Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites

These jumbo lump crab cake bites make a delightful party appetizer! No utensils needed! People always beg me for this recipe. After you try these, you’ll want to make the full sized version immediately!

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.

These crab cake balls are a great party appetizer. No utensils needed!

This year planning just felt like too much of an ordeal. I’m exhausted. 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.

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 very 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.

Recipe Notes

  • You don’t have to use jumbo lump meat; I realize it has gotten outrageously expensive. Regular lump crab will also work. However, I strongly suggest avoiding crab meat sold in a can. See if you can find fresh crab meat sold in containers by the seafood counter at your grocery store. Even better, check your local seafood market if you have one.
  • Fines Herbs is a dried spice blend with strong notes of tarragon. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, Amazon sells it, or you can make your own. Search Google for “Fines herbs recipes,” and numerous results will pop up using a mix of dried herbs you might already own.
  • Want something a bit more substantial? Check out my Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Sliders, which are smaller than the regular crab cakes but definitely not bite sized.
Print Pin Recipe

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites

5 from 2 votes
Forget meatballs! These crab cake bites are what you need to serve at your next party.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 21
Calories 74


  • 16 ounces fresh jumbo lump crab meat (see notes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup regular mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon fines herbs (see notes)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • optional: dijon mustard for serving


  • Set the oven to broil and place the oven rack near the top.
  • In a medium sized bowl, gently pick through the crab meat to remove any shells. Try not to break up the lumps.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the mayonnaise until well combined.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, Old Bay, fines herbs, garlic powder, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, stirring until well combined.
  • 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.
  • Using a kitchen scale, weigh out 1 ounce bites and gently shape them with your hands.
  • Lightly grease the bottom of a baking sheet (baking spray works well) and place the crab cake bites on the sheet.
  • Place a small piece of butter on top of each crab cake bite.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Regular lump meat will also work, but I strongly recommend avoiding any crab meat sold in a can. See if you can find fresh crab meat sold in containers near the seafood counter at your grocery store, or at your local seafood market if you have one.
Fines Herbs is a dried spice blend. If you can't find it at your grocery store, Amazon sells it, or you can make your own. Google "Fines herbs recipe" and several results will pop up using a mix of dried herbs you probably already own.


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 56mg | Vitamin A: 0.9% | Vitamin C: 1.9% | Calcium: 1.7% | Iron: 2.1%

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About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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—

  • 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!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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….

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

    Chef G

  • 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}

  • 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!

    • Hi Paige,

      I would recommend that you do what I do with standard crab cakes. What I like to do is cook and THEN freeze them. That will be better for the egg, and it will be easier to ensure that it gets cooked all the way through the first time. I would try to separate them before freezing to make sure they don’t get stuck together. You could freeze them on a tray and then transfer them to a freezer bag once they’re frozen, or you could wrap them individually before freezing, which might be more of a hassle. To reheat them, I’d let them thaw out a bit on the counter first and then reheat them in the oven (either low broil or maybe around 300 degrees F until warm in the center). I hope that helps! Enjoy.

    • You sure can! That’s one of my favorite things about them. I just reheat them in the microwave and no one is the wiser, but if you want to re-crisp the exterior a bit, you can reheat them in the oven. It has been awhile since I’ve done that so I’m not sure how long it will take offhand, but 300 or 325 degrees F should be a good temp.

  • I Made these for Thanksgiving appetizers this year and everyone loved them. I’m making them to take to a cocktail party tonight. Thanks!