Introduction: "Krabby" Patty Recipe

Picture of "Krabby" Patty Recipe

Don't tell Plankton, but as any astute watcher of Spongebob Squarepants knows, Krabby Patties aren't actually made with crab. Or even "krab." They're made out of chum, leftover scraps, making Krabby Patties the hot dogs of the sea. I'm going to show you how to make a gourmet Krabby Patty, and it doesn't contain any crab, either. Nope. It's all shrimp. And it came out even better than I expected. 

Why shrimp? I've learned from many attempts at making Krabby Patties that making them with crab is a waste of good crab. You fry it up in hot oil in a pan and you lose a lot of crab flavor. Plus, it's beaucoup expensive. You may end up adding tons of breadcrumbs to stretch the recipe to feed more than one person, and then it ends up tasting more like breadcrumbs than crab. I've experimented with this recipe over the years. At one point, I started adding shrimp to bind it together and to stretch the crab. I kept adding more shrimp each time I made this until I recently came to the conclusion that it should just be all shrimp. Tastier, yet less expensive.

However, I don't recommend calling them shrimp burgers because whenever I do that people look at me warily. They waver when I offer them one. But, if I say, "Want a Krabby Patty?" they're immediately on the team. "I'll take two!" they exclaim.

What you'll need for 8 burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 egg
  • 10-12 regular-sized or smaller hamburger buns
  • Lemon zest to taste
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp of our favorite hot sauce (I use Crystal)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil and/or butter for frying



I make my own tartar sauce. I deplore mayonnaise. Instead, I use ranch dressing as a base and add 1/3 part diced onion, 1/3 part diced dill pickle, 1/3 part diced celery, and a good tablespoon of dill weed.

I also make cocktail sauce with a lot of horseradish. Take a jar, fill it 3/4 full with ketchup; fill the remaining jar with roughly equal amounts prepared horseradish, malt vinegar, and hot sauce. It's powerful stuff so a little dab will do ya.

Waldo enthusiasts may notice that there's a red pepper in the picture. I meant to put that in my chum but forgot it. Glad I didn't use it. Keep the chum pure. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Chum

Picture of Prepare Your Chum

You will want to use a food processor for this. It's super easy and takes virtually no time.

First, take 3-4 of the hamburger buns and toss them into the food processor. Add all the dried spices, turn it on, and let it turn this into a very flavorful bread crumb mixture. Pour that into a big bowl.

Same thing with the shrimp. Toss it in and pulse it until the mixture is mostly very small pieces with some chunks of shrimp visible. My goal is to get this to be almost the consistency of raw breakfast sausage, the kind you make into sausage patties. Toss this into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest and hot sauce.

Crack an egg in there and mix it all up by hand. You're halfway there.

Step 2: Form Into Patties and Chill

Picture of Form Into Patties and Chill

You're goal is to make this into 8 patties. I grab an amount of chum that is somewhere in between a golf ball and a racquetball in size. Put some parchment paper or wax paper on a sheet pan and place your patties on the paper. You can even sort of form them on the paper if you are having a hard time making patties.

Once you have 8 patties, you are going to put this into either the refrigerator for 1/2 an hour or more or the freezer for 15 minutes or so. I use the freezer. This step is essential for removing your quite moist patties from the paper. My goal with these Krabby Patties is to make them stay very moist. I don't want them to dry out in any way, so this is how I handle them. By just almost slightly freezing them you can lift them off the paper with a spatula and place them in a hot pan without any trouble.

Step 3: Fry, Assemble, and Serve

Picture of Fry, Assemble, and Serve

Put a healthy amount of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and heat it up. I add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to this because butter and shrimp seem to go well together. You can use all butter if you want, but that might brown your butter, which could add an unpleasant taste. Up to you.

Place four patties in the hot pan and cook on medium heat. Flip them carefully after 3-4 minutes and finish them for 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and onto a plate.

Then, assemble your masterpieces. I usually go with bun, tartar sauce, Krabby Patty, butter lettuce, tomato slice, pickled onions, more tartar sauce, and a small amount of cocktail sauce on the top bun. I wouldn't go too hard on the saucing because you still want your burger — er, I mean Krabby Patty — to exhibit full flavor and not be covered up by all that sauce.

This is a great alternative to the usual burger cookout/dinner party/get together. It's really quite tasty and doesn't make you feel like you ate a giant ground beef stomach bomb. Which means you can eat two of these! Make some homemade french fries like I did. Perfect complement to these Krabby Patties.


theaprilelaine (author)2014-03-03

This was delicious! My fiance and I made them tonight. They are really good, very flavorful, and insanely easy. We are going to try them next time as just patties with some sauce and veggie sides. Thank you!!

supereric (author)theaprilelaine2014-03-03

Hooray! Glad you tried this. It really did come out quite well, so I hope others give it a shot, too.

