Crab Cake Sauce Recipe – Seafood Heaven In Minutes!

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When doubting the perfect complement to your crab cakes, turn to Crab Cake Sauce Recipe. This sauce is a great choice to elevate the taste. It blends creamy textures with a hint of spice, great for enhancing the crab’s natural flavors. Remember to drizzle it generously. If you’re unsure which sauce to pair, my best advice is to try this one. Whereas many sauces can overpower, this one harmonizes. I’d recommend it for a refined yet simple taste experience. Having Crab Cake Sauce by your side is better for the best dining experience.

Crab Cake Sauce isn’t just any condiment; it’s a game-changer. During a recent trip to a bustling Middle Eastern market, I was reminded of the universal appeal of seafood. Yet, the difference in taste always boiled down to the sauces accompanying it.

Crab Cake Sauce

I encountered a similar revelation on a European escapade when a local restaurant’s Crab Cake Sauce had me spellbound. The problem many face is finding a sauce that enhances, rather than masks, the crab’s delicate flavor. 

This became evident when a dear friend served crab cakes at a dinner party, and guests were left searching for that extra zing. If you need to know which sauce will bring out the best in your seafood dishes, I’d recommend trying Crab Cake Sauce. 

It’s clear after a recent experience where my kids couldn’t get enough of it. This sauce is the solution for those looking to elevate their seafood game.

What Is Crab Cake Sauce? 

Crab Cake Sauce is a delightful condiment crafted to complement the flavors of crab cakes. It often blends creamy bases like mayonnaise or aioli with hints of spices, citrus, and herbs. 

It enhances the seafood’s nuances and provides a harmonious balance between tangy, spicy, and creamy notes. When in doubt, many chefs and food enthusiasts opt for this sauce to enrich their crab cake experience. 

It is better to have this sauce on hand, especially if you’re seeking a refined yet simple taste enhancement. My best advice: take it when serving crab cakes.

History Of Crab Cake Sauce Recipe

The exact origins of Crab Cake Sauce remain a bit murky. Crab cakes themselves trace their roots to Native Americans, who introduced English settlers to the delights of crab. 

As crab cakes gained popularity, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region, the desire for a complementary sauce grew. It is believed that local chefs and home cooks began experimenting with condiments in the early 20th century

Today’s Crab Cake Sauce prototype was born by blending mayonnaise, herbs, and spices. Whereas the specific inventor remains unnamed, the communities around the Chesapeake Bay are often credited for its widespread adoption and refinement.

Interesting Facts About Crab Cake Sauce Recipe

Crab Cake Sauce is a delightful accompaniment that enhances the flavor of tender crab cakes. Originating from coastal regions, this sauce is a blend of tangy, sweet, and spicy elements, creating a symphony of flavors.


Crab Cake Sauce often varies by region, with southern variants being spicier and northeastern versions leaning towards tanginess.


Some recipes include unique ingredients like horseradish or Old Bay seasoning for an added kick.

Versatile Dish

Great for versatility, this sauce isn’t just limited to crab cakes; it’s also paired with other seafood and fried vegetables.

Natural Ingredients

Whereas many sauces rely on artificial preservatives, homemade Crab Cake Sauce can be made with all-natural ingredients.

Experiment With Flavors

It’s a good idea to add some modern versions by including avocado or mango for a tropical twist.

International Adaptations

Crab Cake Sauce also has international adaptations, taking cues from Middle Eastern and European culinary traditions.

Crab Cake Sauce

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

Crab Cake Sauce has witnessed various regional adaptations over time. A traditional recipe in the Chesapeake Bay area often includes a mix of mayonnaise, lemon, and mustard. 

If you doubt Southern variations, expect a spicier kick with ingredients like hot sauce or cayenne pepper. New England adaptations might lean more towards tanginess, infusing dill or capers. 

Moving westward, Californian versions have been known to incorporate avocado or yogurt for a fresher take. Whereas European influences might include herbs like tarragon or basil, Middle-Eastern adaptations could feature tahini or za’atar. 

It’s a good idea to experience these diverse renditions to appreciate the sauce’s global appeal.

What Will Make You Love This Crab Cake Sauce? 

