Best Easy Baked Maryland Crab Balls Recipe

Maryland is renowned for its delicious crab dishes, and one of the most beloved recipes is the Maryland crab ball. These bite-sized delights are packed with flavor and make for a perfect appetizer or snack. While traditionally deep-fried, this easy baked version is a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste. So, let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to make these delectable Maryland crab balls.

Ingredients:

– 1 pound lump crab meat
– 1/2 cup bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup mayonnaise
– 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
– 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
– 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– Cooking spray

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lump crab meat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, red bell pepper, green onion, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Gently mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

3. Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball using your hands. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used, placing the crab balls on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Lightly spray the crab balls with cooking spray to help them brown in the oven.

5. Bake the crab balls for 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Flip them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.

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6. Once baked, remove the crab balls from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

7. Serve the Maryland crab balls with your favorite dipping sauce, such as tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. They also pair well with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Now that you have the recipe, it’s time to answer some common questions about Maryland crab balls:

1. Can I use canned crab meat instead of fresh crab meat?
Yes, you can use canned crab meat, but fresh lump crab meat is preferred for a better texture and flavor.

2. Can I freeze the uncooked crab balls?
Yes, you can freeze the uncooked crab balls for up to 3 months. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag before freezing.

3. Can I make the crab balls in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the crab balls a few hours ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

4. Can I substitute the Old Bay seasoning with something else?
If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning, you can use a combination of paprika, celery salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme as a substitute.

5. Can I make larger-sized crab cakes instead of bite-sized balls?
Absolutely! You can shape the mixture into larger crab cakes and adjust the baking time accordingly.

6. What can I serve with Maryland crab balls?
Maryland crab balls pair well with a side of coleslaw, fresh salad, or even as a topping on a seafood pasta dish.

7. Can I use a different type of seafood instead of crab meat?
While the recipe is specifically for Maryland crab balls, you can experiment with other seafood like shrimp or scallops for a variation in flavors.

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8. Can I deep-fry the crab balls instead of baking them?
Certainly! If you prefer the traditional method, you can deep-fry the crab balls until golden brown.

9. How long can I store the baked crab balls in the refrigerator?
You can store the baked crab balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.

Enjoy these easy baked Maryland crab balls and savor the flavors of the Chesapeake Bay right in your own home. They’re sure to be a hit at any gathering or as a special treat for yourself.