This vegan artichoke crab cakes recipe is easy to make from simple ingredients. Artichoke hearts are one of the best base ingredients for mimicking the texture of non-vegan crab cakes; its flaky layers make for a truly tasty and irresistible appetizer.
Start by chopping some canned artichoke, mix in some spices and other flavor-boosting ingredients, coat with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven until they become perfectly crispy. They’re great served with homemade crab cake sauce or on their own!
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Are Artichoke Crab Cakes Vegan?
Artichoke is a common ingredient used to replicate crab meat in vegan crabless cakes. While there are other tasty options for making vegan crab cakes, the texture of artichoke is very “flaky”.
This recipe uses canned artichoke hearts, which are canned in brine (don’t use ones packed in oil) and offer a salty flavor which is helpful when replacing seafood.
Ingredients to Make Crab Cakes with Artichoke
The ingredients for this recipe are simple to find at an average grocery store! They include:
- Canned artichoke: As the base for this recipe, canned artichoke hearts provide the bulk of these crabless cakes. The flaky texture of artichoke hearts are a great replacement for crab meat.
- Celery: Chopped celery offers a slight crunch in the final crabless cakes, adding a great texture.
- Onion: This essential ingredient creates a delicious flavor in our artichoke crab cakes.
- Chickpea flour: Chickpea flour is the best option to hold the patties together! After letting the cooked patties cool, they’ll hold together perfectly, allowing you to eat these crabless cakes with your hands! You could use whole wheat flour (slightly softer texture and a slight “nutty” flavor) or even coconut flour (delicious coconut flavor but a much softer patty).
- Parsley: Fresh herbs are always welcome when cooking, which is why I use some parsley for this recipe. You can use any herb you like; dill is a great option for seafood-inspired dishes.
- Vegan mayo and Dijon mustard: To keep the patties moist and add flavor, mayo and mustard are welcome additions.
- Old Bay seasoning: This ingredient is a very common seafood seasoning that provides loads of flavor and makes vegan seafood alternatives taste more “fishy”. If you don’t have Old Bay, or don’t like it, substitute for any seasoning salt.
- Garlic powder, salt and pepper: Flavor, flavor, flavor! I can’t cook without garlic, salt and black pepper!
- Panko breadcrumbs: For a crisp outer coating I use Panko breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs work, but create a finer texture, whereas the larger Panko flakes offer more crunch.
- Oil spray: To brown and crisp the Panko, spray either side of the crabless cakes before baking. If you don’t have oil spray, lightly brush oil onto either side of the patties. You could also pan-fry the crabless cakes with some oil in a pan.
How to Make Artichoke Crab Cakes
This recipe is simple to prepare especially since we’re baking the patties! Simply chop the veggies, mix with other ingredients before coating in panko and baking.
Step 1: Prep Ingredients
Begin by opening the cans of artichoke hearts and reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. Add the canning liquid (brine) to a large mixing bowl. This is a total of 2 tablespoons and NOT 2 tablespoons from each can.
Roughly chop the artichoke hearts, keeping some larger flakes. Focus on chopping up the “core” sections of the artichokes that are solid rather than the “flaky” top part of the artichokes.
You’ll also need to finely chop celery, onion and parsley. Add all these ingredients to your large mixing bowl along with the liquid from the artichoke can.
Step 2: Mix Crabless Cakes
Next, add the remaining ingredients (except for the Panko) to your mixing bowl. You’ll need to measure and add chickpea flour, vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, Old Bay, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Stir this mixture until well combined and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This time allows for the chickpea flour to soak up some liquid, which helps form the patties easier and provides a firmer final texture.
Step 3: Shape Patties and Coat in Breadcrumbs
After the 10-minute wait, sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs onto a flat-bottomed bowl or plate.
Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop the artichoke crab cake mixture and dump it into your hands. Carefully shape into a round disk, about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) thick.
Place this artichoke patty into the breadcrumbs and lightly pat it down so breadcrumbs stick to the bottom. Carefully flip the patty over and lightly press the other side into breadcrumbs before transferring onto a prepared baking tray (topped with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper).
