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Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce

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These healthy, Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce are out of this world, and so much lighter than frying!

Baked Lump Crab Cakes
Baked Lump Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes! They are great to serve as an appetizer or enjoy two as a meal with a side salad. You won’t miss the fried version when you taste these healthy baked crab cakes! The sauce adds just the right amount of heat to them, but you can adjust it to your taste. You make also like these Waffled Crab Cakes and Crab and Corn Cakes.

how to make baked crab cakes

Lump Crab Cake Ingredients

  • Crab: I highly recommend using fresh crab meat rather than canned, if possible, for best results.
  • Ritz Crackers: Crush about 13 reduced-fat Ritz to get a half cup of crumbs.
  • Eggs: Beat one whole egg and one egg white.
  • Scallions: Chop two green onions.
  • Bell Pepper: I used red bell pepper, but yellow or orange would also work.
  • Mayo: Low-fat mayonnaise helps bind the mixture.
  • Cilantro: If you’re not a fan of cilantro, omit it or sub parsley.
  • Lime: Juice half a lime.
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • Crab Cake Sauce: Roasted red peppers, light mayonnaise, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, lime juice

How to Make Crab Cakes

  1. Make the Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce: Puree the four ingredients in a blender.
  2. Mix: Combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, bell pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Next, gently fold in the crab meat so it remains in large chunks.
  3. Make the Patties: Use a half-cup measuring cup to scoop the mixture and shape it into four patties. Chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Air Fryer Method

Making crab cakes in the air fryer, like baking is a much healthier alternative to frying them. Air fry them 370F until the edges are golden, about 10 minutes turning halfway, then drizzle the red pepper sauce over them.

What do you eat with crab cakes?

  • Salad: One of my favorite ways to eat crab cakes is to serve them in a salad. Use your favorite kind of greens, like arugula, spinach, or butter lettuce, with whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • Sandwich: You could also sandwich them between potato rolls and top them with tartar sauce.
  • Main Dish: Make the crab cakes the star of the meal and pair them with roasted veggies, potatoes, or rice.

How to Meal Prep Lump Crab Cakes

If your crab meat is recently purchased and fresh, you can prep the crab cakes up to 24 hours before you bake them. Crab meat can spoil within a few days, so buy it right before you plan on using it. Leftover baked crab cakes are good refrigerated for up to three days.

You can also form the patties and freeze them unbaked on a sheet pan. Once frozen, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container for a month or two. To eat, thaw the cakes overnight in the fridge and bake them as instructed.

Crab Cake Variations

  • Ritz: Sub the crackers with breadcrumbs or panko.
  • Protein: These cakes would also work with cooked flaked salmon or cod.
  • Sauce Swaps: Substitute the mayo for Greek yogurt or use half yogurt and half mayo. And if you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the chipotle.

crab cake ingredientshealthy crab cakesBaked Lump Crab Cakes

More Crab Recipes You’ll Love:

Your comments are helpful! If you’ve tried this healthy Baked Lump Crab Cakes recipe or any other on Skinnytaste, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. And if you took a photo of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can reshare it on my Stories!

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Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce

4.92 from 12 votes
The Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce are out of this world! You'll think they came from a high end restaurant.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Baked Lump Crab Cakes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
refrigerate time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 cake with sauce


For the Crab Cakes:

  • 9 ounces lump crab meat, picked free of shells
  • 1/2 cup about 13 reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, or parsley
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • kosher salt and black pepper , to taste
  • cooking spray

For the Zesty Chipotle Lime Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp roasted peppers, jarred
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice


Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce:

  • In a small blender (or magic bullet) puree mayonnaise, lime juice, roasted pepper and chipotle pepper.
    Chipotle Lime Sauce

Crab Cakes:

  • In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks.
  • Gently shape into 4 patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before baking or freezer 10 minutes.
    chill crab cakes before baking
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet with oil spray.
  • Bake about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until browned.
  • Drizzle red pepper chipotle lime sauce over crab cakes and serve.

Last Step:

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Note: To make them in the air fryer, Air Fry 370F until the edges are golden, about 10 minutes turning halfway


Serving: 1 cake with sauce, Calories: 174 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 13 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Fiber: 1.3 g


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144 comments on “Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce”

  1. Avatar photo
    Andrea Picco

    I have made this recipe for years however for the past two months I have not been eating carbs so I tweaked the recipe slightly using Panko pork rinds in place of ritz and the result was excellent! Still an amazing recipe!

