Spicy Grilled “Crab” Patties with Aioli

Spicy Grilled “Crab” Patties with Aioli

Shredded artichokes and seaweed with lots of fresh veggies make for the most delicious vegan "crab" cakes! These are full of flavor and served with a vegan aioli, they make the perfect meatless dinner!

It's summer and what does that usually mean? Barbecue season! Growing up in Texas, my dad made a lot of barbecue, a lot. I'm no stranger to all the yummy homemade bbq fixins' which is why many of you know that bbq is my all-time favorite flavor. The smells, the smokiness and of course my favorite, barbecue sauce.

So, when Linda with Veganosity asked me to review her cookbook, Great Vegan BBQ Without A Grill, I was excited to check it out! It is written and created by Linda and her daughter, Alex, and it's full of every imaginable barbecue dish you can think of.

The book is broken into 7 chapters with about 75 recipes (no dessert section):

  • Meat-Free BBQ To Satisfy Meat Eaters
  • Burgers and Sandwiches: From Way Up North to the Deep South
  • Stick Food: Because Eating Food Off A Stick Is Fun!
  • Stuffed, Foiled and Smothered: Delectable Entrees For A Cozy Dinner
  • Sides and Salads That Go With A Barbecue
  • BBQ Dips to Bring to the Party
  • Keeping It Saucy: BBQ Sauces and Rubs

What I love about this book is that there is a photo for every single recipe. I don't like it when I can't see what the food should look like, afterall, we eat with our eyes first. I also really loved the creativity Linda and Alex did. There are so many amazing variations of burgers and sandwiches and so many delicious side dishes, my mouth was watering flipping through it. Some delicious ones that stand out...

Mom's BBQ Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers, BBQ Buffalo Chick'n Pizza, Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Quesadillas, Wisconsin-Style Grilled Bratwurst, Take Me to Texas Southwestern Burgers.


But for today, Linda is graciously allowing me to share her delicious crab patties and vegan aioli. Both were so delicious! The crab patties have a wonderful kick of heat, not too much and a lovely crab texture. The aioli was to die for!

To make these vegan crab cakes you will need:

  • flaxseed
  • artichoke hearts
  • seaweed snacks
  • jalapeno pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • green onions
  • hot sauce
  • mustard
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • panko breadcrumbs

The mixture is pretty easy to put together too, you just process it the seaweed snacks and artichokes in the food processor and then add the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties and grill.

I also provided a baked version that I tested which were equally delicious, for those without a grill or avoid oil.

The flavor of these was amazing. Even though there is hot sauce and jalapeno in these, they honestly did not taste too spicy at all to me. So, unless you are really sensitive, I think these could work for most people. I'm a huge spicy food lover, as you all know, so bring on the heat to me, haha. I added some of my own cajn seasoning and cayenne pepper to the aioli since I love a spicy sauce with crab cakes (like I did back in the day).

I hope you all give these a try and especially make that aioli. The whole meal was so yummy! I was sent this book for review but all opinions expressed here in the post are of my own will.

You can order Linda and Alex's book here and also enter the giveaway below!

Yields 6 to 8 patties

Spicy Grilled Crab Patties with Aioli

Shredded artichokes and seaweed with lots of fresh veggies make for the most delicious vegan "crab" cakes! These are full of flavor and served with a vegan aioli, they make the perfect meatless dinner!

30 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

Recipe Image
Save RecipeSave Recipe

5 based on 5 review(s)


