Home > Recipes > Ingredients > Beans
January 28, 2020

by Alyssa

Vegan Quinoa Crab Cakes

Jump To Recipe

These quinoa crab cakes might look traditional, but are actually 100% vegan! Made with hearts of palm, chickpeas, and artichokes, they're GF and delicious!

Healthy Vegan Crab Cakes with Quinoa

Of course, by the title of this post, you know what the recipe is going to be, but now that you've seen the pictures, I'd like to ask:

Just by looking at them, would you believe that these quinoa crab cakes contained no crab at all?!

My guess would be no and that's one of the things I love most about this job! I absolutely LOVE creating new and delicious plant-based versions of classic recipes for this reason alone: it encourages you to try new things that are centered around plants.

These vegan crab cakes are soft and tender on the inside with the perfect crisp on the outside. They've got a slight brininess to them, but also that classic spice blend and seasonings. And if you scroll down to the last photo, you'll see what the inside looks like too!

Vegan Crab Cake Ingredients

Three Main Vegan Crab Cake Ingredients

Traditional crab cakes obviously contain crab meat which has a kind of seafood/briny flavor. But that's not the only thing we need to replicate with a vegan version. We also have to consider the texture!

Personally, I think we've totally nailed it with this recipe. We've got the brine, but we also have that kind of flakey, soft, tender texture. And it comes down to three simple ingredients:

  • Chickpeas
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Hearts of Palm

Blending those together we check all the boxes. The artichokes and hearts of palm bring that brine flavor, while also add that kind of “shredded” texture that you can get from lump crab meat. The chickpeas I find just add a bit more oomph and bite, while also helping the rest of the ingredients hold together.

How to make Quinoa Crab Cakes

Equipment Needed for Crab Cakes

Making crab cakes at home is really simple. Even the vegan version! All you need are two simple tools:

  • Food processor: this is where we'll make our “dough”. I have this 11-cup food processor from Cuisinart and absolutely love it! We blend the ingredients up in the food processor to form that crab-like texture and we only have to use that one bowl. Which means… easy cleanup!
  • Sautee pan: some crab cakes are deep-fried, but we're going to pan fry ours. So all you need is a skillet (any kind) so you can heat your oil and cook them up.

What's great about this recipe is how easy it is on your kitchen. You don't even have to really chop anything (aside from halving an onion). So you'll be able to have everything cleaned up in no time!

Healthy Quinoa Crab Cakes

How to make Quinoa Crab Cakes

Remember when I said these were minimal cleanup? Well, they're also a cinch to make! Even though there are like 6 steps involved, you're basically just adding things to the food processor, forming cakes and then cooking them.


The first thing we'll do is add our onion and garlic into the food processor. You'll blitz those up until they're finely chopped/minced.


Next into the food processor are our chickpeas, artichokes, and hearts of palm. We're using one can of each and just make sure to drain them before adding them in. We don't want that extra liquid! Blitz those up until they've formed a kind of lumpy/shredded texture.


Next into the food processor are our seasonings. We're keeping things pretty basic and adding vegan yogurt (or mayo), lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, dried dill, and Old Bay. Again, blitz it up until the seasonings are combined into the dough.


The final things into the food processor are our dry ingredients: cooked quinoa and quinoa flakes. The cooked quinoa is there to add some texture and absorb some of the liquid, while the quinoa flakes are there to hold everything together and help keep them from falling apart. Stir those into the dough and you're ready to assemble.


Once you've got your dough, you're going to form them into cakes. I take about 3 – 4 tablespoons of dough into my hands and then just shape them into little cakes.


The final step before serving is to cook them! As I said, we're pan-frying, so you'll want to heat up some oil and then once it's hot you'll just cook them until they're golden brown and crispy on each side, about 2 – 3 minutes. See how easy?!

Crabless Crab Cakes

Are Crab Cakes Healthy?

I personally think that crab cakes can be very healthy, especially if they're made the right way! It's less healthy if you deep fry them, but the base ingredients in both traditional crab cakes and our vegan crab cakes are simple and straightforward.

They're high in protein, they've got fiber, they've got healthy fats and they can definitely be filling and satisfying!

I wouldn't serve them alone as a meal though, so I usually serve them with a simple side salad like the shaved brussels sprout salad that I shared last week.

What To Sauce Goes with Crab Cakes

First and foremost, I believe that crab cakes need a sauce. I love making my own sriracha mayo and using that as a garnish. I just mix a little (vegan) mayo with some sriracha and call it a day. You could also do:

Or basically, anything that's creamy and tangy at the same time!

Vegan Crab Cakes with Hearts of Palm

How to Store Quinoa Crab Cakes

Similar to our veggie burgers, you can store your crab cakes in the fridge or freezer. I'd personally recommend cooking them beforehand, but you can also store them uncooked and cook them whenever you're ready. They'll last about 4 – 5 days in the fridge and 3 – 6 months in the freezer.