  2. These are delicious. My sea food loving boyfriend was impressed. He only suggested adding some magic Cajun seasoning he likes on his shrimp. I did so the second time and admit it added some nice flavor and heat. I have made these three times so far. I plan to make them next weekend and bring them on our sailboat to heat up for dinner when at anchor.

  3. I absolutely loved these crab cakes! Very different from my Maryland crab cakes and although I am a crab cake snob (admirably so lol) these are amazing! Made no changes, except used panko as that is what I had on hand, recipe was spot-on! A definite make again! Thanks Gina!

  4. We are not cracker eaters. I would like to use breadcrumbs/panko crumbs instead. How much breadcrumbs will equal the crackers?

  5. This sounds amazing as usual. I was wondering if you could give the nutrition facts without the sauce as well?

  6. Gina, I love your recipes! I’m assuming these crab cakes are very spicy. Is that correct? If so, what can I substitute for the canned chipotle in adobo sauce so that it isn’t real spicy? Would some Old Bay Seasoning work? Or…can I just eliminate the chipotle? Thank you.

  7. Avatar photo
    Dolores L. Othman


  8. Avatar photo
    Yolanda Salloum

    THANKS, was looking for a quick and easy Crab Cake recipe.

    Looks delicious, will try it soon.

  9. These were heavenly and were just as delicious as leftovers the next day! We tucked them into little brioche buns with a slather of the yummy sauce! Thank you Gina!

  10. Could you replace the mayonnaise in the spread with something else? My family doesn’t mind mayo cooked, but they don’t like it cold in sauces or spreads.

  11. Can I ask what the roasted peppers look like or where I’d find them in the store? Is it a certain type of pepper?

    1. You can google them to get a picture of the jar, but they can usually be found near pickles, capers, sometimes artichoke hearts.

  12. These have been my favorite for years! I decided to cook for a new boyfriend and Gina– thanks to you I received more compliments than when we eat out. He loved these crabcakes!! I paired it with your arugula salad with penne pasta and it was so so yummy! Thanks for all you do! Keep it up

  13. Gina, I LOVE all of your recipes. Your site is my go-to for everything!!
    I just got an air fryer and LOVE that you have lots of air fryer recipes. Have you cooked these crab cakes in an air fryer? If so, what tempt and time?
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Avatar photo
    Kelli Mahoney

    Made these tonight and cooked them in the airfryer at 360 for 15 minutes and flipped them in between.  They were delicious. 

      1. Avatar photo
        Sherry Gualano

        I dont that this recipe has bern updated with the new ww plan either. There is no link

  15. Have made these twice now with gluten free bread crumbs. I also mix in a couple ounces of imitation crab meat (to stretch it a bit). Hubby and I both love these!!!!

  16. I am making these tonight and we are all so incredibly excited to see how they turn out.  Like many people that have posted we have tried numerous recipes and can safely say that you have single handily transformed our eating habits. We are consuming way more fresh produce than ever before and my kiddos are excited about dinner time again.  We can’t thank you enough for sharing all of these lovely recipes! Dinner time is once again family time, plus we are now eating fresh, nutritious food everyday – I call that a WIN! 

  17. I made these on Tuesday night for dinner and my husband and I LOVED them. I put the crabcakes over mixed greens and used the chipotle lime mayo as dressing. Next time I will read the directions more closely and refrigerate them before baking. They were delicious, just a little flat. 🙂

  18. These look amazing! I plan to serve them as a main dish for an upcoming dinner party. What would you recommend serving this with?

  19. These crab cakes are fabulous; limited preparation yielded an outstanding meal. My husband and I made these cakes and sauce this morning (a Saturday) then refrigerated and baked tonight; our cakes developed small liquid pools around each during refrigeration – which may have been caused by the 8 oz., rather than 9 oz., lump crab container I purchased. Anyway – 11-minutes-per-side later these excellent crab cakes became dinner, with a side of steamed broccoli (that I dipped into the terrific Chipotle Lime sauce). We have already declared these crab cakes, in bite-size form, will be part of an upcoming holiday buffet.
    You are genius, Gina; every SkinnyTaste recipe I have tried has been excellent — and these cakes are on par with your with your other bar-set-high, healthy, recipes. Thanks so much for helping your myriad fans become, or stay, healthy.

  20. These were so good. My husband said they were better than restaurant crab cakes! I used two 6 oz cans of lump crab meat. They were very moist, and I was a little concerned about their holding together … there wasn't any problem. Thank you!