  • 2 tablespoons (14g) ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup (60g) water
  • 2 (12oz {340g)} cans quartered artichokes hearts, in water
  • 1/4 cup (3g) seaweed snacks (I found these oil-free ones here on Amazon if needed)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup (44g) minced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup (25g) chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (188g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (I did not use the oil, see note below!)
  • Vegan Aioli
  • 1 cup (112g) cashews, soaked overnight in 1 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60g) lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil or water (I only used water to get the consistency I desired)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and water until it forms a sticky paste. Set aside.
  2. Drain the artichokes and rinse them well. Now, pulse the seaweed snacks in a food processor until they look like small flakes. Remove them from the food processor and place in a large bowl. NOTE: All my seaweed flakes were completely stuck to the processor bowl and would have been impossible to remove them all, so I did not remove them and it all worked out just perfectly in the end.
  3. Place half the artichokes in the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Put the other half of the artichokes in the food processor and pulse ten times, or until they break up into small chunks. Add to a large bowl with the pureed artichokes and seaweed flakes.
  4. Mix the artichokes together in a large bowl with the flax mixture, jalapeno, bell pepper, green onion, hot sauce, horseradish mustard, old bay seasoning, garlic powder and salt. (Mine was plenty salty so I did not add any). Add the breadcrumbs and mix until well combined.
  5. Form the mixture into 1/2 cup patties.
  6. Heat a grill pan or skillet on medium-high heat. Brush the cakes on both sides with the olive oil. I skipped this step and just lightly sprayed my nonstick grill pan. I also baked some to test completely with no spray, see notes below. Grill the cakes for approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear and they're golden brown. Serve with cocktail sauce, aioli and lemon wedges.
  7. For the aioli, this is a very, very thick sauce, so even with a Vitamix I strongly urge you to soak the cashews overnight. Drain the cashews and rinse, then put in the blender with the garlic, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides if necessary. Add 2 tablespoons (30g) of the oil or water and blend until it's fully combined. If you want it to be thinner, add the additional oil or water. Blend well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cashews will cause the aioli to thicken, so add a bit of water and stir until you get the desired consistency.


I did not use the olive oil listed to brush onto the patties since I do my best to cook without oil. I simply used my nonstick grill pan. I also tested a few in the oven for those who don't have a grill pan. I baked them at 400°F on parchment paper for 15 minutes on the first side and then flipped them over and cooked another 10 minutes. They were still very yummy this way.

