Side Dishes for Crab Cakes

French fries

Side Dishes for Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are a favorite of many seafood connoisseurs. There is something about crab cakes that is so very special. They are unlike almost anything else. Crunchy and buttery on the outside; creamy little favor bombs on the inside.

No matter what you pair with them, they will be the star of the show. You need sides that will complement these to-die-for little treats! Consider options that are fried or breaded to somewhat mimic the experience of the crab cake. Or try a fresher palate cleanser dish with bolder flavors. Either way, you’re almost certain to have a hit on your hands!

Hush Puppies

Hushpuppies are practically a must have for any fish-related meal. This hush puppies recipe is made with Cajun spices and lays claim to that same sort of crisp edge and soft center that makes crab cakes so delicious.

Corn Fritters

Want to try something just a bit different? Check out these tasty corn fritters. The prep and cook time are fairly similar to that of hush puppies, but the end result is something a little fresher and more exciting.

Homemade Fried Cheddar Corn Fritters on a Plate, top view. Flat lay, overhead, from above. Copy space.
Corn goes great with crab, and with these fritters, you'll knock it out of the park!

©Liudmyla Chuhunova/Shutterstock.com


Fish (or crab) and chips is a classic for a reason and this simple recipe for all American fries will pair perfectly with crab cakes, no matter the season. Toss them in spices to change it up a bit or leave them as they are for a more traditional side.

French fries
Crunchy fries are a perfect complement to the creamy crab cake.


Crunchy Cole Slaw

Another classic seafood pairing is cole slaw. This one is crispy, tangy, and has just the right amount of zing to cut through the richness of fried foods and give your palate a little wakeup call.

Asian cole slaw with sesame and peanut butter dressing
Add a little light crisp to those decadent, creamy crab cakes.

©Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

Mad Hatter Salad

Like the crunch and tang of slaw, but bored by the typical slaw recipe? Try this cole slaw alternative with a fun name, which tosses nuts and broccoli into the mix and makes a standard slaw a bit more complex and interesting.

Herb Crusted Shrimp

Sometimes one kind of seafood just isn’t enough. If you need to bulk out the protein portion of your crab cakes meal, try this herb crusted shrimp recipe. It's not only delicious, but incredibly easy to prepare. You just season the shrimp and toss them into the oven to bake.

Grilled tiger shrimps with spice and lemon. Grilled seafood.
Pair seafood with seafood with these simple herb shrimp.


Easy Coconut Shrimp

If the baked version doesn’t excite you, give this recipe for easy coconut shrimp a try instead. There's a reason why coconut shrimp are always appetizers at seafood restaurants (right alongside the crabcakes). Both these dishes are popular and full of flavor! These coconut shrimp only require half a dozen ingredients, but they have a sweet crunchy texture that compliments crab so well.

Sausage and Orzo

If you need one more dish with a bit of extra protein to round out the meal, but want a non-seafood choice, go surf and turf with this pork and pasta side. If you’re not familiar with the name, orzo is a type of pasta that resembles rice in size and shape. This sausage and orzo recipe has only five other ingredients, and you can choose any cured sausage or substitute whatever vegetables you prefer to easily make this dish your own.

Tomato soup with orzo and smoked sausages in white casserole on wooden rustic table. Fresh bread and parsley, vintage spoon, top view.
Orzo with sausage is filling and unique.


Hot and Spicy Goulash

This spicy goulash with ground beef is another surf and turf option. It can be made with or without pasta. Because you can just toss in spare veggies you happen to have on hand, this goulash is a very versatile addition to your table.

Chicken spicy goulash in pot. Top view, copy space.
This goulash with a kick is the perfect side to crab cakes.

©Irina Rostokina/Shutterstock.com

Parmesan Rice and Pasta Pilaf

Another potential carb side option is this healthy spin on rice pilaf. Though the cook time is lengthy, it has only a few ingredients and is mostly a “throw it together” dish that you can leave alone while it cooks, making it easy to incorporate into a bigger meal.

The concept of oriental cuisine. Assorted Uzbek food set, pilaf, samsa, lagman, manta, shurpa central asia food. Homemade Uzbek pilaf or plov from lamb served in cast iron cookware
Liven things up a bit with a side of pilaf.

©Dmitry Geldt/Shutterstock.com

Lemon Pasta

Lemon is perhaps one of the flavors most complementary to fish, as well as to other sources of seafood. This lemon pasta pairs beautifully with crab cakes. It only has a few basic ingredients and can be made in under 15 minutes. Plus, it's so basic that just a few tweaks will make it your own.

Pasta with Peas

For one more delicious pasta option, try this quick and easy pasta with peas recipe. It may sound boring, but the addition of fresh basil brings a fresh kick to a classic meal. As a bonus, the vibrant green of the peas and basil brighten up your plate!

Cauliflower Kugel

If you are not familiar with the dish, a kugel is a traditional Jewish casserole. Though a kugel is usually made with potatoes or noodles, this cauliflower dill kugel substitutes a lower carb vegetable as its star, set off by tangy Gruyere and zesty dill. Dill is another great flavor pairing for fish, making this a wonderful side dish for crab cakes.

Cheddar Biscuits

Perhaps the only place cheddar biscuits are traditional is at a certain restaurant named after a crimson crustacean. Still, this dupe cheddar bay biscuit recipe will most likely be a hit alongside your crab cakes and sides, whether you're a Red Lobster fan or not.

Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas

Another more non-traditional option is this lemon and dill salad containing bulgur, a wheat product somewhat similar to couscous. It also features cucumber, chickpeas, and red peppers. This fresh dish chock full of veggies will help offset some of the heavier choices.

Spinach Puffs with Goat Cheese

These decadent goat cheese and spinach puffs are deceptively easy to make. You just blend five ingredients and pour into a ready-made puff pastry, then bake.

Roasted Green Beans

Green beans are a frequent pairing with seafood, but jazz it up a bit by using this recipe for roasted green beans. The texture will contrast nicely with the softness of the inside of the crab cakes.

Roasted char-grilled green beans cooling in oven pan
Flavorful roasted green beans are a delicious treat without the guilt.

©Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com

Swiss Chard with Chickpeas

Swiss chard isn't the most popular of the leafy greens, but that doesn't mean it isn't delicious. We think if you try this beautiful vegetable, it will quickly become a favorite. This recipe pairs the vibrant, large leaves with chickpeas and makes a nice healthy choice to go with crab cakes.

Corn Chowder

New England and crab cakes just go together, and this New England corn chowder is a creamy, sweet side dish that will liven up your seafood meal.

Onions, potatoes and whole grain corn in cream sauce for New England Corn Chowder.  Colorful stoneware mug on old wood tabletop.
There's something about corn that goes so nicely with crab cakes!

©Warren Price Photography/Shutterstock.com

Apple Crisp

Naturally, you're going to want at least one sweet option for the table, and this easy apple crisp is a great choice. Soft juicy apples and a crispy topping baked to perfection presents a final crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside delight for the palate.

Apple crumble on the wooden background with apples .
Nothing's better than a warm apple crisp on a cold winter night.


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