Last updated on July 23rd, 2020.
These are the BEST crab cakes I have ever tasted. My crab cakes with mango relish make a great appetizer or light lunch. You’ve GOT to try them!
Who else LOVES crab cakes?
Restaurant quality crab cakes are surprisingly easy to make at home, and so much cheaper. This recipes makes four LARGE crab cakes, perfect for crab cake sandwiches or serving with a side salad for lunch.
You can also make 8 smaller appetizer-sized crab cakes and be shocked about how much cheaper they are to make at home than to order as an appetizer at your favorite restaurant.
The trick to making restaurant-worthy crab cakes is to add LOTS of flavor inside and to go a little extra with making a fancy-pants topping, such as the mango-bell pepper relish I use to top these crab cakes.
How to make crab cakes
For my crab cakes recipe, I start by sauteing finely diced bell pepper and red onion to soften them and mellow out the onion flavor. This is an extra little step but it makes these crab cakes absolutely fantastic. Don’t skip it, otherwise you’ll have hard chunks of pepper and onion in your crab cakes, instead of soft bursts of flavor.
(Don’t put away that red onion and bell pepper – you’ll need it for the mango relish too!)
Then I combine all the crab cake ingredients in a bowl and mix to make the crab cake paste. I add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder, and a little mayo to give these crab cakes lots of flavor.
I also add egg and bread crumbs to help bind the crab cakes together so they don’t fall apart when you cook them.
The crab cakes are fried in a skillet for just a few minutes per side until browned, and I serve them warm with mango relish.
I love how the sweetness of mango enhances the flavor of seafood, and I think mango makes a great topping for crab cakes. I use the rest of the bell pepper from the crab cakes to add the to mango relish.
I really hope you get a chance to make these crab cakes! I would love to see how you served them. If you make them, please take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both.
Looking for other easy seafood ideas?
- Blackened salmon with mango black bean relish (there goes that mango + seafood combo again!)
- Seafood spread appetizer on toasted baguettes (a reader favorite!)
- Pan-seared salmon with apricot relish – a 10 minute dinner idea!
- Cilantro lime shrimp (amazing as an appetizer or for an easy dinner)
- Calamari salad (looks fancy but so easy!)
- Baked swai in a white wine lemon garlic sauce (super easy dinner to feed a crowd)
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Crab Cakes with Mango Relish
- 12 inch skillet
For the crab cakes
- 1/2 red bell pepper finely diced (about 1/2 cup) - see notes
- 1/2 small red onion finely diced (about 1/3 cup) - see notes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves finely minced - see notes
- 2 6-oz canned crab meat drained
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 lemon - see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
For the mango relish
- 1/2 red bell pepper finely minced
- 1 mango cubed
- 1 tablespoon red onion minced
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
Cook the crab cakes
- In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil (reserve the rest for cooking the crab cakes!), and add the minced bell pepper and shallot. Cook over low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Don't let it burn, just brown it slowly. Do not skip this step!
- Add the minced parsley, stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pepper mixture with the rest of the crab cake ingredients, from the crab meat through the black pepper. Mix well. Form 4 crab cake patties with your hands (or make 8 small crab cakes).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, Carefully place the crab cakes on the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side over low-medium heat, or until nicely browned. Remove from heat.
Make the mango relish
- Combine all the ingredients for the mango relish in a small bowl and mix. Spoon the mango relish over the crab cakes to serve.
- You can use finely minced shallot or diced scallion instead of a shallot, for both the crab cakes and the relish
- You'll need finely minced red bell pepper, shallot/red onion/scallion, minced parsley, and lemon juice for both the crab cakes and the shallot, so prep enough for both at once.
- If you want some spice, add some diced fresh jalapeno to the red pepper/shallot mixture in the crab cakes or to the mango relish.
- You can use the same skillet for cooking the pepper/shallot mixture and the crab cakes - just use a large skillet in that case and wipe it clean in between in between.