Enter the giveaway below. You must be 18 years old and either reside in the US or Canada. You also must be subscribed to my blog in order to enter. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Is there a substitute for seaweed snacks. Don't know what they are & what's in them. Thanks
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Robyn, I don't believe there would be a direct substitute for the seaweed snacks. They are basically thin sheets of dried seaweed that impart a bit of seafood flavor to the patties. I got mine from Krogers but believe Sprouts and Whole Foods also sell them. Also, Amazon sells them.
      • You can actually buy nori sheets which is simply dried seaweed sheets used to make sushi. There is no added salt or oil used in the preparation and you can still enjoy the taste of the sea. As with most sea vegetables, there is a small bit of naturally occurring salt but the other gorgeous minerals such as iodine, calcium, potassium, etc. is well worth it. I often use dulse flakes as well for my plant-based seafood recipes. These products are usually found in the Asian foods aisle of many stores. Enjoy!
        • Thanks SO MUCH for your information Elizabeth! Yes, I've used Nori sheets before, for various recipes, but was thinking I needed to find the "Seaweed Snacks" listed in this particular recipe because I always try, at least for the FIRST time preparing a recipe, to use the PRECISE ingredients listed (whether the recipe is Brandi's creation or someone else's which she is promoting, as in the case of these crab cakes). I had never even heard of Seaweed Snacks prior to this recipe, so I researched them a little bit, initially, just on Amazon and discovered most have oil(s), added salt, and sometimes other ingredients. Along with Brandi's comments to my initial question, and after reading YOUR comment, I now feel confident to go ahead and use Nori sheets (I actually already have some in my pantry!), reassured that the recipe should taste pretty much the same as the original recipe. I used to ADORE real crab cakes, and, actually, have been in the process of developing my own recipe; but I always love learning from other chefs and cooks in the plant-based "cooking world". We all have so much to offer each other! I've learned so many wonderful tips and tricks from Brandi's extensive experience and talent. I ALWAYS trust her instincts on flavors and combinations. Even when I "think" she may be wrong about something, she always turns out to be CORRECT. (Never doubt a genius!!!...haha!) So thanks again for YOUR input as well, Elizabeth. It was truly helpful!........Love, Daryl Grant Lindsay
          • My pleasure, Daryl. I am thrilled to have found this site and have passed it on to many friends who wish to find some easy and well put together meals! I hope your crab cakes were a delicious success! Best regards, Elizabeth
    • Hi Robyn, I had the same concern! Just use heart of palm in place of the artichoke & seaweed snax. It's got similar texture to the artichoke & naturally tastes like seafood.. some people even use it to make vegan calimari! ;) ♥
  2. Thank you so much, Brandi! This is a wonderful review and we're so happy that you enjoyed the crab cakes and aioli. We also loved that you baked them to give your readers another option. Off to share your review with our readers, they're going to love it!!!
  3. LOVE this recipe.
  4. My favorite BBQ side dish has always been baked beans
  5. Looks like a great cookbook! I always love simple grilled veggies!
  6. My favorite BBQ side is roasted corn on the cob with miso.
  7. I cannot wait to try these! My husband really misses seafood so this is right in time! My favorite side is pasta salad. Sometimes I add black beans and corn and then it becomes the main dish!
  8. My favorite BBQ side dish is baked beans.
  9. Can't wait to give this recipe a try! My favorite BBQ side dish is baked beans! Yum!!
  10. Omg these look amazing! I really miss crab cakes and havent had any since I switched to a vegan/vegetarian diet . I will be trying these for sure. I also live in Texas and the memorial day weekend wasnt bad! I Ate grilled romaine with some olive oil salt and peppa for the first time it was great with the grilled corn on the cob!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Wonderful Nicole! I hope you love these, they are really delicious!
  11. Looks like a great recipe. Would like to try it. What are seaweed snakes?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Carolyn, it is just seaweed in the form of sheets. Here is one. You can also find them in the Asian section in grocery stores. https://amzn.to/2L4uywn
  12. Hi Brandi . . . I'm confused about the seaweed snacks . . . So far (today) I've only learned about them by checking out several different brands on Amazon. There appear to be many different brands and ALL of the ones I checked out on Amazon contain some kind of oil and other ingredients. I never even heard of them until I checked out this recipe here on your site. I don't like to add oil (or sodium either, for that matter) unnecessarily, so I am wondering if there are any "seafood snacks" out there which do NOT contain oil or other ingredients (such as added salt, etc.). Do the ones you used contain oil? The only place I checked so far was via Amazon, and all the ones I saw contain oil(s). ALSO: The AMOUNT used in this recipe says 1/4 c. (3 g.) . . . . I primarily cook using WEIGHTS (one of the MANY things I ADORE about YOUR recipes, by the way, that you list the weights....SOOOO much more accurate!!!), and I noticed on the Amazon descriptions of seaweed snacks that most of the SERVING SIZE weights was 4 or 5 grams, just for one serving!....Anyway, sorry to make so much of this issue, but I always try VERY HARD to prepare recipes using as close to the precise ingredients in a recipe (either your recipes OR other people's recipes!) as I can get, at least the first time I make them. Any help you can offer this "slightly compulsive" cook (me!) would be greatly appreciated! Love, Daryl
