These Vegan Crab Cakes are a dream. I used to love crab cakes before going vegan because of their salty ‘Of-the-Sea’ taste and these are a great way to have that same flavour!
All my friends got so excited when they tried these Cannellini and Artichoke Vegan Crabless Cakes. They hold together well, are gluten-free, super filling from the beans and pinenuts and have a great crab-like stringy texture from the artichoke. They taste like a crab cake even more if you add some seaweed! These vegan crab cakes are perfect as a main meal with potatoes and tomato sauce, great as a dinner party starter, or even a vegan canape if made smaller. Perfect with our vegan tartare sauce.
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So what’s are the vegan crab cakes ingredients that make them so delicious?
- White beans (cannellini beans); they make a great change to chickpeas, are softer than chickpeas and work with more subtle flavours.
- Artichokes; gives them their stringy texture and subtle briny flavour (which adds to crab-like taste). For vegan crab cakes, it’s easiest to just get artichokes in a can or buy a jar of marinated artichokes (affiliate link).
- Pinenuts; another big favourite of mine. They have a nice crunch and are full of lovely good fats. In any bean cakes, I think it’s fun to have some sort of nut or seed for a crunchy contrast.
- Rosemary; the perfect pairing with white beans.
- Milled linseed; a great vegan egg substitute (we’ve done a whole post on How To Replace Eggs in any dish, plus some amazing egg-free recipes including cakes, scrambled tofu and frittata!)
- Buckwheat flour; helps hold the cakes together along with the linseed, adds more bite and gives the cakes more firmness.
- For the ‘Of-the-Sea’ taste lemon zest is a must, and optional extras are dill and seaweed. You could use a whole sheet of nori seaweed, but the most convenient are probably Nori seaweed flakes (affiliate link). You’ll find these at most health shops or Asian supermarkets e.g. the Japan Centre. Don’t worry if you can’t find them; first time I made these vegan crab cakes I didn’t use seaweed – Louise sneakily added some in! Both versions were delicious!.
- Dijon mustard; gives the vegan crab cakes a great kick, and brings out the lemony flavours even more. Add extra mustard if you want!
Depending on your preference you can fry or bake the cakes. I tried both; again, both were equally delicious, so up to you.
How to eat the Vegan Crab Cakes
These delicious (and addictive!) Cannellini and Artichoke Vegan Crabless Cakes are so versatile across starters, mains and canapes, and are easy to put in a sandwich for on the go. We made them in these photos with some easy vegan Tartare sauce.
They are particularly great for canapes! They hold together well and can be reheated in the oven, before dolloping with some tartare sauce & sprinkling with dill. See how cute they are in the photo below!
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Deliciously flaky and 'fishy' cakes that are kind to crabs and that your taste buds will love too!
- 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
- 4 cloves garlic chopped finely
- 2 tsp Olive oil (plus extra if frying)
- 1 tin drained cannellini beans (drained tin weight ~250g) (1.5 cups)
- 35 g toasted pinenuts (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
- Pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh / dried rosemary
- Zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
- 30 g oat / buckwheat flour (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 130 g marinated / tinned artichokes (drained) (1 cup) (chop off the hard ends and save for a salad - you want the softer stringy pieces which comes to ~90g / ¾ cup)
- 2 tbsp milled linseed/flaxseed mixed with 4 tbsp water
- 2-3 tsp Nori seaweed sprinkles (optional)
- 1 tsp dried dill (optional)
Sautee the onion and garlic in a frying pan using the olive oil.
Mash 3/4 of the cannellini beans roughly (keep it a bit chunky for texture) in a bowl. Then add the rest of the whole cannellini beans.
Add the pinenuts, salt, pepper, rosemary, lemon zest, flour, mustard, seaweed (if using), dill (if using), and sauteed onion and garlic to the beans. Mix together.
Chop the artichoke into small(ish) pieces, then add to the mixture. About 1cm by 1cm pieces.
Add the milled linseed/flaxseed mixed with water. Mix in with a spoon, then start to use your hands to combine everything well.
Put the whole mix in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
Make the mix into round patties / cakes (it should make about 8 medium-sized cakes). Pan fry in oil for about 4 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned but not burnt. Or bake for 35-40 minutes at 200°C / Gas Mark 5.
If frying, this can be done a day before an event and then the patties can be heated up in the oven just before serving.
You can make double the mixture and freeze some for another time!