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In the United States, crab meat is best known in California sushi rolls (cucumber, crab meat, and avocado) or through crab cakes and crab legs — the latter two are especially popular if you live on the east coast. It is so popular, it even has its own national food holiday. That’s right, March 9th is National Crab Meat Day. If you are cutting back on animal products, you might think that this means you can’t participate in the festivities but in reality, there are so many different ways you can use plants to imitate crab meat!

It all comes down to finding the right balance of texture and seasoning. For seasoning, you can use Old Bay seasoning, which is used to season traditional Baltimore crab cakes, kelp, which adds a fishy flavor, and other herbs and spices. As far as texture goes, you can opt for chickpeas, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, and others. To learn more as well as other ways you can recreate your favorite seafood dishes, read You Don’t Need Fish to Make Delicious Seafood Dishes: Use These Tips Instead.

Then, get ready, because we have 15 plant-based “crab meat” recipes from our Food Monster App for you to try!

1. Jackfruit ‘Crab’ Cakes With Tartar SauceVegan “Crab” Cakes With Homemade Tartar Sauce

Source: Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes

There are many ways to make faux meat and fish but jackfruit is especially well suited to this task, like in Lindsay Clarke‘s Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes. When cooked and shredded, jackfruit takes on a sort of crablike look and feel. When you combine that with the fantastic spice combination and the tangy tartar sauce, you have some dangerously delicious “crab” cakes.

2. Tempeh ‘Crab’ Cakes with Horseradish-Dill Mayo Tempeh-Crab-Cakes-1066x800

Source: Tempeh “Crab” Cakes

In making a mock “fish” dish, it’s important to get that taste that reminds you of the sea. Seasonings like Old Bay, kelp, dulce, seaweed, lemon, and dill are good for that. In these Tempeh “Crab” Cakes by Rhea Parsons, crumbled tempeh takes on a substantial, flaky texture that is reminiscent of seafood. It’s paired with a spicy, creamy, and herby horseradish-dill mayo.

3. ‘Crab’ Cakes with Sweet Balsamic Mayo Crab_Cakes_Horizontal-1200x795

Source: “Crab” Cakes With Sweet Balsamic Mayo

Molly Patrick‘s “Crab” Cakes With Sweet Balsamic Mayo are easy to whip up and very similar to a traditional crab cake — but these are made from chickpeas! Seasoned with Your house will even smell slightly of fish when you are done cooking them. They are gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free and soon to be a favorite at your dinner table.

4. Hearts of Baltimore ‘Crab’ CakesHearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes [Vegan]

Source: Hearts of Baltimore “Crab” Cakes

Maryland crab cakes are traditionally oversized — which is perfect for any seafood lover. In Ayinde Howell‘s Hearts of Baltimore “Crab” Cakes, the patties are made from hearts of palm and traditional seasoning. They are crispy on the outside, but gluten-free, and perfectly paired with garlicky dill aioli.

5. ‘Crab’ Cake Sandwich

Crab Cake Sandwich 1

Source: “Crab” Cake Sandwich

Shredded tofu and seaweed are formed into a patty, breaded, and sautéed to create Zsu Dever‘s flavorful “Crab” Cake Sandwich. It’s fresh-tasting, easy-to-make, and tastes delicious with the Sriracha remoulade. A little messy but well worth it!

6. Thai ‘Crab’ Cakescrab

Source: Thai “Crab” Cakes

Perfectly crispy bread crumb coating with a tender center — these Thai “Crab” Cakes by Rosie Newton and Dillon Sivyour are sure to impress anyone. Infused with Thai flavor, they’re made from artichokes and corn. Serve with your favorite Thai sauce or soy sauce to keep it simple.

7. Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Dip Hearts of Palm Crab Dip

Source: Hearts of Palm “Crab” Dip

Hearts of palm provide an unmistakable texture for Ashley Smyczek‘s Hearts of Palm “Crab” Dip while a mixture of homemade sauces recreates the flavors of seafood. Serve with chips or crackers at your next party or gathering and we guarantee that this dip will be a hit!

8. ‘Crab’ Cakes With Green Tartar Sauce 'Crab' Cakes With Green Tartar Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Source: “Crab” Cakes With Green Tartar Sauce

Danielle Dewar‘s “Crab” Cakes With Green Tartar Sauce are a healthier take on deep-fried, greasy crab cakes with remoulade. In this recipe, the patties are made from a combination of artichoke hearts and chickpeas, seasoned with kelp and dill, and paired with a green tartar sauce made from avocado. Plus, they’re baked, not fried. Yum!

9. Baked Artichoke ‘Crab’ CakesBaked Artichoke Crab Cakes

Source: Baked Artichoke “Crab” Cakes

Less fat, more flavor — these tender Baked Artichoke “Crab” Cakes by Dawn Hutchins are chock full of corn, bits of vegetables, and all the seafood flavor you love, nestled under a light, crispy crust. The most difficult parts of this recipe are the pulsing of the artichokes and the chopping of a few veggies. Not tough at all.

10. ‘Crab’ Cakescrab

Source: “Crab” Cakes

Natasha Condie‘s recipe for crabless “Crab” Cakes is one of the best party finger recipes you will ever make. It mimics crab cakes but features hearts of palm. They come together pretty fast and are easy to bake, so there’s no frying mess here! Most traditional recipes call for Old Bay seasoning, but this one uses seafood seasoning instead-but if you have Old Bay, feel free to use it!

11. Chickpea ‘Crab’ CakesChickpea Crab Cakes

Source: Chickpea “Crab” Cakes

Molly Patrick‘s Chickpea “Crab” Cakes are crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. In addition to the garlic, parsley, green onions, and cracked black pepper in these patties, what truly gives them that authentic seafood taste are the dulse flakes. Serve these on a bed of greens, on a sprouted bun, or by itself. They can be garnished several ways, although we suggest a good squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of tahini.

12. Battered Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes With Tartar SauceBattered Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes With Tartar Sauce

Source: Battered Hearts of Palm “Crab” Cakes

In this recipe, hearts of palm are mashed up into a meaty texture and seasoned in a way that perfectly mimics the taste and texture of the Maryland classic. Caroline Ginolfi‘s Battered Hearts of Palm “Crab” Cakes are fried until crispy, then served with a dollop of creamy tangy homemade tartar sauce. These are best served on a bed of lettuce with fresh tomatoes.

13. Tortang Alimasag: Filipino ‘Crab’ Cake Omelet Tortang Alimasag Filipino Crab Cake Omelette

Source: Tortang Alimasag

Neither just crab cakes nor just crab omelet, the Filipino crab cake omelet or Tortang Alimasag is the best of both worlds, plus more. By substituting the usual ingredients for ground soybeans or artichoke hearts and by using the right seasoning, you can enjoy this crispy Filipino dish by RG Enriquez. Serve it on a bun like you would a slider with a side of fries and ketchup.

14. Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon 


Source: Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon

Melanie Sorrentino‘s Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Rangoon are crisp, puffy dumplings made with a vegan crab and cheese mixture — except, it tastes better than the real thing! A salty, fried treat that makes a perfect bite-sized appetizer or addition to a meal.

15. Fried Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes 

Crab Cakes

Source: Fried Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes

Finally, a crab cake anyone can enjoy! Melanie Sorrentino‘s veggie Fried Hearts of Palm ‘Crab’ Cakes are deliciously simple to make and taste better than the real thing. Perfect on top of a salad, dipped in your favorite sauce, or added to a wrap.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
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