Crab Cake Sauce

Crab cakes sauce with crab cakes, lettuce, chopped parsley, and lemon slices

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
332 Calories
35g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 332
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 930mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 68mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crab cakes are delicious on their own—crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, this flavorful seafood dish always makes a beautiful appetizer or light lunch or dinner. But when paired with a flavorful sauce, the combination is just perfection. Our recipe draws from the best sauces—it's a little like a garlicky aioli with hints of tartar sauce and the character of a thick and creamy rémoulade. There’s also a nice earthiness from smoked paprika, a touch of heat from the Creole seasoning, and a refreshing brightness from the lemon juice and capers.

Perfect with homemade crab cakes, this recipe is also a great way to jazz up store-bought cakes when you're pressed for time. It's a versatile preparation, too, and tastes great with other fried seafood like shrimp and calamari. Try it as a flavorful dip for french fries or as a spread for sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. The sauce is perfect for dipping when serving crab cakes as an appetizer, and it's delicious when spooned on top of the cakes for dinner. Serve the crab cakes with coleslaw, corn on the cob, and a green salad to present a wholesome and filling meal.

It is best to use a food processor or high-speed blender to prepare this sauce since it creates a creamy texture and cuts down the cook time. There's no need to chop the capers or garlic ahead of time as this is a simple blend-all recipe.


Click Play to See This Easy Crab Cake Sauce Come Together

"This is a delicious sauce, and perfect for crab cakes or any seafood. It reminded me of rémoulade sauce, but with the unique smoky flavor from the paprika. If your Creole seasoning is salty, you might want to taste before adding salt. The sauce was a winner with my family." —Diana Rattray

Crab cake sauce in a ramekin on a plate with crab cakes and salad greens
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup Dijon or Creole mustard

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon capers

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  • Chopped fresh dill, for garnish

For Serving:

  • 6 crab cakes

  • Lemon wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Ingredients for crab cake sauce gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. 

    Crab cake sauce ingredients blended together in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or dill, if using, and serve alongside crispy crab cakes and lemon wedges for squeezing. Enjoy.

    Crab cakes with a bowl of crab cake sauce, garnished with chopped parsley and lemon slices

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

How to Store

  • Refrigerate any unused sauce in an airtight container or jar for up to one week.
  • Because of the mayonnaise base, this homemade sauce isn't suitable for freezing as it will curdle and spoil.

Recipe Variations

This easy sauce can take on many additions and substitutions. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Add a handful of chopped cilantro once the sauce is blended. This creates a bright sauce that is also wonderful on chicken or beef.
  • Add a handful of chopped basil once the sauce is blended. The resulting sauce is very aromatic and wonderful on white fish.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of pickle relish once the sauce is blended. This gives some tang and texture.
  • Skip the capers if you're not fond of their flavor but do taste for salt before serving as they add some saltiness to the sauce. If you choose to use them, taste before adding as they could be overly salty and make the sauce too strong. If the sauce is too salty already, add 1 tablespoon of full-fat Greek yogurt to ease out the salt.
  • Add hot sauce or dried chile peppers to make a spicy version.
  • Add green olives for a tangy preparation. As with the capers, try before adding them and taste for salt before adding more.

What Should I Serve With Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes make a delightful appetizer served with tartar, remoulade, or crab cake sauce. To serve for lunch or dinner, pair crab cakes with a bright, lemony salad, coleslaw, and other summery dishes like potato salad and corn on the cob.