Crab Cake Poppers

Go Bold With Butter

Good lump crab doesn’t need much to set off its flavor, and when it’s the star of the show, like it is in these Crab Cake Popper appetizers. Red bell peppers, onion and celery complement the freshness of the lump crab while the crunchy Panko bread crumbs add some texture to offset the seafood’s creaminess. Because there isn’t a lot of mayo or binder to hold these poppers together, be sure to use a light hand when molding your little bite size nuggets to hold their delicate flavors. The garlic aioli is a simple topper or dipper for your poppers.

Crab Cake Poppers

Makes 24 1-inch Poppers


1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup green onion, diced
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons celery, diced
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon parsley minced
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Sriracha sauce
1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cup canola oil


Rinse lump crab meat and pick through for any shells Drain well and add to large bowl. In medium sauté pan, melt butter and cook green onions, red bell pepper and celery. Season with kosher salt and cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add to lump crab meat with parsley. In small bowl combine egg, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, dry mustard and cayenne pepper and add to crab meat. Stir gently to combine. Fold in 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs. Roll crab meat mixture into 1 inch balls, and coat in remaining Panko bread crumbs. Refrigerate crab balls for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 cup of canola oil, or about 1/2 inch of oil, in large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Fry crab cake poppers in batches making sure not to crowd pan, gently turning balls so all sides are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Drain poppers on paper towel lined plate while frying remaining crab cake balls, adding more oil as necessary. Serve hot with Spicy Aioli.

Spicy Aioli


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili sauce


Mix all ingredients together until smooth and serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

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12 thoughts on “Crab Cake Poppers

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  1. Sharon Aiken said:

    Is it possible to bake instead of fry?

    • realbutter said:

      Hi Sharon,

      We recommend that you bake at 450 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

  2. Joanna Jenkins said:

    please send me those receipes to my email address Thank You

    Joanna Jenkins

  3. Lynn Parish said:

    Looks like a great recipe

  4. Priscilla said:

    What is the ‘green’ in the aioli?

  5. ELAINE said:

    e mail me your receipe pls

  6. Linda Maldonado said:

    what kind of chili sauce

    • realbutter said:

      Hi Linda – For the chili sauce, you can buy it in the condiment section of your grocery store. There are many varieties available, everything from sweet to extra spicy, so pick whichever you think is best!

  7. Jen said:

    Can these be made (or at least prepared) ahead of time and frozen?

    • realbutter said:

      Hi Jen – You could make these crab cake poppers up to a day ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to fry. Enjoy!