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What To Eat With Crab Cakes: 16 Amazing Side Dishes

Crab cakes have to be one of the all-time greatest seafood dishes.  Chunks of delicious crab meat, coated in crispy breadcrumbs, can serve as the perfect introduction to seafood for someone who’s unsure and what’s more, it’s incredibly adaptable. 

Crab cakes can be served with all kinds of dips, sauces, and side dishes, and that brings us to the topic of this article.  There are so many options to go with crab cake that you might be starting to think that there’s too much choice. 

What To Eat With Crab Cakes

Don’t worry though, we’ve put together this list of the most delicious accompaniments to crab cakes, so you’ll be choosing only from the best options for your next dinner.

Sweet Chili Jam

Rather than being a side dish in the strict sense, this is more of a sauce to bring out the flavors of your crab cakes.  It might surprise you to learn that jam can be made from chilies, but can it ever! 

Though it would go nicely on any kind of crab cake, the jam does have a somewhat Asian flavor profile (chili, garlic, ginger), so it would be an extra-special accompaniment to Thai style crab cakes.

It will add a delicious sweet spice to the crab cakes, and can even be used with other dishes too.  A cheeseboard, ham, and many kinds of sandwiches will all be glad of the attention of a little bit of chili jam.

Garlic And Herb Mashed Potatoes

Just about everybody loves mashed potatoes, so you’re on safe ground with this garlicky and herby dish.  They’re made superbly rich and creamy with several different kinds of cream, and with healthy amounts of garlic and herbs, you’re assured of a big flavor. 

Scooping a bit of these mashed potatoes onto a crab cake and taking a bite of both at once is an absolute joy.  It’s also easy to change the amounts depending on how many you’re cooking for, not that having leftovers of this is any bad thing!

Coleslaw

A good coleslaw, like this one, is full of flavors that bring the food it’s served with to life, whatever it is.  Crab cakes are no exception, and they can benefit greatly from the creamy but tart flavors of this coleslaw. 

The recipe also includes Dijon mustard, which is perfect for rounding off the flavor profile.  Of course, this is good for far more than just crab cakes – it’s great in sandwiches, burgers, and so many other things too.  

Mediterranean Roast Vegetables

Here’s a dish that’s not only delicious, but also both healthy and colorful!  You can choose whichever vegetables you like (or whichever you simply need to use up) for this dish, but for maximum authenticity, make sure you use Mediterranean vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini. 

Roasted in olive oil and herbs, the veggies come out crunchy and bursting with flavor.  

Honey Garlic Roasted Potatoes

These buttery, garlicky potatoes will go with just about anything, and that includes crab cakes!  We’ve already seen with the chili jam that crab cakes love a little sweetness on the side, and this dish follows that principle perfectly.  It’s not all about the sweetness here, though. 

There’s that rich butteriness too, along with a bit of dry mustard for a deeper flavor.  The recipe also uses new potatoes, so they’ll be extra tender and will be ready quicker – perfect for if you’re pressed for time.

Corn Chowder

This hearty soup is rich, satisfying, and the perfect accompaniment to crab cakes.  It’s a hot, steamy pot that’s a great mixture of flavors – butter, thyme, paprika, and lots else besides. 

That richness comes from the potatoes but also from the heavy cream – it’s an indulgent dish, to be sure, but that’s what makes it so good! 

When it comes to the corn itself, you can use either fresh or frozen, so it’s a good dish if you have a bag of frozen corn in your freezer that you’re not sure what to do with.  We won’t blame you if you dip your crab cakes in the soup!

Cranberry And Cilantro Quinoa Salad

The fruity, herby flavors that bring this dish alive can also do the same for your crab cakes.  The lime in particular is a classic pairing with crab cakes, and the quinoa has a great body to it. 

It’s important to remember that we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouths, and this dish passes the eye test as well.  The wonderfully fluffy quinoa is speckled with bright colors – red, yellow, green – that makes it a feast for the eyes and the tongue.

New Orleans Rémoulade Sauce

Rémoulade is a classic with crab cakes, and dipping the cakes into that lovely, creamy sauce will take them to a whole new level.  The basic ingredient here is mayonnaise, but it’s joined by a whole host of different ingredients keen to add their flavor to it as well. 

It doesn’t stop with lemon juice and parsley, oh no.  Dijon mustard, Louisiana hot sauce, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce are all keen to have their fun too.  The end result is a mouthwatering dipping sauce that’s almost good enough to eat by itself with a spoon. 

We wouldn’t say that we recommend this exactly, but it would be understandable.  Still, it’d be better to save it for the crab cakes, which will taste absolutely sensational, guaranteed.

Tartar Sauce

What do you mean you weren’t convinced by that description of the rémoulade?  You want another sauce?  Well, fair enough, because we have one!  Tartar sauce is another age-old friend of seafood, so this pairing is as natural a choice as it gets. 

It actually shares a few similarities with the rémoulade as well, given that mayonnaise is the main ingredient, and it also features lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. 

The overall flavor is different though – sharper and slightly more focused on a lighter flavor.  It wouldn’t be too hard to make both and have the best of both worlds, though!

