Got some crispy crab cakes for dinner? Check out some of the best side dishes for crab cakes and enjoy great flavors.
Crab cakes; whether they’re a sophisticated dinner appetizer or potluck favorite, these tasty cakes are a true crowd-pleaser. Savory and crispy, they’re the perfect combination of taste and texture.
How to Make Crab Cakes?
The key to a great crab cake is finding the balance of ingredients. You want the flavors and seasoning to bring out the crabmeat’s juiciness without completely overpowering it.
Another element to think about is the binding agent. The right binding agent will hold your cakes together without making them stodgy, from eggs to applesauce.
No matter which recipe you follow, ensure you treat the crabmeat delicately. Don’t shred it too finely; you want chunks of crab to anchor the dish as a main.
What to Serve with Crab Cakes?
Crabmeat has a tender sweetness that makes each bite a treat. It also means it has a delicate flavor. Choosing a side dish that highlights that sweetness instead of overpowering it is essential.
With such a beautiful main dish in the spotlight, what do we serve besides the hallowed crab cake? I have twenty-seven dishes lined up for you, and each one is a guaranteed winner.
Potato Sides for Crab Cakes
Crab cakes and potatoes are a tried-and-true combination, stretching back to this flaky cake’s origin. The mellow potato is an excellent accent to the crab’s light sweetness, tugging it into savory territory.
Whether it’s the standard potato or its sweeter cousin, there are many ways you can prepare a fitting potato side for a crab cake. Let’s dig in.
1. Apple Sweet Potato Bake
First up is an autumnal recipe of my own; my apple and sweet potato bake. Humming with all the flavors of fall, this is a great side dish for the holidays.
Enjoy the feeling of warmth as cinnamon and nutmeg hit your tongue. This bake is a great companion for crab cakes, offering another dish that sits just on the edges of savory flavor.
This is also a great side dish for ribs.
2. Garlic Butter Instant Pot Red Potatoes
When it comes to crab cake side dishes, you can’t go wrong with simple and comforting. These garlic butter Instant Pot red potatoes definitely fit the bill. They’re warm, buttery, and bursting with flavor.
Crab cakes can take a lot of time and effort to make from scratch. So, it’s great to have a set-and-forget side dish like this one to round out the plate.
Just dump the potatoes into the cooker and hit ‘start’! You’ll have the perfect potato side dish in twenty-five minutes.
This is also a lovely side dish for brisket.
3. Loaded Ranch Potato Salad
Crab cakes are just a little special, a little unique, so they call for something just as memorable to pair with them. Enter a loaded ranch potato salad. This cranks a classic potato salad up to a hundred.
Doused in delicious ranch dressing and sprinkled with crispy bacon, every bite of this side dish is to die for. Whip this up beforehand and let the salad sit in the fridge before serving.
Serve with a little bit of apple cider vinegar, and red bell peppers and create a perfect balance in your dinner.
4. Quick-Roasted Potatoes
Everyone loves a good roasted potato, but it can take so long to bake. With this following recipe, that problem has been solved. Enjoy a perfect roast potato in just twenty minutes with almost no effort.
The secret is to use baby or new potatoes. These little gems don’t take as long to bake as their big brothers, and they have a delicate sweetness that pairs perfectly with crab cakes.
Not a fan of these potatoes? Just make herbed potatoes with green onions, fresh parsley, red onions, and sour cream.
5. Grilled Baby Potatoes
Speaking of which, here’s another take on baby potatoes. These tasty skewers are a fun and unique addition to the table, whether you’re whipping up dinner or manning the grill.
The trick is to boil or steam the potatoes first to get them nice and soft. Then, brush them with the caper mixture and finish them on the grill to get those delicious char lines.
6. Smothered Potatoes
You’ve got loaded potatoes, and then you’ve got their even more enthusiastic cousin, smothered potatoes. Picture a potato gratin on steroids, and you might be in the ballpark of this delight.
This smothered potato recipe might just steal the show, featuring a tasty assortment of vegetables and cheese. I love serving this on big game days alongside a platter of crab cakes.
7. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic choice for serving with crab cakes. Mashed sweet potatoes are even better because they’re buttery and smooth. They’re ideal for smearing atop a flaky crab cake.
This mash recipe will work whether you’re whipping up a batch of crab cakes for Sunday dinner or meal prepping for the week. Just roast, add flavor and mash into that iconic orange puree.
This is a great side dish for steak as well.
8. Sweet Potato Wedges with Paprika
Speaking of sweet potatoes, this next recipe capitalizes on their natural sugars differently. By roasting them off, you caramelize the sugar in the potato, creating a chewy and dark sweetness.
