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.