Several factors will make you adore Crab Cake Sauce. First, its creamy texture is great for adding a luscious coat to your crab cakes, ensuring every bite is delectable. 

The balance between tangy, spicy, and savory notes will capture your palate’s attention. When doubting what makes a seafood dish exceptional, this sauce often emerges as the answer. 

It’s versatile, so remember you can pair it with other dishes beyond crab cakes. If you need more clarification about its appeal, remember the global love it has garnered through its regional adaptations. 

My best advice is to try it; you might find it’s better than any other condiment you’ve tasted.

Crab Cake Sauce

Ingredients List

Sour Cream1 cup
Mayonnaise1 cup
Cottage Cheese1/2 cup
Hot Salsa1/3 cup
Cayenne Pepper1/4 teaspoon
Lemon Juice1 tablespoon
Plain Yogurt1/2 cup

Ingredient Tips 

  • Sour Cream: Opt for full-fat sour cream for a richer taste and creamier texture. It’s a good idea to ensure it’s fresh for best results.
  • Mayonnaise: When in doubt, use real mayonnaise rather than low-fat or alternatives, as it offers a more authentic flavor.
  • Cottage Cheese: Drain excess liquid to prevent the sauce from becoming too runny.
  • Hot Salsa: Adjust the amount based on your heat preference; if you need more time, start with less and add gradually.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Handle with care. A little goes a long way, yet you can increase for an extra kick.
  • Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled for a brighter taste.
  • Plain Yogurt: Opt for Greek yogurt for added thickness and tang. My best advice is to avoid sweetened varieties.

What Are The Variations Of Crab Cake Sauce Recipe? 

Crab Cake Sauce has seen various recipe twists over the years, reflecting diverse tastes:

  • Remoulade Style: Incorporates ingredients like pickles, capers, and Dijon mustard, giving it a European flair.
  • Tartar Twist: Combines mayonnaise, pickles, and onions, great for those preferring a milder flavor.
  • Spicy Asian Touch: Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes for an Eastern kick.
  • Mediterranean Muse: Olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs like parsley and dill are mixed, reflecting coastal European tastes.
  • Avocado Blend: Creamy avocado with a splash of lime offers a modern, fresh twist.
  • Curry Infusion: A hint of curry powder adds depth and warmth.
  • Chipotle Spin: Smoked chipotle peppers bring a smoky, spicy edge. Trying multiple variations is a good idea when in doubt about which to choose.
Crab Cake Sauce

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Preparation: Gather all the ingredients. Ensure the cottage cheese is drained of any excess liquid.
  • Blending: In a blender, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, salsa, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and yogurt. Puree the mixture until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps or chunks.
  • Chilling: Transfer the pureed sauce to a bowl. Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Rest: Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the sauce chill for at least 2 hours. This allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.


Once chilled, stir the sauce quickly and serve alongside crab cakes or your preferred seafood dishes. If you need more clarification about the consistency after chilling, you can adjust by adding more yogurt or sour cream. Remember to enjoy every flavorful bite!

Elevating the humble crab cake from delicious to divine with its zesty, flavorful embrace.

Scaling The Crab Cake Sauce Recipe 

Scaling recipes can be crucial for events or just a quiet meal. Here’s how to adjust the Crab Cake Sauce recipe:

Scaling Up

  • Double or Triple: Simply multiply each ingredient by 2 or 3. It’s a good idea to make in batches for significant events to maintain consistency.
  • Texture: When scaling up, monitor the consistency. Add a splash of lemon juice or yogurt if it is too thick.

Scaling Down

  • Halve: Divide the quantity of each ingredient by two. Great for smaller servings or trial batches.
  • Taste: Scaling down can intensify flavors. Always taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Crab Cake Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 

Absolutely! The versatility of Crab Cake Sauce makes it an excellent choice for various culinary applications:

  • Marinade: Its creamy base and combination of spices make it great for marinating seafood, especially shrimp or fish fillets. Ensure to marinate for a few hours for the flavors to seep in.
  • Dipping Sauce: pairs well with fried appetizers like tempura, calamari, or even vegetable fritters. Remember to serve it chilled for a refreshing dip.
  • Salad Dressing: The sauce can be thinned with olive oil or lemon juice, making it a good idea to drizzle over salads, especially seafood ingredients.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Crab Cake Sauce Recipe?

