Crab Cake Bites.

Lump crab meat, panko crumbs, thousand island dressing, egg, chives and spices are mixed together, formed into little balls then baked until golden and crisp. These easy and tasty bites of crab goodness are the perfect appetizer for your seafood-lovin’ guests. The recipe makes about 36 bites, so you can easily serve a crowd.

Bite sized crab cakes on a plate with dipping sauce and white appetizer size plates in the background.

Disclosure: I created this recipe for Drew’s Organics, maker of organic dressings and salsas. I was compensated for the recipe creation, but not for this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make My Cape Cod Kitchen possible!

An overhead shot of appetizer sized crab cakes on a white rectangular plate with lemon wedges and a dipping sauce.

These little Crab Cake Bites came about when I was recipe testing using Drew’s Organics Thousand Island Dressing and Marinade. I had recently made these Crab Cakes with Creamy Pesto,  and Adrian said “these are great, but what about making crab bites? like little poppers, one-bite crab cakes?.” For a big guy with a big appetite, Adrian sure does love little bite-sized things (and so do the rest of us, especially the littles!). It was a great idea.

So, back into the kitchen I went. I used the dressing as the liquid (instead of yogurt that I’ve used in the past) and to add flavor to the crab bites. In all honesty, I love 99% of all salad dressings, but thousand island dressing is not one of my favorites. So. I was skeptical about how these were going to turn out.  They turned out so much better than I expected, in fact they may be one of the best crab cakes I’ve made.

This is a fun and unique way to try use this dressing as an ingredient in the recipe and a dipping sauce – isn’t it great when ingredients do double duty?

These crab cakes are baked, which makes them easier to make and more hands-off than pan-fried crab cakes (just scoop onto a baking sheet and pop into the oven).

One crab cake bite and a lemon on an appetizer size plate with a large plate of crab cake bites in the background.

I served these Crab Cake Bites with more thousand island dressing for dipping. If you prefer, use a homemade or store-bought tartar sauce, as the thousand island has more sweetness than a tartar sauce.

This is a great recipe for the summer, but is also a good one to save for when the holidays roll around. Oh – and for crab lovin’ kids, these bites should be a hit. Unfortunately, right now, my kiddos won’t go near these (like most “different” things).

Let me know if you give them a shot!

Here’s how to make these Crab Cake Bites:

Crab Cake Bites

Lump crab meat, panko crumbs, thousand island dressing, egg, chives and spices are combined, formed into little balls then baked until golden and crisp. These easy and tasty bites of crab goodness are the perfect appetizer for your seafood-lovin’ guests. The recipe makes about 36 bites, so you can easily serve a crowd.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword crab cake bites
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1 16 ounce can refridgerated lump crab meat (find it in the seafood section of most grocery stores) picked over for any shell fragments
  • 1 cup plain panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup thousand island dressing
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 2.5 ounce package of fresh chives thinly sliced, reserving some for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving

  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • additional dressing or tartar sauce for dipping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with tinfoil. Spray each baking sheet with cooking oil spray.

  2. Add crab, panko crumbs, thousand island dressing, beaten egg, chives, garlic, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined.

  3. Using a spoon (tablespoon will be fine), scoop the crab cake mixture into your hand, then roll into a ball, squishing gently as you roll. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet. Leave approximately and inch or so between each bite. Continue making the bites until the mixture is gone.

  4. Place crab bites into oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until bites are golden brown and set. Remove from oven.

  5. Place bites onto a serving plate and sprinkle with remaining chive slices. Serve with additional thousand island dressing or tartar sauce for dipping.

 

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Crab cake bites on a rectanglular plate with thousand island dressing