crab cakes bethenny frankel naturally thin

Classic Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes and I often order appetizer portions of crab cakes in restaurants, but you can make them at home, too. When you use a nonstick pan and cooking spray, you significantly reduce the fat content, compared with crab cakes that are fried in oil.


– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– ¾ cup small-diced red onion
– 1½ cups small-diced celery
– 1½ cups of each: small-diced red and yellow bell pepper
– 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
– ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (preferably panko)
– ¼ cup lowfat mayonnaise or soy mayonnaise
– 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
– 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– ½ pound (8 ounces) jumbo lump crabmeat, drained
– Cooking spray
– 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto + 2 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise (or soy mayonnaise) mixed together and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

(Makes 12 large crab cakes, or 24 small)


1. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion, celery, and bell peppers until soft. Season with Old Bay, salt, and pepper. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the crabmeat to combine but don’t overmix. The crabmeat should remain in large pieces. Combine the ingredients from steps 1 and 2.

3. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Scoop evenly-sized cakes into the pan using an ice cream scoop and sauté over medium heat until crispy on both sides. Top each crab cake with a tiny dab of pesto/mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available at