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How to Cook Frozen Crab Cakes in Air Fryer

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Cooking frozen crab cakes in the air fryer is the BEST way to cook them. Not only do they cook incredibly quickly, but they stay nice and tender in the inside and get a bit of a crust on the outside. I like to serve these air fry crab cakes with a simple aioli and a lemon wedge for a fancy-ISH appetizer that takes NO effort.

My experience was once I started air frying more and more things, I became more obsessed. Air fryer pita chips? A FAVE. Air fryer toast? So great. Air fryer frozen mahi mahi? Best way to cook fish. Air fryer broccoli? Roasted broccoli flavor in half the time. (I want to keep adding, but I’ll stop.) 🙂

Air fryer crab cake on a plate with lemon wedge.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Can you cook crab cakes in an air fryer?

Yes and it’s the BEST way to cook crab cakes in my opinion! Using the air fryer helps create a nice crust on the outside, without drying out the crab mixture. It’s soft, decadent, and oh yeah, cooks in about 10 minutes.

Plate with a crab cake and a fork with a bite out of it.

What You’ll Love About Air Fryer Crab Cakes

  • Fast and easy
  • Cooks them perfectly!
  • Quick cooking time means they don’t dry out
  • Air fryer helps to create a crust on the outside

Ingredients

Ok, so you may not need this list, but I do want to share some info about the optional aioli!

  • Crab cakes – Use your favorite crab cakes – frozen ones from the store or homemade crab cakes.
  • Lemon – Optional garnish, but helps add bright acidic flavor to rich crab cakes.
  • Aioli – You can make an elaborate aioli or simply mix together some mayonnaise, a tiny bit of dijon mustard, lemon juice (or lemon zest) and a bit of grated garlic. Other aioli seasoning ideas are hot sauce, old bay seasoning, or Cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s an optional accompaniment, unless you’re at our house and then it’s a must. You could also use tartar sauce if you prefer.
  • Chives – This is another optional garnish that will bring your crab cakes to the next level. You can also use thinly sliced green onion or parsley. Minced red bell pepper is another colorful and common garnish.
Two frozen crab cakes on a plate.

How to Make Frozen Crab Cakes in Air Fryer

Ok, so cooking crab cakes in the air fryer may not need an entire section, but here are the details:

  • Preheat air fryer. I always recommend preheating air fryer so that it’s hot and ready to cook.
  • Air fry crab cakes. Place crab cakes in the air fryer basket lined with parchment paper (less mess and no sticking!). Air fry crab cakes for about 9-11 minutes, until the outside is nice and golden brown and the inside is hot.

TIP: Spray crab cakes with an olive oil spritzer or cooking spray to help get a crispier exterior.

Crab cakes in air fryer basket.
  • Serve crab cakes. Add extras and garnishes as you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature to cook crab cakes in air fryer?

These crab cakes in the air fryer are cooked at 400 degrees F.

How long to cook crab cakes in air fryer?

When you cook frozen crab cakes in the air fryer at 400 degrees, they will take about 9-11 minutes.

Mini crab cakes will take less time. I would start checking them at 6 minutes.

What type of crab cakes should I use?

You can use your favorite type of crab cakes – either your favorite crab cake recipe or frozen patties from the store. Either way, look for crab cakes that have lump crab meat in them. The bigger the crab lumps the better.

Many crab-cake mixtures (both from the store and recipes) use fillers like bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers, so again, just look for lump crabmeat to use in your crab cakes or from ones you buy.

Crab cake with lemon wedge with a bite out of it.

Storage Instructions

Eat crab cakes immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

How to reheat

Reheat for a few minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees F.

What to Serve with Air Fried Crab Cakes

I like to serve these as part of an appetizer spread (or as a surf and turf meal – just add a steak and veggie!)

More Air Fryer Recipes

If you like these quick and easy crab cakes, you might also like some of these other air fryer recipes:

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Air fryer crab cake on a plate with lemon wedge.

Frozen Crab Cakes in Air Fryer

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Description

Cooking frozen crab cakes in air fryer takes 10 minutes and results in a tender interior and crispy exterior – just how you want them.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 frozen prepared crab cakes
  • lemon wedges
  • garlic aioli

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer for 5 minutes. 
  2. Place crab cakes into air fryer basket lined with parchment paper and cook at 400 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, until golden brown and heated throughout. 
  3. Serve with lemon wedges and aioli if desired. 


Notes

  • TIP: Spray crab cakes with an olive oil spritzer or cooking spray to help get a crispier exterior.

Keywords: crab cakes in air fryer, frozen crab cakes in air fryer, air fry crab cakes

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