More crab, less filler! These quick & easy Maryland crab cakes are brimming with sweet jumbo lump crab—canned crab for convenience!

Jumbo lump crab cakes on a tray with yogurt sauce and lemon wedges.

Why You’ll Love These Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

Maryland crab cakes reign supreme in the crab cake world. They’re loaded with sweet and juicy jumbo lump crab meat. The crumbs? Literally just there as a binder—unlike a lot of other crab cakes that are made up of mostly filler. This recipe is really quick and simple, and it’s filling! So you can serve them as an appetizer or as a main.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients for maryland crab cakes spread out on a light background.
  • 2 lbs Jumbo lump crab. This stuff is the price of a few good steaks, be warned. But it’s SO delicious. You could substitute jumbo lump with backfin crab meat however, which is about $10 less per pound. Backfin is softer and has a more shredded texture whereas jumbo lump is firm with large morsels.
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise.
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt. This will make purists squawk, but the KT readership likes their heart-healthier options! So I’ve cut the mayo with Greek yogurt and guess what: you cannot tell.
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley.
  • 3-4 lemons. You’ll need 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed juice which is about 2 lemons, as well as the zest of one lemon. The other lemons are to be cut into wedges for serving.
  • 1 large egg.
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. You could also use an old-style whole grain mustard.
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs. Crushed Saltines are traditionally used, so you could use those as well.
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter. This is for brushing over your crab cakes prior to baking, and then again afterward.

How to Make Them

Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and get your broiler going. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set it aside.

Transfer the mayo, Greek yogurt, finely chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest, egg, Dijon, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl and mix everything until it’s combine.

Dump one pound of crab meat onto a cutting board and give it a quick look to ensure there are no stray shells or cartilage, then roughly chop that one pound of crab (we don’t want it minced). Transfer it to the bowl. Dump the remaining one pound of crab onto a cutting board, skim it for shells or cartilage, then pop the big morsels into the mixing bowl along with the panko breadcrumbs. Gently fold the crab meat and breadcrumbs into the wet mixture until fully combined.

Form 8 large patties with your hands, placing each onto your covered baking sheet. (You could also make them smaller for more patties if you’re feeding a crowd.)

Gently pat the tops of the cakes with some of the melted butter, then pop the baking sheet into the oven and broil for 12-15 minutes, or until the cakes are warmed through and starting to turn a nice golden-brown on top. Be sure to keep a close eye on them since all broilers are different.

When they’re ready, you can blot them with the rest of the melted butter and serve with lemon wedges, chives for garnish, and your choice of sauce. (My recipe for the lemon caper yogurt sauce is included in the recipe card below.)

How to Eat Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

  • You can eat them on their own as a main with a nice side of grilled asparagus or roasted potatoes.
  • In a protein bowl, or on a bun as a burger which is SUCH a treat. If you’re keeping things lighter, go ahead and pop them into a lettuce wrap!
  • Crab cakes also make for a great appetizer. You could stretch this recipe for a crowd and make smaller cakes.
  • Top your salad with a crab cake! This is a great way to add some protein to a Caesar salad or a simple veg salad.

Storage, Freezing, & Reheating

  1. These crab cakes can be stored in airtight containers for up to 4 days.
  2. To freeze, do it from their uncooked stage. Once you have them formed and on a parchment-lined baking sheet, pop them in the freezer for abouts 2 hours or until they’re firm. Wrap each of the crab cakes in plastic wrap, then store them in a gallon-sized freezer bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for about 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge the night before you plan on cooking them.
  3. Leftover crab cakes can definitely be enjoyed cold, right out of the fridge! But if you want to heat them up, do so in the microwave in 15 second increments or in an airfryer in 1 minute increments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between jumbo lump crab and lump crab meats?

Jumbo lump crab is a high-grade blue crab meat that comes from the muscle that propels the crab’s swimmer fins. It’s flavor is mild and sweet. Lump crab meat comes from the body of the crab and has a firmer texture and stronger flavor.

What makes Maryland crab cakes so different?

Maryland crab cakes contain more crab and less filler. Their recipe is also pretty specific in using parsley as its only fresh herb, and the only seasonings include mayo, Dijon, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and Old Bay. No tarragon, dill, or hot sauce in these cakes! But if you like it spicy, you can always bring hot sauce to the table.

Why are Maryland crab cakes so expensive?

These crab cakes call for a high-quality crabmeat that tends to be on the pricier side.

Is it better to fry or bake crab cakes?

When it comes to Maryland crab cakes, baking is the way. These cakes are so full of crab they would definitely fall apart in a skillet, but on a baking sheet, they cook and set beautifully!

Can I substitute imitation crab for jumbo lump crab?

No, not in this recipe. Doing that would completely take away from what is so great about Maryland crab cakes—the juicy, lumpy crab!

More Crab Recipes You’ll Love

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

Tray of jumbo lump crab cakes with lemon wedges and yogurt sauce.

Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (Less Filler!)

More crab, less filler! These quick & easy Maryland crab cakes are brimming with sweet jumbo lump crab—canned crab for convenience!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 267kcal

Ingredients

Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

  • 2 lbs jumbo lump crab
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup mayonnais
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3-4 lemons
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 TBSP melted butter

(Optional) Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced & zested
  • 1 TBSP drained capers
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh chives, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • Move your oven rack to about 6 inches from the broiler and turn on your broiler.
  • Prep a baking sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone mat; set it aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the mayo, Greek yogurt, parsley, lemon juice and zest, egg, Dijon, Old Bay seasoning, and salt and pepper until everything is combined.
  • Pour out one pound of crab meat onto a cutting board. Look through the morsels to ensure there are no stray shells or cartilage. Roughly chop just the one pound of crab, then transfer it to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients.
  • Now pour the other pound of crab onto a cutting board, skim it for shells or cartilage, and transfer the big morsels into the mixing bowl with everything else. Add the panko breadcrumbs and gently fold the crab meat and breadcrumbs into the wet mixture until combined.
  • With your hands, form 8 large patties pressing them together tightly to ensure they stick together, and place each of them onto your covered baking sheet. Note: If you're feeding a crowd, you could make the crab cakes smaller to get more patties out of it.
  • Brush the tops of the cakes with some of the melted butter, then transfer the baking sheet into the oven and broil the crab cakes for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cakes are warmed through and starting to brown/crisp up on top. Keep a close eye on them since all broilers are different and some cook more quickly than others.
  • When ready, remove them from the oven and gently blot them with the rest of the melted butter.
  • Serve them with lemon wedges and your choice of sauce.

(Optional) Lemon Caper Yogurt Sauce

  • Before broiling the crab cakes, mix all of the ingredients for this sauce into a small bowl and set it aside until the crab cakes are ready.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @Killing__Thyme or tag #killingthyme!