side dishes for crab cakes

What To Serve With Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are a delicacy, particularly if you live on the Northeast coasts of the United States. Serving them is appropriate year-round, but not everyone knows what to serve them with. Make no mistake, a bad choice can cause messes. 

Here, we will cover all the best side dishes for crab cakes!

What Are Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are a type of fish cake originally from the United States. It is mostly made up of crab meat, mayonnaise, mustard, breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices. They are shaped into a patty that is then sautéed, baked, grilled, or broiled.

In North America, crab cakes are associated with the Northeast, particularly the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia. Even though any crab meat can be used, the majority is made using blue crab. Crab cakes are served year-round, though they are popular in the summertime.

You will often see crab cakes served with tartar sauce, mustard, cocktail sauce, ketchup, or Worcestershire sauce. They are often accompanied by remoulade, saltine crackers, or French fries. In other cases, crab cakes can be served with buns to mimic a hamburger-style meal.

Nutrition Facts

One cake (60 g) of crab cakes has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 93 calories
  • 42.6 g water
  • 12.1 g protein
  • 4.51 g fat
  • 0.288 g carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 63 mg calcium
  • 0.648 mg iron
  • 19.8 mg magnesium
  • 128 mg phosphorus
  • 194 mg potassium
  • 198 mg sodium
  • 24.4 µg selenium
  • 1.68 mg vitamin C
  • 34.2 µg vitamin A
  • 90 mg cholesterol

Crab cakes are considered low-fat food with a good amount of protein. However, the sodium content and cholesterol content can increase depending on the preparation method, which can also result in higher calories. If possible, preparing crab cakes at home and baking them can make them healthier.

What Goes With Crab Cakes Anytime

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with crab cakes at any time!

#1. Coleslaw

Crab cakes pair well with coleslaw because of the crunchy sweet and bitter flavors paired with the crab meat. This salad is easy to make as well, and you can add or change as many ingredients as you want.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of shredded coleslaw mix (or shredded cabbage)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your coleslaw:

  1. Before you start, make sure your coleslaw mix is washed and dry.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the coleslaw mix, mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix well and store in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  4. Serve cold with crab cakes on the side or top.

#2. Red Potato Salad

This red potato salad is a tasty dish to serve with crab cakes, as it can add consistency without overpowering the crab flavor. This side dish is another great option for the summertime too.

Ingredients:

  • 12 or more red potatoes (or your favorite potato)
  • 1 cup diced green onions
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your red potato salad: 

  1. Cook your potatoes in a big pot of water for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft. Drain them and set them aside.
  2. Once your potatoes are cooled, peel them, and cut them into cubes.
  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the white vinegar and green onions.
  4. Chop your hard-boiled eggs and add them to your potatoes. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover your bowl and place it in the fridge for at least one hour. Serve cold next to crab cakes.

#3. Mexican Corn Salad

Nothing says fresh like a Mexican corn salad, and it takes minutes to make. You can serve more or fewer vegetables. In a pinch, even just a couple of ingredients will do!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups corn from the cob or canned and drained
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ cup cotija cheese or a fresh cheese
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Mexican corn salad:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add your corn. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it begins to char.
  2. Allow your corn to cool down. In a large bowl, combine the corn, bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro.
  3. Sprinkle the lime juice and mix well. Add the cumin and keep mixing. Finish off by mixing the cheese.
  4. Serve cold, and add more cheese on top if needed.

#4. Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Grilled asparagus is a fantastic side dish to serve with crab cakes. You can add more crunch by grilling them, and the lemon butter adds the perfect amount of citrus.

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your grilled asparagus with lemon butter:

  1. Heat your butter in a saucepan, add the garlic, and cook for a minute. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  2. Over medium heat, begin cooking your asparagus in an iron grill pan. Add half the butter and continue cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Once your asparagus looks cooked, transfer to a serving dish and add the remaining butter.
  4. Serve warm with potatoes and crab cakes on the side

#5. Yellow Squash and Zucchini Gratin

If you are looking for a vegetable side dish, this may be the one. Yellow squash and zucchini are a fantastic combo, and mixing the cheese gives your dish depth and flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your yellow squash and zucchini gratin:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan heat oil, add squash, and zucchini. Add garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. When your vegetables are soft, add the cream and cook over medium heat until thickened. Turn off heat.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese and mix well. Transfer your gratin to a baking dish.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden.
  6. Serve warm on the side.

#6. Lemon Parmesan Orzo

Orzo is a very versatile style of pasta that is delicate and goes well with seafood. This lemon Parmesan recipe is a great way to complement the crab flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½  cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your lemon Parmesan orzo:

  1. Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and orzo and cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add water according to orzo box instructions. Cook your orzo for about 20 minutes or until al dente.
  3. When ready, add Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Mix well with a fork.
  4. Serve warm with crab cakes on top.

#7. Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad

A fresh salad can be a great side dish to crab cakes, but this one is the perfect mix of crunch, bitterness, sweetness, and acid. You can make this in minutes, and you can serve it with the same dipping sauce or dressing as the crab cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 12 cherry tomatoes or more
  • 6 cups fresh arugula
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your arugula and cherry tomato salad:

  1. Wash your arugula and tomatoes well and allow them to air dry.
  2. Chop the tomatoes into halves.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the arugula, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Serve your salad cold, with the crab cakes on the side. Add Parmesan cheese on top if you want.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Side Dish?

Crab cakes are a delicacy and a priced dish to serve at parties, cookouts, and hot summer nights. Finding the perfect side dish can be tricky if you are not sure about flavors and ingredients. Be sure to check out these options next time you prepare your favorite crab cakes.

If you are serving your crab cakes on a bun as a sandwich or in the style of hamburger, then you should accompany them with something easy to eat. Try the coleslaw or red potato salad, or both if you wish. You can add vegetables to your potato salad as well, including celery, carrots, and onions.

For baked crab cakes served as a main dish, you should find a side dish that is delicate and more complex. Try the grilled asparagus with lemon butter, the yellow squash and zucchini gratin, or the lemon Parmesan orzo. These three dishes are all easy to make, yet they complement the crab flavor and elevate your meal.

Finally, if you are serving your crab cakes as part of a cookout or party dish, try something lighter and easier to cook. You can choose the Mexican corn salad and arugula and tomato salad. If you want, you can also make some grilled potatoes or serve the red potato salad to go with your crab cakes.

If you are using leftovers, make sure you learn how to reheat crab cakes so they taste crispy and fresh.

Conclusion

Crab cakes are famous in the United States and other places, as they are considered a traditional delicacy. You can now safely prepare them at home and feel confident in your chosen side dishes. Do not worry anymore about what to serve with crab cakes, and enjoy any of these dishes any day!

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*image by myviewpoint/depositphotos

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