vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce

vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce_hot for food

When it comes to meatless meals, everyone has a problem with calling food something it’s not. I get it, but I’m confident that you’ll find these vegan crab cakes ARE something to talk about around the dinner table.

They’re light, tasty, and so similar in look and texture to the real thing I think you’ll have a hard time convincing people that they’re made of artichokes! 

I’ve also made other meatless seafood dishes in the hot for food kitchen, like my tempeh fish tacos! Feed those or some vegan crab cakes to your friends who say vegans eat bland food, and watch the shock on their faces!

Of course, you’ll also now see this recipe perfected in my debut cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics! The cookbook also contains plenty of brand new, never before published recipes for vegan comfort food that you won’t find on this blog.

vegan crab cakes recipe best
vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce_hot for food
4.45 from 34 votes
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vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce

These incredibly delicious vegan crabless cakes taste a whole lot like the real thing!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword artichoke, dill, horseradish, sauces, tartar sauce, vegan crab cakes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 cakes
Author Lauren Toyota


horseradish dill tartar sauce

  • 2/3 C vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

crabless cakes

  • 2 C drained marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp liquid from marinated artichokes
  • 1/4 C finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 C finely chopped celery
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 C chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • 1/4 C chickpea flour
  • 1 1/4 C multigrain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 1/2 C vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the tartar sauce until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve the crab cakes.

  2. Drain the marinated artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid to use in the mix. Finely chop the artichoke hearts and add to a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients for the crab cakes. Combine well with a fork.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350°F – 360°F.

  4. Set up a dredging station. Add chickpea flour to a wide shallow dish, use another shallow dish for the breadcrumbs, and a bowl for the nondairy milk.

  5. Take 1/4 cup of the crabless cake mixture and form a round thick patty with your hands. Place the cake in the chickpea flour and coat all sides evenly. Quickly submerge in nondairy milk and remove it from the liquid, then place in breadcrumbs. Using your hands, cover the crabless cake in breadcrumbs getting all sides well coated then lightly shake off any excess. Batter 2 to 3 at a time right before frying.

  6. Delicately place 2 to 3 cakes in hot oil at once, depending on the size of your pan. Fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown, flipping half way through.

  7. Remove the cakes from the frying pan and place onto a plate covered with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  8. Serve immediately with horseradish dill tartar sauce. Leftovers can be heated over medium heat in a pan that’s lightly coated with vegetable oil.

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60 thoughts on “vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce”

    1. Lauren Toyota

      it doesn’t really matter. It just needs a bit of liquid to get it pulled together as a batter. The juice they’re marinated in has lots of flavour. I believe the ones I used were a mix of oil and vinegar.

    1. you can try! We just have never tried. The chickpea flour is a good flavour, thicker binder, and gives it that colour. BUT if you do try let us know. I suspect it would work.

  1. Is it ok to pre make these pre frying? Having a party and it would be soo convenient to make the patties, then fry the day of 🙂

    1. I’m not too sure. I worry that the bread crumbs would get soggy. Then they would fall apart in the fryer. You could make the mixture and refrigerate it but the dredging, battering, and frying should all be done at the same time I think

    2. TY! I honestly meant to keep the unfried patties in the fridge, pre fried, as in, no batter on the patties, I appreciate the feedback!

  2. I also made these for Christmas dinner! My brother’s wife hates the taste of seafood, but she said these were her favourite part of the dinner. She said she would gladly be a vegan if I cooked all her meals. Thank you!

  3. This was the first thing I tried out since viewing your site and oh boy! Theses were delicious. I didn’t want to share. LOL. I’m glad you shared the recipe. Thank you.

  4. I just made these and they were amazing! Since going vegan the only thing I’ve been missing is seafood. The texture of these was exactly the same as fish, and the taste was very close! I served them with a chili sauce as I am not a fan of horseradish.

  5. I made these and everyone loved them! My friend’s husband cannot stand eggs so these were perfect. Delicious!

  6. i made these last night with a few modifications. being single, making a full batch doesn’t work for me but the can of artichokes was 13oz so it was close enough. it ended up making four larger (but thinner) cakes and since i’m not all that into frying foods, less than a 1/4C of veg oil in a non-stick pan on med heat worked out fine.

    adding 1T of cornstarch and arrowroot to the mix to help with binding and browning and instead of just a dry flour dredge, i made more of a beer batter (beer… it’s not only for Breakfast anymore. lol) before coating the cakes in Panko crumbs. this crisped up the cakes without having to use such high heat.