  21. Hi Gina! I was wondering if the patties can chill overnight in the fridge? Sorry, I'm actually a vegetarian (thinking of making these for a party) and just don't know how careful to be with meat and fish!

  22. Avatar photo
    Tessa Darling

    @Gina. Would this work if I used fat free mayo or would it not have the same effect?

    Thanks for all of the amazing recipes–can't remember the last time I cooked a meal that wasn't from your site!

  23. One of the best crab cakes I've ever had! Had no trouble with them falling apart – I simply used a 1/2 cup measuring cup and dumped them out directly onto a parchment lined baking sheet and shaped them with the back of a spoon. I refrigerated them and put them directly in the oven – never touched them with my hands. They worked perfectly.

  24. As these were sooo delicious and it left me wanting more but at $20 for only 8oz of lump crab I can't afford it. I will try it with shrimp as someone else suggested. I love this site!!

  25. I dont know what it is but altho I like all your recipes, your seafood ones always blow me away! This was soo good and my friend loved it. The only change I made was I added old bay seasoning to the crabcake mix and used extra roasted red peppers for the sauce.

  26. Gina, you answered the mayo question above, but I'm hoping for a different answer:-). I'm allergic to eggs and dairy (the greek yogurt sub you suggested). Have you tried anything with vegan mayo and egg products? Think it would work? I haven't had crab cakes in so long, but I must try these!

  27. I made these for a tailgate today and they were a huge hit! I tripled the recipe and made smaller appetizer sized patties. I ended up with 45. I made them the night before and baked them in the morning. I did find that there was a little too much lime juice, so they were sitting in the juice after being refrigerated for a couple of hours. After draining the juice, they were perfect. Thanks so much – your recipes are amazing!!

  28. So I really wanted to try this recipe but husband brought home canned of crabmeat. I don't even know where he found it. Could I use it or just wait till I get back to the store and try it all another night. Thanks!!!

  29. I just made these today with white rice & creamed corn.. So, so delicious!! I will make them again! Made a double batch & may have one tonight on a multigrain sandwich thin :d

  30. I love your recipes, we cook very similar. I make these crab cakes at least once a month. Last night my husband requested them for fathers day:) I switched it up a little and put each crab cake on a large Portabella mushroom then baked for 20 or 25 minutes. Yum, so good!

  31. I just want to thank you for sharing this recipe. It was beyond delicious. EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY difficult to have just one serving, so make sure your willpower's set to high!

  32. I want to make these tonight. I have dried chipotle peppers and dried adobo seasoning. Do you think I could conjure up something close to the "canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce" with that?

  33. I made these for some friends over the weekend and they were a big hit! I was shocked at how easy they were to make as well.

  34. WOW! Absolutely delicious! My whole family said "wow they taste like they came from a high end restaurant" ! Thanks for sharing! Simply …. Amazing!

  35. Just made these tonight for dinner and they were amazing. We almost decided to skip the chipotle lime sauce, but I'm so glad we didn't. It was perfect and we also put avacado on top! I plan on trying the summer tomatoes, corn, crab and avacado salad tomorrow with the left over crab meat!

    Thank you so much for your recipes. My friend and I are in college and make a new recipe of yours every week! You make eating healthy so much more fun!

  36. Avatar photo
    The Vintage Modern Wife

    my husband and i are trying these tonight. just put them in the oven and they already smell delicious. just wanted to say thank you for creating such amazing recipes. we definitely don't feel like we're on a "diet" but rather just eating healthy. thanks!

  37. Absolutely Delicious! Made these for dinner last night and the fiance didn't even realize they weren't fried. The Chipotle sauce is absolutely perfect!

  38. Avatar photo
    Coach Elliott

    Scrum diddly umptions! WOW! Luckily I had enough points left to have 2 servings! Restaurant quality for sure! The sauce was spicy and a great compliment to it. Added a salad and asparagus. Thanks for this one…coconut shrimp tomorrow. You make "dieting" easy!

  39. Avatar photo

    Gina- My husband and I just finished the cakes and they were so yummy!! The only problem was that they fell apart a bit, which isn't a big deal for us, but I wondered if you had any other tips to try to get them to stick together a little better (besides putting them in the fridge)? More egg? Thanks in advance for your advice! We love your website and have really enjoyed everything we've made (at least over 10 of your recipes!). Thanks!!

  40. I've been wanting to make these but my husband doesn't like mayo. Is there anything you can recommend as a substitution? I'm not concerned about the point value of a substitution since we are not doing WW.

  41. Just made this and it was wonderful, the sauce was so good. I just found your site and can't wait to try more recipes. Thanks!

