Side Dishes

What to Serve with Crab Cakes: 21 Incredible Sides Dishes

All the best side dishes for this crispy seafood delicacy!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
Learn more about me
Updated July 26, 2022

Round out your dinner party menu with one of these unique crab cakes side dishes.

crab cakes side dishes

These crispy golden seafood patties are a staple appetizer in East Coast states like Virginia and Maryland. They’re often made from Maryland crab and are filled with mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, and fresh herbs.

Traditionally crab cakes are served with creamy remoulade sauce. But I was looking for something more creative than your typical dipping sauce side dish.

So I’ve come up with a unique variety of sides to complement crab cakes, from fresh salads to pasta dishes!

The perfect side dish will transform these delicious crab cakes from an appetizer into the main course. Get inspired by this collection of the best crab cake side dishes!

crab cakes side dishes _

01. Sweet Potato Wedges

Crispy on the outside and creamy inside? That’s just one of the many things to love about these sweet potato wedges.

Lightly spiced with a mixture of garlic, chipotle and rosemary, these fries pack tons of flavor. Leave the peels on for an extra chewy and crispy texture, and to increase the antioxidants.

These sweet potato fries would be delicious with your crab cake dip. Or, create your own smoky dip with mayonnaise and chipotle powder!

02. Classic Wedge Salad

A playful take on the classic summer iceberg salad! Using lettuce wedges instead of slices will save you time and help you avoid the dreaded soggy salad.

A tangy blue cheese dressing and crumbled bacon topping gives this salad the perfect amount of umami. Cherry tomatoes add acidity for balance and make every bite juicy and refreshing.

This salad should be prepared and served close to dinner to stay fresh. But no worries, because it only takes a few minutes to whip up!

03. Tartar Sauce

You can’t go wrong with this creamy go-to seafood sauce.

This French sauce is typically made with mayonnaise, fresh herbs, and chopped pickles. It’s creamy but tangy, which helps to cut through the fattiness of fried seafood.

Tartar sauce is delicious with any seafood, so you can’t go wrong serving it with crab cakes. It’s also fantastic served with roasted veggies or as a sandwich spread!

04. Remoulade sauce

Go the spicy route with this fiery Cajun-style remoulade sauce.

Ingredients like horseradish, hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning give this sauce a kick. It’s a great alternative to tartar sauce if you like your food spicy!

This remoulade makes a great dip for a seafood platter with crab cakes and fried shrimp. If you want to keep this sauce traditional, remove the hot sauce and add anchovies instead!

05. Corn Salad

Nothing goes better with summer meals than corn! When it’s corn season, I end up finding a way to use it in everything.

This fresh tasting corn salad includes crunchy bell pepper and savory red onion. The sour cream and vinegar dressing helps provide that irresistible tanginess.

The chewy corn makes a nice contrast to the crispy crab cakes. This is a creative way to use up any leftover corn from a picnic or barbecue.

06. Potato Salad

A fail-proof side dish you can make with only a few ingredients from your refrigerator.

Everyone’s family has their own version of classic potato salad. Whether you include chopped eggs, pickles, capers, or celery, it’s all delicious in my book!

The best potato salad is one that’s had time to marinate in the fridge. Ideally, you should make it the day before so the potatoes can absorb all the flavors.

07. Confetti Slaw

If you think coleslaw is boring, you haven’t tried this confetti slaw!

Freshen up your coleslaw with colorful additions like purple cabbage, edamame, and green onion. The crunchy texture of this side is just what your crab cake dinner needs!

Using a sesame oil and vinegar dressing helps make this dish less fatty than your traditional mayo coleslaw. And personally, I find it has so much more flavor this way!

08. Goat Cheese Salad

This sweet salad is bursting with fresh summer flavors. It’s a great picnic table staple.

You can change the entire flavor of a salad with just a few sweet elements. You may find it strange to add strawberries to your salad, but goat cheese helps balance the sweetness.

The lemon vinaigrette goes perfectly with lightly fried crab cakes. Since spinach wilts very quickly, I recommend adding the dressing just before serving.

09. Grilled Veggies

With the help of a barbecue, you can turn boring vegetables into a gourmet side dish.

Charred veggies have that perfect smoky sweetness to match the delicate flavors of crab meat. Just add a drizzle of oil and some Kosher salt and you can make anyone a vegetable-lover!

These vegetables are delicious just as they are, but can be elevated with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. A drizzle of herby pesto sauce would also taste delicious with your crab cakes!

10. Roasted Veggies

If you don’t have a barbecue for grilling, try these caramelized roasted vegetables instead!

If you’re in a rush to serve dinner, roasted veggies will save you time without compromising flavor. There are no rules about which veggies you can and can’t roast, so go with your favorites!

