Spicy Crab Cake Panini

image of Spicy Crab Cake Panini

I’ve mentioned my Cuisinart Griddler 4-in-1 panini maker previously, but I’m not sure I’ve conveyed just how in love with this thing I truly am. So far I’ve used it to make panini sandwiches, pancakes (several times) and french toast. Every time I use it, I love it more.

Now I find that I am looking for excuses to use it. I’m tweaking recipes to make them appropriate for my griddler. I think I’m addicted.

Hi, my name is Valerie and I’m a griddler-a-holic (“hi, Valerie!”).

The latest experiment came out quite delicious. I wanted to use the ingredients of our favorite crab cake but make it into a panino. My reasoning was that the crunchy bread would take the place of the crispy coating of the crab cake. It worked like a charm.

You can easily substitute your own favorite crab cake recipe, but I highly recommend this one. The chile-garlic mayonnaise is great for other sandwiches or dipping too, so make a little extra to keep around. It is easy to adjust the level of spiciness to your own taste.

We found these sandwiches quite filling. Leftovers were just as good the next day – warming them in the toaster oven on 400 for 7-10 minutes returned the bread to warm and crispy, just like new.


Spicy Crab Cake Panini


  • 1⁄2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeno chili
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat (cleaned and picked through) roughly chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 ciabatta buns split


  1. Heat your panini maker. Lay out split ciabatta buns and scoop out bready interior of the rounded side of the bun with your fingers, creating a hollow for the crab mixture to sit in.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, half of the chile-garlic sauce (you can find the chile-garlic sauce in the Asian aisle at the supermarket) and half of the lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix well and taste. Add more chile-garlic sauce and lemon juice as needed to get the level of spiciness you prefer. Spread a thin layer of chile-garlic mayo on ciabatta buns. Set aside remaining mayo.
  3. Spray a skillet liberally with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Add chopped vegetables and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in remaining ingredients, including remaining chile-garlic mayo. Mix until well combined.
  4. Spoon 1/4 of the crab mixture onto each hollowed out ciabatta bun, compressing filling with the spoon. Top with other half of bun. Spray both outer sides of the bun with cooking spray.
  5. Put two of the sandwiches into the panini grill and press. Cook until bread is crispy and golden, about 10 minutes (depends on your grill).
  6. Move cooked sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half diagonally. Cook second set of sandwiches while you devour the first two.

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