Easy Baked Crab Balls

Easy Crab Balls

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You can whip these easy baked crab balls up super fast for a simple little appetizer for any dinner party or fancy Friday meal.

More crab, less filler

Crab Ball Recipe

As a Marylander, I love big crab cakes. But as a kid living in Pennsylvania, we used to go to this weekend farmer’s market, and we’d always get the little crab balls from one of the stands. The kind you just pop in your mouth like a bonbon. Can you believe they used to sell them for a dollar a pop? Times have changed! I barely cook crab now because it’s gotten so exorbitantly expensive.

Tonight, I treated myself (and I had a coupon). I got a small jar of jumbo lump crab and made my version of the crab balls we used to get at the market. I’ve made these many times before but never got around to posting the recipe!

How to make these easy crab balls

This is supposed to be a sort of no-brainer recipe. You throw a couple of things in a bowl, mix them up, form them into balls, freeze for 10 minutes, and then bake for 10 minutes. I use just half a pound of crab meat which yields 8 small crab balls. You can easily double this recipe up and use 1 pound of crab meat to get 16 crab balls.

What you need

  • Lump crab meat: Use lump or jumbo lump and be sure to pick over the meat for any rogue pieces of shells.
  • Mayo: Just one heaping tablespoon. You can add more for a richer crab ball, but I like to start with a heaping tablespoon.
  • Old Bay Seasoning: It’s a must!
  • Cayenne powder: I add a little kick with extra cayenne.
  • Panko: You can also use crushed saltine crackers.

How to make them:

  • Step 1: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them with your hands. If the crab seems a bit loose, add more panko.
  • Step 2: Roll into balls. You may need to squeeze them a bit to get the balls to stay together.
  • Step 3: Arrange on a greased baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Step 4: Bake them at 450ºF for 10 minutes. Finish the crab balls by broiling them for 2 minutes to brown the tops nicely.
Crab Balls

That’s it! This one is an easy peasy recipe; it’s perfect as a party appetizer or a dinner for one if you’re me.

Idea for leftover crab balls

I’d wager that it’s unlikely that you’ll have leftovers. But, if you do…this little salad is a great way to use them.

When I get crab cakes from Faidley’s in Baltimore, they serve it with a little salad on the side. For these leftover crab balls, I make a simple salad and serve the reheated crab balls on top.

The salad

  • I made a salad with baby romaine, sliced cucumber, radishes, and halved cherry tomatoes.

The dressing

  • For a salad for two, I whisked together 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, and the juice from half a lemon. I finish it with salt and pepper on top.

Reheating the crab balls

  • I don’t love microwaving crab balls to reheat them. Instead, I heat 1 teaspoon of neutral oil in a skillet over medium heat. I add the crab balls and let them cook for 2–3 minutes. To finish reheating the crab balls, I transfer the skillet to the broiler for 2–3 minutes to crisp up the tops.

To serve

  • Toss the salad with the dressing and transfer to a plate. Arrange the warm crab balls on top and enjoy!
Crab Balls

Easy Baked Crab Balls

You can whip these easy baked crab balls up super fast for a simple little appetizer for any dinner party or fancy Friday meal.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Inactive time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 crab balls
Calories: 52kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

Make the crab balls:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF. Grease a baking sheet with neutral oil.
  • Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If the crab meat seems very loose, add a few shakes more panko.
  • Roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls, squeezing each crab ball if needed, to ensure they stay together. Place them on the greased baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Bake the crab balls:

  • Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn on the broiler and broil the tops of the crab balls until they’re golden brown and crisp on top. Remove from the oven.

To serve:

  • Arrange the crab balls on a serving platter and sprinkle fresh parsley on top. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 276mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin C: 2mg
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