Food, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood

Everyday Paleo Crab Cakes

For those of you who read my Homemade Mayonnaise Post and watched the cooking demo, you saw at the end of the video when I added some basil, roasted red peppers, and garlic to make a yummy sauce!  Later that same evening I whipped up some crab cakes and we topped them with the red pepper mayo.  Here’s the recipe for the crab cakes that were totally demolished in five minutes flat by my boys.

crab cakes

Everyday Paleo Crab Cakes

1 pound crab meat (I used Chicken of the Sea “fresh” canned crab from Trader Joe’s. Yes fresh is best but when made into crab cakes, this worked just fine!)

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

2 tablespoons paleo mayo (not the red pepper mayo but just the plain mayo)

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon of chipotle powder

1 egg

2 tablespoons coconut flour (or enough to make the mixture stick together)

2-4 tablespoons coconut oil

Shredded green cabbage for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish

If using the canned crab, make sure to crumble the crab with your hands into a large mixing bowl and pick out any shells you might find.  Mix the crab with the onion, mayo, garlic, sea salt, pepper, chipotle, egg and coconut flour.  In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat for 1 minute or until hot enough that a sprinkle of water in the pan makes the oil sizzle.  Form the crab cake mixture into palm size patties and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown.  Makes aproximately 10 crab cakes. Serve on top of the shredded green cabbage with lemon wedges and topped with my red pepper mayo if desired.

Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Paula Brown says:


  2. Erin says:

    I really don’t like mayo and never eat it – can I leave it out of this recipe or substitute something else? It seems wasteful to make a whole batch of paleo mayo just for 2 tablespoons going into a recipe.

    1. Erin Too says:

      Recipes are merely suggestions for how to proceed, not strict rules to follow. 🙂

    2. Caitlin says:

      I often make crab or salmon cakes with just veggies, seasoning, and egg… no mayo. I don’t care for mayo either, so I just skip it. Actually, I rarely have coconut flour either – and skipping that just makes it a little more wet (and gives you messy hands) when you place them in the pan. No big deal. 🙂

      1. James McCabe says:

        I use dijon mustard in my crab. I don’t use mayo either.

    3. I’m with you…I really don’t care for mayo, either. I wonder if avocado would do the trick? It definitely needs *something* to help the egg hold it all together…

    4. Jesse Vladimirov says:

      Some mustard-type sauces go well w/ crab. Or just make a roasted pepper puree w/ stuff like roasted garlic, fresh thyme or cilantro…

    5. Erin says:

      Yeah, I was assuming it intended to be a “glue” of sorts…I figure I’ll give it a try soon, and I’ll report back the results. Thanks for the input everyone.

  3. Awesome- I am a Maryland girl, and I needs my crab cakes! 🙂

  4. Stefanie says:

    I made the salmon cakes last night & they were yum. Can’t wait to try these!!

  5. Daria says:

    I used to love crab cakes when I was eating SAD. I’ll definitely be making these, just got my first batch of coconut flour!

  6. Jenn says:

    Does coconut flour have a really strong flavor?

    1. Not like you would think. It does have the aroma of coconut, but it’s a very powerful thickener – so you don’t end up using all that much. It lends a slightly sweeter flavor than say wheat or corn flour but I wouldn’t say it makes things taste like coconuts or “suntan lotion”

      1. Laura from MA says:

        I never understood the “this tastes like suntan lotion” response to coconut. I can guarantee, without even tasting it, that suntan lotion most certainly does not taste like coconut!

        These look like a fun summer dish, I can’t wait to try ’em! Something yummy and familiar for the early-stages-of-paleo boyfriend 🙂

        1. Shane says:

          It tastes like it smells more so. But I remember as a kid my mom would always use a Hawaiian tropical suntan oil that had suck a strong smell you could almost taste it.

  7. Tamar says:

    Can you substitute salmon for crab?

    1. Sarah says:


  8. Yum those look really good. Especially with the mayo sauce. I’ve never cooked crab before but I’ll have to give this a try!

