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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:

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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