Are Crab Cakes Good for Meal Prep?

Yes and yes! You can absolutely meal prep these quinoa crab cakes. Just make the batch ahead of time and store them in either of the two options above.

To reheat crab cakes, make sure they're completely thawed and then either:

  • Pop them into the microwave and warm until heated through
  • Reheat them in the pan until they're warm in the middle
  • Bake them in the oven at 300ºF until they're warm in the center

I hope that you do end up making these as a healthy meal prep idea! They'd be awesome for dinner, awesome for lunch the next day and could even be enjoyed for breakfast (crabless eggs benedict anyone?!). Make sure to share a photo with me on Instagram if you do end up making them ❤️


Vegan Quinoa Crab Cake

Other Healthy Vegan Recipes to try:

Vegan Quinoa Crab Cakes

These healthy quinoa crab cakes might look traditional, but are actually 100% vegan! They're also gluten-free, healthy and super delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 cakes
Calories 154kcal
Print Pin
Vegan Quinoa Crab Cakes
4.77 from 13 votes


  • ½ an onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) hearts of palm, drained
  • 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt (or vegan yogurt or mayo of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (any variety)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • Generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • Oil for cooking
  • Sriracha mayo for serving
  • Fresh herbs for serving


  • Add the onion and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chopped.
  • Remove the lid and add the chickpeas, artichoke hearts and hearts of palm. Process again until somewhat combined. You want there to still be a texture to "dough".
  • Remove the lid once more and add the seasonings: yogurt, lemon, mustard, hot sauce, old bay, and dill. Pulse again until combined.
  • Remove the lid once more time and add the quinoa and quinoa flakes. Depending on the size of your food processor, pulse to combine, or if your food processor is too large, stir in the quinoa and quinoa flakes into the dough.
  • Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough into your hands and shape into a cake. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add a few cakes into the skillet (as many as you can fit while giving them each space). Cook 2 - 3 minutes per side until the cakes are golden brown and crispy.
  • Removed the cakes from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat the cooking process until you've cooked all the cakes.
  • When ready to serve, put two cakes on each plate. Top with a dollop of sriracha mayo and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve warm and enjoy!



Serving: 1cake | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 757mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 407IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

Vegan Quinoa Crab Cake

Vegan Quinoa Crab Cake

shop this post

rate this recipe


share what you make

Tag #simplyquinoa on Instagram with your creations! We love sharing what you make with the community. We can’t wait to see!

About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. This recipe was fantastic. I made it using oats instead of quinoa flakes. I also served it with a little tahini sauce, but it didn’t even need a sauce. The crab cakes are so flavorful. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  2. Hey Alyssa,

    Huge fan of your blog and channel. The first time I made this recipe the crab cakes held up well because I had all the ingredients listed, but when I ran out of quinoa flakes which are a bit expensive, I decided to use panko bread crumbs the second time I made it based on the sweet potato soul vlogger and they fell apart, do you think it’s because of not having the flakes. Do you recommend anything else, like oats? Or what if you’re not vegan can you add an egg to bind these to make them stay together while cooking. Overall geinus idea as I find cooking any sort of meat or fish challenging so I typically eat vegan, but don’t call myself vegan just wanted to see what you would suggest for a non-vegan. Thank you for your help.

  3. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve successfully passed this recipe onto – its a HUGE find! I absolutely love it and its a true crowd pleaser in my partially gluten-free, partially vegan and partially seafood allergy riddled family! Like talk about a tough food crowd! Thank you so much! I do bake them at 350 for like 7-10mins each side before I pan fry them because I like them with a less mushy consistency and I thoroughly dry out the quinoa the night before but serious kudos. Thanks so much for sharing this! XOXOXO

    • Thank you so much for the kind review! I appreciate it so much. I’m obsessed with these crab cakes so I’m so glad you all enjoyed them!!

    • Can you do any beans? I think white beans would work if you can do that. If not, I’m not sure! The recipe kind of relies on them for the texture and to hold them together…

  4. Hi Alyssa,
    I love your videos and your blog. I really want to try these crab cakes, but I am wondering is there any way to make quinoa flakes, can they just be ground up into a flour because that’s what it looks like in the video or do you recommend any substitute options? Thanks.

  5. Hello there,
    I am super excited to try these but my food processor is on the fritz. Do you think I could accomplish the texture with a vitamin or by hand mixing? I would greatly appreciate your feedback!

  6. Any idea on how to replace the hearts of palm? It’s simply not easily available in my parts of the world. Thank you!!!

