Panko-crusted Crab Cake Bites with Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli

Print Friendly

Panko-crusted Crab Cake Bites with Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli

Michael came home from work on Monday and sniffed as soon as he got in the door. “Smells like seafood!” he said, and he was right. This is another one of those dishes that I found in a magazine or online and made it the next day because 1) it sounded good, and 2) I had most of the ingredients on hand. I had some crab that I found on sale, and almost everything else are pantry or frig staples for us. The only thing I needed was the chives. I used to keep a pot of chives in my kitchen garden, but I haven’t started a pot in our new house yet, so I had to pick up some at the grocery store. The price reminded me to start some seeds soon!

The recipe is designed for party appetizers, but I made it for dinner because the little bites are just the right size for the kids, and they were very easy to make. If you have older kids, they could certainly help make this. You just toss all the ingredients together, roll the crab mixture in panko, and bake. The sauce can be whipped up in just five minutes, and you even can prepare it up to two days ahead and keep it in the frig. It worked very nicely for an easy and tasty meal with a side salad.


small bowl
large mixing bowl
rimmed plate or pie tin (for rolling in panko)
baking sheet, coated with cooking spray


1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped drained canned roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic

12 ounces shelled cooked crab, sorted and bits of shell removed
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1-1/4 cups panko, divided

Fresh chives, rinsed and cut into 1-inch lengths


1. AIOLI – In the small bowl, mix all of the aioli ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 475° F.

3. CRAB CAKES – In the large bowl, combine the celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir it all with a fork, then add the crab and 1/4 cup of the panko (save the rest of the panko for coating). Stir gently.

4. Put remaining 1 cup panko in the rimmed plate or pie tin. Use your hand to make 24 crab cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Roll each cake in panko and place on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the hot crab cakes to a platter and top with the aioli. Garnish with fresh chives and serve hot.


Source: adapted from (Sunset magazine, 2002)

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. Deborah says

    These sound wonderful, and look so pretty! I have never made crab cakes at home, but I absolutely love them. I need to see if I can find some good crab so I can try these out!

  2. says

    Thanks, Deborah! These were a surprise for Michael, as he was expecting full-sized crab cakes, but he really liked them and said that the aioli was delicious.

  3. says

    These look so good. I laughed when I read that you made them partly because you had most of the ingredients on hand. I don’t think I could ever get away with having fresh crab on hand in my household – whenever I buy crab, it disappears so fast! But I think I’ll get some crab specifically for this recipe because it looks just amazing.


  4. says

    Amy, yes they make perfect little nibblers!

    Muse: Funny you should mention that. I usually can’t keep crab on hand either, but I had just picked some up on sale and was looking for a way to use it.

    Dolores: Thanks, I hope you enjoy them!

  5. says

    Melissa: Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

    Peabody: Having three little boys, I’ve definitely gotten into mini everything.

    Cris: We’re in VA, but we lived in MD when we were first married, and crab cakes are a favorite for us!

  6. says

    I made these yesterday AND today. The only complaint was there wasn’t enough of the delicious aoli. I will post photos of mine some time this week. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  7. Denise Hernandez says

    This recipe is very easy to make because you just buy the ingredients and make at home for your whole family. I love this recipe because it has one of favorite ingredient called ” CRAB.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *