Vegan Crab Cakes from Vegan Huggs Blog

Photo by Chris F on

Christ is risen!

This has been my personal favorite faux crab cakes recipe. I stumbled upon it years ago and it’s my go to since. It is very easy to make, and if you don’t have chickpeas on hand, canned artichoke hearts can be used– I’ve tried it both ways and both are excellent. When making it for my husband, I have no choice but to make it with artichoke hearts because it’s on one of his “avoid/moderate” food list. I love that I can make this in advance, freeze leftovers (before baking) and bake or fry the “crab” cakes when ready. It is perfect for those days when you have a short time (or energy) to make something for lunch or dinner.

‘Vegan Huggs’ Author’s notes: “I’ve had people suggest that I call them Hearts of Palm Cakes or Bean Cakes, but there’s a reason that I don’t. As a blogger, I have to title my recipes so they are easily searchable online. Otherwise, there will be crickets around here and nobody will see my recipes. So, I have to do my own research first before selecting a title and it’s not an easy task. Believe it or not, MANY people are searching for Vegan Crab Cakes and just a handful are searching for Hearts of Palm Cakes. And NOBODY is searching for Bean cakes!! So, that’s one of my reasons for my title choice for anyone who might be wondering. I also have an Un-Tuna Salad Sandwich on the blog. It’s just a tasty as the original version. You’ve gotta try it!”

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! I thank Melissa Huggins, the original creator of this recipe. It is absolutely delicious!!!! It pairs well with a spring mix salad with a walnut oil vinaigrette, which I think I will make tonight, alongside with a pasta entree with broccoli, peas, and garlic.


15 oz canned garbanzo beans , rinsed. *Save liquid (or one 14 oz can artichoke hearts)

2 – 14 oz cans hearts of palm , rinsed, drained and cut in half lengthwise

4 tablespoons reserved garbanzo bean liquid

¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce (*see note)

1 teaspoon lemon juice , more to taste

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

½ cup sliced green onion

2 teaspoons kelp granules (*see note for sub)

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning (or any seafood seasoning)

½ teaspoon sea salt , more to taste

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 cup breadcrumbs (panko or regular) + more for breaded coating

¼ cup preferred oil for pan-frying (divided)

  1. In a food processor add the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm together. Pulse just a few times to break everything up. Don’t pulse too many times or it will turn to mush. It should have a crab-like consistency. You can also do this manually, just use a fork to shred everything up. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the reserved bean liquid well until it’s foamy. Then add the vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and all the dry seasonings. Whisk to combine well.
  3. Now add the bread crumbs, green onion, and hearts of palm and garbanzo bean mixture. Gently fold to combine. Taste for seasoning, add more if needed. Pop the mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes. This helps the mixture stay together a bit better.
  4. Place enough breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate that will coat patties evenly. Take mixture out of freezer. Place about ¼ cup of mixture into your hands to form a ball. Then gently flatten to form it into a patty shape. Coat patty in the bread crumbs on each side. Place aside and continue until the mixture is gone.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat (about 2-3 minutes). Add about 2 tablespoons of oil and wait until it gets hot and shimmery before adding the patties. If you place the patty in the pan, and you hear it sizzle, it’s ready. 
  6. Place about 4-5 patties on your pan at one time, but make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t cook properly. Pan-fry them about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Try to only flip each patty once. When done, transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Wipe out pan before the uncooked patties are added. Add fresh oil and continue until all patties are complete.
  7. Serve hot with vegan tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and top with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
Notes From Melissa Huggins
  • This recipe yields 10-12 cakes, using about ¼ cup of mixture for each one.
  • If you can’t find kelp granules, you can use dulse flakesdulse granulesor break up a small piece of nori. If you don’t want the ocean-like flavor, you can omit the seaweed altogether. It will still be delicious! 
  • If the mixture is too wet for your taste, AFTER it comes out of the freezer, you can add a ¼ cup of breadcrumbs into it. Combine well.
  • The prep time doesn’t include the 15-20 minute freezing time.
  • If you want to make a healthier version of this dish, you can definitely bake these. Just set your oven to 400 degrees F. and bake about 10-15 minutes on each side. Make sure to lightly grease your baking sheet too.
  • If you can’t find vegan Worcestershire sauce, you can use low-sodium tamari or soy sauce.

*Note: the video above shows the hearts of palm sliced before going into the food processor. I prefer to just cut them in half lengthwise to keep larger pieces in the mixture for a flakier texture. 

Nutrition (When using garbanzo beans)

Serving: 3 patties | Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 949mg | Potassium: 2379mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 5mg

SOURCES Author: Melissa Huggins

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