Did you know you can cook crab cakes in an air fryer? These air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli make a delicious meal and air frying is a quick and easy cooking method. These are served with a spicy sauce for crab cakes that is so flavourful and creamy! These inspired Southwest crab cakes need to be added to your dinner menu.
You will need lump crab meat to make Southwest crab cakes. Canned crab would work but lump crabmeat is so much better. Save the canned crab for crab salad and use lump crabmeat for these.
Egg, mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, dill weed, relish, hot sauce, green onion, lemon, panko, and onion straws also go into the mix. These ingredients add all the flavour you’d expect for easy crab cakes plus they ensure they hold together well.
Crab cakes with chipotle sauce are always ideal for a special occasion but they’re also pretty good if you’re just in the mood for something new. Along with a homemade spicy sauce for crab cakes, these are a wonderful treat.
How to Cook Crab Cakes in an Air Fryer
Air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli are made in two parts. You will be making the Southwest crab cakes themselves along with a spicy sauce for crab cakes.
After breaking up the fried onion sticks and crab a bit, you can combine them with all the other ingredients. Shape them into balls and then press them into patties. You can do this between your hands or using a couple of mason jar lids for a perfect round result. I kind of like the hand method though, for more of a rustic homemade look!
The next step in this crab cakes with chipotle sauce recipe is to cook the easy crab cakes in your air fryer. Spray some non-stick cooking spray there before adding the crab cakes. Give them 10 minutes then flip them over and give them another 5 minutes.
While they cook, you can prepare the spicy sauce for crab cakes. This sauce is delicious and boasts creaminess, a kick of spice, a tang of lemon, and some garlic. Air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli pair so well!
Simple combine the sauce ingredients using a blender or food processor. You can tweak the amount of chipotle if you like, adding more for a spicier taste or less for a milder result.
What to Serve with Easy Crab Cakes
If you’re making air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli as an appetizer, they’re great as they are. You could always add a few lettuce leaves underneath them.
If, on the other hand, you want to cook crab cakes in an air fryer for the main dish, you can consider sides. Something simple like fries or a potato salad would work. Or what about corn on the cob or some steamed veggies? Anything goes!
Where Did Crab Cakes Originate?
Crab cakes are obviously nothing like, for example, birthday cakes! But the way the ingredients are packed together, they are shaped into cakes, hence the name.
Typical ingredients include breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, eggs, and mustard, but recipes vary. I love adding Old Bay seasoning to my air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli.
The term ‘crab cake’ is thought to date back to 1939 when a recipe was published in the ‘New York World’s Fair Cook Book’. There are earlier recipes which combined crabmeat with other ingredients, such as one in the ‘Cookery with a Chafing Dish’ which came out in 1891.
What Type of Crab to Use for Crab Cakes
Southwest crab cakes are obviously popular along the coast where there is no shortage of fresh crab. Dungeness crab is a very popular choice for making crab cakes with chipotle sauce. Blue crab is the traditional crab of choice around the Chesapeake Bay.
You can get lump crabmeat from any well-stocked grocery store. Sometimes you might have the choice of regular lump crab or lump claw meat. Really, you can use either for making Southwest crab cakes.
If you see ‘Maryland crab cakes’ on a restaurant menu, that usually means they’re made with blue crab, although sometimes the cheaper blue swimmer crab from Asia is subbed for the more expensive blue crab. If you make your own air fryer crab cakes with garlic lemon chipotle aioli though, you will be able to choose whichever kind of crab you want and know what’s going into the crab cakes.
After you try these air fried crab cakes, you might also like Air Fryer Chipotle Chicken Wings with Buttermilk Firecracker Ranch, Air Fryer Blueberry Brie Pastry and Dip Appetizer or Air Fryer BBQ Peach Bourbon Wings.
Air Fryer Crab Cakes with Garlic Lemon Chipotle Aioli Recipe
Air Fryer Crab Cakes with Garlic Lemon Chipotle Aioli
- 1 Pound crab meat lump
- 1 egg
- 1/3 Cup mayo
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 Teaspoon old bay seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon horseradish
- 1/2 Tablespoon dill relish
- 1 Tablespoon dill fresh
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 Cup green onion diced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 Cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 Cup fried onion straws
Garlic Lemon Chipotle Aioli
- 1 Cup Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Tablespoon chipotle sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon dill fresh
- Add crispy fried onions to a food processor and pulse to crumb. (or seal inside a ziplock bag and crush)
- Chop or shred crab meat and add to a large mixing bowl. Next, add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F for five minutes.
- Scoop out crab mixture and form into 2” golf ball sized balls. Use the lids of 2 mason jars to form perfect patties, or lightly flatten between your palms. To make uniform sized patties, I like to use a cookie scoop.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with olive oil or canola oil spray. Arrange patties in a single layer, and spray with oil. Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare aïoli. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée. Add to a dipping bowl.
- Arrange patties on a platter, garnish with lemon slices and dill and serve with dip.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Easy crab cakes make a great appetizer, snack or meal. The air fryer means you can cook them quickly and easily. Also, making the spicy sauce for crab cakes is worthwhile because it’s so good!
If you are looking for another seafood recipe, you might like this Slow Cooker Key West Crab and Lobster Bisque.
I have never tired them in the air fryer. Will save this!