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!
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.
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.
- 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.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bites
- 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.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
These look amazing, & we love finger foods!
Sean C says
These look delicious! I will have to try out this recipe.
Oooh, I’m excited to try this recipe for my upcoming Christmas party! Love finger foods.
Valerie N. says
These look delicious. I am pinning them and trying them!
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes says
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.
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!
These look perfect for a party!
Scharie Arbogast says
Crab balls were fantastic loved loved loved them THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL FOOD!!!
can these be made ahead of time, flash frozen—then baked???
Jennifer Farley says
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.
can i make these the day before cook and then re-heat for a lrge crowd
Jennifer Farley says
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.
Can I prep the crab cake mixture the day before and keep it refrigerated?
Jennifer Farley says
Yes, that will work! :)
I Made these for Thanksgiving appetizers this year and everyone loved them. I’m making them to take to a cocktail party tonight. Thanks!
Jennifer Farley says
Thanks so much for leaving the review! I’m so happy to hear they were a hit with your guests!
Marina Angell says
I just made these for my dad’s birthday and they were wonderful. Light yet flavorful, and a special treat for everyone. I used jumbo lump blue crab (domestic) in a refrigerated can. It was sweet crab meat and the seasonings perfectly complemented the crab without overwhelming it. Mine did not look as perfect as the photo, certainly not spherical. But part of that was the big lumps of crabmeat that wouldn’t allow forming a tight ball. I also made them smaller than 1 ounce each- about 1/2 ounce so I had 30-35 total, 1 bite size. You will enjoy this recipe if you like crab!
Just made these for a party. They were amazing. I was worried they would be difficult to make, but they were super easy. I did watch them closely while they broiled. I rotated the pan a lot to prevent burning. I will make again!
Donna Cardillo says
Great recipe, light and fluffy! Easy to make and they were a great hit at the party! I made them a little smaller and got about 30 bite size pieces.