Sauce for Crab Cakes

Crab Cake Sauce

 Leah Maroney

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 bowl (serves 6)

Nothing screams summer like crab cakes, but the classic Baltimore specialty needs an amazing dip to go with them. This one draws from the best of the sauce world—it's a little like an aioli (garlic mayonnaise) meets tartar sauce meets remoulade. There’s a nice smokiness from smoked paprika, a touch of heat from the creole seasoning, and a refreshing brightness from the lemon juice and capers.

Maryland is known for its crab cakes due to the abundance of blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay, but you can find beautiful lump crab meat in every state. Make simple delicious crab cakes from scratch, then smother them in this tasty sauce along with a little sliced lemon and some added herbs. This recipe is also a great way to jazz up store-bought crab cakes when you're short on time.

You definitely want to use a food processor or high-speed blender to prepare this sauce. It not only creates the best creamy texture, but also cuts down on all the steps—there's no need to chop the capers or garlic ahead of time, so you can keep your hands clean and use fewer dishes. Just blend and enjoy.

Don't just limit this sauce to crab cakes. It's also great with other fried seafood like shrimp or cod. You can even dip some French fries into it.


  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard (Dijon or creole)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon pickle relish
  • Garnish: chopped parsley and chopped dill

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Crab Cake Sauce ingredients
    Leah Maroney 
  2. Combine all ingredients except the parsley and dill garnish into food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. 

    Blend sauce in a food processor.
     Leah Maroney
  3. Serve with crispy crab cakes and a salad with a light vinaigrette and garnish with fresh chopped parsley or dill if you'd like.

    Crab Cake Sauce
     Leah Maroney


  • This sauce can be made ahead of time and kept it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. It's good for up to a week when refrigerated in an air-tight jar.
  • Use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic if you don’t have it on hand.
  • Taste the capers before adding them to the remoulade. If they are super salty, omit the salt and add more to taste after you have blended everything together.

Recipe Variation

  • Add in a little pickle relish, hot sauce, onion powder, or chopped dill to the sauce. This sauce is super versatile and you can add lots of different seasonings or herbs to it depending on what your family likes.