Vegan Crab Cakes

In the past, crabs were only enjoyed along the West and East coast because of their availability in those locations. In these areas, cooks and trained chef’s combined the crab with spices and crackers or breadcrumbs. However, it was Crosby Gaige that coined the term “crab cakes” in the 1930’s. In his cookbook titled, “New York’s World Fair Cook Book”, he dubbed his popular recipe as “Baltimore Crab Cakes”.

I enjoy remixing recipes that traditionally contain meat because the journey to finding the perfect formula to replicate the taste and texture is a complex one. Luckily with this dish, I found the perfect formula the second time around and it was beyond delicious. I recommend adding more mayo and ranch, if necessary, to get it to your desired consistency.

Anyway, the first thing you want to do is prep your vegetables for sautéing. I had been complaining about my dull knives and small cutting board (all bought from Dollar Tree lol), so he bought me a really nice three-piece knife set and cutting board. This photo is me unnecessarily showing them off :).

chopped onions, celery and bell peppers on cutting board

I added olive oil to the pan on medium-high heat, then tossed in the onions and celery. I waited until they were translucent, then added the bell peppers. After they caramelized and left flavorful goodness in the bottom of the pan (or sucs), I added the vegetables to the bowl with the mashed chickpea mixture.

sautéed onions, bell peppers and celery for crab cakes

I do not have a large food processor, so I usually employ my fiancee to do the mashing with a fork whenever I need it done; he does a pretty good job. I like the slightly chunky pieces because it is reminiscent of crab meat.

mashed chickpeas and hearts of palm for crab cakes

After combining all of the rest of the ingredients, I mixed it in the large bowl and was happy with the texture. The first batch I made was too crumbly after I combined all of the ingrediants. I got really excited when I took this picture because I knew these were not only going to taste great, but were also the right consistency that I needed for them to hold together.

crab cake mixture in large bowl

After combining all of the ingredients, I shaped them into nice sized “cakes” and breaded them with Panko bread crumbs. I opted for a more textured breadcrumb for the outside because I wanted it to have a nice crisp layer. In order to accomplish that, I needed a breadcrumb that would absorb the oils. The edges of each “cake” wasn’t breaded because I wanted the contrast in color to show from the side profile when they were photographed after browning in the pan.

crab cakes shaped and being breaded in panic

crab cakes resting on parchment paper

I did not clean out the sauté pan that I used for sautéing the vegetables because I wanted to use the sucs to add flavor to the outside of the “cakes”. After placing the remainder of my oil into the pan with the cakes, I cooked them until each side was a crispy brown.

pan frying crab cakes in olive oil

We ate these with vegan mac&cheese, roasted red potatoes and sautéed fresh green beans. I served each “cake” with a lemon slice, dill and a freshly prepared lemon-dill aioli. The aioli is fairly easy to make because all you really need is Old Bay seasoning, the other half of your lemon, mayo and fresh dill.

It took me two separate sittings to eat it all because it was a nice meal portion. The “crab cakes” lasted us for 5 days, which was fantastic. If you try out this recipe, please leave a comment below. If you didn’t try it out, still leave a comment and let me know what you think about it along with your suggestions for our next meal.

finished crab cake garnished with lemon, dill and aioli

Print Recipe
Vegan Crab Cakes
Crispy, but moist Vegan Crab Cakes that are perfect as a main dish, appetizer or on a sandwich! They are the perfect texture and the flavor sends bursts of satisfaction in your mouth that is sure to please the family!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
  1. Place half of oil in a saucepan and add your onions and celery. Sauté until translucent, then add your bell peppers.
  2. While the vegetables are being sautéed, mash your chickpeas and hearts of palm in a large bowl.
  3. After your vegetables have cooked until slightly caramelized, add them to the large chickpea and hearts of palm mixture. Combine your seasonings, mayo, juice and finely ground breadcrumbs; mix until well combined.
  4. Shape each patty and coat with Panko breadcrumbs, then place on a pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. In the same pan that you cooked the vegetables, add the remaining oil and cook each side until a caramelized brown; approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve with a lemon and aioli sauce.
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