This cool and creamy Crab Cake Sauce recipe has just enough tanginess, smokiness, and spice to pair with far more than crab cakes. It’s fantastic with fries and other crispy finger foods, spread on sandwiches, and even with steak!
For more flavorful sauces to serve with seafood, check out this list of 30+ Classic Sauces for Fish.
This simple mayonnaise-based Crab Cake Sauce is very similar to remoulade, but is extra creamy! It’s truly the best sauce for crab cakes because of the sour cream, creamy horseradish, fresh lemon, and chives.
The flavor is pleasantly rich with a touch of lemony tang and a zesty, herbaceous zing.
You can also serve it with so much more than crab cakes. It’s delicious with more crispy fried seafood recipes, like calamari, shrimp, and scallops, or spread on po’boy, pit beef, and shrimp roll sandwiches.
🦀 What is crab cake sauce?
No two crab cake sauce recipes are alike. Even in Maryland, there’s no such thing as a proper sauce to serve with crab cakes. Instead, you’ll find crab cakes served in restaurants with different spins on remoulade sauce, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and aioli sauce for crab cakes.
My version has the familiar tangy flavors of these classics and takes only 5 minutes to make. Consider doubling or tripling the ingredients because this sauce stores well, and you’ll want to put it on everything!
- Mayonnaise – Try to use full-fat mayo for the best flavor (like Hellman’s or Duke’s).
- Sour cream – Tangy sour cream elevates the base of the crab cake sauce. It’s also rich, creamy, and cooling, which perfectly complements smoky and spicy ingredients.
- Horseradish – I like using creamy horseradish because it adds a distinct fiery flavor without overpowering the sauce. Use prepared horseradish for a more pronounced horseradish taste.
- Lemon – Fresh juice and zest add enough acidity to balance the creamy, herbaceous, smoky, and spicy flavors.
📋 How to make crab cake sauce
It’s really easy. Just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well to combine.
After mixing the ingredients, give the sauce a taste and adjust the flavors if needed. And that’s it!
Quick tip: Remoulade-style sauces like this will taste better if they’re left to chill in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours before serving. This gives the different dimensions of flavor time to mingle and merge into a rounded, full-bodied crab remoulade sauce.
Technically, yes. But remember, crab cake sauce made with store-bought mayo stays fresher longer. Crab cake sauce made with homemade mayo will only last for about 2 or 3 days.
No, not really. The creamy horseradish brings heat, but as a whole, the sauce is mild. You may want to omit the horseradish or substitute it for pickle relish if you’re sensitive to spice.
Alternatively, turn up the heat and make a spicy crab remoulade instead. Blend the ingredients with a couple of chipotle peppers or mix in a dash of hot sauce. A pinch of cayenne will also do the trick.
🕕 Storing and freezing
As with all mayonnaise-based sauces, this sauce must also be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
Freezing your crab cake sauce is also an option, but some separation may occur during thawing.
🍴 More ways to use crab cake sauce
The possibilities are endless. Get creative and use this sauce to complement salty, savory, spicy, and smoky foods. Apart from crab cakes, here are a few more ways to enjoy crab cake sauce:
- Use it as a creamy dip for crunchy, dippable veggies. It’s delicious with zucchini fries, fried green beans, french fries, fried pickles, smashed potatoes, vegetable cakes, and fried mushrooms.
- Elevate seafood dishes, like crab-encrusted halibut, California rolls, baked salmon, Cajun shrimp, poached fish, and salmon cakes.
- Spread on burgers, cheesesteak sandwiches, and lobster rolls.
- Use it as a condiment for prime cuts of steak, like prime rib and filet mignon.
- Top bowls of beef stew or beef stroganoff with a dollop of this rich, creamy sauce.
🥣 More seafood sauce recipes
Did you try this crab cake sauce?
If you loved this easy homemade sauce, I would appreciate it if you gave it a starred review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and Facebook.
PS – Check out these 28+ best sides for crab cakes too!
Crab Cake Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest)
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- After mixing the ingredients, give the sauce a taste and adjust the flavors if needed.
- For best results, let the sauce rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before using to allow the flavors to meld together.
- This sauce will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
- You can also freeze this sauce for about 3 months, but some separation may occur during thawing.
Check out the web story here.