Crab-less "Crab" Cakes

One of the reservations I hear about going plant based is the fear of giving up some our favorite foods. Seafood usually tops that list! As someone who has only been plant based for 3 years, I get it. It's hard making such BIG change, especially when we don't know what the heck we're doing or how to satisfy those cravings.
I am confident, however, that this recipe will change your mind and not fear going to the "plant side"! Even my best friend's husband (who is a full on omnivore) loved it, so that's saying something!

Ready in 60 minutes

Serves about 12-14 cakes


  • 1, 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (Save 4 Tablespoons of the garbanzo bean liquid)

  • 1, 14 oz cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and cut in half

  • 1, 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts (If not wanting to use artichoke hearts, use 2 cans of hearts of palm)

  • 1/4 cup Veganiase, or other vegan mayo

  • 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp tarmari or soy sauce

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced

  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot

  • 1/4 cup diced celery

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp kelp granules (I found these at the co-op)

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs + more for breaded coating

  • Oil for pan-frying​

  • Fresh Dill & lemon wedges to serve


  1. In a food processor add the garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, and artichoke hearts. Pulse a couple of times to break up the mixture, but ensuring it's still chunky. If you don't have a food processor, don't worry! You can add the ingredients to a bowl and mash/pull apart until you reach a crab like consistency.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the aquafaba aka chickpea juice until it's slightly frothy. Add the Veganise (or other vegan mayo), lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard and dry seasonings. Combine well.

  3. Now add the bread crumbs, green onion, shredded carrots, diced celery, along with your hearts of palm mixture. Fold to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Place your crab cake in the fridge for a solid 30 minutes. This helps it all stay together! If you don't have time for that, you're good. Make those crab cakes anyway, girl!

  4. When you're ready, take your mixture out of the fridge and begin forming small balls. Flatten each one between your hands to make a patty. Your mixture should yield about 12-14 small cakes.

  5. On a small plate, empty out some of those bread crumbs. This is what you're going to use to coat your crab cakes! Be sure to do both sides!

  6. Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of oil and let it heat up. Place as many patties that can comfortably fit in your pan and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping. You want them golden brown on both sides. Once they're done, transfer patties to a paper towel lined plate. With each batch, be sure to to wipe out the pan and add fresh oil, otherwise the previous bread crumbs will burn and smoke.

  7. To serve, drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a sriracha aioli or vegan tartar sauce! Round out the meal by adding a colorful green salad and grilled or baked potatoes!