  42. Gina, these were delicious!! I did make them without your sauce only because of the heat factor. I made a lemon vinaigrette that I usually serve with crab cakes and served them on a bed of spring mix. Goes great with Pinot Grigio! Everyone wanted more so I will have to double the recipe next time!! TY for all your delicious and healthy recipes. I'll be making the spinach and zit, sofrito chicken stew, and the angel hair with shrimp and asparagus this week too! Can't wait to try them.

  43. I just had these for dinner tonight. Super easy to make and hubby and I LOVED them. The sauce is awesome. I actually made extra to use on sandwiches. 🙂

  44. Wow these were great! I didn't make the sauce to go with them (couldn't track down the canned peppers), and they were awesome anyways!
    Didn't even taste like a "healthy" version – full flavor like the good stuff 🙂
    Thank you!

  45. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I think you could freeze them before baking. Then you'll have a meal for another night!

  46. Am new to your website but have tried a few recipes and they are delicious! Can I freeze these crab cakes? Since I am cooking for 2, I try to pick recipes that can be cut in half or that I can freeze half. So my $.02 is if you could, where possible, indicate what can be frozen. Thanks!

  47. Hi Gina, I can't say enough wonderful things about you and the work you have done with this website. My friend sent my a link last week and I have made about 8 recipes so far. Each better than the one before.

    I'm not one for spicy so I didn't even bother with the sauce. What is the points value of the crab cakes alone and the sauce alone? Thanks again!

  48. I have just started getting into cooking and need to know where to find canned chipotle chillies in adobo sauce?

  49. This recipe was amazingly delicious! I used canned crab from Costco and doubled the recipe. Hubby and I loved it and will use this sauce on everything! So glad I found your site and look forward to trying many more recipes!

  50. I made these for dinner tonight with canned lump crab meat as that is all we can get in our area right now. They were excellent! Picky spouse who is not on WW loved them too. Thanks for all the great recipes! I love your site!

  51. I made this for my husband last night, and he said it was hands down, the best thing I have ever made and definitely a repeater! Thanks so much!

  52. great recipe, can't wait to try it. i'm a little intimated by the fresh crab part.. can you explain what kind of crab, how to cook it, etc?
    thanks so much!

  53. These are SO delicious! I am usually not a big fan of crab cakes – too rich, but my family loves them. We all thought these were great. We made them very small and served as appetizers at a family gathering. They were perfect, and Mom and I loved how many we got to eat for 5 pp! Thanks Gina, I will be making these for dinner soon.

  54. These were amazing! I love crab, but usually I'm not crazy about crab cakes. My sister and I gave these a shot and were NOT let down. Delicious; I can't wait to make them again.

  55. Avatar photo
    Joules America

    I love crab cakes! <3 I made this last night and it was amazing! It was a hit! Thank you so much for sharing! You have another subscriber that will visit you excellent food blog often! 🙂 Joules

  56. Gina, my boyfriend and I have been cooking our way through your website and we have had SUCH great luck with all of your recipes. I made these for him on Friday night… AMAZING. You're the best!

  57. These are absolutely delicious! I made them tonight for my (pretty finicky) boyfriend and me. He loved the sauce and crab combo! I forgot the chipotle chilis in adobo sauce at the store, so I subbed chipotle powder. It still tasted pretty good. Thanks Gina!!

  58. Delicious! My family loved these. Do you think it would be ok to make them the night before you plan to bake them for dinner? It would be great if I could do that and just have my husband put them in the oven. Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipes. I really think you should publish a book with all of them!

  59. Gina- I love your site! I had my parents & brother over for dinner last Saturday & my mom recently lost 30 pounds and has been a real pain at ANYTHING where food is served, making it hard to cook for the boys & her. My dad is obsessed with crab cakes, so I made these – no one but mom knew they were low cal & they were a HUGE hit. I served them with some pan friend corn & asparagus with a little olive oil and minced garlic. These were amazing!

  60. I made these tonight and they were WONDERFUL! My husband and I gobbled them up. The little ones didn't love them so much but they gave them a shot. That's fine with us since it meant more for my husband and I! 🙂 I can't wait to make them again.

  61. Avatar photo

    Great recipe! It was refreshing having a crab cake where you can actually taste the crab and not just filling. The sauce is wonderful!! I made with the mussels and it was a wonderful meal!!

  62. Avatar photo
    Meg - Tea & Brie

    Hi Gina!