  7. These are so delish words can not describe. Even someone who doesn’t love crab cakes would love these. Thank you so much for the recipe. Just started a vegetarian life style for health reasons and you have made it possible. Look forward to future recipes. Keep them coming🐢

  8. I’d like to try this but I don’t have quinoa flakes. What would be a good substitute? Bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, oatmeal, bran flakes, crushed shredded wheat?

  9. A couple more comments. I agree with Cat – I love the term recipe development, and that is what you teach by your sharing your recipes and sharing other’s recipes. I gave up my 1/2 & 1/2 in coffee and replaced it with homemade quinoa milk, the recipe I got from one of your links!!! So much better and healthier!!! What a gift to be able to “play” more with our food and not worry about results!! We can always blame it on the taste of quinoa for any non-repeatable recipes!! You and all your friends at other blogs work out all the “kinks” from the recipes so we look so good when we follow your results. Thank you for your hard work and excellent example.

  10. As a retired priest,served all over Canada, retired early due to MCS and some food allergies. Some of your excellent recipes have become part of my rotational diet of four days. Keep up your wonderful work. I have commended your Site to my neighbors and my family.
    Fr. Byron

  11. Alyssa,
    Please ignore, dismiss, and delete any and all posts with comments that are not pertinent to your cooking. This is YOUR blog, your website, and your presentation. If you want to direct us to another website that is a decision by you that is not negotiable, non-debatable, and, perfectly reasonable. If someone is unhappy with any aspect of your blog, it is THEIR problem to work out – not yours!! I personally thoroughly enjoy your recipes – my husband is learning to love quinoa – lol! If I have to do some scouting on other sites, well then on to the surprise! You have only directed us to other wonderful websites so thank you. My husband and I spent last Oct. in Ecuador and Peru and we had quinoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 21 days!! We came home healthier, happy, and totally pain free. We spent most of the time in altitudes of 13 – 14,000 with very little difficulty. We loved the food – except maybe the breakfast because it was always the same think every day, but it was a joy to be fed! Your site is the first I found since coming back and I love your recipes. I use your recipes all the time, even for guests. Your Tropical Quinoa Lettuce Wraps were a big hit, as were your salmon burgers and turkey burgers. I direct everyone to your site. We all love it. Quinoa and Kale are our staples here, thanks to your creativeness and love of food.
    Thank you for all your time and effort and experience! Please don’t let others disrupt your harmony and enthusiasm.
    I just received my english muffin rings and am trying your updated english muffin recipe! 4 is a perfect number for our weekend.

  12. Hi Alyssa,
    I’m really upset to hear about people upsetting you! I love your site, you introduced me to Quinoa, which I will be eternally grateful for and you are just the sweetest, nicest blogger I have found. I love reading your stories and recipes and actually get excited to see what you have posted. It is beyond ridiculous people were moaning and being nasty, so what if you have to click one, two, five extra times it’s hardly an issue and what a bonus when you end up with a delicious recipe! They really are not worth your thoughts so please ignore them and listen to all your followers that appreciate you!
    I now follow Rachel’s blog, thanks to your guest post, but I don’t love her as much as you 🙂

  13. I usually never comment but the thought of someone being mean to you bothers me. If they don’t like it then LEAVE.
    I may not like everything you make but many I will try. And I found you by a guest post from another link.
    Ignore the evil people and keep up the good work !

  14. Yeah, don’t let the turkeys get you down! I love your blog, and I love finding other blogs through the links, it’s fun. You keep on doing what you are doing and ignore them.
    Seriously, how hard is it to click a few buttons?
    First world problems!

  15. Don’t let the negative comments bring you down. The positive feedback you are receiving outway the negative by far. Your generosity in sharing your passion is very much appreciated.

  16. I personally love when bloggers share their recipes on other blogs – it’s how I’ve found a bunch of great blogs that I now follow faithfully! I’ve tried a ton of your quinoa recipes (I’m not gluten-free, just LOVE quinoa!) and so far everything’s been spot on! Thanks so much for your hard work developing recipes to share with us 🙂

    • I’m so glad to hear that you enjoy guest posts. That was the whole idea behind sharing these types of posts, and I’m glad to know that readers actually want to check them out 🙂 Thanks for the positivity; getting comments like this totally makes my day!

  17. Awesome! A recipe I’ve loved, but haven’t been able to eat. Cannot wait to try it out. And, yes, the ability to see other blogs and get even more recipes is the plus, so don’t worry, I’m a fan that plans to read on! 🙂

    • Would love to hear what you think, Pamela! And thank you for being a loyal reader; I so appreciate you!! 🙂 xo

  18. I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. (Bill Cosby)
    You are doing a great job Alyssa, you are giving too much of your time and yourself preparing such beautiful website. Enjoy it as we do 🙂

  19. Dearest Alyssa
    Don’t change a thing – except to try to ignore negative people. I love what you’re doing – you have added so many recipes to my wheat intolerant diet. I have shared your blog with many friends here in Sydney, Australia. Keep this good thing going xxxx.

