13 Elegant Side Dishes for Crab Cakes
What to serve with crab cakes.
Crab cakes are often associated with fine dining — with a price tag to match. But what are crab cakes but shreds of tender crab meat mixed with bread crumbs and fried to crispy, seafood perfection? Lucky for you and your wallet, these coastal delicacies can be easily made at home. Now the only hurdle to enjoying crab cakes is choosing what side dish to pair with them. To help complete your meal, we've rounded up 13 elegant side dishes to serve with crab cakes, from fresh, green salads to creamy soups.
Related: Get top-rated crab cake recipes.
Next time you're looking to wow your guests, trade the same old coleslaw for this colorful variation which includes green onions, broccoli, ramen noodles, and almonds tossed in a tangy apple cider vinegar and soy sauce dressing. Try adding mandarin oranges for a touch of sweetness.
"Followed this recipe to the letter and garnished with a couple roasted red pepper strips and chopped parsley. Roasting the fresh corn really brings out its sweetness and adds great flavor to this chowder," says reviewer lutzflcat. This sweet, summery side dish is the perfect pairing for crab.
Picture this: a warm summer evening on the patio watching the waves roll onto the shore while having crab cakes for dinner. What's missing? A bowl of refreshing gazpacho. Chef John's variation used cucumbers and grapes instead of tomatoes and peppers to make a light and refreshing side dish soup. Reviewer Huvs says, "This was such a nice change from the red gazpacho which I make so often. Thanks Chef John!"
Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and parsley are tossed in a lime juice and vinegar mixture for a bright and flavorful side dish that pairs beautifully with crab. Show off your summer produce with this unique slaw recipe.
This grilled vegetable side dish can be personalized to suit your taste — the more colorful the better. "This is the best marinade I've found for roasted or grilled veggies. The suggested veggies can easily be substituted with your own favorites. We tried it with zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, crimini mushrooms and tomatoes," says reviewer LILPIGGY.
If you're looking for a simple, yet standout side dish, give this soup a try. "This is a light and creamy pureed soup which will surprise those who didn't realize they were pepper lovers at heart. It's a simple soup consisting of ripe red peppers in a creamy base. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired," says recipe creator Judi.
"Whoever came up with this combination of ingredients is pure genius. I halved the recipe to try it and now I wish I would have made the whole recipe. This is a flavor explosion in your mouth. Every bite tastes different," says reviewer Linda Farrell.
8. Avocado Soup
"In the middle of an oppressively hot, humid Chicago summer, my wife and I chilled this soup in the fridge for five hours before serving under the shade of our oak tree in the backyard, and luxuriated in the taste, the texture and the coolness. A perfect Sunday afternoon lunch," says reviewer DANMILLER45.
Asparagus doesn't require much dressing up to be an elegant and sophisticated side dish. "The special thing about this recipe is that it's so simple. Fresh asparagus with a little oil, salt, and pepper is cooked quickly over high heat on the grill," says recipe creator Larry Lampert.
Sprinkle this colorful salsa over your crab cakes or have it on the side for a light and fresh meal. "Looking for a refreshing salsa for a warm summer evening? This is our favorite. Serve with tortilla chips. This is also fantastic served on white fish. I often use a canned jalapeño instead of fresh," says recipe creator FHIVESHOT.
Parmesan, thyme, and kosher salt make this roasted potato recipe simple and delicious. "Just had these last night at a friend's house and they were wonderful. This is one of the best tasting simple recipes for potatoes I've encountered," says reviewer vaedwards.
"When most of you hear the word succotash, you probably don't think of a delicious vegetable side dish; you probably think of the catchphrase, 'Sufferin' succotash!' But succotash really is a great and very underrated recipe," says Chef John. This side dish is packed with a rainbow of vegetables including peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, lima beans, and corn.
Recipe creator Maggie Garvey says, "This salad is amazing! What wonderful flavors. I can't count the number of times I've made this over the summer both at home and at friends' homes for potluck. It's a hit every time!"
Related: Browse our entire collection of Crab Cake Recipes.