Want to make vegan crab cakes that always taste amazing, even if you have different ingredients available? This recipe uses the same base to make epic vegan crab cakes, and offers the option of using artichoke, jackfruit or hearts of palm to create a delicious final product.
There’s also three flour options to try out, all of which work and have pros and cons. I’ve also included a delicious and flavourful sour cream sauce for dipping!
This idea started as a way to figure out the best vegan crab cake ingredients. Unfortunately, the recipe tasters couldn’t agree on which is best so I’m posting all three. They were all super tasty, so make whichever one you have the ingredients for, or try all three and decide which one you prefer!
Sign up for the Veg Out newsletter to get vegan recipes and nutrition content from a Registered Dietitian!
This post contains affiliate links (including Amazon Associates) and I earn from qualifying purchases.
What’s the Best Flour to Use for Vegan Crab Cakes?
For these crab cakes, I used coconut flour, chickpea flour and whole wheat flour; one type per batch.
Each flour has pros and cons, but all three create a tasty final product. The purpose of flour is to hold the vegan crab cake together. The flour also absorbs liquid (and in doing so, makes the crab cake firmer.
Chickpea flour creates the firmest texture out of these three options, with whole wheat flour in the middle and coconut flour creating the softest textured crab cake.
The coconut flour flavour is my favourite, but the texture is soft for my liking. Sine I prefer the firmest crab cake (texture is important to me), I recommend chickpea flour if you have it available. Chickpea flour is fairly inexpensive and gluten-free.
There’s also an option to mix two flours. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think a mix of chickpea flour for the firm texture along with coconut flour for the flavour would be a great combo!
Jackfruit Crab Cakes
The jackfruit crab cakes are:
- Firmest texture
- Mild and slightly salty flavour
The jackfruit crab cakes were my personal favourite, but not everyone agreed as they didn’t offer the same flavour as artichoke. The texture was the best (to me) as they firmed up well and held together, ideal for dipping!
Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes
The artichoke crab cakes are:
- The most flavourful
- The softest in texture
Until I made vegan crab cakes three ways, I only made crab cakes with artichoke. Artichoke creates a very soft final product that is flaky like crab meat.
My artichoke crab cakes didn’t hold together that well. They were hard to pick up and definitely required a fork and knife to eat them. However, they offer the most flavour, simply due to the artichokes themselves being a flavourful vegetable (compared to jackfruit or hearts of palm which are mild in flavour).
So, if you’re going for flavour and don’t mind using a fork and knife, this may be the best option for you!
Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes
Making these hearts of palm crab cakes was the first time I ever used hearts of palm! I didn’t know what to expect, but the hearts of palm crab cakes are:
- Fairly average in taste (less salt and flavour than jackfruit – if you don’t like things salty, this could be the best option for you!)
- Good texture; softer than the jackfruit but firmer compared to the artichokes
If buying hearts of palm, I would definitely make this version of vegan crab cakes again. The flavour wasn’t too different compared to the jackfruit and the texture was nice!
Don’t Forget the Vegan Crab Cake Sauce!
Crab cakes are meant to be dipped into a creamy and delicious sauce. So don’t worry, I have you covered for this too!
I’ve created a delicious sour cream-based sauce to dip your vegan crab cakes in. This sauce only takes a couple minutes to stir together but adds a ton of flavour to the final product.
This is not a tartar sauce recipe because I think that’s boring. It’s also not an aioli (mayonnaise based sauce). Sour cream adds a rich creaminess and tang to a sauce and is an ingredient I love to have around.
Feel free to use a store-bought sour cream or make your own. I have a simple recipe for vegan sour cream (cashew based) if you’re interested. It works perfectly for this vegan crab cake sauce recipe.
Please note that one batch of dip is meant for one batch of crab cakes! I made three batches of vegan crab cakes, and a double batch of this vegan crab cake sauce just wasn’t quite enough (but I like it saucy!).
Let me know which version of the crab cakes you decide to make and don’t forget to tag me @lettucevegout when you share your creations on social media!!
Vegan Crab Cake Recipe 3 Ways | Artichoke, Jackfruit or Hearts of Palm
- Cutting Board
- Large bowl
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mat
- 1 can jackfruit, hearts of palm OR artichokes (canned in water or brine)
- 2 tbsp liquid from the can of jackfruit, hearts of palm OR artichokes
- 1/3 C celery , finely diced
- 1/3 C onion , finely diced
- ½ C flour (chickpea, whole wheat OR coconut)
- ¼ C parsley , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (can sub for sour cream if don’t have mayo)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Old bay seasoning
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste (a pinch of each)
- ½ C breadcrumbs , for coating (I used whole wheat panko)
- Oil spray
- Open the can of jackfruit, hearts of palm OR artichoke. Add 2 tbsp of the liquid in the can to a large bowl. Drain the rest of the liquid.
- Finely chop the jackfruit, hearts of palm OR artichoke and add to the bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for breadcrumbs to the bowl (add celery, onion, flour, parsley, vegan mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, Old bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper).
- Mix well then let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 °F while you wait.
- Spread the breadcrumbs out onto a plate. Fill a ¼ C measuring cup with the crab cake mixture. Take the crab cake mixture and shape into a 2 cm (just under an inch) thick disk, using your hands.
- Place the formed crab cake into breadcrumbs and gently press the breadcrumbs onto both sides. Transfer to a parchment or silicone-lined baking tray.
- Repeat for all the crab cakes (artichoke or hearts of palm makes 6 crab cakes; jackfruit makes 8).
- Use oil spray to lightly coat the crab cakes, then place them into the oven for 12 minutes. Remove the crab cakes from oven, carefully flip over, spray again with oil and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the breadcrumbs have browned.
- Remove from the oven. These can be served right away if using a fork and knife. If you want to pick them up, let cool completely on a baking rack (the type of flour also impacts the texture; read above for detail).
Crab Cake Sauce
- Mix all sauce ingredients together.
- Chill until ready to serve.