Unraveling Ina Garten’s Crab Cake Recipe: Dive Into Deliciousness

Are you ready to embark on a culinary journey filled with succulent seafood flavors and mouthwatering delights? Look no further than Ina Garten’s crab cake recipe. Renowned for her expertise in the kitchen, the Barefoot Contessa herself has crafted a crab cake recipe that is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Ina Garten’s crab cakes, exploring the origins, ingredients, preparation, and serving suggestions.

The Allure of Crab Cakes

Crab cakes hold a special place in the hearts of seafood lovers everywhere. With their crispy exterior and tender, flavorful interior, crab cakes are a beloved dish that epitomizes coastal cuisine. Originating from the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States, crab cakes have become a culinary staple enjoyed by people around the world. Ina Garten’s take on this classic dish elevates it to new heights with her signature blend of ingredients and culinary expertise.

Ingredients That Make Waves

Ina Garten’s crab cake recipe features a harmonious blend of fresh and flavorful ingredients that come together to create a symphony of taste and texture. Here’s what you’ll need:

Lump Crab Meat

The star ingredient of any good crab cake is, of course, lump crab meat. Look for high-quality lump crab meat that is fresh or pasteurized for the best flavor and texture.

Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs serve as the binding agent in crab cakes, helping to hold the ingredients together and create a cohesive mixture. You can use either fresh or dry breadcrumbs, depending on your preference.


Mayonnaise adds moisture and richness to the crab cakes, helping to keep them tender and flavorful. Opt for a high-quality mayonnaise for the best results.

Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard adds a tangy and slightly spicy flavor to the crab cakes, enhancing their overall taste profile. Use smooth or grainy Dijon mustard according to your preference.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce adds depth and complexity to the crab cakes, with its savory and slightly sweet flavor. A splash of Worcestershire sauce helps to balance the other ingredients and bring out their natural flavors.

Fresh Herbs

Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, or dill add brightness and freshness to the crab cakes, elevating their flavor and aroma.

Optional Ingredients

While the above ingredients form the base of Ina Garten’s crab cake recipe, you can also customize it with optional additions such as diced bell peppers, onions, garlic, or Old Bay seasoning for extra flavor and complexity.

Crafting Your Crab Cakes

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start crafting our crab cakes. Follow these simple steps for crab cake success:

  1. Prepare the Crab Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the lump crab meat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chopped fresh herbs, and any optional ingredients. Gently fold the mixture together until evenly combined, being careful not to break up the chunks of crab meat.
  2. Form the Crab Cakes: Using your hands, shape the crab mixture into individual crab cakes, forming them into patties that are about 1 inch thick. Place the crab cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
  3. Cook the Crab Cakes: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil or melt a pat of butter. Carefully place the crab cakes in the skillet, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the crab cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the cooked crab cakes to a serving platter and garnish with additional fresh herbs. Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauce or accompaniments, such as tartar sauce, aioli, or a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serving Suggestions

Ina Garten’s crab cakes are incredibly versatile and can be served in a variety of ways to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few serving suggestions to inspire your culinary creativity:

  • Classic Crab Cake Sandwich: Serve the crab cakes on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of tartar sauce for a classic crab cake sandwich that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
  • Crab Cake Salad: Arrange the crab cakes on a bed of mixed greens and drizzle them with a light vinaigrette dressing for a refreshing and elegant crab cake salad.
  • Crab Cake Benedict: Top each crab cake with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce for a decadent twist on the classic eggs Benedict brunch dish.
  • Crab Cake Appetizers: Serve mini crab cakes as bite-sized appetizers at your next cocktail party or gathering, accompanied by a selection of dipping sauces for guests to enjoy.


In conclusion, Ina Garten’s crab cake recipe is a testament to the beauty of simplicity and fresh ingredients. With just a few basic components and a little bit of culinary finesse, you can create crab cakes that are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with flavor in every bite. So why not give it a try and experience the joy of homemade crab cakes for yourself?

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FAQs About Ina Garten’s Crab Cake Recipe

Can I use canned crab meat for crab cakes?

Yes, you can use canned crab meat for crab cakes if fresh lump crab meat is not available. Be sure to drain the canned crab meat well and pick through it to remove any shells or cartilage before using it in the recipe.

Can I make crab cakes ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the crab cakes ahead of time and refrigerate them for several hours before cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together and the crab cakes to firm up, making them easier to handle when cooking.

Can I bake crab cakes instead of frying them?

Yes, you can bake crab cakes in the oven instead of frying them for a healthier cooking option. Simply place the crab cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

How do I store leftover crab cakes?

To store leftover crab cakes, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm them in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Can I freeze crab cakes?

Yes, you can freeze crab cakes for longer storage. Place the uncooked crab cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them until firm, then transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or container. To cook, thaw the crab cakes in the refrigerator overnight and cook them according to the recipe instructions.