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Easy Gluten-Free Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer with Dill Sauce

Our gluten-free easy crab cake recipe is loaded with sweet imitation crab meat (though you could use fresh lump crab) and perfectly seasoned with fresh chives, Dijon mustard, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Super easy to make in the air fryer as we’ve done - Size them for a healthy appetite, or scoop them into flavorful-sized bites for cocktail party appetizers or dip-worthy finger food. We love this recipe for its rich crab taste and bright flavors that are sure to bring the coast to your table.

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East-Coast-Inspired Crab Cakes

For years, we searched for the perfect crab cake recipe. We wanted a recipe that wasn’t overly filled with breading and had no minced pepper, no parsley, and only a hint of onion flavor so that the taste of the crab comes through.

ABOUT THIS RECIPE (per serving)

Gluten FreeDairy FreeNut FreeKetoSoy FreePescetarian
Servings:  6
AVG. Maker RATING: 
5 from 3 votes
Write a Recipe Review
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :12 minutes
Refrigeration Time :10 minutes
Total Time :37 minutes
Course : Appetizer, Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine : American
Diet : Gluten Free, Low Salt
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
Calories 265
Fat 16
Carbohydrates 23
Protein 6

The best crab cake recipe you will ever find.

East-coast-inspired, this crab cakes recipe came to us after a trip to the Outer Banks, where we enjoyed lunch at a bar and restaurant near the Wright Brothers National Memorial in the town of Kill Devil Hills.

The restaurant’s recipe, our waitress revealed, included cracker crumbs instead of breadcrumbs and the perfectly crisp cakes were convection baked rather than fried in oil. Those clues eventually unlocked our success!

Over time our crab cakes recipe took shape, becoming perfectly golden brown and crispy in one of our favorite kitchen gizmos, the air fryer.  Lastly, because what is life without a little sauce, we’ve made a sweet, creamy condiment for dolloping on top using feathery fresh dill from our garden.

We feel it’s the best crab cake (with sauce) recipe you will ever find.

Yes! They are that good, and we’re sure you’ll love them too!

How to Make Crab Cakes at Home

Crab Cake Ingredients

(Yields 7-8 crab cakes)

Imitation Carb – We’ve used Morey’s® imitation crabmeat it’s an over-the-top delicious brand of imitation crabmeat that’s budget-friendly. It’s perfectly portioned in a 16-ounce package which is just what you’ll need for this recipe. If you can find it, you’ll LOVE It! TransOcean® brand is our second runner-up but you’ll need two 8-ounce packages to make the recipe. Please note: When shopping for imitation crab make sure to read the package and look for certified gluten-free.

Egg – One large egg is all you’ll need.

Mayonnaise – 1/2 cup is just the right amount for mixing to bring everything together without making things too creamy. Our first choice is always the only “Real” (gluten-free) mayonnaise, Hellman’s,® or Best Foods® if you live west of the Rockies.

Saltine Table Crackers – Light and crispy Schar Table Crackers® is our go-to brand for gluten-free saltines. The taste is just like regular saltines and for convenience, they are packed in individual-size packages so they stay crisp and don’t spoil. You’ll need two packages (1 cup or about 12 crackers) crunched up.

Dijon Mustard – Just one tablespoon of this robust Dijon Mustard sauce adds flavor that goes really well with the crab adding sweetness.

Worcestershire Sauce – Be sure to read the label carefully. Sometimes hard to find, you’ll want to look for a certified gluten-free Worcestershire sauce. If none is available a good stand-in is Bragg Liquid Aminos which will add a slight soy flavor. One tablespoon is all you’ll need either way.

Fresh Chives – One tablespoon of fresh Chives, chopped small, plus a little more for garnishing adds a slight onion flavor without being overpowering, letting the crab taste shine through.

Hotsauce – Texas Pete’s Original Hot Sauce is the brand we’ve used forever with no issues. Please note that it is not certified gluten-free. That said the label reads (peppers, vinegar, salt, xanthan gum, and benzoate of soda – to preserve freshness and flavor). One teaspoon of hot sauce will add a slight amount of zesty to the taste!

Coconut Spray for Air Frying – A light spray of coconut helps to air fry the crab cakes to golden brown perfection.

Serve with lemon wedges and Fresh Dill Sauce (recipe included in the printable card below).

Picture the Recipe Step-by-Step

Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven, 1800-Watt Motor with Digital Display and Controls – Intuitive Programming, Adjustable Temperature Settings and Cooking Presets, Stainless Steel

Secrets to Making the Best Crab Cakes:

  • Don’t over-mix the ingredients.
  • Chill the mixture for 10- 30-minutes before forming it into cakes.
  • Do not pack the crab mixture too tight when forming the cakes.
  • Spray each cake with coconut oil spray before air frying.
  • Turn the cakes halfway through the air fry cooking.

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How to Make Fresh Dill Sauce

Makes 4-6 Servings

¼ cup Mayonnaise

¼ cup plain Greek or whole milk Yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh Dill, chopped

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

1-1/2 teaspoons Garlic, minced (about one clove)

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

Instructions:

Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, chopped dill, lemon juice, minced garlic, and onion powder to a small bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly. Chill until ready to use.