 Lime Chili Chicken Skewers

We’ve already mentioned in this article that chili and lime are both excellent companions for crab cakes, and these chicken skewers combine both of them in a side dish of tantalizing deliciousness. 

If you’re making the ever-popular Thai style crab cakes, then this is an even more appropriate choice, as a lot of the flavors are very much at home in Thai cuisine.  If you want to, you can add pieces of vegetables to the skewers as well for the extra crunch.

Oven Roasted Corn On The Cob

In this recipe, the key to making this crisp vegetable taste like a million dollars is a great, flavored butter.  This means using herbs, but which herbs you’ll use is totally up to you. 

Rosemary, thyme, and parsley, are standard favorites and certainly wouldn’t go amiss here, but if you want to use sage, tarragon, or cilantro, then go for it! 

After 20 or 25 minutes cooking in the oven after basting in that butter, they’ll be full of flavor and at just the right level of tenderness to stand alongside your crab cakes.

Italian Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

None of the side dishes on this list are spectacularly complicated, but some are more elaborate than others.  This next dish is a great choice if you’re in the mood to just keep things simple. 

This humble salad can be adapted to include all kinds of things if you want it to, but is otherwise an uncomplicated mixture of some greens, onion, olives, and mushrooms. 

The vinaigrette is the part that brings the flavor, and it’s a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, with some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning thrown in to enhance the taste.  The lemon is great because it’s a natural pairing with seafood, like, for example, crab cakes.

Thai Noodle Salad With Peanut Sauce

You wouldn’t know it from the name of the dish, but this salad has a secret ingredient: orange juice.  Yes, really!  The orange lifts the whole dish with an irresistible brightness. 

As for the noodles, you can use whatever you have on hand.  Even Italian styles like linguine or spaghetti will do fine. 

The peanut sauce brings a delicious nuttiness (duh) to everything, and you’ll find that the sauce goes excellently with the crab cakes too.  You might want to make a little bit extra of the sauce for dipping the cakes into, as well.

Crispy Fried Calamari

A few people might need a little bit of reassurance when it comes to this dish, so here goes: if you cook calamari properly, it is not greasy or rubbery!  The problem usually comes from the temperature of the cooking oil being too low, which causes the calamari to absorb too much oil. 

Keep yours from 350 to 365 Fahrenheit to avoid this issue and have wonderfully crispy calamari every time. 

The seasoning here is simple, and the main flavor is a squeeze of lemon juice, which should go nicely with the crab cakes too, so you’re seasoning two seafood dishes with one stone citrus fruit. That metaphor got a little bit mixed there, but you get the idea.

Traditional Potato Salad

Potato salad is a particularly hearty, comforting dish, and this traditional recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  It goes well with all kinds of things, crab cakes included. 

This version doesn’t have any fancy additions or experimental ingredients, but it’s still a creamy, mustardy, delicious dish, with enough tartness from the pickles and pickle juice to cut through the heavy mayonnaise dressing. 

This is another dish where you’ll probably want to dip the crab cakes – go right ahead!

Herb Salted Garlic Parmesan French Fries

Let’s be honest, French fries go with everything.  It might not always be the classiest choice, but they’ll always be a welcome sight at dinner. 

And in fact, we might have to dial back that bit about them not being classy, because this is one fancy french fries recipe. 

Basil, cilantro, parsley, and oregano all have their place with these fries, and the Parmesan cheese added at the end gives them a wonderful nuttiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does A Crab Cake Stay Good For?

That depends on whether it’s been cooked or not.  If you’ve put the cakes together but haven’t cooked them yet, you can freeze them, and they’ll last indefinitely.  If they’ve been cooked already, then you can keep them in the refrigerator for about 3 – 5 days. 

Thankfully, they reheat well and should still taste fresh when you reheat them.  If they start to smell, turn sticky, or if the white meat starts to turn a blueish gray color, then they’re not good anymore and should be thrown out.

Why Do My Crab Cakes Fall Apart?

Well, the short answer to this question is that you didn’t include enough binder in the crab cakes when you were making them.  The usual way of binding them together is to use flour, though you can mix this with egg as well. 

Another trick that might come in handy is putting them in the fridge for an hour or two before you cook them.  This will help them solidify and stop them breaking up when cooked. 

However, if you do this, you’ll need to take extra care to make sure they’re cooked all the way through, which will mean cooking them for longer.  As long as you do this, there should be no problem.

Why Is It Called A Crab Cake?

It’s true that crab cakes don’t have all that much in common with birthday cakes or Christmas cakes.  The name actually comes from a cookbook published in 1930 by Crosby Gaige called Crosby Gaige’s New York World’s Fair Cook Book. 

One of the recipes included in the book is called “Baltimore crab cakes”. 

What To Eat With Crab Cakes: 16 Amazing Side Dishes

5 from 2 votes

We’ve collected 16 of the best side dishes for crab cakes, so you can enjoy delicious crab cakes with your choice of great sides!

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith

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Thursday 4th of August 2022

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