The Crab Cake Sauce, with its balanced flavor profile, pairs well with a myriad of dishes

Seafood Delights

Naturally, crab cakes are a top choice, yet shrimp cocktails, lobster tails, and grilled fish also benefit from its creamy goodness.

Fried Bites

Think tempura vegetables, calamari rings, or fish and chips.


Seafood salads, like shrimp or lobster salads, are elevated with this sauce.

Wraps & Sandwiches

Seafood wraps, or po’ boy sandwiches taste even better with a smear of this sauce.


Seafood pasta dishes, especially those with a creamy base, harmonize well with this sauce.

Grilled Vegetables

The tangy and creamy profile complements grilled veggies like asparagus or bell peppers.

Potato Sides

Potato wedges, hash browns, or mashed potatoes gain more flavor with Crab Cake Sauce.

Crab Cake Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Crab Cake Sauce? 

Crab Cake Sauce, known for enhancing seafood dishes, stars in several classic preparations:

  • Crab Cakes: The namesake dish, crab cakes served with this sauce, is a match made in culinary heaven.
  • Seafood Platters: Platters featuring shrimp, oysters, and lobster often include Crab Cake Sauce as a dipping option.
  • Seafood Wraps: Wraps filled with shrimp, crab, or fish can be livened with this sauce.
  • Fish Tacos: A drizzle enhances the flavors of grilled or fried fish in tacos.
  • Lobster Rolls: Some variations use this sauce to bind the lobster filling.
  • Seafood Salads: Crab or shrimp salads can be dressed lightly with Crab Cake Sauce for added creaminess and flavor.
  • Fish Burgers: As a creamy layer in a seafood burger, it’s a delectable choice.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Crab Cake Sauce Offers? 

Crab Cake Sauce tantalizes the palate with a diverse array of flavor profiles and taste sensations:

  • Creaminess: The base, often made of mayonnaise or sour cream, provides a luscious, velvety texture.
  • Tanginess: Ingredients like lemon juice or yogurt introduce a zesty, vibrant kick.
  • Spiciness: Cayenne pepper or salsa can impart a warm, lingering heat.
  • Savoriness: The harmonized blend of ingredients offers a rich umami touch, perfect for complementing seafood.
  • Herbaceous: Some recipes might introduce herbs, lending the sauce a fresh, aromatic layer.
  • Mild Sweetness: Components like cottage cheese can give a subtle sweet note, balancing the tang and spice.
  • Complexity: The interplay of ingredients ensures a multi-dimensional taste experience with every bite.
Crab Cake Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Yes, Crab Cake Sauce can be stored for future use. Once prepared, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Its shelf life largely depends on the ingredients’ freshness, especially dairy components.

Typically, the sauce can last 5-7 days in the refrigerator when stored correctly. If you need more clarification about its freshness, always check for signs of spoilage like off-odors, mold, or separation of ingredients.

Freezing is an option for longer preservation, though it might affect the texture upon thawing. I advise consuming it within the week for optimal flavor and freshness.

What Are The Substitutes For Crab Cake Sauce Recipe? 

Suppose you need to decide about having all the ingredients for Crab Cake Sauce or simply seeking a variation. In that case, there are several substitutes to consider:

  • Tartar Sauce: A mix of mayonnaise, pickles, and sometimes capers, offering a tangy flavor.
  • Remoulade: Made with mayo, mustard, capers, and herbs, it’s great for seafood dishes.
  • Aioli: A garlicky mayonnaise that can complement crab cakes wonderfully.
  • Cocktail Sauce: Combines ketchup, horseradish, and lemon for a tangy and spicy dip.
  • Cilantro Lime Sauce: Combines mayonnaise, fresh cilantro, and lime for a zesty, herby twist.
  • Chipotle Mayo: Adds a smoky and spicy dimension using chipotle peppers.
  • Honey Mustard: Sweet and tangy, it’s a different but delightful pairing with crab cakes.
Crab Cake Sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of Crab Cake Sauce is straightforward:

  • Too Thick: If the sauce is overly dense, you can thin it out. I advise adding some lemon juice, milk, or water. Blend well after each addition until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Too Thin: Add more creamy base ingredients to thicken a runny sauce. This could be mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt. Another option is introducing a small amount of finely ground breadcrumbs or a slurry made from cornstarch and water.
  • Balanced Texture: Consider blending the sauce longer for a velvety, smooth texture.