The sauce will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

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Crab Cake Serving Suggestions:

Have fun making these easy crab cakes in the air fryer, then serve them with fresh dill sauce to make a perfect summertime meal main dish for kicking back to enjoy on the patio with a cool glass of Riesling or Chardonnay.

Plate them up with a simple green salad, or enjoy any of these delicious ideas for completing your meal:

Cool Is Cucumber Mint Salad

Zucchini & Summer Squash Grill Packets

Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salad

Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Pasta Salad

Before we go...

How do you like these Easy Crab Cakes made in the Air Fryer?

Let us know in the comments! Share it and rate the recipe – it’s super helpful for other readers and us. Just click the blue-green comment bubble on the bottom right of your screen to jump to the comment area below. And as always, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #CookingGfreeDeliciously on Instagram. We love seeing what you cook up!

XXO

Kymberley

PIN IT! Click the red icon in the upper left corner of this picture to save this recipe on Pinterest!

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Make it picture perfect every time!

Check out the Tips, Tricks, and Step-by-Step photos above .

Easy Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer with Dill Sauce

Loaded with sweet imitation crab meat (though you could use fresh lump crab) and perfectly seasoned with fresh chives, Dijon mustard, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, this recipe for its rich crab taste and bright flavors is sure to bring the coast to your table.
Kymberley @GfreeDeliciously
5 from 3 votes
Tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or ★ rating!
This recipe may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit our Affiliate Disclosure.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Refrigeration Time 10 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Course Appetizer, Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 265 kcal

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 
 

For the Crab Cakes

  • 16 ounces imitation Crab chopped into small to medium-size pieces (may substitute lump crabmeat)
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup gluten-free saltine table Crackers (2-packages, or about 12 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Chives chopped small (+ more for garnishing)
  • 1 teaspoon Hotsauce
  • Coconut spray for Air Frying
  • Lemon wedges and Dill Sauce for serving

For the Fresh Dill Sauce

  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain Greek or whole milk Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Dill chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Garlic minced (about 1 clove)
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
Add ingredients to your "Quick Access Shopping List" before ordering online.
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INSTRUCTIONS
 

To make the Crab Cakes

  • Preheat the Air fryer to 325°F (163°C). Then gather and measure out all the ingredients, so everything is ready to combine.
    Gather and measure out all the ingredients.
  • Gently mix the ingredients, taking care not to break up the crab meat too much or over-mix. Once mixed, refrigerate for 10- 30-minutes to let the cracker crumbs absorb the liquids and flavors of the other ingredients.
    Gently mix the ingredients.
  • Divide or scoop the crab mixture into portions; lightly pack into patties about 1-inch thick. Make each crab cake generous (as shown) or into small bite-sized bits. [1]
    Lightly pack into patties about 1-inch thick.
  • Place the formed cakes onto a parchment paper-covered air fryer rack. Spray each patty with coconut spray, then fry for about 7-minutes or until the top side is deeply golden-brown. Flip, spray the facing side, and continue to fry for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and thoroughly heated.
    Place the formed cakes onto a parchment paper-covered air fryer rack.
  • Transfer the crab cakes to plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and serve with lemon wedges and dill sauce.
    5. Transfer the crab cakes to plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh chopped chives and serve with lemon wedges and dill sauce.

To make the Fresh Dill Sauce ( Makes 4-6 Servings)

  • Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, chopped fresh dill, lemon juice, minced garlic, and onion powder to a small bowl, stirring to combine thoroughly. Chill until ready to use.
Tried this recipe?Please consider Leaving a Review.

It’s super helpful for others and us!

YOUR OWN NOTES

KITCHEN NOTES

Footnotes:
[1] We’ve found that using a bench scrape and egg mold helps make the crab cakes easy to form in the perfect size and transfer to the air fryer.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 746mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chives, crab, eggs, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, quick and easy

Recipe Card with Nutrition powered by WP Recipe Maker

Copyright © 2017-2024 Kymberley Pekrul | GfreeDeliciously | gfreedeliciously.com | All content and photographs are copyright protected. The sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. However, copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please read my Photo Use Policy for detailed guidelines and further clarification.

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of GfreeDeliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

Take a peek at the behind GfreeDeliciously

Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
  • Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…
  •  

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously
Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher

Meet Kymberley [Upson] Pekrul

A professional writer and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things, I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious foods from scratch for myself and those I love.

My journey began when everything I thought I knew about cooking and eating suddenly changed one day when I discovered I was celiac. So, I re-learned how to eat, cook, and navigate through life gluten-free – trusting God and His plan for me.

I live in what’s known as the Holylands of Central Wisconsin. All the recipes you’ll find here are gluten-free and inspired by the people and places I love most. Whenever possible, I cook with seasonal ingredients using whole foods – Making dishes suitable for everyday life and all food lovers gathered at the same table.

Gfree cooking, health, and wellness ARE my life. And this little corner of the internet is where I share what I’ve learned – Where my passion IS to nourish everyday GfreeDeliciously!

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