Crab cakes paleo style

If you love a great crab cake, then you know that finding one isn’t is not easy…

Most are severely lacking in the “crab” department. They are fried to oblivion in unhealthy vegetable oil. And they are loaded with breading (to make up for the lack of, well… crab).

The perfect crab cake is packed with chunks of lump crab, boasts a perfectly golden-brown exterior, and is just barely held together with creamy mayonnaise, egg and a little breading. This is a delicacy that will have you pining for more.

Since removing gluten and grains from my diet, I’ve missed indulging in the occasional crab cake. And despite a number of attempts to recreate this seaside favorite, my Paleo substitutes of coconut flour and almond flour just weren’t creating the same texture as a genuine crab cake.

That is, until…

The Happy Accident with Cauliflower: My Crab-Less Crab Cakes

Not long ago, I was making cauliflower fritters from leftovers in the fridge. A simple recipe of steamed and “riced” cauliflower, seasoning, eggs and a little coconut flour, formed into patties and then pan-fried in a healthy heat-stable oil.

My husband, Jon, came in and said with a smile “Wow, you made crab cakes!” As he took a bite, I waited for his response. “These are GREAT… but where’s the crab“.

I laughed. “They’re crab-less!”

And then I got to thinking. Steamed cauliflower just might be the missing link to creating the perfect gluten-free, grain-free Paleo Crab Cake. And so a new recipe was born…

But it is not just the cauliflower that makes these crab cakes so delicious and unique. Do you see the perfect golden crust in the image below? That’s created by the addition of coconut flour – another “secret” ingredient in this recipe.

I hope you love these crab cakes as much as we do at our house. To reduce your exposure to PCBs (endocrine disruptors and carcinogens) from blue crab, consider using low-contaminant snow crab meat which is also more sustainable and eco-friendly.

To your health!

Kelley Herring
Healing Gourmet

Paleo Crab Cakes

Yield: 8 crab cakes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 lb. crab meat, cooked
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, steamed well
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp. Paleo mayonnaise (homemade or Wilderness Family Naturals)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado or coconut oil


  1. In a medium bowl, add the steamed cauliflower. Gently break up into small pieces, mashing some. Leave some pieces intact for texture.
  2. Add the crab meat and parsley. Gently fold the mixture to distribute the ingredients evenly without breaking up the crab too much.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, mayonnaise, Old Bay and salt.  Pour over the crab meat mixture and gently fold.
  4. Now sift the coconut flour over the crab and gently fold the mixture until everything is uniform. The coconut flour is what helps give these cakes that crispy-golden crust.
  5. Transfer to the fridge to chill and firm up – about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Remove crab mixture from fridge and form into patties. I made mine about 2 inches thick and 3 inches in diameter.
  7. Heat oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add the crab cakes, being careful to not overcrowd the pan (this will cause steaming, not searing). Cook about 3 minutes to golden brown, then flip and cook another 3 minutes.
  8. Place pan-fried crab cakes on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven to cook through (12 to 15 minutes)
  9. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and Paleo mayo.

Nutrition Information Per Serving
145 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 100 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 12 g protein

Excellent Source of: Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, EPA/DHA Omega-3

Good Source of:  Zinc, Vitamin C, Phosphorous

Find more paleo and low carb recipes at

Kelley has also written several e books with very good low carb baking recipes that are delicious and easy to follow.  These can be accessed from her site.


4 thoughts on “Crab cakes paleo style”

  1. These sound fabulous! You might also enjoy the “glue” I use for my salmon cakes: pureed shrimp. I read someone’s recipe for some seafood loaf or cakes that used this approach, with shrimp, a not-too-dense white fish, or scallops, and I love it. I use a (carefully chosen, sustainably fished, no-scary additives) little can/tin of sweet tiny shrimp, so they’re precooked, but it’s wonderful how easy and how non-disruptive to the starring seafood flavor they are to use. Me, I’m going to have to try your cauliflower approach soon! 🙂


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