  9. fred says:

    Quick call from paleo Warwickshire
    I love what you are doing and ‘hang by your every word’.
    I will be making the mayo tonight. I have not used mayo for 2 yrs when I used, in my ignorance to make Aioli with poison oils like soy and rape(granola) but from my reading of so many American blogs it seems to be an essential . You sold it to me – you make cal-paleo so glamorous.
    2 questions re the crab cakes.
    1.WTF is chipotle? Please send me some.
    2.Would the cakes hold together without the coconut flour – if not could I use the jellified bone broth that I derive from the bones I get free from my organic farmer/butcher -jason?
    Love What you do.
    Wish you every success
    Fred from middle England

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Fred! Chipotle powder is made from smoked jalapenos. Here’s a link describing what it is exactly. If you are having a hard time finding it you can sub cayenne pepper or even a few dashes of hot sauce! If you make the crab cakes without the coconut flour I would omit the egg or just use an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon mayo and they should hold together. Thanks for your awesome comment, you made me smile! : )

    2. Charlotte High says:

      Hi Fred,
      You can buy whole chipotles (smoked jalepeno chillies) and chipotle powder on eBay in the UK. I use “chilliesontheweb” but I’m sure there’s other sellers too. Half my family are Texans so I really couldn’t live without it! Also you will find coconut flour (also called powder) in any Asian/Oriental supermarket/cornershop over here… I tried one in desperation after receiving blank stares at several health food shops. Good luck!

      1. Catlyn says:

        Be sure to read the label on whole chipotles, especially when packed in adobo sauce. They can include sugar.

        1. Sarah says:

          Good call Catlyn, I’ve also seen the whole chipotles that have gluten too!

  10. Mmm looks amazing! I’ll be trying this one this weekend! Thanks 🙂

  11. Rachel says:

    Love your blog! Very inspiring.

    When cooking savor foods like this – do you use the unrefined coconut oil that tastes like coconut or the refined one that doesn’t have the smell and taste? I use the coconutty unrefined oil for dessert type treats (oil, cocoa powder, dried coconut flakes and almonds blended and chilled in mini muffin cups) but I’ve never gotten past the coconut taste in savory foods, even curries seem tot aste really strong to me with that oil.

    I’m also curious what brand of coconut oil you recommend.


  12. Stacy says:

    Oh my gosh! I can not wait to make these! I love crab cakes.

  13. Cathy L from San Jose says:

    >>>> I’m also curious what brand of coconut oil you recommend.<<<<

    Rachel, if you go up to the banner bar at the top of this page you can see which coconut oil Sarah recommends — it's Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
    Go to her "Store" in the Banner Bar and then look under category "food".
    I ordered some and it is delicious —every now and then I actually eat a spoonful (as if it were butter) all by itself just to increase my fat intake; I've cooked with it many times — I don't notice a strong coconut flavor — but since I'm very partial to coconut I wouldn't mind if I did. My son's girlfriend is not a big fan of coconut — I'll have to ask her what she thinks next time I see her.

  14. I’m going to cook it for lunch! And I’m translating the recipe in italian to write it in my blog (with a link to your post, of course!), because I think it’s a marvelous recipe!!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Francesca, thank you so much~

  15. Good evening Sarah
    Just a quick question,
    i am going to be heading to the stats at the end of july and was just wondering where the best place is to pick up a bottle of Coconut amino, as i haven’t had any luck locating it in Aus

    Thank in advanced



  16. Hey there! I’m a brand newbie in the paleo universe, and I just want to say HI. My husband brought your cookbook home from the library the other day, and I’ve had my nose stuck in it ever since. Love this website, love your recipes, and I also love that I’m in my next-size-down skinny jeans after just a week and a half of paleo! WOOHOOOOO! I am SO excited!

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome!! Congratulations!! : )

  17. YUM! I had crab for the first time ever at my bros in Chicago a few weeks back and fell in love immediately. It is possibly my favorite food now. I used to be afraid of seafood for 21 years. Then I started to eat a little bit here and there. I have been primal/paleo for 15 months and have fallen in love with seafood ever since.

    Crab, Scallops, Shrimp, Mahi Mahi are some of my favs! Mussels are awesome too.

  18. Joe Rovito says:

    I had to try these right away, my wife and I love crab cakes. We loved these and I served them with a tweaked version of your aoli. I made a roasted garlic and ancho chili aoli. We plan on making these and other Paleo recipes for the 4th of July party at my inlaws. Thanks for your recipes and inspiration

    1. Sarah says:

      You are so very welcome Joe and thank you! I love the ancho chili aoli idea, sounds delicious!

  19. AmyNVegas says:

    I use ground flax in mine instead and no mayo. I use ground flax for my salmon cakes and meatloaves as well. It is a good binder and doesn’t have the taste of coconut flour, it just blends right in.

  20. Michelle says:

    these were so delicious…I love your recipes!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you!!

  21. JP says:

    Where the heck can you buy cocunut flour?