    • Love to you Sharon! Thank you 🙂 I appreciate the love and support and would never be here without readers like you. You are amazing !! xo

  20. I am so sorry that you received some mean post, but let it be known I love your recipes, your blogs and I will follow you where ever you take me through however many clicks it takes me to get there, just please keep on posting.

  21. some people just live to complain and are happiest when they can ruin someone else’s day. keep up the good work don’t let it bother you! i enjoy your site.

  22. The crab cakes look wonderful… and are making my mouth water for them. Thanks for this gluten free recipe for crab cakes! It’s a shame that some folks found issue with that previous post. I think it’s wonderful to have a blogger community – not only to introduce your blog to other people, but the blog you are posting to, also. I’ve gained so much helpful information by learning from one person who says, “You know what? Check out this other blog and you might find some other ideas that will help you, too.” I’ve also learned about recipe development by following links posted to recipes that have inspired new recipes – then if I can’t find what I’m looking for, I have tools to create what I need in the future. Annnnd… this is YOUR blog. There was nothing offensive in what you shared. Continue to keep your blog YOUR blog.

    • Cat, you’re SO right!! I appreciate the support and definitely hear where you’re coming from. And I’m in the exact same boat as you – I’ve found some many other wonderful sites through guest posts and other bloggers. Just need to let it roll off my shoulders 🙂 xo!

  23. Canada calling – I am very new @ the computer-senior/senior-person also just starting to use your recipes I love them . You are the greatest lolcatherine hollister

  24. Whoa, if people don’t have 2 seconds (I counted and that’s literally how long it took me to get to your delicious guest post at Rachel Cooks), then they have bigger problems. Haha! Let it roll right off your back, Alyssa. You’re doing great work and have a league of supporters behind you 100%…including me. 🙂

    • Don’t I know it! Thanks for the support, my friend 🙂 I totally appreciate it! It’s hard to push past the negativity, but I know letting it roll off my back is the best thing!

  25. I have no problem at all with a few clicks! My goodness, how lazy have we gotten that we need instant gratification and can’t use our little fingers to clink a few keys?! I also love seeing new blogs and end up following many of them as well. I’m so sorry you had to read negative comments but please know there are many out here who truly appreciate all the work you do to make our lives easier. I love your blog and it has been so helpful to me in navigating my food sensitivities. So–THANK YOU!

  26. I have found that anytime there is a place for comments on a blog, Facebook, Etsy, etc., the “mean people” come crawling out of the woodwork. They are, apparently, so depressed and miserable they delight in making others feel the same way. I’ve been in your position. I had two blogs and two Etsy sites and I had my share of ugly replies. It does hurt…but the cure for that is to understand what is behind them, shake your head in wonder and move on.

    As for having to click to another site, that is not only no problem but I appreciate the chance to check out someone else’s blog.

    Keep up the great work.

    • Ronalyn, I so appreciate the feedback and encouragement. It’s comments like yours that make me realize I should never let the negativity bring me down 🙂 You are amazing and I am so thankful to have supporters like you in the audience! xo

  27. I don’t mind having to go to other sites for a recipe if it sounds like one I would enjoy. I collect recipes like some people collect other things. I enjoy your blog & the effort you put into it. I follow several gluten free healthy living blogs & appreciate all the free recipes. I would have to buy many more cookbooks than I already have to get as many wonderful recipes & I am running out of room to store them.
    Love your blog. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! I totally agree on all fronts – with all the blogs and recipes I find online, I would never be able to fit them in my house, let alone my tiny NYC apartment 😉 I appreciate your support and feel lucky to have you as a reader! xo

  28. Are you kidding me??? Ignore those party poopers who are too lazy or neurotic to click a couple of extra links. I love guest blogging and have found some really great sites that way. We love you and all you do to make our eating healthier and more fun!

    • You’re the best 🙂 That’s totally how I felt when I first read them, but when I was sharing today’s post I wanted to face it head on and not have those haters come back and damper another post. All the positivity (with comments like yours!!) has really helped! xo

  29. Sorry you heard from mean spirited people……some people just have no class……keep on keeping on……May God bless you….

  30. I don’t understand either why someone would complain about a little matter of clicking on a link when they will get a wonderful recipe at the end, and a new site to explore!! I ditto the above!


    3 Day Reset

    This reset plan is an easy-to-follow timeline
    to get you back on track within 72 hours!

    Welcome to Simply Quinoa! Our mission is to help women be well + truly healthy.

    This is a community that celebrates your own unique health journey, no matter where you are on your path. We will encourage you, inspire you and support you every step of the way.