Crab Balls

Paleo crab balls from Real Life Paleo | Real Everything

A very famous story in my family is the tale of Matthew and the crabs. You ever have those kind of embarrassing family stories that keep getting told over and over again, repeatedly causing you to turn bright red as everyone laughs at your younger self?

Stacy’s story involves blow drying her hair in a flooded bathroom and mine involves eating crabs. You see, I was four and adorable (as you do when you’re four) and my parents and grandparents took me to a seafood restaurant. Everyone was really excited because they were going to eat crabs. I got excited too and made up a song about it (as you do when you’re four) that went, “Gonna eat cra-abs! Gonna eat cra-abs!” This continued up until the crabs arrived.

When I saw them (I imagine in my mind a big reveal involving silver domes lifted from plates) I screamed so loudly that everyone’s dinner stopped, “NO! NO! DON’T EAT IT! IT’S YUCKY!”

I’m still right, of course. They are, for all intents and purposes, sea bugs.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand! I’ve matured, but I’m still not the biggest crab fan. Stacy, on the other hand, grew up boating up the Chesapeake with her family and loves crabs! So, when we found wild caught crab on sale at the local market, Stacy decided crab balls were in order and brought me along for the ride. Yes, another Stacy recipe!

Just so you’re aware, there are four different types of crab meat: lump, backfin, special and claw. The first three are, for your purposes, essentially size distinctions. And price distinctions! Lump is much bigger and much more expensive. But you’re making crab balls here! You don’t need lump! We used backfin mixed with claw, but you can use special or all claw if you’d like. Just know claw is very… crabby tasting.

Crab Balls

8 oz. backfin crab meat, rinsed and drained
8 oz. claw crab meat, rinsed and drained
1/2 C blanched almond flour
3 Tbsp mayonnaise (make it yourself, our recipe is in ELaD!)
2 eggs, lightly scrambled beaten
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper (or pepper plus lemon zest)
1/2 tsp salt (we recommend Sea Veg Salt)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. ♥ In a medium mixing bowl, combine crab, flour, mayo and eggs by hand
  3. ♥ Add spices and mix again
  4. ♥ Roll meat into 1 inch diameter balls, using a rounded tablespoon for consistency
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until browned on the outside (oil tray if not using cast iron or enamel)

As always, any step marked with a is perfect for little hands to help with! Makes 25 crab balls – serves 4-6.

While I’m not about to bathe in a golden tub of she-crab soup (and by the way, it’s a for-real thing here on the cusp of the Chesapeake Bay!), I absolutely loved these! I was so surprised – considering my strong opposition to the idea.

Served with some fermented krauts and over fresh greens with a citrus vinaigrette, it was SUPER easy, quick and perfectly refreshing after a super hot long day. Perfectly brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Or, try them with some fresh horseradish mayo (or as Finian insists, guacamole goes with everything) and enjoy!

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  • XFit Mama

    This recipe looks delicious!

  • Claudia

    I love crab, those look really delicious, too bad no one else in my house would eat them 🙁

    •  Halve the batch and enjoy an indulgence without guilt!

  • Karyn

    Looks delicious – being from Baltimore, I looove crab cakes and Old Bay – and not those foo foo crab cakes restaurants make – I mean those crab cakes that are nearly all crab meat. @Claudia, unfortunately, the kids in my house will eat them, which means less for me, lol!

    •  Absolutely! These Crab Balls reminded me of those authentic ones you get on the Potomac’s edge after boating all day. I could’ve eaten the whole batch!

  • Erin

    Oh embarrassing stories – mine involves buying a Blizzard from DQ for my bf back in the day (went through the drive-thru, forgot to get my change, drove all the way home without realizing – it ended up being a $20 Blizzard).

    Also? I love crab, but in good ol’ Nebraska, the good stuff can be hard to come by! I dream of living on the East Coast someday…just for the seafood. 🙂

    •  I love seafood too – and could never be an “inland” girl now that I grew up on the water!

  • kris10q

    When you say eggs lightly scrambled do you mean lightly scrambled, cooked  or lightly beaten, still raw?

  • Dawn

    I agree with Finian about guacamole…  I wonder how many fresh caught crabs this would take…  Off to experiment the next time we go rock crabbing!

  • Hjcharlet

    OHEMGEE!!! I made salmon cakes using this recipe and adding some fresh dill and they were FANTASTIC!!! I cannot wait to get some fresh crab meat and make crab cakes 🙂  Thank you SO much!!

  • Dksanti

    I made these tonight.  They were a hit!  I only made a half batch.  Big mistake!  My 5 year old was pretty upset when he went to get more and they were all gone.

  • Dksanti

    Oh, and all we had were the cans of teeny-tiny crab bits..and they were still very good.

  • NicoleT

    Do you have any suggestions about a substitute for mayo? I have an enormous mayo aversion. Just the word makes me heave! What’s the purpose of it? Would it be something I could just leave out? I have TJ’s organic whole milk yogurt (??)

    • We’ve never tried it like that before, but you could definitely try the yogurt if you do diary. <3