Adjusting, always do so in small increments to maintain control over the final texture.

The perfect symphony of tang, spice, and sweetness that turns every bite of tender crab cake into a delightful and unforgettable culinary experience.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

Crab Cake Sauce is traditionally served cold or at room temperature. The cold temperature complements the warm crab cakes, creating a delightful contrast in temperature and texture. 

Serving it cold also ensures that the creamy ingredients, like mayonnaise or sour cream, maintain their desired consistency and don’t separate.

However, if you’re using the sauce in a dish where a warm component is more appropriate, such as pasta or casserole, you can gently heat it. But when doing so, use low heat to avoid curdling and stir continuously.

In general, for classic crab cakes or as a dip, it’s a good idea to serve the sauce chilled for the best flavor experience.

Crab Cake Sauce

Nutritional Values

Crab Cake Sauce, with its creamy base, offers a rich blend of nutritional values. It primarily provides calories from fats due to ingredients like mayonnaise and sour cream. 

This sauce also contains small amounts of protein and calcium, mainly from cottage cheese and yogurt. While it has a modest carbohydrate content, adding salsa and lemon juice offers a hint of sugars and a minimal boost of vitamins, notably Vitamin A and C

Sodium levels can vary based on the specific ingredients used. Always consult a detailed nutritional table for precise values.

What Are The Total Calories In Crab Cake Sauce Recipe? 

To accurately determine the total calories in the Crab Cake Sauce recipe you provided, one would need to calculate the caloric value of each ingredient in the specified quantities. 

However, an estimation based on your listed ingredients would suggest that the sauce is relatively calorie-dense, primarily due to the mayonnaise, sour cream, and cottage cheese. 

For a precise caloric count, it’s recommended to use a nutritional calculator or database with the exact brands and quantities of ingredients used.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Crab Cake Sauce Recipe 

Considering the ingredients you provided for the Crab Cake Sauce recipe, here are some dietary restrictions to be aware of:

  • Lactose: Contains sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt, which may not be suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Gluten-Free: The recipe appears gluten-free, but always check specific brands for hidden gluten.
  • Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians.
  • Vegan: Not suitable due to dairy ingredients.
  • Low-Fat Diets: Not ideal because of the mayonnaise and sour cream.
  • Low-Sodium Diets: Beware of hidden sodium, especially in store-bought mayonnaise or salsa.
  • Nut Allergies: Seems nut-free, but always ensure cross-contamination has yet to occur during processing.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

When making Crab Cake Sauce, there are several common mistakes to be aware of:

  • Overblending: Over-processing the sauce can lead to an overly runny consistency. It’s better to pulse or blend in short bursts.
  • Not Chilling: Chilling the sauce before serving is crucial for optimal flavor melding. Serving immediately might not give the best taste.
  • Skimping on Ingredients: Quality matters. Using low-quality or expired ingredients can affect the sauce’s overall flavor and texture.
  • Not Adjusting to Taste: Every ingredient, especially the salsa or cayenne pepper, can vary in intensity. Taste and adjust seasonings as you go.
  • Not Draining Cottage Cheese: Failing to drain can lead to a watery sauce.
  • Overusing Lemon Juice: Adding too much can overpower the other flavors. Start with a small amount and add more if needed.
  • Ignoring Consistency: The sauce should be creamy but not too thick or thin. Adjust with additional creamy ingredients or a bit of liquid as needed.
  • Storing Improperly: Always store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
  • Not Checking for Spoilage: Dairy-based sauces can spoil. Always check for off-smells or changes in texture before use.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

If you have leftover Crab Cake Sauce, there are several creative ways to utilize it:

