Crab cakes are a delectable seafood dish that originated in the United States, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay region. These savory delicacies are made from lump crab meat, mixed with various ingredients like breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and an array of seasonings such as Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley. Crab cakes are formed into patties and pan-fried until they develop a golden-brown crust. They are known for their rich, sweet crab flavor and crispy exterior, often served with a side of lemon wedges and a creamy dipping sauce. However, you may want a switch up from the common creamy dipping sauce. These 21 easy crab cake sides will give you various ideas of what to serve with the delectable seafood patties.
As you will see, crab cakes pair wonderfully with a variety of side dishes that complement their rich and savory flavors. We’ve got lots to choose from ranging from a refreshing coleslaw, providing a crisp and tangy contrast to the crab cakes' richness or a bed of mixed greens with a light vinaigrette dressing adding a fresh and vibrant element to the meal. Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts, offer a savory and slightly charred bite that complements the crab cakes beautifully. No matter what your cravings are, there’s something on the list for everyone.
1. Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa, a sweet and slightly spicy combo, will go perfectly with crab cakes. Crab cakes are crispy on the exterior and tender on the inside, so pairing it with a mango salsa adds more textures as well as compliments the flavors. You can present the crab cakes with the mango salsa already dolloped on top.
For delectable crab cake sides, potatoes are a go to. A Classic French-Style Potato Salad is made with no mayo, fresh herbs, and zippy add-ons. It is tossed warm in a herby and tangy mix of Dijon mustard, grainy mustard, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Crab cakes already have a good amount of mayo, so you won’t miss it in the potato salad.
Not much is easier than throwing a salad together! This antipasto salad is not only easy but packed full of flavors and textures that highly complement the crab cakes. This salad keeps things light - there are no heavy carbs or dressings in it. So crab cakes can remain the star of the show.
Making your own Coleslaw from scratch is as easy as pouring and mixing! All the ingredients are pantry staples, so you'll likely have them already at home. This classic Cole Slaw recipe is an easy crab cake side dish that you can make at home with ingredients you can control.
This tomato cucumber mozzarella salad was inspired by the Italian classic caprese salad. It is loaded with juicy cherry tomatoes, crisp cucumber, avocado, and fresh mozzarella cheese, all drizzled with a lovely balsamic garlic dressing. It’s easy to throw together as nothing needs to be cooked.
If you want your crab cakes to feel like a full meal and also want to keep things healthy, give these honey mustard green beans a whirl. Veggies work well as crab cake sides as long as they’re seasoned and prepared well enough to compliment the crab cakes, and not just look like an afterthought. These honey mustard green beans can stand on their own, or help highlight the crab cakes.
Another salad, yes! Because it’s so easy to get a variety of flavors to pair with crab cakes. This salad has pungent and leafy mustard greens that add texture and flavor to the whole meal. With roasted potatoes added, it becomes a well-balanced dish that will leave each guest completely satisfied.
Chickpea salad is hearty and holds up to the creamy, slightly crispy crab cakes. This salad is tossed with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta, herbs, and a delicious homemade dressing for the best Mediterranean chickpea salad you’ll taste. The blend of flavors may seem like a lot, but once all together hold their own as a contender on the list of crab cake sides.
Have we mentioned chickpeas go great with crabcakes? This one has a lemon vinaigrette which helps bring out the seafood in the crabcakes. This Kale Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is packed with flavor, texture, and nutrition. It is great for meal prep. Imagine having crab cakes with this kale quinoa chickpea salad for lunch all week. Your co-workers will be asking you for the recipe.
Broccoli rabe is a member of the cabbage family and has a bitter taste. But with a bit of olive oil, garlic, cheese, and crushed red pepper, it is transformed into an Italian classic - Rapini. With the frequent use of garlic and lemon in Italian cooking, Italian cuisine is a great pairing for crab cake sides. This one is no exception.
