These Vegan Crab Cakes, made with hearts of palm and artichokes, are a perfect way to enjoy seafood flavors in a vegan way. These savory cakes are finger-licking delicious and can be used as an entree, appetizer, or filling for a sandwich!
Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the taste of seafood. These vegan crab cakes (minus the crab) are unbelievably delicious and easy to make.
These patties are healthy, low in calories, and gluten-free. Because of their versatility, they’re perfect as an entree but you can also use them as appetizers, in sandwiches (like po’ boys), or on salads. They would be yummy in anything they’re added to!
What’s in Vegan Crab Cakes?
Vegans can create just about anything out of plant-based ingredients so why not crab cakes?
- HEARTS OF PALM – chopped or shredded gives the same texture as you would get in a traditional crab cake.
- ARTICHOKES – also help replicate the texture as well as add some earthy flavor.
- OTHER VEGETABLES – onions, garlic, and celery for flavor and more texture.
- OLD BAY SEASONING – adds a traditional flavor to the cakes. It includes celery seed, paprika, mustard, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and others which remain secret from McCormick, the company that makes Old Bay.
- NORI OR DULSE FLAKES – seaweed options to add that seafood taste. While these are not It not just adds seafood flavor to the cakes but is also a source of natural iodine in your food.
- VEGAN MAYO: Mayo brings everything together. It combines the ingredients perfectly well. You can get vegan mayo from any grocery store. Make sure it’s 100% vegan before using it.
- PANKO: To get that crispy layer on the cakes, you can’t skip panko. For this recipe, make sure you use gluten-free panko bread crumbs. However, if you have nothing with gluten, you can use regular breadcrumbs as well.
Photo by William and Susan Brinson
I used to love getting crab cakes before going vegan but had not found a suitable replacement, that is until trying Robin Robertson’s Heart of Palm and Artichoke Cakes from her new book Veganize It.
I’ve talked about vegan kitchen staples before and I love how Robin gives us easy basic recipes in the first chapter to stock a home pantry. With more than 150 recipes and so many of color photos (which I love), I think this would be a great book for new vegans as well as seasoned vegans looking for more inspiration.
The book chapters are separated into sections like dairy- & egg-free, plant-based meats, vegan versions of seafood, condiments, sauces & dressings, and of course vegan sweets.
Just to name a few! Get your book today so you can Veganize It too!
How to make Vegan Crab Cakes
Step 1: Sauté onion and celery in a skillet until they are soft. Add in garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Remove the patties from heat and let them cool.
Step 2: Add all ingredients except for panko in a large bowl and mix well. Add the vegetable mixture and ¼ cup of panko and mix until everything is combined. Divide the mixture into eight equal portions and shape them in small patties with hands.
Step 3: Coat the patties with panko breadcrumbs and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm them up. Do not skip this step or they might fall apart while cooking.
Step 4: Heat oil and fry the patties until they are golden brown.
One of the best things about these vegan crab cakes is that you can use them in a variety of different ways:
- As an appetizer with your favorite vegan dipping sauce
- As a main course alongside veggies and a grain
- On salads
- As a patty on burgers
- Atop a pasta dish such as my Lemon One-Pot Pasta
You can make the veggie mixture up to 3 day ahead of time then coat with breadcrumbs and fry.
Yes, preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway.
Yes, once you coat them with panko you can freeze them up to 1 month and then fry or bake.
You can reheat them in a pan with a little oil or preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350F and bake them for about 10 mins.
Vegan Crab Cakes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil , plus more for frying
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup minced celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (14 oz) jar of hearts of palm, well drained, patted dry, and roughly chopped
- 1 (6oz) jar of marinated artichoke hearts, well drained, patted dry, and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon nori or dulse flakes
- ¼ cup vegan mayo
- ¾ cup gluten free panko bread crumbs or regular panko breadcrumbs if not gf
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, Old Bay seasoning, cornstarch, nori flakes, and mayo. Add the cooled onion mixture and 1/4 cup of the panko, and mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 6 to 8 portions and shape into small patties.
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Coat the patties with the bread crumbs and refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes or longer.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering.
- Carefully place the patties in the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.