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Daryl! Hope you are doing well :) Yes, when I purchased them, I assumed they were oil-free but after blending them I could see a slight oily texture in the processor. Honestly, the crab cakes are so delicious, that if you want to 100% avoid oil, I would just omit them. The seasoning and veggies provide plenty of flavor. This was my 1st time trying them as well so I have no idea if there is an oil-free brand. I wanted to make the recipe as written from her cookbook, so that is why I followed the exact ingredients. Don't worry too much about it, just omit them.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hey Daryl, you can find these in the Asian section in the grocery store and apparently there is also some on Amazon with no oil. Here is one! https://amzn.to/2L4uywn
      • Hi again Brandi. Thanks so much for BOTH of your comments (and the Amazon link!...gonna check that out too!) After your comments, and after reading ELIZABETH'S comment as well, up above, about Nori sheets), I feel ready to try this recipe, and I can hardly wait!!...(I have some Nori sheets in my pantry!...YIPPEEEEE!!!).......as always, I absolutely ADORE your site, your wonderful recipes and all the spectacular knowledge and experience (and healthier DELICIOUSNESS!) you impart to us! I can never thank you enough for what you do! And, by the way, just as SOON as I get paid (next week!) I'm gonna be purchasing your book! I'm so excited, I CAN'T WAIT!! Incidentally, I have a Twitter account and I'm following you there.....I only have a few followers currently, but WHENEVER I see anything about you or your book, etc., on Twitter, I will DEFINITELY "re-tweet" the info! (I'm not currently on FB, nor on Instagram, but will, most likely, join the fun at some point.) I'm trying DESPERATELY to finish my own cookbook project and get it out there before the end of this year. My "GOAL DATE" is 11.1.18, but I don't know whether or not I'm gonna get it done by then....it's more complicated than most cookbooks because I'm including a CD (or the "e-version", whatever that will be) of music which will be attached to the cookbook. (I'm gonna be presenting myself as "Daryl Grant Lindsay, 'The Cabaret Cook' ".) That CD will be comprised of all original vocal songs (lyrics, music, piano and vocals by me!), several of which are about food, cooking, health, etc., and a few even directly related to some of my recipes, plus some other, "cabaret-style" songs I've written, thrown in as a bonus. And all that has DRASTICALLY affected my getting this cookbook finished and "out there". The recipes are all completed and tested and re-tested (with only about 2 exceptions!)....now the main thing is just getting it all together, along with the CD (which I started recording last summer, but it's SO EXPENSIVE for regular professional studio time!). Anyway, I'm DETERMINED to get this blasted project completed before I do the ol' dirt dive...hahaha!.....But I digress (as usual!).....so THANK again SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for your comments, your recipes and all you do in this world of plant-based cooking! I'll let you know when I get your cookbook! I'm fit to be tied until I do!!!!....Hope all else is well in your life and with your family!.........love, Daryl
  13. I'll be making this tonight using the air fryer, however I'll omit/replace the spicy stuff, we don't like spicy food very much at home, but this all sounds delicious. I make ones similar to this, but instead of artichokes, I put palm hearts and garbanzo beans, very good too! thanks for sharing this!
  14. Hi, Is the 1/4 cup of seaweed snacks comprised of the ALREADY PULSED seaweed? Or should I just hand crumble them to get the 1/4 cup and then pulse that? Since they come in sheets, I wasn't sure how to measure the quantity. Thanks! I look forward to trying this recipe!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Stacey! I just used the sheets to measure out the 3 grams she listed so if you have a scale, that is what I would do. You measure it before you process it, which is tricky to measure a 1/4 cup of seaweed sheets, so I used the scale to make it easier. I believe I used 4 of them.
  15. Since I'm a Texas girl, anything can go on a grill! My favorite side is usually potato salad, but I love grilled squash and asparagus. I really need this book! Thanks for the giveaway.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh yes, love potato salad!
  16. I have to agree: BBQ baked beans are a favorite!Going to try this recipe as soon as I have the ingredients!
  17. I also love BBQ baked beans. I am going to try this recipe as soon as I get the ingredients. Looks really yummy!
  18. I love all your inventive and delicious recipes.
  19. Bbq jackfruit sandwiches
  20. This recipe looks awesome
  21. I love a side of grilled zucchini with balsamic at bbqs.
  22. I love the title of their book, because I don't own a grill! As for sides, I really enjoy a not-too-sweet side of baked beans!
