These melt-in-your-mouth vegan crab cakes are made with seasoned artichoke heart patties coated with crispy panko breadcrumbs, pan-fried until crisp, and served with spicy cashew-sriracha aioli!
I waited tables through college, and during that time I served up a lot of crab cakes. I noticed one thing: people really love crab cakes!
I just discovered that I happen to love vegan crab cakes. Never tried the real deal, but I they can't possibly be any better than these suckers.
What You'll Need
For the Vegan Crab Cakes
- Artichoke hearts. You'll need the canned variety that are packed in brine. Make sure you don't get ones that are marinated or packed in oil.
- Panko breadcrumbs. Any vegan variety of breadcrumbs will work as a substitute — I just find panko to be the most readily available.
- Whole wheat flour. All-purpose flour works too!
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce. Most Worcestershire sauces contain anchovies, but not Annie's, Edward & Sons, and Whole Foods — they're are all vegan!
- Old Bay seasoning.
- Canola oil. Any high-heat oil can be substituted — try peanut, vegetable, or corn oil.
For the Aioli
- Raw cashews. They absolutely need to be raw. Roasted cashews will make your aioli taste like cashew butter! You'll also need to soak them in water for a while to soften them up for blending.
- Non-dairy milk. Use a variety that's unflavored and unsweetened. Soy milk, almond milk, and cashew milk would all work well!
- Lemon juice. Use freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
- Sriracha sauce. Feel free to substitute your favorite hot sauce, or leave it out for a heat-free aioli.
How to Make Vegan Crab Cakes
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
- Start by placing everything for the crab cakes except the oil and half of the breadcrumbs into food processor bowl.
- Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are finely chopped and well-mixed. Make sure you don't overblend the mixture — you'll want your vegan crab cakes to have some texture!
- Tip: This mixture can be made up to two days ahead of time. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge until you're ready to fry your cakes.
- Shape the mixture into a few patties while you heat up some oil in a skillet. Make sure you use a skillet with a good nonstick surface, such as cast iron.
- Dip one of your patties into a bowl filled with the rest of your panko breadcrumbs. Get it nicely coated, then transfer the patty to the skillet. You can coat a few more and add them to the skillet, just be sure not to crowd them or you'll have trouble flipping them!
- Cook the patties for a few minutes on each side, until they're crispy and golden. Be super careful when flipping them — vegan crab cakes are delicate!
- Tip: If you're finding that your cakes aren't cooked in the center, turn down the heat and let them cook a little longer.
- Whip up the aioli by blending all of your ingredients in a blender or food processor, then serve it with your crab cakes.
Leftovers & Storage
These vegan crab cakes are best served immediately, but if you have leftovers they'll keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days. To reheat, place them under a broiler and broil them for a few minutes on each side until hot and crispy.
The aioli will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Perhaps, but I haven't tried. Your best bet would be to use a gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
I don't recommend baking them, as most veggie fritters that I've tried baking have come out gummy. I have heard from a few readers who had luck making them in an air-fryer.
It does have a bit of a kick to it, thanks to the sriracha. Feel free to leave it out if you'd like a milder sauce.
More Vegan Seafood Recipes
- Tofu & Artichoke Scampi
- Vegan Tuna Salad
- Blackened Vegan Scallops & Grits
- Crispy Vegan Fish Fillet Sandwiches
- Vegan Ceviche
Vegan Crab Cakees with Sriracha Aioli
For the Sriracha Aioli
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce, or to taste
- Salt, to taste
For the Vegan Crab Cakes
- 2 (15 ounce or 400 gram) cans cans artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup canola oil, or as needed, for frying
Make the Sriracha Aioli
Place all ingredients into food processor bowl and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Season with salt to taste.
Make the Vegan Crab Cakes
Place artichoke hearts, celery, 1 cup panko, flour, garlic, chives, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
Pulse the machine until the artichokes are finely chopped and ingredients are well-mixed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Keep the texture chunky and avoid overblending.
Place the remaining cup of panko breadcrumbs into a small bowl.
Line a plate with a few paper towels.
Generously coat the bottom of a medium skillet with oil and place over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, scoop up a bit (about ⅓ cup or 1/12 of the total batch) of the artichoke mixture and shape it into a 3-inch patty.
Gently transfer the patty to the bowl filled with panko breadcrumbs and coat both sides.
Carefully place the patty into skillet.
Repeat the process of forming, coating and cooking another two or three patties (as many as you can fit into the skillet without overcrowding).
Gently flip the patties, one at a time as they begin to brown, cooking them about 3 or 4 minutes on each side.
Carefully remove the patties from the skillet as they are done, and transfer them to the paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat until all of the artichoke mixture has been used, making a total of about 12 patties, and adding oil to the skillet between batches as needed.
Serve the vegan crab cakes immediately with the aioli on the side.
If you don't have time to soak your cashews, boiling for 20-25 minutes will work in a pinch.