Officiallycool22 (author)2016-02-02

Is mayonnaise an instrument?

No patrick mayonnaise is NOT an instrument

No Patrick, mayonaise is not in instrument


FluffleP (author)2017-02-24


Bubble_Bath (author)2017-01-17


QueenQ1 (author)2016-11-29

"oooooh I'm telling me,krabs you had this and showed it to everyone in the universe"

Great job thou :3

doodlecraft (author)2014-02-28

"Oh no, there's cheese on these patties! Bubble Buddy is lactose intolerant...what should we do?" All Spongebob aside, these look great! :)

QueenQ1 (author)doodlecraft2016-11-29


BubbleBass (author)2015-10-22

This is pretty good. Only one thing. You forgot the Pickles!

QueenQ1 (author)BubbleBass2016-11-29


BlenderB (author)2016-10-15

Eugene H. Krabs is going to be really mad if he sees this because it will steal all his costumers and money.

rodery69 (author)2016-08-06

What sre are the other recipes,i heard their is peanut butter patties,etc.

kroedel (author)2016-07-14

Now I want the recipe for those magnificent-looking potato wedges you plated on the side!

supereric (author)kroedel2016-07-14

Those are twice fried russet potato fries. I suggest sprinkling them with a spice mixture after you fry them the second time. I use celery salt, garlic powder, and Old Bay seasoning.

Michaeld185 (author)2015-11-15

Good recipe any for you and everyone else on here Krabby part of Krabby patty is mr krabs as in they are his pattys not that its crab

duaneavery (author)2015-08-21

In your years of playing with the recipe, did you try adding some fish, as a filler with shrimp it might be interesting, healthier, and lower calorie. Stick with the shrimp only approach for taste I suspect, especially if it is to be a rare treat!

MackTheAmazing (author)2015-08-21

this is awesome, and it's a good thing you chose shrimp, because krabby will make Mr. Krabs a cannibal

prickly vegan (author)2014-03-04

Why use buns for bread crumbs? Seems like a waste for some reason. You could just use cheap white bread for the same taste, or step it up with some rye, pumpernickel or sourdough. Then you'd have more buns for the burgers! Just a thought.

Because, you would want fresh buns for the burgers, but any bread would do. French bread grinds nicely and will dry out in just a couple days if set out unwrapped. Plus its easy to hold on to while grating with a hand grater.

supereric (author)prickly vegan2014-03-04

I think rye or pumpernickel or sourdough is an interesting idea worth trying. I just had a lot of those white-bread buns on hand that I probably will never chew through, so I used some of those extra buns for breadcrumbs. However, I don't think I would use wheat bread or any kind of strong-flavored, seeded, nine-grain healthy bread for this recipe (except maybe a rye that has fennel seeds in it because fennel really goes well with seafood IMHO). I was going for a neutral flavor because I wanted to really wanted the shrimp to stand out.

gary.balkam (author)2015-04-04

Another alternative would be clam patties. Yes, clam! Put fresh (aka live) clam tongues through a grinder, add a small amount of flour, form into patties, you can then coat the patties in flour, salt, pepper or dip in egg and coat in bread crumbs. If you really wanted to go with the 'chum' theme, you can add some ground shrimp, crab, lobster, and / or cod, flounder, pollock or other white fish. Since you are mainly using clam, adding things like lobster isn't that expensive since a little will go a long way.

fuzzmunchies (author)2015-03-19

"you forgot the picklesss!" my mom and i made these for my 16th birthday. ive always loved spongebob and wanted to find a way to make these. thank you for the recipe!!

1658496 (author)2015-03-13

1658496 (author)2015-03-13

Nauras1999 (author)2014-05-17

I will send this to plankton

jfoster17 (author)2014-03-05

I can't wait to try these. They look amazing.

Ottoclav (author)2014-03-05

Would scallops work? I love me some scallops!!

supereric (author)Ottoclav2014-03-05

I guess in theory that would work, Ottoclav. Any kind of seafood chum will probably work. I'm kind of meh on scallops myself, but if you like scallops it would probably be tasty. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

bgj (author)2014-03-05

I'm a little confused. Are you making a spice that tastes like Old Bay or are adding Old Bay in there somewhere?

supereric (author)bgj2014-03-05

Boy, everybody really is responding to the Old Bay. It's just one of the seasonings to add to the breadcrumbs in the list of ingredients.

lvaladezjr (author)2014-03-05

Awesomeness !!!! I didn't know Mr. Krabs was starting a dry land franchise! Might I recommend using olive oil and butter rather than vegetable oil to fry the krabby patties. Olive oil is lighter and gives a light crispness to the bread crumbs. It's a healthier oil too and blends very nicely with the butter.

