Crab cakes, good choice! Especially nice in a restaurant, but maybe a little pricey? The good news is you can make them very easily at home. Fried and crispy golden breadcrumbs melded with sweet and succulent crab meat (and maybe a little seasoning). Sheer bliss! However unless you are a trawler boat captain and have access to excessive amounts of crabmeat you are probably going to need to supplement your crustacean creations with something a little more substantial. This is where knowing what to serve with crab cakes becomes essential.
If you are going to the effort to make them you might as well make something equally nice to compliment them. Feel free to get your claws into a few of the following ideas to provide a nice accompaniment to your crab cakes
23 Side Dishes For Crab Cakes
After this you’ll know the exact sides and what goes with crab cakes to make it the perfect overall meal. We’ve compiled 23 of our favorites so you can make these incredibly easily. They all compliment crab cakes and your family or friends will be happy with any of these suggestions.
1. Grilled Vegetables
Why not go simple and let the combination of good quality ingredients compliment each other in equal measure? Crisp crunchy crab cakes make the ideal companion to slightly charred and sweet vegetables. Use a variety of vegetables, for example; courgettes, corn, carrots and red onions, to turn your plate into a rainbow of colour… and indeed flavour.
2. Roasted Cubed Potatoes
Potatoes have a mild taste and you can use this to your advantage. Chop them into small cubes and roast them in a couple of spoonfuls of oil. Add depth with a sprinkle of paprika, or a sprig of rosemary. For a subtle and savoury sweetness and a couple of cloves of garlic (unpeeled), and squeeze the sweet roasted garlic into the pan before stirring, for a side dish that tastes heavenly. Alternatively add a handful of parmesan shavings in the last ten minutes of roasting to get a cheesy, golden brown crust.
3. Corn Chowder
Whether it’s a something subconscious about crab cakes being popular in the USA or just that the flavours work, we have no idea. What we do know is that corn chowder goes perfectly with crab cakes. As with most vegetables, by roasting the corn it releases its sweeter side. When paired with some red pepper strips and the slightly salty elements of the crab cakes, the flavour of both sides of the dishes is perfectly balanced.
4. Corn Salad
Sometimes the climate (or mood) doesn’t quite suit a steaming hot bowl of chowder. Well if this is the case go slightly more summery with a fresh and crunchy corn salad. It’s super quick and easy to make and pretty adaptable. Go with a base of fresh corn kernels, and add herbs and other crunchy elements as you see fit. (Our favourite is chopped spring onions and a finely diced red chilli).
5. Grilled Avocado
Sometimes simplicity is the best option. Avocado is unobtrusive, creamy and slightly luxurious (much like crab cakes). By grilling your avocados on a barbecue or hot griddle pan, you’ll get lovely charred black strips which are pleasing on the eye as well as the palette.
If corn is not quite your thing and the weather is a bit warm you’ll want something that is fresh and light to accompany your crab cakes. Enter the lovely chilled summer soup also known as gazpacho. One of the beautiful (and maybe slightly naughty) things about crab cakes are that they are fried. A sharp acidic gazpacho is just the thing to cut through the richness of the crab.
7. Mango Salsa
Crab cakes have quite a strong taste. We’ve already talked about balancing the flavour with something sweet. Mango is about as sweet as it gets, especially when its ripe. Chop it into very fine cubes and add a few chopped onions, with a sprinkle of chopped chilli peppers to make a taste explosion. Hot, sweet and salty all in one bite. Heaven.
8. Grilled Asparagus
Whilst we love the taste of crab cakes, on their own they can look a little bland. A flash of colour can enliven a plate. Do this by simply adding a few stalks of grilled asparagus. The key with asparagus is to cook it quickly and intensely, leaving a fair bit of crunch. As with grilled avocado the hotter the grill or pan, the quicker you will get those gorgeous black stripes.
9. Watermelon and Feta Salad
Crisp and juicy watermelon that just pops in the mouth, combined with creamy and salty Greek cheese. When served over a bed of spinach leaves you will have a bejewelled plate that is just begging for a crab cake to be placed in the middle. The main problem you might have is which to eat first.
