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Zesty Crab Cake Bites

Cindy Smith Bryson


This is one of my fave appy's for entertaining at the holidays or any special occasion. They come together almost effortlessly (no frying required!) yet they make an impressive presentation. Oh so delish and perfect for passing at a party. A hint of orange and lemon zest give a burst of flavor but it is the crunchy outside followed by the creamy inside that really kicks them up a notch. Crab, cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan baked in crunchy Panko? What could be better than that ?!?


★★★★★ 1 vote

15 Min
20 Min


  • 1
    (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 c
    parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large
  • 1/4 c
    sour cream
  • 1 tsp
    orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp
    lemon zest
  • 4 tsp
    plus 4 tbls. chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1/4 tsp
    coarse sea salt
  • 2 pinch
    cayenne pepper
  • 6 oz
    fresh lump crabmeat, picked and patted dry; shredded
  • 1 1/2 c
    panko bread crumbs
  • 1 stick
    (equals 1/2 cup) butter, melted

How to Make Zesty Crab Cake Bites


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and egg; beat to blend. Beat in sour cream, citrus zests, 4 TSP. chopped chives, coarse salt, and cayenne pepper. Fold in crabmeat. Cover and chill for one hour. (this can be made up to 1 day in advance)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 mini muffin pans w/ non-stick spray. Toss panko crumbs, 3/4 cup parmesan, and 4 TBSP. chopped chives in a bowl. Drizzle melted butter over, tossing until evenly moistened. Press 1 rounded TBSP. panko mixture into bottom on each muffin cup. Make a well w/ your thumb, forming a crust. Spoon 1 generous TBSP. crab mixture into well of each cup. Sprinkle more panko mixture over each.
  3. Bake crab cake bites until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan @ least 5 minutes. Gently lift each crab cake bite out of the pan w/ a fork and onto a serving platter. NOTE: these can be made 2 hours ahead. Arrange on a baking sheet and allow to sit @ room temperature. Re-warm in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.

Printable Recipe Card

About Zesty Crab Cake Bites

Course/Dish: Seafood Appetizers
Main Ingredient: Seafood
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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