The main course is the main event, but what about those side dishes? Just as important as a delicious main course, side dishes can make or break a meal. Oftentimes, people forget about their sides when making a meal, or they buy pre-made ones from the store and don’t realize how easy it is to make them yourself.
We’ve rounded up our favorite side dishes for crab cakes that you can easily make at home. These will complement your crab cake without overpowering it, so you can enjoy every last bite!
What are crab cakes?
They’re delicious, meaty crab burgers. They’re also an American delicacy that’s relatively new.
Crab cakes were invented in Maryland in the mid-1800s by a cook who wanted to use up leftover crab meat. It was so popular with patrons that it became its own dish! These days you can find them on menus all over the country, but there are some places where they’re just as popular as ever: Maryland and Virginia, of course, but also New Jersey and Georgia.
Crab cakes are usually served as an appetizer or side dish, but they can also be served as the main course in a meal. They can be eaten alone as a snack or with other foods such as fries or salad.
Cakes are typically served warm with condiments such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce and ketchup. They can also be eaten cold with these same condiments on top or mixed into the cake itself.
15 Best Side Dishes For Crab Cakes
This classic side dish is a great balance of sweet and sour with cabbage and carrots. It’s also really easy to make—just chop up some cabbage and carrots, add some mayonnaise and lemon juice, and voila! You’ve got yourself a delicious coleslaw.
2. French fries
We know what you’re thinking: “Fries?” But trust us on this one; French fries are the perfect accompaniment to a crab cake. They’re crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and they soak up all that delicious sauce from your crab cakes without getting soggy or falling apart.
Vegetables can be used as an alternative to fries or coleslaw if you want something fresh instead of fried or creamy. Try serving your veggies with ranch dressing or ketchup so they can soak up some of those sauces too!
4. Potato Salad with Dijon and Scallions
This dish is easy and quick to prepare, but you’ll have something to show for it. It’s a simple potato salad with scallions, fresh dill, and a creamy sauce made from sour cream and mayonnaise. The flavors are light and bright, with just enough saltiness to balance out the other ingredients.
5. Asparagus with Cheese Sauce and Herb Breadcrumbs
This side dish is perfect for those who love asparagus but want something more than just plain steamed spears on their plate. The recipe calls for garlic and onion powder for extra flavor; this goes well with any main dish. It also uses breadcrumbs seasoned with parsley and thyme—another great pairing with seafood dishes like crab cakes or salmon fillets.
6. Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad
This simple summer salad is a great accompaniment to any main dish. It’s easy to make, and it goes well with both meat and seafood dishes. The combination of grilled zucchini, tomatoes, and red onion is fresh and satisfying. Add in some feta cheese for tangy flavor and you have a meal that will leave your guests satisfied!
7. Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is one of those foods that just screams summertime. If you’re looking for an easy side dish to accompany your crab cakes, try oven-roasted corn on the cob. You can even make it ahead of time so all you have to do is throw it in the oven when your guests arrive!
8. Corn Salad
This salad is sweet and salty, with just the right amount of crunch. It also has a nice texture that makes it feel like it’s filling you up without being heavy. It goes well with crab cakes because it provides a contrast in flavor, and also gives your mouth something else to do besides eating crab cakes (and why would you want to do that?).
9. Green Salad
Green salad is simple and refreshing—it’s basically the perfect side dish for anything from crab cakes to steak. You can dress it up with some balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil if you want to add some extra flavor, but we love it just as much plain.
Whatever kind of side dish(es) you choose for your crab cake party, make sure they complement each other well so that your guests have an enjoyable experience!
10. Three-Bean Pasta Salad
This colorful pasta salad is full of flavor, texture, and color—and it’s super easy to make. All you have to do is cook up some pasta according to the package instructions and toss it with kidney beans, chickpeas, and green peas. Then add a little olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper if you like heat… whatever sounds good! This dish goes perfectly with crab cakes because it has so many different flavors that complement each other well.
11. Lemon Vinaigrette Pasta Salad with Field Peas
This pasta salad is a bit more complicated than the previous one but still simple enough that anyone can whip it up on the fly. First, you’ll need pre-cooked pasta (or if you’re feeling ambitious then follow this recipe for homemade pasta), field peas (fresh or frozen), parmesan cheese (freshly grated or shredded from a block), lemon juice or white wine vinegar (or both), salt and pepper, and olive oil. You can toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl or plate until mixed to taste, but if you want a more professional look then here’s how to do it in layers: layer the cooked pasta in the bottom of a bowl (the mounds will help keep everything separate) and make your rows of peas. Then put some cheese on top and lemon juice or white wine vinegar on top of that so it will soak into the pasta.
12. Carrot Soup with Pea Pesto
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, broth, and water; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the carrots are very tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This carrot soup is so delicious and healthy that it can also be served as a light main course. It’s best made with fresh, local carrots, but you can use frozen ones in a pinch.
13. Baked Zucchini Fries
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside
Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices at an angle (you should get 4 per zucchini) and place in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes then rinse well under cold water; pat dry with paper towels and place back in the bowl. Toss with flour, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper until fully coated; place in the fridge for 30 minutes (this step will ensure crispy fries).
In a large pot filled halfway up with oil preheated to 325°F (160°C), add slices in batches of 4 at a time, cooking for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining slices and place on baking sheets. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden; season with salt while warm.
These crispy little zucchini fries are full of flavor and make a great addition to any meal! If you’ve got leftovers, they’re also great eaten cold.
14. Sautéed Squash and Zucchini
This medley of summer veggies has a rich, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with crab cakes. The vegetables need only a few minutes in the pan to soften up and soak up all of the flavors from the caramelized onions and thyme.
Cut the squash into bite-size pieces. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add squash and sauté until browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
15. Easy Grilled Asparagus
Grilling asparagus is an easy way to make it taste even better than you thought possible. This simple side dish goes with just about anything — try it with grilled chicken, crab cakes, or salmon!
Steam asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes. Toss with olive oil and garlic salt before grilling for about 5 minutes on each side, or until tender. Season with additional olive oil and garlic salt if desired.
If you’re looking for a side dish for crab cakes, we recommend pairing them with a fresh green salad. This will help cut the richness of the crab cake, while also providing a nice crunchy texture to complement the softness of the crab cake itself. If you want to add some extra flavor, try adding some spicy mustard to your salad dressing!