It’s party time, nearly, and as the date for your bash draws nearer, you move into the final stages of preparation. Your outfit is picked out, liquor ordered, apartment decorated and furniture rearranged to accommodate your guests, now all that’s left is, let me think, oh yes, the food.

And this is when the pre-party panic sets in! What can you make? Where will you find the time? Do you really need food anyway? Won’t a few tubes of Pringles and some pretzels be enough?

Well, while keeping your guests on a liquid-only diet will certainly get your party warmed up quickly, serving edibles will go a long way to preserving not just your reputation as a host/hostess, but also possibly your property, and definitely, your liver, especially if you plan on serving cocktails

So before you give in to the panic completely and reach for the Chinese take-out menu, take a deep breath and check out this easy mini crab cake recipe. They’re quick and easy to make, look good and taste better, in short, the perfect party finger food.

(Please note though, this is not the recipe for the crab cakes listed on our own High Bar Menu. That recipe is not just a lot more complicated, it’s also kept under lock and key in our chef’s secret lair deep in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen)

For this simple recipe, you’ll need a large mixing bowl for combining the ingredients, a shallow bowl or plate for the breadcrumb coating, and a large skillet for cooking them in.

Simple Party Crab Cake Recipe

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) of crabmeat, drained, flaked and with all the ucky bits like cartilage removed (using canned instead of fresh crabmeat significantly cuts down preparation time)
  • One cup of seasoned breadcrumbs, divided into two portions of one third and two thirds.
  • A large egg, gently beaten.
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (reduced-fat for the health-conscious host/ess)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper


  • In your large bowl, mix together the smaller portion of the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, red pepper, red pepper, egg, green onions, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne. When these are thoroughly combined, gently fold in the crab meat.
  • Put the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and roll into balls. These should be about two inches in diameter. Gently roll these in the breadcrumbs so they are completely coated and flatten them into patties of about half an inch thickness.
  • Heat the butter in the skillet on a medium setting. When it has completely melted, add the crab cakes and cook for 3 to 4 mins on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, if it isn’t big enough to accommodate them all at once, cook in batches, changing the butter when necessary (when it starts to look brown or when loose breadcrumbs start to burn).

Serve garnished with a twist of lemon and a sprinkle of parsley accompanied by a mayonnaise dip, either mayonnaise by itself or zested up with a squeeze of lemon and/or some crushed garlic, and for those who like it hot, a dash of Tabasco sauce or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
And there it is, a simple crab cake recipe that could save your party. Enjoy!