10. Avocado Soup
You like the idea of soup and avocado’s but can’t decide? well combining the two gives you the best of both worlds. Avocado soup can be served hot or cold depending on your requirements. Due to avocado being relatively soft, it takes very little time to prepare. Avocado works as a wonderful carrier for other flavours so if you want to add a hint of something else such as a spoonful of roasted garlic or a touch of blitzed pepper to liven it up, go for it.
11. Cranberry and Coriander Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is fast becoming a healthy alternative to rice. This salad is the epitome of what goes well with crab cakes. The bubbly popping texture of quinoa, when paired with the stronger flavours of coriander, and the super sharp tang of cranberries, acts as a perfect light accompaniment to your crispy golden crab cakes.
12. Red Pepper Soup
As with most of our other soup suggestions red pepper soup can be served chilled or hot. Whilst not exactly spicy, peppers have a subtle and slightly piquant heat, with a distinctive flavour that can be brought out to the fore by roasting them prior to adding them to the soup. If you are someone who doesn’t like even a trace of spice, cool the whole affair down with a dollop of crème fraiche or yoghurt.
13. Bread Rolls
A buttered, freshly baked bread roll is a joy in its own right. With a crab cake sandwiched in between, it is the food of the gods. You could go all conventional and leave your roll unadorned, but for a little extra ‘wow-factor’ add a spoonful of mayonnaise mixed with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of pepper.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish for crab cakes. The crisp, tangy flavors of the coleslaw perfectly complement the rich, seafood taste of the crab. Whether you prefer a creamy or vinegar-based coleslaw, the contrast of textures and flavors adds a refreshing element to your meal.
15. French Fries
French fries are a classic accompaniment to seafood dishes like crab cakes. The crispy, salty fries provide a wonderful contrast to the delicate, subtly sweet flavor of the crab. For a healthier twist, consider baking your fries or using sweet potatoes.
16. Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a summertime favorite that pairs perfectly with crab cakes. The sweet, juicy kernels offer a nice contrast to the savory crab cakes. Smear the corn with a little butter, sprinkle with a touch of salt, and you have a simple and delicious side.
17. Green Salad
A fresh green salad is a light, healthy side dish that goes well with crab cakes. Use a variety of greens and other colorful vegetables for a visually appealing dish. A simple vinaigrette dressing won’t overpower the flavor of the crab cakes.
18. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and asparagus make a great side dish for crab cakes. The smoky, charred flavor of the vegetables adds a depth of flavor to the meal, while their natural sweetness complements the rich taste of the crab.
19. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a flavorful side that pairs well with crab cakes. The robust garlic flavor and crispy texture of the bread provide a nice contrast to the delicate, lightly seasoned crab cakes. Plus, it’s great for sopping up any extra sauce on your plate.
20. Roasted Red Potatoes
Roasted red potatoes are a hearty and delicious side dish for crab cakes. The potatoes can be roasted with a mix of herbs and spices, providing a flavorful contrast to the subtly sweet crab.
21. Quinoa Salad
A quinoa salad is a healthy, protein-packed side dish that pairs well with crab cakes. It can be made with a mix of colorful vegetables and dressed with a simple lemon vinaigrette. The nutty flavor of the quinoa and the crisp veggies provide a nice contrast to the soft, rich crab cakes.
22. Steamed Asparagus
Steamed asparagus is a simple, elegant side dish that pairs well with crab cakes. The asparagus can be lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to enhance its natural flavors without overpowering the crab.
23. Lemon Rice
Lemon rice is a light and flavorful side dish that complements the rich taste of crab cakes. The bright citrus flavor of the rice pairs perfectly with the seafood, and the fluffy texture of the rice provides a nice contrast to the crispiness of the crab cakes.
Whilst crab cakes aren’t necessarily the most substantial dish, it would be a shame to prepare them only to have them overwhelmed by a side dish that is either too heavy or too strong. The aim is to compliment and bring out different elements of the crab cakes, whether that is something light that really shows off the flavours, or something sharp that cuts through the richness.
Salads and soups are the preferred options. If you are looking for something a little heavier to accompany your crab cakes, it is worth making the flavours slightly milder. We hope we have given you a few ideas that are adaptable and that suit all seasons.