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Stack of vegan crab cakes topped with vegan tartar sauce.
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Crab Cakes

These vegan crab cakes are golden brown and crispy, flaky and loaded with fresh flavors! Made with hearts of palm and chickpeas for a savory, satisfying appetizer or main course.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Freezer Time (Prep)40 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 211kcal


For Serving (Optional)


  • Add the hearts of palm and chickpeas to the food processor and pulse until you have a rough, chunky mixture. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed so that you process it evenly. Don't pulse too many times, as you want it to be chunky.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add vegan mayonnaise, soy sauce, lemon juice, dijon mustard, sea salt, smoked paprika, ground ginger, ground black pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder and garlic powder. Whisk to combine it well.
  • Add the heart of palm and chickpea mix to the bowl, along with chopped green onions, chopped nori, fresh chopped parsley, red bell pepper, sesame seeds and panko breadcrumbs. Gently fold to combine.
  • Place the mixture into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
  • After 20 minutes, take the mixture out of the freezer and begin forming it into patties. Place about ⅓ cup of mixture into your hands and form it into a ball. Then gently flatten to form it into a patty shape.
  • Place the patties onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the patties into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up before frying.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 4-5 patties to the pan (as many as comfortably fit without over-crowding). They should sizzle when they hit the pan.
  • Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • Once cooked, transfer the patties to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  • Repeat with the next batch, adding extra oil as needed, until all the patties are cooked.
  • Serve them hot and crispy with vegan tartar sauce, lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley.


  1. Hearts of palm - we used two 14-ounce cans of sliced hearts of palm (drained).
  2. Chickpeas - we used one 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drained). If you're not using canned chickpeas then the amount to use is 1 and ½ cups cooked chickpeas. 
  3. Chopped nori - adds 'fishy' flavor. We simply chopped up a sheet of nori.
  4. Green onions - are also called spring onions, scallions or salad onions.
  5. Air fryer: Brush the crab cakes with oil (or spray your basket with oil) and air fry at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point.
  6. Oven: Place the patties on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the tops with oil (to make them crispy) and bake at 400°F for around 20-25 minutes turning them over at the halfway mark (and brushing again with oil).
  7. Gluten free: Switch soy sauce for tamari or a gluten free soy sauce and use gluten free breadcrumbs to make these crab cakes gluten free.
  8. Storing: They store really well in the fridge for 4-5 days. They lose some of their crispiness but we still found them absolutely delicious either hot or cold. They can be reheated in the microwave, on the stove, in the oven or in the air fryer.
  9. Freezing: If you'd like to freeze them then it's best to freeze the patties before frying. Make them up to the point that you form them into patties and then freeze them on a baking sheet. When frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and then fry up as usual.
  10. Nutritional information is for vegan crab cakes only and excludes vegan tartar sauce. 


Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 1298mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg