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Crabmeat Balls

Crabmeat balls are the perfect blend of succulent crabmeat and savory seasonings, baked to golden perfection.

Ideal for gatherings, these little gems will surely be your next party’s star. Remember, good things come in small, delicious packages!

Crabmeat balls on silver dish with sauce and garnishes.

In the world of appetizers, crabmeat balls are a true gem.

They’re the kind of elegant yet unpretentious treat that’s bound to impress at any gathering, without demanding hours in the kitchen. These little bites of heaven are a testament to the joy of simple, yet sophisticated cooking.

You can serve them up at a fancy dinner party or a casual get-together – either way, they’re sure to be a hit. Trust me, one bite, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t made these all along! Serve with fried calamari for the perfect seafood appetizer tray.


Ingredients for crabmeat balls

Ingredients for crabmeat balls include Bread, oil, peppers (red and green), onion, lump crab, egg, bread crumbs, sauces (horseradish, brown mustard, and Worcestershire), mayonnaise, and salt/pepper.

How to Make

Sauteed vegetables in silver pan with spoon.
Making the panade with egg, bread and sauces in glass bowl.

Sautee your chopped vegetables, cool, and then make the panade (vegetables, bread, egg, horseradish/mustard/mayonnaise).

Lump crab on parchment lined baking sheet.
Mixing the panade and lump crab in white bowl.

Remove any shells from the lump crab, and then gently combine the crab with the panade and form balls.

Rolling crabmeat balls in breadcrumbs.
Crab balls on baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.

Prepare your breadcrumbs by moistening them with oil and then roll the crab balls to coat them. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking tray and allow to firm up in the refrigerator.

For complete instructions, see the recipe card below.

Suggested Serving Sauces

  • Remoulade Sauce
  • Cocktail Sauce:
  • Lemon Aioli
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Garlic Butter Sauce

Suggested recipes are in the recipe card notes section below.

More Seafood Recipes

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📖 Recipe

Crabmeat balls on silver dish with sauce and garnishes.

Crabmeat Balls

Crabmeat balls are the perfect blend of succulent crabmeat and savory seasonings that are ideal for gatherings and the perfect appetizer. Makes about 36 balls.
5 from 1 vote
Author: Marie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings (~three balls per person)
Calories 192 kcal


For Sautéed Vegetables:

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Panade (Bread Mash)

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices white bread cubed or torn into pieces (crusts removed)
  • 1 egg beaten

For the Bread Crumb Mixture (Topping):

  • 2/3 cup Bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
  • salt and pepper if you use bread crumbs (unseasoned), I like to add some salt and pepper


  • Cocktail sauce, aioli sauce, tarter sauce (see notes) homemade or store bought
  • Fresh lemon wedges
  • Fresh parsley


Sauté the Vegetables:

  • In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped red and green bell peppers and the small onion. Sauté the vegetables until they are softened and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let them cool.

Prepare the Crabmeat:

  • Gently pick through the crabmeat to remove any shell fragments or cartilage. Be careful not to break up the lumps of crabmeat.

Make the Panade:

  • In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, brown mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and beaten egg until well combined. Add the cubed bread and mix until you have a pudding-like consistency.

Combine Sauce, Vegetables, and Crabmeat:

  • Pour the panade over the crabmeat and add the sautéed vegetables. Gently fold everything together until the ingredients are evenly combined. Be careful not to break up the crabmeat lumps. The mixture should hold its shape when you form it into a small ball; if it doesn't, add some breadcrumbs from the topping ingredients.

Form Crabmeat Balls:

  • Using a tablespoon or small scoop, scoop out portions of the mixture and form them into round crabmeat balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place the crabmeat balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Prepare the Topping:

  • Add cracker crumbs or bread crumbs in a shallow dish.

Coat the Crabmeat Balls:

  • Roll each crabmeat ball in the crumbs to coat it evenly. Use a light touch to keep the shape of the balls. Press the breadcrumbs gently onto the surface of each ball to help them adhere.

Chill the Crabmeat Balls:

  • Place the crabmeat balls in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes. Chilling helps them hold their shape during cooking.

Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Bake the Crabmeat Balls:

  • Place the chilled crabmeat balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and heated through.


Here are some easy sauce ideas that pair well with crabmeat balls: (cocktail sauce and tarter sauce can be purchased premade at most grocery stores; remoulade sauce can be found at higher-end grocery stores and some fish markets). 
1. Remoulade Sauce:
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
– 2 tablespoons chopped pickles or cornichons
– 1 tablespoon capers
– 1 teaspoon hot sauce (adjust to taste)
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
– Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Adjust the hot sauce and lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
2. Cocktail Sauce:
– 1/2 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons horseradish sauce (adjust to taste)
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (adjust to taste)
– Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust the horseradish and hot sauce to achieve your desired level of heat.
3. Lemon Aioli:
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– Zest and juice of 1 lemon
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Whisk together the mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
4. Tartar Sauce:
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles or sweet relish
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
– Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Adjust the ingredients to achieve the desired flavor. Refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Garlic Butter Sauce:
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
– 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute or two until fragrant. Stir in the chopped parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.


Calories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 9gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 853mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 209IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg
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