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crab cakes on a serving tray
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5 from 1 vote

Mini Crab Cakes (Canned Crab Recipe)

This delicious canned crab recipe is for easy mini crab cakes! Serve them with a spicy yogurt sauce as tapas or hors d’oeuvres.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 51kcal


Crab Cakes:

  • 1 tin crab meat (~4oz), drained
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk)
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 twigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg

Spicy Yogurt Sauce:

  • ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk)
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB capers
  • 1 TB capers brine (from capers jar)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder, to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste


  • Remove drained crab from tin, and place in a mixing bowl.  Add remaining crab cake ingredients to the bowl.
    Mix crab cake ingredients in a bowl
  • Gently mix all the ingredients together with a fork.  Mix until incorporated, and then stop.  (Do not use a blender or food processor for this step, because you don't want to purée the fish.)
  • Use a 1 TB measuring spoon (or another small scoop) and scoop the fish cake mix into small balls.  
  • One by one, roll the balls in your hands, and then flatten into small patties 2" across, and about ½" thick. You should end up with 12 - 14 patties, depending on the size of your scoop.
    Roll Crab Cake Batter into Balls
  • Set patties on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate patties for about 30 minutes.  
  • While the crab cakes chill, mix together all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.  Make sure to taste as you add the cayenne and salt-- use more or less as desired.  Put sauce in the refrigerator until it's time to serve.
  • Move oven rack to the top 3rd of the oven (or about 6" from the broiler).  Broil 5 minutes, flip, and broil 3-5 minutes more, until crab cakes are dark and golden.
    Broil Until Golden
  • Remove cakes from pan immediately.  Serve while still hot with the yogurt sauce.
  • Leftovers:
    Store leftover patties in the fridge, and use within 1-2 days. Use the sauce within a week.
    Make Ahead + Freeze: 
    Let crab cakes cool, and then wrap individually and tightly with wax paper, plastic wrap, or foil.  Store in an air-tight container in the freezer, and use within three months.  To reheat, simply unwrap and broil again.  Cook until golden, about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the cakes are hot.
    Sauce should not be frozen.


Serving size for nutrition calculations is 1 fish cake per person.
Alternately, make larger 4" patties and serve as a main course.


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg