Gluten Free Crab Cakes (Air Fryer)

Gluten Free Crab Cakes are delicious and surprisingly easy to make – even if you don’t have any experience with gluten free cooking. Get ready for an amazing and easy dish!

plate with gluten free crab cakes, tartar sauce and lemon wedges

Do Crab Cakes Contain Gluten?

Unfortunately, crab cakes are not typically gluten free. They often contain breadcrumbs, flour, or other starches as well as imitation crab that contains wheat.

However, you can easily make your own crab cakes at home that are gluten free!

Some ways you can make crab cakes gluten free are by making them with non-wheat ingredients such as ground-up gluten-free crackers and seasonings mixed with egg and gluten free panko breadcrumbs.

The recipe that I am sharing with you in this post contains gluten free breadcrumbs and it makes them absolutely delicious!

To be safe, it’s best to find a recipe for gluten free crab cakes (like the one I share below!) and stick to it whenever you want to make these tasty little morsels. That way you know they’ll always come out tasting great and they’ll always be free of gluten.

What Can You Use Instead of Breadcrumbs in Crab Cakes?

For gluten free crab cakes, gluten-free breadcrumbs are the most common way to avoid gluten. However, the coating or binding agent for the crab cakes isn’t the only ingredient to be concerned about when you have dietary restrictions.

The crab itself could actually contain wheat if it is cheap imitation crab. So it is always better to use actual lump crab or find imitation crab that is certified gluten free.

Other options instead of breadcrumbs include crushed gluten free crackers or even tortilla chips mixed with a bit of oil or butter for binding power.

You could also make your gluten-free crab cakes with almond flour, or cornmeal. These may give them a bit of a different taste and texture, but you may find that you prefer it.

Types of Crab Meat

There are a number of different types of crab meat available. The most common types of crabs to get meat from in the United States are Dungeness, stone, snow, king, and blue crabs.

What Is The Best Type Of Crab Meat For Crab Cakes?

Lump crab meat from the types of crab listed above is absolutely delicious. Lump crab meat does tend to be a bit more expensive than imitation crab but it is naturally gluten free and has a much better flavor.

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Ingredients

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small bowls full of ingredients for making gluten free crab cakes

Directions

  1. Firstly, get a mixing bowl and fold in the breadcrumbs, crabmeat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, egg white, salt, chives, and old bay. (just mix until well blended. Try not to break up the crab)
  2. Second, using a melon baller (if you have one)  or a tablespoon, shape your mixture into 12 little crab cakes. 
  3. After that, sprinkle your crab cakes with a bit more salt and place them on a plate.
  4. Next, cover the plate and place it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
  5. Following that, line your air fryer basket with some parchment paper and place your crab cakes in the basket. You will want to cook in batches of 6.
  6. Finally, spray your crab cakes with olive oil spray and cook them for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to flip your cakes halfway through cooking.
  7. Serve with lots of fresh lemon slices and tartar sauce if you wish!

Gluten Free Egg Free Crab Cakes

These gluten free crab cakes are a delicious and easy gluten free lunch or dinner. It does contain egg whites but you can easily substitute that for some JUST Egg Plant Based Egg and it should work just as well.

If you are on an egg-free diet, you will also want to skip the tartar sauce as well as it contains mayo which contains eggs. I am sure there are some egg-free mayos or even pre-made tartar sauces available somewhere though.

Fortunately, these crab cakes are absolutely delicious alone without any dipping sauce, or even with just a spritz of lemon so the tartar sauce is completely optional.

close up of gluten free crab cakes on a plate on a placemat

Gluten-Free, Dairy Free Crab Cakes

If you are on a gluten free diet but are also avoiding dairy, it is incredibly easy to make my air fryer crab cake recipe gluten free! All you need to do is substitute the butter.

You can use an oil of your choice (I think olive oil would be best for this recipe) or you could even use a vegan butter such as Earth Balance.

As a matter of fact, gluten-free crab cakes are a healthy recipe no matter which way you decide to make them. The air fryer significantly reduces the need for lots of oil so the crab cakes contain less fat.

Plus, not only is crab completely packed with lean protein, but it is also rich in vitamin B12, Folate, Iron, Niacin, Selenium, and Zinc. So you can eat these, totally guilt-free!

Are Handy Crab Cakes Gluten Free?

If you love the convenience of store-bought crab cakes but have had trouble finding any that do not contain gluten, you are in luck!

Handy brand makes some really great crab cakes that are certified by GFCO which guarantees that crab cakes are gluten free.

Also, Handy Gluten Free Crab Cakes are made with fresh crab meat from steamed crabs which give them a great texture and flavor.

Their fresh crab meat is actually blacklight inspected so that shells are virtually non-existent so that you won’t get an unwanted crunchy surprise.

The Handy crab cakes are also handmade and are cryogenically frozen which helps to give them a better texture, appearance, and flavor.

You can also cook these crab cakes in numerous different ways for convenience and luckily you can purchase them online from their website!

Are Phillips Crab Cakes Gluten Free?

Phillips Foods actually does sell pre-made crab and seafood cakes including Maryland Style Crab Cakes. However, they unfortunately are not gluten free.

However, they do also sell crab! They are actually a leader in crab meat, and they have consistently provided safer and higher-quality products for decades.

Their 8 ounce pasteurized crab is wild-caught from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia. Then it is hand-picked and processed at the height of freshness.

Actually, they have various different varieties of crab meat including Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, Chef’s Select Crab Meat Blend, Lump Crab Meat, Special Crab Meat, Claw Crab Meat, and Crab Cocktail ClawsCrab Cocktail Claws.

Phillips crab meat would be perfect for your gluten free crab cakes! Check their website to see if they sell their crab at a store near you!

close up of crab cakes on a plate with lemon wedges and tartar sauce

Gluten Free Crab Cakes (Air Fryer)

These delicious Gluten Free Crab Cakes can easily be popped into the air fryer for an easy dinner or filling snack!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Sea Food
Keyword: Air Fryer, crispy, easy, gluten free
Servings: 12 cakes
Calories: 90kcal
Author: Jessica

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 2 tsp Butter sub vegan butter to make dairy free
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Pound Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Large Egg White
  • 1/2 Lemon Juiced
  • 1-2 tbsp Chopped Chives
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to Taste
  • Lemon Wedges for Garnish and Tartar Sauce for Dipping (Optional)

Instructions

  • First, get a mixing bowl and fold in the breadcrumbs, crabmeat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, egg white, salt, chives, and old bay. (just mix until well blended. Try not to break up the crab)
  • Second, using a melon baller (if you have one) or a tablespoon, shape your mixture into 12 little crab cakes.
  • After that, sprinkle your crab cakes with a bit more salt and place them on a plate.
  • Next, cover the plate and place it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
  • Following that, line your air fryer basket with some parchment paper and place your crab cakes in the basket. You will want to cook in batches of 6.
  • Finally, spray your crab cakes with olive oil spray and cook them for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to flip your cakes halfway through cooking.
  • Serve with lots of fresh lemon slices and tartar sauce if you wish!
Yum

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out these other air fryer recipes:

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