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This vegan crab cakes recipe is the best because it is healthy, satisfying and so easy to make! In addition, it's gluten free, made with chickpeas, quinoa, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts!
These homemade vegan crab cakes are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside with a perfect texture just like my vegan corn fritters or vegan potato cakes. Pair it with vegan tartar sauce, sriracha mayo, vegan chipotle mayo, thousand island dressing or garlic aioli and make it a main dish, side dish and also an appetizer!
They are also loaded with protein from chickpeas and quinoa. As you can tell from my smashed chickpea sandwich or chickpea avocado salad recipes that I am a fan!
You can also make a big batch as meal prep and keep it in the fridge for the week. When you want to make a quick dinner or lunch, you can just pan fry them on a skillet!
But, before we jump into the recipe, let's talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
Can Vegans Eat Crab Cakes?
Since vegans do not eat seafood, traditional crab cakes are not suitable. But we will not be using any seafood or traditional mayo to make these crab cakes!
What are Vegan Crab Cakes made of?
We are going to be using a combination of chickpeas, quinoa, hearts of palm and also artichoke hearts. We will add chickpea flour instead of panko breadcrumbs so it will be gluten free as well!
How to Make Vegan Crab Cakes
Chickpeas & liquid from the can (aquafaba)
Our main ingredient is chickpeas because of the texture. Instead of eggs, we will be using the liquid from chickpeas (aquafaba) so make sure to reserve it!
We will be adding cooked quinoa because it provides texture and makes it healthy. Make sure to pre-rinse the quinoa before cooking it.
Hearts of Palm & Artichoke hearts
Both of these ingredients provide a flaky seafood texture and also a great taste. I don't recommend subbing it for another ingredients because it will change the taste and texture.
Chickpea Flour & Mayo
Chickpea flour thickens the mixture it is easy to work with and holds up better. We'll also add some homemade vegan mayo but you can use store-bought if you prefer.
Spring Onions & Parsley
Spring onions work great because they don't have a lot of moisture like regular onions. Parsley gives so much flavor but you can sub for cilantro if you don't like it.
Brown Mustard & Lemon Juice
Both of these ingredients give a tangy but delicious flavor! I don't recommend using a bottle version of lemon juice because I don't think it tastes fresh.
We will be adding some garlic powder because it gives some depth to the flavors. We will also add old bay seasoning for replicating that seafood taste.
Oil & Salt
Nori Sheets (optional)
I like adding small pieces of nori sheets or seaweed for the taste but you can omit. You can also use kelp granules instead.
How to Make it step by step
- First, start by cooking the quinoa. In the mean time, add the garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and small pieces of nori sheets in a food processor and then pulse a few times. Make sure you are not blending too much because you want to leave some texture.
- Next, make the "eggs" by adding the chickpea liquid (aquafaba) in a small bowl and then whisk it until it's foamy.
- Now, you will add all the ingredients (except oil) into a large bowl and then mix well. Before shaping and cooking it, place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that it gets firm and way easier to work with. (don't skip this part)
- Form the mixture into about 10 patties (I used a ¼ cup size measuring cup so they are evenly sized). And then cook them in a skillet on medium heat until crispy on the outside (don't overcrowd the pan). You don't want to cook them in very high heat because they will burn.
Tips & Variations
- Make sure to cook the crab cakes on medium heat and don't overcrowd the pan.
- To make them spicy, you can add cayenne or crushed red peppers. You can also add vegan Worcestershire sauce for that umami taste.
- If the mixture is too wet, add a little more chickpea flour.
- I haven't baked them because they won't be as crispy but you can use an air fryer and experiment with that.
- Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed.
How to store and reheat vegan crab cakes
You can store the leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. I usually reheat them in the toaster oven but you can reheat at 400 F in the oven until warm.
How to Serve them
- Add tartar sauce on top or dip in
- Cucumber tomato onion salad or quinoa salad for a healthy pairing
- Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes on the side!
This vegetarian crab cakes recipe is very easy and quick. It is also:
- Hearty & Comforting
- Gluten-free & soy-free
- Healthy & Filling
- Meal-prep friendly
- Also so delicious!
More healthy plant-based recipes to try
- PAD THAI (EASY & HEALTHY)
- EASY FALAFEL BOWL (GLUTEN-FREE)
- PASTA SALAD (EASY & QUICK)
- LENTIL BOLOGNESE
- BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER WINGS
- BBQ JACKFRUIT SANDWICHES
- BBQ JACKFRUIT PIZZA
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This vegan crab cakes recipe is the best because it is healthy, satisfying and so easy to make! It's gluten-free, made with chickpeas, quinoa, hearts of palm and artichoke hearts!
- 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas (reserve the liquid!)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (about ¼ cup dry quinoa)
- 1 can (14 oz) hearts of palm
- 1 cup artichoke hearts (marinated)
- ⅓ cup liquid in the can of chickpeas (aquafaba)
- ¼ cup homemade vegan mayo (or store-bought)
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 4 spring onions (chopped small)
- 1 tbsp parsley (chopped small)
- 2 tsp old bay seasoning
- 1 tbsp brown mustard (sub for dijon)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (for frying-sub for another high smoke point oil)
- 1 small pieces of nori sheet (optional-sub for kelp granules)
- Cook the quinoa if you haven't already.
- In the meantime, add the garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and small pieces of nori sheets (optional) in a food processor and pulse a few times. Make sure not to blend too much, leave some texture.
- Add the chickpea liquid (aquafaba) in a small bowl and whisk it until it's foamy.
- In a large bowl, add the mixture from the food processor, foamy chickpea liquid, cooked quinoa, mayo, chickpea flour, chopped spring onions, chopped parsley, old bay seasoning, brown mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt, combine well.
- Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes (don't skip this step). Form the mixture into small patties (I used a ¼ measuring cup to measure).
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and when oil is hot, fry the patties (4 patties at a time, don't overcrowd the pan) for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve immediately with vegan tartar sauce, chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Make sure to cook them on medium heat and don't overcrowd the pan.
To make them spicy, add cayenne or crushed red peppers.
If the mixture is too wet, add a little more chickpea flour.
I haven't baked them because they won't be as crispy but you can use an air fryer and experiment with that.
Always adjust to taste, add more salt if needed.
- Serving Size: 10
- Calories: 149
- Sugar: 0.9g
- Sodium: 570.2mg
- Fat: 7.8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 15.4g
- Fiber: 4.5g
- Protein: 5.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan crab cakes, crabless crab cakes, hearts of palm cakes, vegetarian crab cakes