I love a good burger but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and serve an unexpected burger like my Don’t be Crabby Burger – crab cake sandwich recipe. The combination of rich crab meat with melted brie and a spicy pineapple slaw is the perfect tropical vacation as close as your backyard.

Don't' Be Crabby Burger | Crab Cake Sandwich

Course: Brunch, dinner, entree, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ, Crab, seafood, shellfish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
chilling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 434 kcal

These are amazing.  If you are looking for an easier stress-free option, Phillips makes really good frozen crab cakes.  Grab a package at the grocery and skip the "making your own crab cake" step.  I guarantee I'll do that a couple of time this summer.  Who want's to spend time in the house making, well anything when you have guests and it a beautiful day. 

Make it easy on yourself.  Your guests are way more interested in spending time with you than getting a gourmet meal.  It's a backyard BBQ, kick your shoes off grab a cocktail and relax.  Enjoy!



For Crab Cakes

  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked crabmeat*
  • 6 t mayonnaise
  • 1 t Creole-style mustard like Zatarain's Creole Mustard you can substitute stone ground or country dijon with a pinch of creole seasoning or hot sauce if you can't find Creole mustard.
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 green onions finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 t canola oil
  • Paprika
  • Lemon wedges
  • 8 thick slices of Maui or Vidalia onions
  • 6 oz. brie rind removed
  • 8 Hawaiian rolls

For Pineapple Jalapeno Slaw:

  • 6 oz package angel hair slaw
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 fresh jalapeños seeded and finely chopped (use less if you want less spice)
  • ½ t granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t of fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped into small pieces
  • 1 T cilantro finely chopped


For Crab Cakes

  1. Wash your hands really good - the only way to work with crab is with your hands.
  2. Put the crab meat in a large mixing bowl, using your fingers break any large pieces and remove any bits of shell you find.

  3. In another bowl mix mayonnaise, mustard, 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs, parsley, green onions, red bell pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper; mix well.
  4. Carefully fold crab meat to combine.**
  5. Add the lightly beaten eggs and carefully fold to combine.
  6. To form crab cakes, on a parchment paper lined tray, and using a cookie cutter (I think mine is 3 1/2 or 4 inches) fill cookie cuter with about 1/3 cup of crab meat and lightly press. Carefully lift cutter off. repeat with remaining crab mixture, You should get 8 crab cakes.
  7. Cover tray with plastic wrap, press lightly and chill at least 30 minutes up to an hour.
  8. This is a great time to make the slaw.
  9. Preheat grill to 350 - 400 degrees F.
  10. Brush Vidalia or Maui onions with EVOO and grill on grates, covered with stick-resistant tin foil for 3 -4 minutes, each side.
  11. Remove rind from brie (this is easiest if the brie has been placed in the freezer for 30 minutes or an hour in advance)
  12. Place remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
  13. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  14. Lightly dredge both sides of 8 cakes in bread crumbs and add to hot skillet.
  15. Press lightly with a spatula and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  16. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with stick resistant tin foil.
  17. Repeat with remaining cakes, adding more oil, if necessary.
  18. Squeeze lemon over each cake and sprinkle with paprika.
  19. Slide crab cakes on the foil off baking sheet onto the grill grates and grill for about five 4 minutes.
  20. Top crab cakes with thin slices of brie cook for an additional minute until brie begins to melt

To serve:

  1. Lightly toast Hawaiian Rolls on the grill.
  2. Place Pineapple Jalapeno Slaw on the bottom half of bun
  3. Next, place a slice of grilled Maui onion on top of slaw
  4. Top slaw with a brie-covered crab cake. Top with bun and it's time to eat.

Pineapple Jalapeno Slaw

  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and salt until thoroughly combined
  2. In a large bowl, toss cabbage, jalapeno, and cilantro
  3. Add yogurt mixture to cabbage mixture and carefully toss to combine.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

* There is always controversy over fresh crab meat vs canned vs frozen or refrigerated.  If we have fresh crabs and I have crab cleaning helper, I use fresh but I'm fine using a good refrigerated combination lump and claw meat.  If I have to use canned crab meat, I place the crab meat in a colander in the sink and I gently rinse with water and let drain.  I then gently remove excess water with a paper towel,  then gently toss with a little white wine and lemon.  This removes any tinny taste and freshens up the taste.  I got this tip years ago from a colleague when we were getting ready to teach a class @ Sur La Table and they bought frozen shrimp, not fresh.  Worked like a dream.

**DO NOT MIX CRAB MEAT - when working with delicate crab meat it is very important to be gentle and fold ingredients together.  If you are too aggressive you just end up with a mess.

Nutrition Facts
Don't' Be Crabby Burger | Crab Cake Sandwich
Amount Per Serving
Calories 434 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 1351mg59%
Potassium 716mg20%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 720IU14%
Vitamin C 48.2mg58%
Calcium 188mg19%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

1 Comment

  1. Josh

    I used lump crab meet from the refrigerated section at BJ’s. They turned out great. Used this recipie to make crab cake “burgers” for my vegetarian daughter at a back yard BBQ so she wouldn’t feel left out. Winner!


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