  23. I love me some crab cakes!! And aioli. Great job with your review lady!! I bet you devoured these in one sitting....YUM
  24. Oh and definitely a 5 star recipe!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you my friend! They were so delicious and polished off in no time! The aioli I just about died it was so good, haha!
  25. Hi Brandi, These look amazing and I am anxious to make them, however, I have to avoid the use of nuts. Do you think that I might substitute white beans in their place and still enjoy a creamy and savory sauce? Thanks!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Cindi! The beans would definitely blend up easier than the nuts because it is a very, very thick sauce. However, the aioli will not be as creamy/rich since beans are fat-free and nuts are so rich and high in fat. I'm sure it would still be good, just not as creamy and have more of a bean taste of course, but the lemon in it should help mask that some. If you have had bean-based sauces before and like them, then you would probably still enjoy it!
      • Thanks, Brandi! I have everything I need to get started & will let you know how they turn out.
  26. My favorite side is potato salad. =)
  27. I love the grilled flavor of veggies and veggie burgers!
  28. I live on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland (crab cake heaven) so I occasionally indulge in a crab cake. Everything about this recipe exceeded my expectations. Easy-to-find ingredients (Trader Joe’s has tasty seaweed snacks, but they do have oil), simple process, aroma, and end results were amazing. My husband, who is usually just “fine” with whatever I make, commented several times how much he enjoyed them. My food processor just spun the lightweight seaweed snacks around and didn’t chop them, so I added half of the artichokes and pulsed them together, then after I removed that mixture I did the other half of the artichokes and processed ‘till smooth. I used the processor to pulse one red bell pepper and 3 large green onions, which provided the 1/4 cup each, plus some extra. I wiped a very tiny amount of oil in my non-stick skillet and it worked fine for browning the crab cakes. I served the patties on a bed of spring greens, topped with the aioli, then added the remaining peppers and onions as a garnish. I’m making them again tonight for my mother, who is gluten-free, so I have to use her special breadcrumbs. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s going to be one of my go-to recipes from now on!!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      SO happy to hear that Laurel, thank you so much for making them! I had the same issue and skipped the removing of the flakes and just blended up half the artichokes with it until creamy and then added the rest of them until chunky. Worked out perfectly. Thanks for the review!
  29. I made the spicy crab patties and they are delicious. Everything I make from this website is so good. It never ceases to amaze me how y’all come up with these recipes that taste so close to the unhealthy versions. It seems we can have our “cake” and eat it too!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So awesome Janet and thank you for the kind words! Glad you have loved everything from my site so far, that is wonderful!
  30. Brandi---how many portions would you say this serves? I know it says 6 to 8 cakes---is one cake a serving typically? OR would you say more like 3, as pictured? We will probably be serving it with sweet potato fries, maybe some sort of cabbage---so don't know if we should just halve the recipe for the two of us.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Ellen! I believe 2 is a great serving, especially if serving it along another side and lots of the aioli, they are nice and filling. I did not eat 3 at once and I am a pretty big eater. I only put several in the photos on the plate so it looked more pretty for the photos :)
  31. I substituted heart of palm for the artichoke hearts & seaweed snax, and feel like a freakin genius! Will double the flax next time though! Thanks for the recipe! ♥
  32. These are just fantastic. My pet peeve is that in the vegan world, we name things what they are not and by doing so there is an implied expectation. I have renamed them artichoke cakes and my non vegan friends are nuts about them. If I tried to pass them off as 'crab cakes', I don't think they would have gone over as well as they did. I am about to make them again to take to the cottage. Do you think they could be frozen and then cooked? I also think I will try Jexelli's tip and use hearts of palm. Thanks for all these amazing recipes. You help me stay the 'foodie' vegan that I am.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Oh, I didn't name these, this recipe is from the book listed in the post :) I haven't personally tried freezing them, but I would think they would be okay frozen first wrapped really tightly, and then cooked, yes.
  33. I made these this evening and they are great. I cut down a bit the ‘heat’. This will be one of my favorites and very good to serve guests. Again, thanks. I also love and make a few of your cookie recipes.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So wonderful to hear Lois, thank you!
  34. Finally a vegan crab cake I LOVE!!! Deliciously spicy and filling!! I added Cajun seasoning to the aioli and it added a great flavor. All of your recipes I've made I've absolutely loved so far!!!

Leave a comment

Rate this recipe: