Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad

Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad

This tropical Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad is the best salad for summer time. It’s loaded with fresh mangoes and a citrusy key lime vinaigrette. The best part are the Northern Neck crab cakes stacked on top. This seasonal salad is the best.

Summer fruits are hands-down THE BEST!  Say what you will about autumn’s apples and pears (and no – pumpkin is not a fruit).   Yes,  citrus is glorious in the winter because it’s the only bright spot of sunshine that has a hope of peaking through a gray February day.  Rhubarb is a tell-tale herald of spring in a novelty-fruit-kind-of-way.  But summer wins with stone fruits like plums, nectarines, cherries and peaches, melons of all variety, berries so deep-red, sweet and juicy, you need to eat them with a bib. And mangoes.  Always mangoes.  So perfumed, so honey-sweet and so versatile.  Like in this Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad.

mango, bell pepper and onions


Mango is a star ingredient — even when it’s not THE star ingredient.  I mean, I think we can all agree, the crab cake is the real attraction in a crab cake salad, right?  But this salad is just lettuce and crab without that luscious honeyed pop of mango. 

Mango, cucumbers, arugula and radishes in a bowl.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I made this at my daughter’s behest.  I had a can of lump crab in the fridge and she kept asking, “When are you going to use the crab?  Are you going to make crab cakes?  I have to be here when you make it”.  Jeez!  Alright, already!

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I decided to kill two birds with one stone and reshoot my favorite crab cakes recipe (link herewith).  You see, when I started blogging three years ago, I didn’t have much skill taking pictures of food and it showed.  Looking back, I can see how much I’ve improved, but it also makes me want to revisit some older posts and give them some love.  So I thought remake the crab cakes – update the old post while making a new post at the same time!  And satisfy Emily’s crab cake cravings.  I’m so efficient!

dressing in a bowl with spoon.
key lime aioli

Since I live in South Florida and Key Limes are actually cheaper than regular persian limes, it made sense to use them in both the salad dressing and the garlicky aioli.

frying crab cakes.

I fried up the crab cakes in my cast iron skillet (the way my grandmother, Myne, taught me) and nestled that gorgeous patty on top of our salads, finishing the dish with a healthy swirl of lime-spiked aioli.  These salads didn’t last 10 seconds after I snapped the last picture!

Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad with wine.
Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad with fork.
Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad on plate with fork.

More main plate salads:

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Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad | Garlic + Zest
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4.63 from 8 votes

Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad

A summery salad with bites of mango, heavenly crab cakes and a tangy dressing!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword crab, mango
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

INGREDIENTS:

For the salad

  • 1 recipe Northern Neck Crab Cakes from this site
  • 12 ounces baby arugula
  • ½ small red onion finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • ½ english cucumber halved vertically, then cut into thin half-moons
  • 2 large mangoes cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 radishes thinly sliced

For the Key Lime Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pommery mustard whole grain
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice or from a Persian lime
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro freshly chopped

For the Key Lime Aioli

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon key lime juice or juice from a regular persian lime
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl combine the arugula, red onion, bell pepper, mango and radishes. Toss to combine and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, key lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cilantro. Whisk to combine and set aside.

For the Key Lime Aioli

  • In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic, key lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper. Stir until well combined.

Assemble the salad

  • Add dressing a few tablespoons at a time to the greens and toss until salad is lightly coated. — You may not need all the dressing and if you have leftovers just cover and refrigerate for another salad.
  • Divide the salad among four plates. Top each with a hot crab cake and a dollop of the Key Lime Aioli. Serve.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 431mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3020IU | Vitamin C: 54.9mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 1.6mg

“Pin It” For Later!

Want the BEST crab cake salad recipe? Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad w/ tropical key lime dressing, chunks of mango and crunchy veg. Like an island vacation! #crab #crabcake #crabcakesalad #salad #tropicalsalad #mangoes #keylime #keylimedressing #easysaladrecipe #seafoodsaladrecipe #keylime #citrusdressing #homemadecrabcakes #bestcrabcakesalad #lowcarbsalad

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31 Comments

  1. Luane Brickhouse says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe and your Northern Neck Crabcakes are a real hit.

    1. Hi Luane!

      Thanks for your comment. I’ve actually included links to the Northern Neck Crab Cake recipe that’s on my website. They are included in the post and as a link in the recipe. I hope that helps, but if not, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

  2. This salad is gorgeous! I love all of the colorful ingredients and you make cooking up crab cake seem easy!

    1. I’m glad you like the salad – it’s one of our fav’s! Crab cakes are easy!

  3. I’ve started revisiting my older blog posts to update photography, too. I like how you’ve done a two birds one stone with the crab cakes. Love the idea of serving them with this salad. And I can’t wait to try that vinaigrette!

    1. I kind of cringe when I see some of my older efforts. I guess I should be happy that I’ve shown some improvement! LOL!

  4. 5 stars
    Crab cakes on a gorgeous summer mango salad sounds like an absolutely delicious combination for summer. Sadly, its winter here in Sydney and so as I sit rugged up at my computer, I’m filing this away for the warmer weather!

    1. Don’t worry, it will be here when the weather warms… BTW – I’m sweating enough now for both of us!

  5. I am so with you on the summer fruits, and especially mango! I think McAllen, TX. must be similar to south Florida in climate and seasonal produce πŸ™‚ We love our mangoes too! This combination with crab cakes is intriguing, and one I would love to try!

    1. I’m sure McAllen must have a similar climate! And we have mangoes coming out of our ears right now!

  6. I’ve never tried making crab cakes, but will check your recipe out. And I love arugula, adds so much freshness to the food!

    1. If you love crab, then you’ll love crab cakes!

  7. The flavors of this salad sound so amazing!
    I’m putting this on my menu for next week!
    Thank you for such a great post!
    ~Krysten

    1. Oh, well in that case, I’m coming for dinner! LOL!

  8. These crab cakes look amazing! I love mango and arugula so this salad is right up my alley. Can’t wait to try this recipe out!

    1. Thanks, Holly! That’s my grandmother’s recipe, so you know they’ve been vetted!

  9. These flavors sound so good! I love the key lime and mango combo with that aioli! YUM!! And the bite of arugula and mango and cilantro, insane!!

  10. Azlin Bloor says:

    Gosh, you have everything going in this recipe, the crab cakes are fantastic, then the dressing and the aioli – just amazing!

  11. Oh I am with you on the summer fruit – it is the best!! Love the flavors in this dish – yum πŸ™‚

  12. Amy Stafford says:

    I agree with you that summer fruits are the BEST! I love summer because of all the fabulous produce we get to eat. Love using mango with a crab cake!

    1. We’ve got mangoes coming out of our ears right now in South Florida – so this salad makes a lot of sense!

  13. April J Harris (@apriljharris) says:

    Summer definitely wins – so much lovely produce! Your Key Lime Mango Crab Cake Salad recipe has my mouth watering – what wonderful flavours you have used! This is such a bright and fresh summer salad I can’t wait to give it a try.

    1. Yay! Another vote for summer! I’m glad you like the salad April and thanks for your comment!

  14. Kylee Cooks says:

    OMG, what gorgeous colors and flavors you have going on here! I’d be so delighted to have that show up at my table in a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks so much Kylee! It just SCREAMS summer, don’t you think?

  15. I could sit and stare at this meal all day!! I don’t know which looks better, those gorgeous crab cakes or all that fresh fruity salad, it’s a winner πŸ™‚

    1. Trust me, Sue, if it were sitting right in front of you, you’d be eating it — not staring!