These sweeter wedges will add a delightful complexity to your meal that simple potato wedges can’t achieve. Plus, they’re just as easy to make, and they look twice as good.
Healthy Sides for Crab Cakes
If you’re making crab cakes, the chances are that you’re on the hunt for a healthy, light, and delicious meal for health benefits. That means choosing a suitable side dish to complete your meal.
Each of the healthy side dishes on this list highlights crab’s inherent sweetness without overwhelming the dish. They might be showstoppers, but they won’t steal the show from the star.
9. Mexican Bean Salad
First up, we have a Mexican bean salad that I’m particularly fond of… because it’s my recipe! Each bite of this vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free salad is absolutely bursting with freshness.
This is a great recipe to use for meal prepping or potlucks. It’s quick to make, keeps well in the fridge, and the flavors only get better over time.
If you’re not a fan of beans, you could also quickly make a chickpea salad like this. It’ll become the best part of your dinner.
10. Cucumber Tomato Salad
This simple cucumber and tomato salad is a taste sensation continuing with the fresh and light trend. Thanks to the chunky cut of the vegetables, this is super satisfying to eat.
It’s cheap, easy, and quick to make. While it’s definitely a straightforward recipe, the salad’s flavor is decidedly complex. Each vegetable highlights a different note in the crab cakes.
Add some sunflower seeds and serve with delicious crab cakes for better flavor.
11. Cheesy Garlic Broccoli
Next on our list is an earthy, crispy, mouth-watering side dish that will make anyone in your life love broccoli. That’s right; even the fussiest eater will be clamoring for broccoli after tasting this one.
This dish only uses three ingredients – cheese, broccoli, and garlic. But that simplicity is what allows each individual flavor to shine through.
Pair this with your crab cakes for a filling dish that’s both healthy and tasty.
12. Simple Side Salad
There’s a reason that the simple side salad is such a staple. Despite its straightforward nature, this salad is a real treat when executed properly.
Serve up your take on a simple side salad with a few different dressings. This allows you to change the flavor midway through your meal, and everyone can enjoy their take on the dish.
This is the best thing to enjoy with a little bit of black pepper and salt. Also, feel free to have it as a side dish for pork chops.
13. Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad
Speaking of triumphs in the salad world, this tomato and basil medley is a real treat. Relying on classic Italian flavors to light the way, this is a quick and easy addition to a weeknight meal.
14. Roasted Cauliflower and Asparagus
Roasted sheet pan meals are the home cook’s best friend, even more so when making crab cakes. A simple side dish is essential when the main dish requires as much attention as crab cakes do.
That’s why I love this roasted cauliflower and asparagus side dish. It combines two of the best vegetables you can get into a single tangy, garlicky dish that suits almost every meal you can make.
15. Oven Roasted Zucchini
We know this from the humble potato: there’s not much that doesn’t get even better when you roast it. Zucchini is an excellent example of a vegetable whose flavor is unleased in the roasting process.
Dress your plate with some roasted zucchini spears to add an earthy tone to your crab cakes. These are so quick and easy to make that it almost feels like you’re cheating, somehow.
16. Tropical Mango Coleslaw
When crab meat and tropical fruits appear on the same plate, you know you’re in for a treat. This simple coleslaw is a vibrant addition to the dish that tastes just as good as it looks.
Each bite is full of crunch and fresh, zingy flavors that will elevate your crab cakes to a new dimension. This slaw lacks a creamy sauce, so it’s also a little lighter in terms of dairy.
17. Spring Salad with Sauteed Peas and Scallions
This green salad is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Honestly, no matter what time of year you’re whipping up your crab cakes, this salad will remind you of the freshest seasons.
Sporting zingy radish, creamy avocado, and sweet peas, this salad is just plain delicious. Serve your crab cakes on a bed of this to watch your guests’ eyes go wide with delight.
Best Sides for Crab Cakes
Finally, we reach the question this entire article is really about: what are the best sides for crab cakes? Not just the healthiest or the easiest to make, but the real triumphs of flavor.
Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just celebrating a weeknight, here are ten dishes that are just as delicious as they are luxurious.
Originating in Lebanon, this bright and fresh salad is simply bursting with Mediterranean flavors. Little gems of fruit combine with savory herbs to produce a symphony of flavor.
This salad might look and taste very impressive, but there’s not a lot of effort involved in making it. Whip this up just fifteen minutes before you’re ready to serve your crab cakes.
The best way to enjoy this salad is with a little bit of lemon juice. The perfect dish to balance out your crab cakes.
19. Creamy Green Bean Casserole
Craving for a creamy dish? Crab cakes love to be paired with a creamy element, and they couldn’t ask for a better one than this casserole. This casserole is a dream that features green beans and fried onions cooked to perfection.