    not being a fan of horseradish, i cut back to 2t instead when i served one of my cakes to my mom to taste this morning, even she didn’t pick up on the horseradish. yeah, i’m over 50 and still use my mom to taste-test the stuff i cook. after watching her cut off a small piece with the fork, drop on some tarter and try the first piece… i was anticipating some kind of comment from her but instead, she cut off another piece, then another and another. she’s a big meat eater and the fact she kept going in for more says a BUNCH about how good these cakes are. i’ve been vegetarian for 28 years and i was stuffed after eating just two.

    personally, i don’t think you should promote these as crab cake substitutes. the flavors/texture have enough merit to stand on their own. instead of crab cakes, i would call them Happy Cakes or at the least, Crabless Cakes .

    great job, guys xD

  7. I just made these for the first time, I have the mixture resting in the fridge. They will be on my Easter brunch table tomorrow! The only thing I did different is add a little red bell pepper. I can’t wait to mow down! Also appearing are chickpea tuna and edamame mash! Thanks guys!! And happy Easter!🌾🌸💗💐

  8. These were incredible. Just another recipe to add to the arsenal. Thank you for everything you do. Life Changing.

  9. Can I use something different to old bay spice? I’m from Australia and can’t buy old bay spice I have discovered.

  10. My family plans to have some vegan/vegetarian friends over for dinner and i was thinking of making these as a main course. What would you recommend for sides to accompany this dish?

  11. First of all, I loove your YouTube channel as well as your blog! To your crab cakes, are they supposed to taste sour? Considering artichokes and celery are and the lemon in it? Also, mine kept falling apart when I wanted to coat them in the chickpea flour, almond milk and breadcrumps as well, any suggestions? Anyway, thanks for all these recipes, your vegan food is bomb :D.

  12. Made these for Mothers Day- incredible! Served them over kale chips with a side of yellow beet and dill salad, grilled corn and homemade bread. Tasted so much like the real thing! The whole family loved them! Thank you so much- I love your recipes.

  13. Hi Lauren, first, my friend and I made these last night and I just want to say THANK YOU! These were amazing! So much so that I’m making them again tonight 🙂 My question to you is, do you think that I can bake these? I bake my cauliflower wings and they come out great and crispy so I’m wondering if I can do the same with the crab cakes. Again, thank you SO much for the recipe!

  14. These are the reason that marinated artichokes are on every shopping list that I make. Made them for my picky non-vegan relatives and branded them artichoke cakes and they were a massive hit.

  15. Made these last night…SO YUM! I had to change the recipe around a bit because my grocery store didn’t sell chickpea flour. Instead I subbed in 1/4 cup cornmeal + 1/4 cup flour (for the 1/2 cup chickpea flour). This gave it a good colour and consistency so I would recommend it to anyone who wants to stick with common pantry items.

    Oh I also added a little bit of cornstarch to help it bind a bit better and I froze my formed patties beforehand so breading them was a sinch – they didn’t fall apart at all!

    Needless to say, they were delicious! And that sauce…yummm

  16. I’m making these for my friend whose vegan and wanted to know if I could make a couple of hours ahead and just reheat in the oven. Thank you

  17. My friend and I made these the other night and we were pleasantly surprised! We only made the ‘crab’ cakes and not the sauce but they were tasty! However, I must say they did not taste much like crab. Probably because I had to sub out chickpea flour for all-purpose. They were very acidic and the marinated artichoke taste came through a lot. I would definitely make this again, but next time I would replace the marinated artichoke liquid with vegetable stock or some other liquid and use more Old Bay to make it taste less like artichoke and more like crab.

  18. These are AWESOME! I am in Europe so I couldn’t find Old Bay and made my own mixture following a recipe I found. It probably wasn’t the same and the artichoke came through a little bit too tangy in the end. But I think using more spices and getting the combo right will make these perfect. I couldn’t believe these didn’t contain any dairy or egg!

  19. Made this this evening and it went without a hitch, served with romain, steamed brocci and quinoa. yum yum.

  20. I made these tonight after binge watching on your yt chanel.
    My mum even had seconds! She loves artichoke and crab, she said they do not taste like crab but loves artichoke and she loved these! I love them too! So much i am going to make them again for lunch tomorrow 😀

  21. I made these tonight and didn’t feel like dealing with frying, so I stuck them in the oven (400 degrees, 30 min, flipped halfway through). Came out really great! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  22. Tried this recipe tonight and I loved it! My mom who LOVES crab even loved it too! So happy! I’ve been disappointed with some vegan recipes that just lack flavor but I am never disappointed with you guys!

