These crab cakes are for all the seafoodies out there! These delicious and healthy crab cakes are of course healthy and plant-based while keeping the flavor integrity of authentic crab cakes. They’re moist on the inside and crispy on the outside – paired with the tangy cream sauce I’m pretty sure I could fool the most diehard seafood lover.
Authentic Crab Cake Flavors
I haven’t had actual crab cakes in over ten years, so going into this recipe I was a bit rusty and playing it by ear. I used hearts of palm as opposed to artichoke hearts which are more commonly used for mimicking crab, and I think it made the texture even more realistic. I had my fish eating family members try it out and they confirmed the texture and flavor is on point! The best crab cakes should be:
- Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.
- Textured and chunky.
- Simple. Less is more – easy on the breadcrumbs!
Tangy, Textured, and Traditional
The dressing was so, so simple to make and lasts awhile in an airtight container in the fridge. The cakes can be enjoyed without the sauce, but I find the sauce gives them that extra oomph you associate with traditional crab cakes. A few notes on how I perfected these cakes –
- Don’t add too much flour or bread/nut crumbs – the mixture is designed to be on the wetter side. When you pick up a raw patty, it should fall apart/deform, but remain in tact while in position on your baking tray. This ensures they get crispy on the outside but stay soft and wet on the inside. Nothing is worse than a dry crab cake!
- Use an ice cream scooper to form your patties. I like THIS ONE from Amazon. Scoop your mixture and release it directly onto your baking tray (on parchment paper) then flatten with your hand. If you release it on a cutting board and have to relocate it, it’ll fall apart. Once it’s in position, don’t move it until you’re ready to flip it.
- Bake for AT LEAST 25 minutes on each side. I did around 33 minutes on each side at 400 degrees and it was the perfect amount of crispy.
These cakes are great as an appetizer, but feel free to top them to a bed of lettuce (I like shredded romaine) then drizzle with a bit of the tangy cream sauce to make a salad. I personally think they’re meant to be finger food – make a big batch and enjoy on a platter with friends!
Vegan Crab Cakes
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 cans hearts of palms drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup nut crumbs regular bread crumbs or rice crumbs work too
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 3/4 cup diced red onion
- 3 stalks of celery diced
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp vegan mayo I used the vegan mayo from Primal Kitchen
- 1-2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour can sub for all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp chives diced
- 1/2 juice of 1 lemon
- 3 garlic cloves
Tangy Cream Sauce
- 3/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- preheat your oven to 400 degrees. add a piece of parchment paper to a baking tray (the bigger the better!) and spray avocado oil on top. you can use any type of oil spray, I prefer avocado
- drain and rinse the chickpeas and hearts of palm. add to a food processor and pulse a few times. the mixture should be mixed well while remaining on the chunkier side. add to a large bowl
- dice your onions, celery, and red pepper. pulse in your food processor with the garlic cloves. once mixed throughout (can also be on the chunkier side) add to the large bowl and mix
- in your large bowl, add the remaining ingredients - diced chives, vegan mayo, crumbs (I used nut crumbs, bread or rice crumbs work too), lemon juice, chickpea flour, sea salt, and dijon mustard. mix well
- start forming your patties! use an ice cream scooper if you have for best, even results. release the mixture from your scooper directly onto the parchment paper and flatten with your hand. be sure to release the patty directly where you want it as it's tricky to move once it's released
- once all patties are formed on your baking tray, put in the oven for at least 25 minutes. because this mixture gives you so many cakes, it may take 2-3 rounds unless you have multiple baking trays
- after 25 minutes, flip the patties with a spatula and bake for another 25 minutes. if you remove them and they are still soft/not crispy enough, flip them and bake for another 10 minutes on each side
- while the patties are in the oven, add all your sauce ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine. store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
- when your patties are done, let them cool for at least 10-15 minutes. they should firm up a bit more as they cool. store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.