While most green bean casseroles have mushy, overdone beans, this definitely does not. Instead, the al dente beans will offer a wonderful crunch to contrast the flakiness of your crab cakes.
20. Summer Succotash with Grilled Corn
Not only is this summer succotash absolutely beautiful to behold, but it’s also a treat for the tastebuds. Fresh corn, herbs, cherry tomatoes, and lima beans come together in a colorful symphony for the senses.
Each bite features a new flavor combination, keeping you on your toes and highlighting different aspects of the crab cakes each time. Drizzle lightly with olive oil to bring the whole dish together.
21. Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
Don’t be afraid; this bread recipe doesn’t call for hours and hours of your time. This savory quick bread recipe yields a moist crumb and delicious depth of flavor.
If you’re making crab cakes with a Mexican or Spanish flavor profile, this is the perfect side dish for you. The jalapeno and cheddar are the perfect matches!
You can make a whole loaf of this ahead of time and bring it on your next picnic. Alongside the crab cakes it’s the perfect assortment of finger-friendly food.
22. Ranch Veggie Pasta Salad
Why go for a simple pasta salad when you can take it to the next level? This ranch veggie pasta salad combines a simple leafy side salad with a BBQ-style ranch pasta salad.
The result is a delicious hybrid of flavors that perfectly accent your crab cakes. I’d recommend making this one right before serving it to keep the leaves nice and fresh, not soggy.
Feel free to also serve this side dish with BBQ chicken.
23. Creamy Parmesan Polenta
If you’re ever stuck for a side dish, you can always turn to polenta. This creamy, dreamy, flavor-packed dish is quick to make and quick to eat. Not to mention, it’s the perfect foundation for flavors.
In this case, we’re using sharp parmesan and a little bit of heavy cream to create an extra-creamy parmesan polenta.
Serve your crab cakes on a bed of this stuff, and they’ll be gone before you can say ‘Bon Appetit’!
24. Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
Sometimes, it’s best to let the star of the show shine. This cilantro and lime juice white rice is the stage manager to your crab cakes’ starlet, working in the wings to help her shine even brighter.
This rice’s light and the fragrant flavor is the perfect counterpoint to a sweet-yet-savory crabcake. It’s like a palate cleanser for every bite, so you want to come back for more.
25. Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
If you’re not in the mood to get the entire grill out, this air fryer corn on the cob is a fantastic substitute for grilled cobs. You get the same char with none of the hassle!
Brush these corn cobs with a mixture of your choice. Personally, I love butter with a hint of lime and salt to bring out the sweetness of the corn (and, of course, the sweetness of the crab).
Also, feel free to use this corn to make corn salad to make the best crab cake dinner.
26. Air Fryer Cauliflower
The penultimate item on our list is a crispy, delicious take on roasted cauliflower that takes place in the air fryer.
Humming with delicious spices, you can dip this in the same stuff you use for your crab cakes.
27. Cheesy Garlic Bread
Finally, we have a tried-and-true classic that’s welcome on pretty much every dinner table in the world: garlic bread. Even better, cheesy garlic bread!
Whipping up a batch of garlic bread is so quick and easy. Bring a couple of loaves to your next gathering and a platter of crab cakes, and I guarantee you’ll be the new favorite.
27 Best Sides for Crab Cakes That Taste Incredible
Looking for Side Dishes for Crab Cakes? Make your dinner or lunch even better with these easy, delicious side dishes.
- 1. Apple Sweet Potato Bake
- 2. Garlic Butter Instant Pot Red Potatoes
- 3. Loaded Ranch Potato Salad
- 4. Quick-Roasted Potatoes
- 5. Grilled Baby Potatoes
- 6. Smothered Potatoes
- 7. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 8. Sweet Potato Wedges with Paprika
- 9. Mexican Bean Salad
- 10. Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 11. Cheesy Garlic Broccoli
- 12. Simple Side Salad
- 13. Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad
- 14. Roasted Cauliflower and Asparagus
- 15. Oven Roasted Zucchini
- 16. Tropical Mango Coleslaw
- 17. Spring Salad with Sauteed Peas and Scallions
- 18. Tabbouleh
- 19. Creamy Green Bean Casserole
- 20. Summer Succotash with Grilled Corn
- 21. Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
- 22. Ranch Veggie Pasta Salad
- 23. Creamy Parmesan Polenta
- 24. Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice
- 25. Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- 26. Air Fryer Cauliflower
- 27. Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious crab cake recipes. Don't be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn't know you liked.
- Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
- Get cooking and make your next Side for Crab Cakes!
Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!