  • Sandwich Spread: Use it as a creamy layer in sandwiches or wraps.
  • Salad Dressing: Thin it out slightly and drizzle over fresh salads.
  • Pasta Sauce Base: Mix with cooked pasta for a creamy twist.
  • Dip for Veggies: Pair with raw or roasted veggies for a tasty snack.
  • Grilled Seafood: Brush over grilled fish or shrimp.
  • Baked Potatoes: Drizzle or dollop over hot baked potatoes.
  • Pizza Base: Use as a unique sauce for a seafood-themed pizza.
  • In Soups: Stir into seafood chowders or bisques for added creaminess.
  • Stuffed Veggies: Mix with fillings for stuffed peppers or mushrooms.
  • Meat Marinade: Marinate chicken or fish for a creamy, tangy flavor infusion.
Crab Cake Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

When preparing Crab Cake Sauce, having the right tools and equipment ensures a smoother process:

  • Blender or Food Processor: Essential for achieving a smooth, creamy consistency.
  • Mixing Bowls: Various sizes are useful for combining ingredients.
  • Whisk: Helps manually mix and aerate the sauce if not using a blender.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Accurate measurements lead to consistent results.
  • Rubber Spatula: Ensures you get every last bit of sauce from the blender or bowl.
  • Airtight Containers: Crucial for storing leftover sauce and keeping it fresh.
  • Fine Sieve or Cheesecloth: Useful to drain excess liquid from cottage cheese or yogurt.
  • Citrus Juicer: For extracting fresh lemon juice without seeds.
  • Glass Jars: For storing larger quantities or if planning to gift.
  • Tasting Spoons: Constant tasting and adjusting is the key to a perfect sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make This Sauce Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance. Making it a few hours before serving melds the flavors, enhancing its taste.

Is There A Vegan Alternative For This Sauce?

Absolutely. You can substitute the dairy ingredients with vegan alternatives such as vegan mayo, plant-based yogurt, and non-dairy sour cream.

How Long Can I Store The Crab Cake Sauce In The Refrigerator?

The sauce typically lasts 5-7 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.

Can I Freeze The Sauce For Future Use?

While you can freeze the sauce, it might affect its texture upon thawing. Consuming it fresh or within the refrigeration period is recommended for the best consistency.

What If I Don’t Have A Blender? Can I Still Make This Sauce?

If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor or even whisk the ingredients together manually. The key is to achieve a smooth, lump-free consistency.

Crab Cake Sauce Recipe – Seafood Heaven In Minutes!

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



A creamy, zesty sauce crafted primarily to accompany crab cakes. Features a blend of sour cream, mayonnaise, and cottage cheese, with added flavors from hot salsa, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Traditionally served chilled to complement the warmth of crab cakes. It can be paired with other seafood, used as a dip, or incorporated into various dishes.


  • 1 cup 1 Sour Cream

  • 1 cup 1 Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Cottage Cheese

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 Hot Salsa

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Plain Yogurt

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gather Ingredients: Assemble all the necessary ingredients, including sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, salsa, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and yogurt.
  • Preparation: Ensure the cottage cheese is drained of excess liquid to maintain the desired sauce consistency.
  • Blending Process: Pour the sour cream, mayonnaise, cottage cheese, salsa, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and yogurt into the blender.
  • Puree: Blend the mixture quickly until smooth, ensuring no lumps or chunks.
  • Transfer: Transfer the sauce to a suitable bowl or container once blended.
  • Chill: Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the sauce to chill for at least 1-2 hours. This chilling process lets the flavors meld together.
  • Serve: Once chilled, give the sauce a gentle stir. It’s now ready to be served alongside crab cakes or other preferred dish. Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • The sauce’s consistency can be adjusted based on personal preference. For a thinner sauce, add more lemon juice or a splash of milk.
  • Freshness matters. Always use fresh ingredients, especially dairy, to ensure optimal flavor and avoid spoilage.
  • The heat level can be modified. If you need more clarification about the spiciness, start with less salsa or cayenne and adjust according to taste.
  • It’s a good idea to make the sauce a few hours before serving time, allowing flavors to meld.
  • Always check ingredient labels for those with dietary restrictions, especially when using store-bought mayonnaise or salsa.

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