your hubby’s operation :)

  • http://savoringtimeinthekitchen.blogspot.com Susan

    I’m so sorry to read about your husband’s impending surgery. I’ve been through a tough period myself lately so I can relate.

    I appreciate your philosophy about the holidays. It’s not about the homemade meal, it’s about being together,

    Delicious mini crab cakes.

  • http://tworedbowls.wordpress.com Two Red Bowls

    I love this. Like you said, I feel like it’s staying true to the most pure idea behind Thanksgiving — appreciating loved ones and making happy memories. Not spinning our wheels trying to cook everything, overeating, and wrestling with leftovers, just spending time together. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s health, and thinking of you. Wish you both the best of luck as he undergoes surgery.

    And, by the way, I am a huge fan of crab cakes and this is the first recipe I’ve seen for them in a long time. Thanks for reminding me of my love for them, I’ll have to make these at some point.

  • http://www.anecdotesandapples.com Monet

    No, there is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, I’d much rather take a feast on another night (and do away with battling the crowds at the grocery store). These bites look delicious. Thank you for sharing! I’ll be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers!

  • http://www.chocolatemoosey.com Carla

    I bet once you realize someone else can cook and clean for Thanksgiving, this will be a new traditional for you ;) I love seafood and don’t put it past me that I’d eat this whole plate as my dinner. Ahem. I’d make these for my crab-loving dad and brother, but they may not get any….

  • http://www.grayapron.com ela@GrayApron

    What a tasty treat! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    You’re right there’s nothing wrong with eating out and no freaking dishes to clean or mess to clean up. That in itself is enough reason in my opinion :) Have a great dinner!

  • http://culinarycory.com Culinary Cory

    Kudos for going out to dinner for Thanksgiving. Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning for a change! :) Happy Thanksgiving.

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com Joanne

    Whatever works for you, especially if you’re doing it with the people you love, is what is right. Hope you have a lovely day!!

    I could see these being a big hit at my family’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. Bookmarked!

  • http://wickedgoodkitchen.com Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Jen, absolutely nothing wrong with dining out on Thanksgiving Day! Enjoy a wonderful stress free Thanksgiving with your family. And, best wishes to your sweet hubby for a speedy recovery!

  • http://trendingrecipes.blogspot.com Alex

    Wow. More than a great recipe, this is true art. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  • http://www.nutmegnanny.com Nutmeg Nanny

    My husband loves crab cakes! I know he will be so happy when I make these for him :)

  • http://www.intimatechefofdc.com Chef Girard, the Intimate Chef of DC

    I love this. My favorite recipes involve crab. I just subscribed and won’t miss another recipe! Thanks Savory Simple!

    Chef G

  • http://themessybakerblog.com Jennie @themessybakerblog

    It doesn’t matter how you celebrate, as long as you’re with your family. Plus, having someone clean up is always nice. These look wonderful. I wish your hubby the best.

  • http://myheartslovesongs.com Dani H

    I’m planning on doing an hors d’oeuvres only New Year’s party and these are definitely going on the menu! Of course, I’ll need to do at least one trial run before then…. {smile}

  • Carolyn

    I cannot wait to make these! YUM

  • Amy

    These look amazing, & we love finger foods!

  • Sean C

    These look delicious! I will have to try out this recipe.

  • Alina

    Oooh, I’m excited to try this recipe for my upcoming Christmas party! Love finger foods.

  • Valerie N.

    These look delicious. I am pinning them and trying them!

  • http://theblog.jessikerbakes.com Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

    These look like a great appetiser – ah I LOVE Crab! I’m going to pin these and make them for a New Year’s treat.

  • http://www.createamazingmeals.com Susan

    I hear you Jennifer. I hope your husband is on the mend. On the heels of our vacation to New Orleans and a lower Mississippi River cruise, we found ourselves dashing up to see my mother-in-law in a home 4 hours away. We picked up dinner from Mimi’s – and you know what, it was really good! No planning, cooking, or cleaning, just lots of driving. But the important thing was the time spent with my mother-in-law.

    All that being said, These look amazing!

  • http://www.southernmrs.com Amy

    These look perfect for a party!