tigr87 (author)2014-03-05

use JO spice number 2 instead of old bay.its the best on everything.dont use too much ;)

TT2 (author)2014-03-02

What is old bay seasoning? What does it taste like?

supereric (author)TT22014-03-02

It's a cajun-ish blend of seasonings. Bay leaves, celery salt, paprika, pepper, plus a few more spices. Goes great with seafood. It's something to use if you're going to have a shrimp boil, but it's a great all-around seasoning for all kinds of things. Every cuisine seems to have it's all-purpose spice blend. For the French, it's herb de Provence; for the Chinese, it's five spice; in North Africa, ras el hanout. In Louisiana, it's Old Bay.

egirvin (author)supereric2014-03-04

The recipe looks awesome, but I have to make some corrections to your claims about a Maryland heritage flavor. Old Bay is a term that came up from sailors coming in and out of the Chesapeake Bay in the port of Baltimore. Since McCormick was headquartered there and noticed it to be a popular blend, they bottled it, trademarked it, and marketed it.

Louisiana has many VERY fine spice blends, but I'm sure their natives would be just as quick to correct you if the shoe were on the other foot. That said, I'm sure you could use a cajun seasoning if were intended for seafood like the above mentioned shimp boil. Consider it a sort of extra seasoned season salt and sub in whatever blend you have handy. Though in my especially biased opinion, nothing beats Old Bay for seafood.

supereric (author)egirvin2014-03-04

I stand corrected. Old Bay is indeed from in and around Maryland. Growing up, my family used both Old Bay and Zatarain's interchangeably to make food with a Cajun flavor. We weren't exactly sophisticated. One of our favorite meals was a giant family plate of fried chicken gizzards. But now that I'm older I definitely want to faithfully represent all of these fine regional differences. That said, to me they both taste overwhelmingly of celery salt, which is something I love. Love celery and love salt.

wildbill001 (author)supereric2014-03-04

Hate to disagree but in Louisiana, it's Zatarain's Crab Boil. Never heard of Old Bay until I left south LA. For recipes like this, use the liquid. Much easier to measure. BUT GO EASY with it. It's is powerful stuff!

(Zatarain's is like Old Bay but better, IMHO).

supereric (author)wildbill0012014-03-04

You're absolutely right that Zatarain's is more authentic Louisiana, wildbill001. Old Bay is more of an Eastern Seaboard thing, having originated in Maryland I think. I'm from Georgia, and I have used both. To me they are pretty similar. Zatarain's is definitely spicier. I use Old Bay for general seasoning (e.g., fried potatoes or fish), but I use Zatarain's for an actual crab or shrimp boil preparation. I get the big bag of Zatarain's when I do that. Zatarain's is harder to find here in San Francisco, but I know where to dig it up when I need it. They're both good, but I think Zatarain's is probably better — so definitely use that if you have it. I had a can of Old Bay on hand this time around.

prickly vegan (author)TT22014-03-04

Old Bay kicks ass. It tastes nothing like Cajun spice, in my opinion. The celery seed in it and I believe bay leaves give it a special taste like nothing else. It is not particularly hot/spicy, but tastes like the sea to me. It is most definitely a northern tradition, and tastes amazing on fries, chips and even popcorn! Really, you have to taste Old Bay if you can.

These burgers look great, but, yeah, I don't eat shrimp. For some reason I always figured krabby patties were vegetarian. Wishful thinking? ;)

Sheldon_James_Plankton (author)2014-03-04

Now I can control the hunger that enslaves every vile creature lurking in Bikini Bottom!

Sheldon_James_Plankton (author)2014-03-04


Aaronh1 (author)2014-03-04

Looks really good. But according to Bubble Bass You forgot the pickles!!

DraakUSA (author)2014-03-04

Interesting, you deplore mayo, yet much of the ranch dressing out there is made with mayo.

supereric (author)DraakUSA2014-03-04

Please see my previous response to boatingman. If you like mayo, knock yourself out.

General Zod (author)2014-03-03

These look really good.....I mean really good.

boatingman (author)2014-03-01

I can't wait to make these for the grandkids. Thanks. On a side note, you do realize that Ranch Dressing in mostly mayonnaise?

supereric (author)boatingman2014-03-01

I believe ranch dressing is traditionally made with buttermilk and dried herbs. Mayo is oil and raw eggs. While some processed ranch dressings contain similar ingredients to mayonnaise (one particular ingredient, oil), they are quite different in composition and taste. While some people can take it or leave mayo, I think the split between strong mayo lovers and haters is more divisive than the one between Republicans and Democrats in today's Congress. I definitely would recommend you use what you — and your grandkids — like best. I think they'll like them. They were very tasty.

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