Instead of flipping your crab cakes over in the breadcrumbs, you can also grab breadcrumbs and sprinkle them over the top of the patty while lightly patting them into the patty. I find this method easier than flipping. Just make sure both sides have an even layer of Panko!
Once you’ve formed all patties (recipe makes about 8), coated them in breadcrumbs and transferred to a baking tray, spray the crabless cakes with oil. If you don’t have oil spray, lightly brush some over the breadcrumbs.
Flip the patties and spray oil onto the other side.
Step 4: Bake and Serve
Place the oiled patties in an oven preheated to 375 °F for 20-22 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.
If you find the breadcrumbs aren’t browning after 22 minutes, you can carefully broil each side of the crab cakes for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and either serve immediately (you’ll need to use a fork) or let cool for about 15 minutes. This wait time allows the patties to become firmer so you can pick up the crab cakes to eat with your hands.
How to Serve a Balanced Vegan Meal
This recipe is intended to be an appetizer and is a delicious start to any meal! However, if you want to use the artichoke crab cakes as part of your main meal, consider what to serve them with.
This recipe offers some non-starchy vegetables, carbohydrates (breadcrumbs and chickpea flour) and fats (mayo and oil for cooking).
The main nutrient missing is protein! You could easily serve these tasty crabless cakes alongside chickpea salad, cooked tofu or tempeh.
The other “option” is to recognize that a lower protein meal is occasionally fine. Just don’t make it a habit to skip on good sources of plant protein!
Vegan Crab Cake Variations
There are many ways to create tasty vegan crab cakes! This recipe uses artichokes which have a great flaky texture that easily replicates crab meat.
How to Refrigerate and Reheat Leftovers
Cool leftovers completely on your kitchen counter before being transferring into an airtight container. They’ll last in a fridge for up to one week.
Leftover crab cakes can be eaten cold, reheated in the microwave or reheated in the oven/ toaster oven. It’s best to reheat in an oven because it’ll help keep the breadcrumb coating crispy.
Reheating in a microwave is convenient but leaves the breadcrumb coating softer.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes
- 2 ⅔ cups artichoke hearts , roughly chopped (artichoke from 2 14-ounce cans)
- 2 tablespoons artichoke hearts liquid , from can
- ⅓ cup celery , finely diced
- ⅓ cup onion , finely diced
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ¼ cup parsley , finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Old bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed)
- oil spray
Step 1: Prep Ingredients
- Open the cans of artichoke hearts and measure canning liquid into a large mixing bowl.2 tablespoons artichoke hearts liquid
- Discard the remaining liquid then dump the artichoke hearts onto a cutting board.
- Roughly chop the artichoke hearts (mostly focusing on chopping the “core” sections) and add to your large bowl.2 ⅔ cups artichoke hearts
- Finely chop celery, onion and parsley. Add to the large mixing bowl.⅓ cup celery, ⅓ cup onion, ¼ cup parsley
Step 2: Mix Crab Cakes
- To the large bowl, add chickpea flour, vegan mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, Old bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.½ cup chickpea flour, 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Old bay seasoning, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Mix until well combined.
- Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Shape Crab Cakes and Coat with Breadcrumbs
- Prep your baking tray by covering it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Measure panko breadcrumbs into a large, flat bottom bowl.½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Once the crab cake mixture has rested, use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the crab cake mixture. Take this out of the measuring cup and shape into a flat disk, about ¾ inch (2 centimeters) thick.
- Set the crab cake into the breadcrumbs and lightly press down. Flip your crab cake to lightly coat the other side with breadcrumbs, or sprinkle some on top and press into the patty.
- Place onto the baking tray and repeat to form all crab cakes coated with breadcrumbs.
- Spray the crab cakes with oil (if you don’t have oil spray, lightly brush oil onto each crab cake).oil spray
- Flip your crab cakes over and spray oil onto the other side (or brush oil onto the other side).
Step 4: Bake and Serve
- Put the crab cakes into an oven preheated to 375 °F. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until both sides are golden-brown.
- Crabless cakes can be served hot from the oven if you use a fork and knife. If you want to pick them up, allow to cool for at least 15 minutes so they have time to firm.
- Serve with a creamy dairy-free dip, like this vegan crab cake sauce!crab cake sauce
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.