Vegan Crab Cakes with Sriracha Aioli

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.

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What You’ll Need

Stack of Vegan Crab Cakes Lettuce Leaf, Lemon Wedge, and Dish of Aioli in the Background

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.
  • Celery.
  • 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!
  • Garlic.
  • Chives.
  • 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.
  • Salt.
  • 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!
  • Garlic.
  • 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.
  • Salt.

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.
Ingredients for Making Vegan Crab Cakes in a Food Processor Bowl, Before and After Blending
  • 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.
Collage Showing Steps for Cooking Vegan Crab Cakes: Shape Patties, Dip in Panko, And Fry on Both Sides
  • Whip up the aioli by blending all of your ingredients in a blender or food processor, then serve it with your crab cakes.
Vegan Crab Cakes on a Plate with Aioli and Lemon Wedges

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

Can these crab cakes be made gluten-free?

Perhaps, but I haven’t tried. Your best bet would be to use a gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Can these crab cakes be baked?

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.

Is the aioli spicy?

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

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Vegan Crab Cakes With Chives on Top and Aioli on the Side

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Vegan Crab Cakees with Sriracha Aioli

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.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword artichokes, crab cakes, fritters
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soak Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 cakes
Calories 151kcal
Author Alissa

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

If you don’t have time to soak your cashews, boiling for 20-25 minutes will work in a pinch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cake with 1 tablespoon aioli | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.6g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1.4g | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 1.6g | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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