Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

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Cooking Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer is a hassle-free and quick way to prepare a crispy and satisfying dinner or appetizer—just add them to the air fryer basket and they’re ready in 18 minutes.

» You might also like Air Fryer Frozen Shrimp and Air Fryer Crispy Fish Sandwich.

crab cakes

Are you a seafood lover craving a quick and delicious meal? the delightful flavors of frozen crab cakes, offering a delightful combination of tender crab meat and a satisfying crunch.

With just a few simple steps these golden-brown, crispy treats can be prepared with ease and are perfect for busy weeknights or impromptu gatherings.

Serve them with tartar sauce, aioli, or just a squeeze of lemon to brighten them up.

What are Crab Cakes?

frozen crab cakes in the air fryer w1

Crab cakes are a popular seafood dish made from crab meat that has been formed into patties, seasoned, and then cooked. There are different styles that include varying ratios of crab and ingredients.

Maryland-style crab cakes are typically made with lump crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, and Old Bay seasoning. They are pan-fried until golden brown and served with tartar sauce or remoulade.

Boardwalk-style crab cakes are a variation of Maryland-style crab cakes that are popular in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. They are typically made with a higher ratio of breadcrumbs to crab meat, and may include additional ingredients such as celery, onion, and red pepper. Boardwalk-style crab cakes are often deep-fried and served with cocktail sauce.

Frozen crab cakes, on the other hand, are pre-made crab cakes that have been frozen and packaged for convenient storage and preparation. They may be made in a variety of styles, including Maryland-style and Boardwalk-style, and can be found in most grocery stores and online retailers.

What Brand To Buy

What brand to buy will depend on your preferences and accessibility. Here are some of the popular brands available, Phillips, SeaPak, Trader Joe’s, Gorton’s, and Mrs. Paul’s. These brands can be found in most grocery stores and online retailers.

Ingredients You Need

The package of crab cakes
  • Crab cakes: any brand of frozen crab cakes work, so use your favorite brand. Keep in mind that not all crab cakes are alike. The ones I am using are thick but you may find thinner ones are your grocery store. That will affect the cooking time.
  • Tartar sauce and lemon – Optional, for serving.

You can also try your hand at making your own crab cakes at home. We don’t have a recipe for it, but you can try this one from Once Upon A Chef. If making it at home, you’ll need lump crab meat, eggs, mayo, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt, celery, parsley, panko breadcrumbs, and cooking oil.

Equipment Information

How to Make Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

Place the frozen crab cakes in the air fryer basket. There’s no need to thaw them or do anything extra to them. Just stick them directly into the air fryer. It’s also not necessary to spray them with cooking oil, because they are already coated with oil. Make sure to leave room between them for the air to circulate around each one.

frozen crab cakes in the air fryer basket

Cook at 380° F for 15-18 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking. They are done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F. The exact cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the crab cake and your air fryer model. It’s always best to use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

cooked crab cakes in the air fryer basket

If they aren’t browning as they cook you can spray the tops lightly with oil. Be careful not to overcook the crab cakes, because they will begin to dry out and. You want to serve it as soon as you remove it from the basket.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Don’t thaw the frozen crab cakes before adding it into the air fryer.
  • The crab cakes should reach a temperature of 165°F. 
  • If the type of crab cake you are cooking isn’t breaded, lightly spray the air fryer basket and the top of the crab cake before cooking.
  • Keep an eye on your crab cakes as cooking times can differ based on the size and thickness.
  • If they aren’t browning as they cook you can spray the tops lightly with oil.
frozen crab cakes in the air fryer w3

Questions About the Recipe

How long does it take to cook frozen crab cakes in the air fryer?

Cook at 380° F for 15-18 minutes, flipping over halfway through cooking. They are done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F. The exact cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the crab cake and your air fryer model. It’s always best to use a meat thermometer to determine doneness.

Why is there no oil in the recipe?

Most foods that you cook in the air fryer need a bit of spray oil to prevent any sticking, but these frozen crab cakes doesn’t need this. Most brands of frozen crab cakes have oil in the breading, so they don’t need extra oil when cooking. They should cook without issue in the air fryer.

Should frozen crab cakes be thawed before baking?

No need to thaw the frozen crab cakes or do anything extra to them before air frying them. Simply place them in the air fryer basket and cook.

Should I preheat the air fryer?

Preheating is not necessary. The best rule of thumb is to follow the directions. If you don’t preheat when a recipe calls for it your cooking time will be off.

frozen crab cakes in the air fryer t2

Storage & Reheating Suggestions

Air fryer frozen crab cakes are best fresh, but you can store leftovers. Once they have cooled to room temperature, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat the leftovers on 350° F in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes or until they have warmed through.

3 crab cakes with lemon

What Side Dishes to Serve?

You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:

Here are 28 more air fryer side dishes to try

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A crab cake with tartar sauce and lemon

Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

Cooking Frozen Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer is a hassle-free and quick way to prepare a crispy and satisfying dinner or appetizer—just add them to the air fryer basket and they're ready in 18 minutes.
5 from 32 votes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 180 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 4 crab cakes

Instructions
 

  • Place 4 crab cakes into the air fryer basket leaving room for the air to circulate around each one.
  • Cook at 380° F for 15-18 minutes flipping them over half way through. Test them to make sure the center reads 165° F.

Notes

  • You can spray them lightly with oil to help them brown.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 9gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 360mgPotassium: 180mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Crab cakes
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