Air Fryer Crab Cakes 🦀

30 Minute Meals

Easy Air Fryer Crab Cakes

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Prep

10 minutes

Cook

5 minutes

Yield

12

These Air Fryer Crab Cakes are not only made of 100% plant-based ingredients, but they're loaded with flavour and perfect for a summer meal or side dish.

Did somebody say Crab Cakes? 🦀 You bet I did. This recipe is going to blow your mind, so much so that if you’re used to eating the seafood version of crab cakes, you may never go back. These vegan-friendly Air Fryer Crab Cakes are so easy and delicious. I love them for a summer snack or BBQ.

Plate of Vegan Crab Cakes and Dilly Tartar Sauce on a white plate ready to be served.
Plate of Vegan Crab Cakes and Dilly Tartar Sauce on a white plate ready to be served.

❤️🦀 Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Crab Cakes

  • Simple: These babies are made from simple ingredients that you’ll already have in your house
  • Vegan: Okay, these crab cakes don’t have crab in them because they are entirely plant-based
  • Quick: These vegan crab cakes can be made in under 20 minutes!
  • Crowd Pleaser: Even the seafood/meat eaters in your house will love these crab cakes
Ingredients for vegan crab cakes

🍲 Ingredients

Hearts of Palm: Hearts of palm are vegetables harvested from the inner core and growing buds of certain palm trees. They are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B2, B6, and C. They also are a great source of protein, iron, calcium, and so much more. Hearts of palm also add a great crab-like texture to these plant-based crab cakes. They have a similar resemblance to white asparagus, but the flavor is much more delicate, making them extremely versatile. You can add them into salads, dips, and since when they are chopped they break down into shreds, they make the perfect crab meat substitute. 

Artichokes: I love artichokes and they are great in salads, pasta, dips, and so much more. In these cakes, they combine with the hearts of palm to add to the texture. Artichokes are also low in fat and rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. 

Chickpeas: Another great source of protein, chickpeas add nutrients as well to this recipe. They are great for your digestion and have iron, folate, fiber, and more.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Crab Cakes

Ingredients in food processor for vegan crab cakes
1. To a food processor, add the hearts of palm, chickpeas, and artichokes.  Pulse till the mixture is chopped but still holds a chunky-like consistency
2. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula combine well and begin forming your patties with a 1/3 cup as a measuring tool.  This will yield around 12-13 1-inch thick patties
Hands forming vegan crab cakes
3. For cooking, grease the base of the air fryer basket. Evenly arrange the patties in the base of the basket, leaving each pattie some room to breathe. Cook them for around 7 minutes (6-8) depending on the size and thickness of each
4. Once cooked, transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil

5. To make the tartar sauce, simply add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir till combined

6. Serve the hot crab cakes with fresh dill, lemon, and tartar!

Plate of Vegan Crab Cakes and Dilly Tartar Sauce on a white plate ready to be served.


🗒 Substitutions

  • Crab: If you don’t want a vegan version you can use canned crab instead of the heart of palm, artichoke hearts, and chickpeas
  • Panko: You can swap panko for regular bread crumbs as well


🗒 Best served with

👝 How to Store Leftovers

If you do not plan on cooking all the patties at once that is completely fine. You can mold them, freeze them, and cook them later. Allow for an extra 1-2 minutes on each side is cooking from frozen.

🤔 Common Questions

Where do I find hearts of palm? 

You can find these in the canned food section of your grocery store. Usually with vegetables or things like jarred artichokes.

What can I eat these with?

Eat them on their own, throw them on a bun, try them with different sauces, add them on top of a bed of greens, or have them as appetizers. The opportunities are endless.

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

You can cook these in a pan with oil if you don’t have an air fryer.

Air Fryer Crab Cakes 🦀

4.80 from 15 votes
These Air Fryer Crab Cakes are not only made of 100% plant-based ingredients, but they're loaded with flavour and perfect for a summer meal or side dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Course Main Dishes, 30 minute meals, Appetizers + Sides
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 12
Calories 85 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dill Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. relish
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. capers chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions
 

  • To a food processor, add the hearts of palm, chickpeas and artichokes.  Pulse till the mixture is chopped but still holds a chunky-like consistency.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula combine well and begin forming your patties with a 1/3 cup as a measuring tool.  This will yield around 12-13 1-inch thick patties.
  • For cooking, grease the base of the air fryer basket. Evenly arrange the patties in the base of the basket, leaving each pattie some room to breathe. Cook them for around 7 minutes (6-8) depending on the size and thickness of each.
  • To make the tartar sauce, simply add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir till combined.
  • Serve the hot crab cakes with fresh dill, lemon and tartar!

Notes

If you do not plan on cooking all the patties at once that is completely fine. You can mould them, freeze them and cook them later.  Allow for an extra 1-2 minutes on each side is cooking from frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 12 | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.6g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 1.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 445mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 1g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
Steffy

5 stars
Delish!!!
Suggestion: instead of Panko try pretzel crumbs… it adds a nice touch. And I also put them in these crumbs b4 frying, it avoids them falling apart.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Nice! Sounds great! Ours don’t fall apart with the Panko but the Pretzel crumbs sound great!

Sharon

5 stars
We’ve been trying different versions of vegan/vegetarian crab cake recipes and this is THE BEST! So delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Maria Koutsogiannis

this makes me so happy, thank you!

Jenn Evelyn-Ann

5 stars
Quick, easy and delicious over a bed of salad on a warm summer day! Also delicious the next morning with a fried egg on top!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Jenn!

Rita MacDonald

OMG. So good! My kids thought they were actually eating crab cakes. Super fast easy and so tasty!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Right?! Isn’t it so good?!

Anna

Hi – I notice you have “Serving Size = 12” and “Calories = 85.” I’m assuming you mean “Amount of Servings = 12”, “Serving Size = 1 crab cake” “Calories per Serving = 85.” Yes?

Maria Koutsogiannis

yes.

Anna

yes that’s what I’m going to do, bake them. I don’t want to use too much oil so I think that will be the good solution for me. Thanks Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re very welcome!!!!!

Anna Dariotis

Hi Maria! This recipe is awesome and I tried to make the crab cakes, followed the recipe exactly, but mine kept falling apart. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Anna! Sorry to hear you are having issues. We haven’t had anyone say that they are falling apart. Can you please confirm you followed the recipe exactly as it’s written?

Anna Dariotis

5 stars
Hi Maria – yes I followed the recipe exactly. I’m thinking that maybe I’m not frying them in enough oil? I’m only putting about a tablespoon of oil into a non-stick pan. Could that be it? Otherwise I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong??

Maria Koutsogiannis

That might be it but I don’t think that would explain why it’s falling apart.. the balls should really hold their shape. Maybe try baking them! They are still wondering like that!

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