This easy one-pot corn orzo is made in 25 minutes, uses just one pan, and is packed with fresh corn and finished with crispy homemade bacon bits and fresh herbs. It’s even creamier than risotto and it’s much easier to make. If you want a hearty meal that will leave every person full and happy, pair this cheesy creamed corn orzo with your crispy crab cakes.
Crispy Brussels sprouts to match the crispy exterior of rich crab cakes go hand in hand. The maple bourbon sauce will bring out a hint of sweetness in the Brussels sprouts as well as the natural mild sweetness of the crab. As the months start getting colder, crab cakes and maple bourbon Brussels sprouts should be on the weekly menu.
If the months are still warm enough for you to be grilling, this bang bang grilled corn recipe is your new go to. Grilled corn is simple and absolutely delicious, and we’ve already seen that corn can pair well with crab cakes. The bang bang sauce gives the corn a bit of a kick and keeps the whole dish from being too rich. Pro tip: use some of the bang bang sauce to drizzle over your crab cakes too.
Crab cakes can be heavy, but if you still want them in the heat of summer, serve them with this tomato gazpacho soup. It’s easy and will keep things cooled off in a delicious way. This homemade gazpacho recipe is a fresh take on summer flavors and can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, so it’s a fantastic recipe to make ahead of time.
German red cabbage is a bit sweet and a bit sour due to the use of brown sugar, vinegar, and apple sauce. Sausage needs to move over, because pairing this crispy, tender cabbage with crispy, tender crab cakes is the new ideal meal. It brings a bite of freshness to the whole meal and is a great way to cook large portions easily.
For crab cake sides that hit the spot, think potatoes. Roasted fingerlings satisfy that itch for smoky flavored vegetables. They bring a depth of flavor that is needed to balance the saltiness of the crab cakes. With under 10 ingredients, you can have this side dish on the table in under an hour. You can also swap the fingerlings for sweet potatoes for a fun twist. Either way works well for crab cake sides.
Whether you bake or fry them, French fries are the ultimate side dish for crab cakes. And of course, they have to be extra crispy to stand up to the creamy tenderness of crab cakes. This recipe shows you how to make extra crispy French fries right at home. It gives you all the tips to have perfect fries every time.
With how delicious this creamy corn chowder is, the crab cakes might feel like a side dish. But either way, they pair perfectly together. This chowder is loaded with sweet corn, crispy bacon, and plenty of potatoes which all go well with crab cakes. It’s also another recipe you can have done in under an hour.
Back to keeping things light and refreshing, let’s take a look at this chopped vegetable salad. Large chunks of fresh vegetables are mixed together with a tangy, homemade vinaigrette. The zesty garlic dressing is what ties in the crab cake flavors. With a mixture of textures, this salad is a wonderful side dish for crab cakes.
While most sauces wouldn’t make the crab cake sides list, Louisiana Remoulade Sauce absolutely does. It’s creamy, classic, creole spicy, and delicious. It will bring your crab cakes to life. Make a big batch, because this sauce is always the first thing to go. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and store it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It’s as easy as that.
Similar to the green beans, sugar snap peas add amazing flavor and texture when paired with crab cakes. This recipe for Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sugar Snap Peas is healthy and quick to make. They have a hint of salty, buttery panko crumbs and the perfect infusion of garlic, which puts them right on this list of crab cake sides.
Each choice of easy crab cake sides can be tailored to your preference, creating a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience alongside these delectable seafood treats. Get to cooking!
What To Serve With Crab Cakes: 21 Simple Sides
- 8 oz rotini pasta *measured dry- about 2 cups
- 2 cups canned corn, drained well
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup plain 0% greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup fat free sour cream
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp real lime zest
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup light crumbled feta
- Boil pasta according to package, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the mayo, yogurt, sour cream, lime juice and zest, salt/pepper, and chili powder.
- In a large bowl mix together the corn, onion, pepper, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. Add in the pasta then fold in the sauce mixture. Gently stir in the feta cheese.
- Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve, makes 10- 1 cup servings.