    1. Try your local health food store or look online for bulk bags at better deals.

  22. This looks like the perfect meal for tonight!

  23. Heather says:

    These are AMAZING!!! Thanks for another delicious recipe, Sarah!! 🙂

  24. Kinsey says:

    How many cans of crab would you use for this recipe?

  25. I just made these and they are AWESOME ! Here’s a pic of how mine came out:

    I did have to flatten them a little more once they were in the pan – this recipe makes 10 NICE-sized cakes! Definitely something to make again! I was able to get 1 lb of canned wild-caught crab meat from Costco for under $12!

    Thanks for another great recipe, Sarah! =)

  26. sherri says:

    Yummers I am going to try this tomorrow.!

  27. Love this recipe! Love it!

  28. Darm I couldn’t wait to make these. I used 3 cans of TJ crab meat. My crab cakes did not hold together very well. Any suggestions? I love the dill taste in the Salmon cakes.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Shannon,
      Did you remember to add the coconut flour? You might need to even add a little more than suggested if they were not forming into patties easily before you even fried them. Also, when frying any kind of fish cakes you want to make sure you pan is nice and hot so that they sizzle right when you put them in the pan. This makes them hold together better when they get a nice sear on them right away. Hope that helps!

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Made these tonight! Loved them! We had to sub almond meal for coconut flour since we were out of that and didn’t feel like driving across town in the rain, but DEFINITELY going on the favorite foods list. Thanks so much!

  30. Dinah Sutton says:

    I have a Delonghi immersion blender. It works fantastic for making the Paleo mayonnaise. I use one egg, 3 T of fresh lemon juice, 1 cup of olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 1/2 to 1 tsp of chipotle pepper. Using the immersion blender it takes about 10 seconds to make the mayonnaise. I keep some of this in the refrigerator all the time for crab cakes, salmon patties, portabello mushroom burgers…it is the best condiment for just about everything

  31. Jefferey Harlan says:

    These were fantastic! I made the home made mayo with your instructions for the very first time as well. Then added the roasted red pepper sauce and everyone was raving about how good everything was. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us.

  32. Mendee says:

    I am soooo excited to find this recipe. I used to make salmon patties, aka “krabby patties” at my house. But after cutting out wheat and all other grains, I haven’t made them in a long time. I made this recipe tonight and the only thing I did different is I didn’t make the mayo, I used Vegenaise. They were a HIT! My three kids LOVED them as well as my husband, who isn’t a fan of coconut, but I didn’t tell him they had coconut flour! 🙂 I think the chipotle powder makes them yummy, and I will definitely be adding this to my repertoire!!! Thanks!

  33. I just wanted to leave you a little not saying how WONDERFUL these where. My husband and I have started following a Paleo lifestyle in the last few month and have often visited your site for recipes. We just love being able to make sure delicious and interesting food while keeping a healthy lifestyle. Thank you so so very much for posting these!

  34. I used 2 eggs and substituted organic horseradish for the mayo and cayanne for the chipotle…

  35. MariannaS says:

    OMG, these were sooooo good! Thank you! Had them like you suggested over cabbage with some paleo mayo blended with bell pepper and some hot sauce. BTW, I make mayo using the immersion blender. A ton easier than the regular way of dripping in the oil, totally foolproof and literally takes 20 seconds. Just google one minute mayo.

  36. If you don’t like mayo, you can use Sarah’s mayo recipe to make paleo ranch, which I think would be good in this recipe as well – I’m going to try it since I used all of my homemade mayo to make the ranch – the kids love it!

  37. Jen Springstead says:

    My 3 year old gobbled these up. We made the extra mayo into a tartar sauce. Yum! I don’t really like crab, but I thought I would give it a try for him, and I liked them too! These are going on the rotation.

    1. Sarah says:

      Awesome Jen, thank you!

  38. Lindsey says:

    YUM!! and so easy to make! thanks for sharing 🙂

  39. Andria says:

    Didn’t make anywhere near 10 patties and I have small hands! I was lucky to get 5. Fell apart easily when flipping. Seemed too dry, perhaps less coconut flour would be better? Taste was good even using can crab, but fresh would have been better. Would probably make again.

  40. My single favorite paleo crab cakes recipe. I’ve made this so many times. Fresh crab only. I add a little fresh squeezed lemon and hot mustard. Really ties it together. Just wanted to say thank you! This recipe really made a difference for me and my girlfriend when she was diagnosed with MS.

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