  23. I am not vegan but I have become obsessed with your videos & the food always looks amazing! Due to my sister having Crohn’s, I have already been using lots of vegan products to help with her many food allergies. This recipe was so delicious! I need your cookbook like yesterday! Is there a timeline as to when to expect your cookbook? Looking forward to buying it, as well as copies for my other non-vegan friends. It’s that good! Thanks!

  24. I had a lot of trouble getting the cakes to stick together? The only difference was I didn’t use "marinated" artichokes, just canned. Not sure if this is the cause? Anyway, seems like there are lots of modifications in the comments that I can try to make them stickier. I’ll be coming back to this recipe, the taste and texture was great!

  25. I no longer eat red meat or poultry. So, I’m always looking for vegan recipes. Today, I tried your vegan crab cakes with horseradish dill tartar sauce. The vegan crab cakes were okay but they really did not taste like crab cakes to me. I enjoyed the horseradish tartar sauce.

    I will check out more of your recipes.

    Thank you for sharing your recipes


  26. I made this tonight for dinner and it was amazing! The taste and texture really remind me of crab….this will definitely be in our dinner rotation!

  27. Hey Lauren! This is undisputedly one of my favourite dishes and have done it a lot of times, but do you think I can make the crab cake base, leave it in the fridge overnight and fry it the next day? I probably can but just want to see what you think. I don’t know if the chickpea flour will change taste if I do that. Cheers!

    1. yup that should be fine. Don’t bread them though. Just make the mixture and then do the dredging and coating right before you fry.

  28. I have made these so much, I love them! I wanted to make for my meat eating family and was wondering about making them the night before and then reheating in the oven the next day??? Or would they just dry out and not be as awesome? I am taking them to someone else’s home and wanted to try and avoid frying in their kitchen. Thanks Lauren!

  29. I ALWAYS end up changing a recipe in one way or another. Partly because I’m living in South Korea and some of the ingredients can be hard to find, or just too expensive, or (more truthfully) I’m just too lazy to go out and hunt for certain things that I can’t get at my local shop. For this recipe I ended up swapping out the celery and shallots for leeks. They came out AWESOME. Most of the time I don’t mess with the spices but fresh dill and horseradish weren’t easy to find (again lazy but not ashamed) so I just used a bit of wasabi paste and left out the dill altogether. The Old Bay would have been a serious challenge and require a trip to Seoul; but fortunately, and weirdly, this New Englander brought some from home and it really gave them that comfort food quality I was looking for. Much appreciation for all you guys are doing! I look forward to trying out more of your awesome recipes and hopefully I can adapt them as successfully as this one. 🙂

  30. Tried yesterday evening for a dinner with a non-vegan friend, and we loved it !
    In france i don’t know if we have "old bay" spices, so to add a sea-flavour I’ve added a bit of seaweed, and ras el hanout.
    I don’t know really the conversion between your american "cups" and the french measurment so I calculate it at random.

    Didn’t ate a crab cakes before so i don’t know if it tastes like crab cakes !

    thanks you for all your good/punchy/vivid recipes

    1. nice that you improvised. I will have to look up that "ras el hanout" I wonder if its similar to old bay!? Sounds delish though! THANK YOU!

  31. I love these so much I requested the caterers for my wedding make them. Meat eating family and friends loved them, many asked for the recipe.

  32. I followed the recipe as written and tasted the mixture prior to breading… I thought it was lacking something but I tend to enjoy more full flavors. I added more Old Bay which helped. Also, my mixture seemed almost too wet which made it a challenge to keep the cakes together. The lemon horseradish sauce was incredible and I used the leftovers on roasted red skin potatoes. Very good!

  33. I was not expecting this to be so good! Especially since I didn’t have any old bay seasoning but OMG, they were amazing! Mine fell apart when I put them in the oil, so I put more almond flour in them and they held together more. I think next time I will bake them…less oil. I substituted almond flour for chickpea flour, unprocessed cane sugar crystals instead of coconut sugar, and I didn’t use old bay seasoning and these still turned out fabulous! I love Hot for Food. I have been following for a while and decided to finally try some of their recipes since i’m transitioning in eating less meat and dairy and starting my son off on a good foot as far as eating.

    1. its probably because you used almond flour that they fell apart thereby more would have added more stickyness to bind. Nice troubleshooting!

  34. Minor adjustments but this was a huge hit. Added a little more lemon, tripled the old bay. Added dill to the crab cake filling, added more salt. Topped with parsley and vegan parm straight out of the frying pan. Super delicious.

  35. Thank you Lauren. These were just delicious! The vodka moment in your video had me crying with laughter.

  36. We needed to use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of multi-grain due to an allergy, and everyone loved them just the same.

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