    Just found this and I would like to try it out! I've never bought crab before, and I'm a little confused – everything I'm finding (even the fresh stuff) is already cooked. Is that what I should be buying, or should I be looking for uncooked lump?

  63. Silly question, but can I let the cakes sit in the fridge overnight, or would they not hold well? I am trying to cut prep time for the day that I serve them.

    Thanks for all of your WONDERFUL recipes and willingness to help.

  64. Gina,

    I noticed that you didn't have the Points Plus value so I put it in my recipe builder, it looks like they're now 5 points for one. Can you just confirm this?

    Thank you!

  65. Made these tonight with my fiance. Unfortunately our market was sold out of lump crab meat but we bought some pasteurized stuff in can. Expensive but tasted amazing! We also accidentally bought the peppers in oil so I just rinsed them. I've ordered crab cakes a few times and split them with my fiance, and they have NEVER been as good as these were! Seriously, filling but not overwhelmingly rich.

  66. I made these as a special treat for my husband for Valentine's Day. Delicious, especially with the sauce! I doubled the recipe, in order to have leftovers. My husband took 2 to work the next day, and when he reheated them at his office, his coworkers wanted to know where he got such wonderful food! Thanks for making them think I'm a great cook!

  67. I ran across your recipe on tastespotting and made thme tonight! They are the best crab cakes I have ever had! Thank you

  68. Thanks so much for making Weight Watchers a little easier. I have loved all of your recipes that I have tried….especially the fish with the Thai coconut curry sauce….that one is Wonderful.

  69. Just finished making/eating these. These were awesome. I have made a ton of your recipes but I think this is one of the best so far. I had no problems with using canned crab; tasted great. Thanks!

  70. Gina! You are the best! This recipe was so beyond delicious.

    You are an inspiration… My boyfriend said we need to send you a thank you gift, we have tried 7 of your dishes so far and have been amazed by all!

  71. No, roasted red peppers. If you can't find them, you can make your own roasted pepper by charring the skin on a grill or stove. A little more involved.

  72. Yes, roasted peppers come in a glass jar, sometimes in oil, sometimes in water. Use the ones that come in water. Probably in the Italian section or near the olives.

  73. Thank you so much for this recipe- the crabcakes were delicious! I'm also very thankful for the tip you gave about gently folding the crab into the mixture. I've made crabcakes before and roughly combined all the ingredients. Eating chunks of crab doesn't even compare. Lovely!

  74. Avatar photo
    The Standrings

    gina- i kinda feel dumb asking this but i was wondering if you could explain what jarred roasted peppers are or where i could get them. is that something i could get at like safeway?
    sorry! i'm just getting into cooking! thanks for your help!

  75. Gina – I just made these for dinner tonight and they were SCRUMPDIDDLYUMPTIOUS!! My husband and I both loved them. Thank you soo much! I love your site!

  76. I made these for dinner tonight. DELICIOUS! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. The only time consuming part was picking all the crab meat out of the shells. That took a long time LOL. Thanks.

  77. Avatar photo
    Proud Italian Cook

    Mmmm, I'm going to try this using shrimp, that would work, don't you think? I always have some shrimp around. I love the sauce too!

  78. You could use imitation crab meat, it just won't taste as good as fresh lump crab meat. Also, I've tried this with canned crab, but I did not care for the taste. It had a metallic taste to it. Fresh is best!

    1. Yes, you can. But, and that's a big but, the nutrition information will be quite different. Real crab is high protein and NO carbs, but imitation crab meat is higher in carbs than it is protein. 🙂

  79. Avatar photo
    Sophie @ yumventures

    I have been looking for a good crab cake recipe — these look delicious! Especially with that sauce, I definitely like some heat 🙂

  80. I LOVE crabcakes and have never made them at home. They have always been something I order out, so I cannot wait to taste these!!! Thanks again Gina!!!

  81. The chipotle sauce alone is 1 point per serving. (makes 4 servings) Serving size for sauce is 4 teaspoons.

  82. You could probably use chopped shrimp and make shrimp cakes, or cooked fish, but I'm not sure how it would taste with canned tuna.

  83. Gina, I just want to THANK YOU for all your hard work in keeping this site!! Your recipes are AMAZING and your photos draw me in by their appearance of lusciousness!!! THANKS AGAIN!! I will be making yet another "Gina" recipe!! :o)

  84. Thanks for noticing, the first batch had yogurt but I didn't care for it with yogurt so I remade it. I'll adjust that!

  85. Did you use yogurt or light mayo in the sauce? The directions say yogurt but the ingredients say mayo?