I find that corn, peppers, and carrots caramelize the nicest in the oven. This is because they contain higher amounts of sugar than other vegetables.

11. Green Salad

There are a million green salad recipes out there, but this one is the tastiest!

Gone are the days when you eat a salad just to be healthy. This salad is memorable thanks to toppings like crumbled bacon, parmesan, and a mouth-watering lemon garlic dressing.

You can pull off this salad in just a few minutes and with minimal prep work. It can even be made while the crab cakes are cooking!

12. Avocado Pasta

With only 5 ingredients and a pot, you can create this rich tasting pasta side.

Rather than a traditional cream sauce, this pasta uses mashed ripe avocado. A squirt of lemon juice gives it a citrusy twist that makes it perfect with crab meat.

Freshen up the creamy sauce even more with herbs like fresh parsley and basil. My favorite pasta to use is linguine or angel hair, but you can experiment with the varieties you like!

13. Grilled Mango Salsa

Fresh tropical flavors are made to enjoy with seafood!

You can throw this recipe together in minutes, but it tastes best made one day in advance. This allows the lime juice to soak into the mango and draw out its honey-like sweetness.

Make this salsa even punchier by adding chopped jalapeno peppers. Pickled jalapenos will be less spicy since the vinegar mellows them out.

14. Corn Chowder

Give your dinner an east coast flair with this hearty chowder!

This corn chowder shares many similarities with classic clam chowder. With potato, cream and bacon, it’s the kind of dish that warms you up on a rainy day.

Given its east coast origins, it’s no surprise this dish pairs well with crab and other seafood! I like to freeze a batch of this chowder for days when I don’t feel like cooking.

15. Herbed Potatoes

A rustic side of potatoes will fill you up without breaking the bank.

Roasting these potatoes helps bring out all those delicious herb flavors. If you want that crispy outside and buttery soft inside, opt for Russet potatoes.

As a bonus, you can use any leftovers to make the best potato salad. You can even make these potatoes into a delicious warm salad with a drizzle of balsamic.

16. Kale Salad

A fresh crab cake side that’s super healthy too! Kale is loaded with fiber, iron, and vitamin K which helps create strong bones.

Kale gives the salad a chewier texture and doesn’t wilt as quickly as spinach or field greens. That means it can soak up the flavor in dressings without turning to mush.

Add some toasted sunflower seeds or sliced almonds to this salad for extra texture. Skip the store-bought croutons and make your own with ciabatta bread and a bit of olive oil.

17. Gazpacho Soup

I swear by this cool and tangy soup on those scorching hot days.

When it’s too hot to cook, try this soup made from juicy tomatoes, cucumber, and red peppers. It’s blended then chilled and served with a medley of fresh herbs for garnish.

Chilled vegetable soup and a plate of fried crab cakes are the perfect picnic combo! Gazpacho will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days, so you can have it for lunch too.

18. Creamy Lemon Pasta

A decadent side dish that will hold up to even the fanciest crab cakes.

This crowd-pleasing creamy dish can be ready in just 20 minutes. Its buttery lemon juice sauce is just begging to be paired with rich flaky seafood.

Use angel hair pasta to help keep this side dish light and dainty. If the pasta is sticking together, try adding an extra splash of olive oil.

19. Cilantro Lime Rice

It’s easy to turn plain steamed rice into a dish full of flavor.

A squirt of lime juice zests up plain white rice in a pinch! Add some chopped cilantro and you have the perfect fresh flavors to pair with rich crab cakes.

The trick to getting that infused herbal flavor is to cook your rice with bay leaves. Just remember to remove them before serving.

20. Grilled Avocados

If you’ve never tried avocado on the grill, you’re missing out!

Grilling infuses the avocado with a smoky, nutty flavor that you just can’t get any other way. Top these avocados with chopped cherry tomatoes and simply serve with a spoon.

Add some tomato salad to your crab cakes too and you have a heavenly pairing. Any leftovers can be made into the most delicious smoky guacamole dip!

21. Antipasto Chickpea Salad

With practically no prep needed, this is the perfect last minute side.

This is one of those dishes that you can mix and match to suit your taste buds. Use chickpeas as your base ingredient, and go wild!

Make sure you add a salty element like olives, cheese, or bacon. This recipe uses parmesan cheese, but feta or goat cheese would also work well.

What to Serve with Crab Cakes: 21 Incredible Sides Dishes

Directions


  1. Choose one of these delicious side dishes.

  2. Prepare a batch of crispy golden crab cakes.

  3. Whip up your flavorful side.

  4. Serve this mouth-watering combination to your dinner party guests!

rab-cakes-side-dishes-pinterest