clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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


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


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 ¼ 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

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice


  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.


  • 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. 

Keywords: crab cakes, crab balls, seafood