Baked crispy crab bites with spicy aioli are rich in flavor, easy to make, and make a great appetizer or main meal!

crab bites

Baked crab bites loaded with chunks of fresh crab meat, cream cheese, spinach, dill, and lemon juice. It’s a simple and delicious party appetizer ready in 30 minutes!

They are crispy on the outside and incredibly soft and flavorful on the inside. Serve them with spicy aioli sauce for even more flavor!

What Are Crab Bites Made Of?

The star of this recipe is crab meat. At the market, you can find canned, frozen, or fresh (refrigerated) crab meat. For this recipe, you’ll need fresh (refrigerated) crab meat. The fresher the crab meat, the better the crab bites will taste.

Look for lump crab meat, which is a combination of smaller or broken pieces of jumbo lump, along with other smaller pieces of body meat.

Here’s the entire list of the ingredients you’ll need to make crispy crab bites:

  • cream cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Dijon mustard
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • frozen spinach
  • green onions
  • fresh dill
  • lemon juice
  • fresh lump crab meat
  • butter

To make the Spicy Aioli, you’ll need mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and lemon juice.

ingredients for crispy crab bites

How to Make Crispy Crab Bites

Preheat the broiler on the oven. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Alternatively, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

step by step on how to make crab bites recipe

In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, mustard, breadcrumbs, spinach, green onions, dill, and lemon juice. Gently fold in the crab meat. Season with salt and pepper.

crab meat mixture in a bowl

Form the mixture into golf size balls. Lightly roll each ball in the remaining breadcrumbs, covering all around. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet and top with a small slice of butter.

crab bites on a baking sheet

Broil for 3 minutes. Flip the crab ball and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

spicy aioli in a bowl

To make the spicy aioli, whisk together the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lemon juice. Serve the crab bites immediately with the spicy aioli.

baked crab bites recipe

What to Serve with Crab Bites

This crab bites recipe makes a great appetizer to serve alongside the spicy aioli with a squeeze of lemon. But you can easily turn these crab bites into a meal by serving them with these side dishes:

Got leftover crab meat? Try our Crab and Corn Chowder or Maryland Crab Soup.

Print
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baked crab bites recipe

Crab Bites with Spicy Aioli

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 14 crab balls 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Baked crispy crab bites with a spicy aioli are rich in flavor, easy to make, and make a great appetizer or main meal!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed, drained and excess water squeezed
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh lump crab meat (not canned)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Spicy Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler on your oven. (My oven has two broil options –high and low, I set mine to high). Position the oven rack in the middle. Generously spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside. Alternatively, line with parchment paper, however, parchment does slightly burn.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, spinach, green onions, dill, and lemon juice. Gently fold in crab meat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the remaining 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate.
  4. Scoop crab mixture by 2 heaping tablespoon portions forming into a ball, about a size of a golf ball.  Lightly roll each ball in panko, covering all around. Transfer onto the prepared baking sheet, and top with a small slice of butter. You should get about 14 balls.
  5. Broil for 3 minutes or until lightly golden. Check often so they don’t burn. Gently flip the crab balls and broil for additional 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden. (Mine took about 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily). Serve immediately with spicy aioli.

Spicy Aioli

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Crab Meat: Use best quality fresh lump crab meat. I do not recommend canned crab meat for this recipe.
  • Leftovers: Store leftover crab balls in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 crab balls
  • Calories: 343
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 711.2 mg
  • Fat: 23.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.4 g
  • Protein: 14.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 63.5 mg

Keywords: crab cakes, crab balls, seafood

Recipe published 10/15/2014. Updated 6/18/2021.