Keto Crab Cakes With Tartar Sauce

by Kendall
10 servings
25 min

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As a New Englander, it’s almost shameful it took this long to get a recipe for crab cakes up on the blog. So, to me fellow sea-siders, I apologize. But, hey, better late than never? Plus, once you try these Keto Crab Cakes, I think you’ll agree they were certainly worth the wait!

Made with almond flour and pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs, these crab cakes are a gluten-free and low-carb alternative to the traditional recipe. Perfectly crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and ready in under 30 minutes, they’re a great option for a quick and easy, delicious appetizer! As an added bonus, the recipe includes my homemade keto tartar sauce as well!

How to make keto crab cakes

These keto crab cakes with tartar sauce come together in under 30 minutes and are super easy to prepare… As long as you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty!

Start by mixing the crab cakes ingredients in a large bowl, as pictured. Once combined, it’s important to let the mixture sit in the fridge for about ten minutes before forming cakes. Allowing the mixture to rest in the fridge makes it bind together better. This will decrease the chances of the crab cakes falling apart through cooking.

While the crab cake mixture is having a nap in the fridge, make the tartar sauce in a mason jar or small bowl. The recipe will make more tartar sauce than you need for one batch of crab cakes, but you can store the leftovers in the fridge for a few weeks.

After ten minutes, take the mixture out of the fridge and begin to form cakes by scooping 1/4 cup at a time into your hands. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly until a cake forms. Repeat until all the mixture is used, which should yield about ten cakes.

To perfectly cook the crab cakes in a pan on the stove, use an oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil is my go-to! I also recommend using a splash guard because the oil will splatter as the crab cakes fry. Cook each side for at least five minutes, or until perfectly crispy and browned! Transfer the cooked crab cakes to paper towels to absorb the excess oil and prevent sogginess from setting in.

What can you use instead of breadcrumbs for low-carb?

Thanks to a recipe by Keto Connect for Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, I recently discovered the magic of pork rinds! Pork rinds are a puffy, crispy, salty snack made from pig skins. A serving size of pork rinds has 0g of carbohydrates, 5g of fat and 5g of protein, making them perfect for low-carb diets.

When crushed or ground, pork rinds make a great substitute for breadcrumbs for those following keto and/or gluten-free diets. For this recipe, I ground the pork skins in a food processor until they resembled the consistency of breadcrumbs.

The reason pork rinds are such a great substitute for breadcrumbs is because their taste is subtle enough to not overwhelm a dish and because they become crispy when fried or baked!

Pork rinds can be found in most grocery stores or you can purchase them online.

Is it better to bake or fry crab cakes?

Personally, I think the right way to enjoy crab cakes is to fry them. Crab cakes are meant to be golden brown and crispy on the outside, which is best achieved by frying them in some oil in a skillet.

That said, if you prefer baking to frying, try cooking these crab cakes in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

What to do with leftover keto crab cakes

As written, the recipe will make ten crab cakes, which are best served about five minutes after cooking. If you have leftover crab cakes, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Alternatively, wrap each crab cake individually in plastic wrap and freeze them. Freezing the cakes separately makes it easy to thaw one at a time. Take the crab cakes out of your freezer the night before you want to enjoy them and let them thaw in the fridge overnight.

To reheat crab cakes, heat a skillet over medium-high and lightly fry each side for about five minutes or until they’re crispy. I don’t recommend reheating crab cakes in the microwave as they will lose their texture and become soggy.

If you make these Keto Crab Cakes with Tartar Sauce, please rate them and add your comments below. And tag @thebespokebites in your photos and videos on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

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Keto Crab Cakes With Tartar Sauce
Recipe details
  • 10  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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Crab Cakes
  • 4 cans crab meat, drained; about 480g
  • 1 cup ground pork rinds
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
Tartar Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon relish
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients for crab cakes in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Set aside in the fridge** for 10 minutes while you prepare the tartar sauce.
While the crab cake mixture sets in the fridge, make the tartar sauce by combining the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl or mason jar. Add the relish, capers, dill and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
Take the crab cake mixture out of the fridge and use a 1/4 cup to scoop some into your hands. Roll until a compact ball forms. Gently pat the ball into a cake shape and set aside on a plate. Repeats this step until all the mixture is used- you should get about 10 cakes.
Heat the avocado oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the crab cakes to the pan, ensuring there is a bit of space between each. Cover the pan with a splash guard to prevent oil splatter. Cook for 5 minutes before gently flipping the crab cakes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until crispy and browned.
Cover a plate in paper towels. Remove the crab cakes from the pan and transfer to the plate***. Allow the crab cakes to sit for a few minutes before serving.
  • *Use a food processor to grind the pork rinds into a powder
  • **Refrigerating the crab cake mixture will help it set and stick together
  • ***The paper towel will soak up the extra oil and prevent the crab cakes from becoming soggy.
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