Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

I have a confession… these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes have been on my mind for what feels like AGES! It wasn’t until I was flipping through an old soul food cook book from my pre-vegan days that it hit me. I knew then, I would be making them the following weekend. Once I put the ingredients on my shopping list, it was as good as done. Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes were definitely happening!

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes in black pan

It’s impossible to talk about most anything seafood related without Old Bay Seasoning being in the conversation. I knew that if I was going to give these crab cakes a fair try, Old Bay Seasoning was definitely going to have to be in the mix. A lot of it!

It’s no surprise that this seasoning was the star of the show. It definitely gives these vegan crab cakes that hint of authenticity they need in order to win your tastebuds over. So needless to say, don’t even think about making these if you don’t have any!

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes in black pan

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes: Store-bought vs. Homemade

To be honest, I was a little skeptical about if these would work or not due to a prior experience. It’s no secret that Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop. I love visiting them because they’re always adding to their selection with new vegan offerings.

A while back they started selling jackfruit crab cakes. I grabbed a box without even thinking about it. I just knew they were going to HIT!

brown hands holding Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

My instincts couldn’t have been more wrong. I baked them in the oven and prepared for what I thought would be an enjoyable meal. Y’all, this was theeeeeee worst purchase I’ve ever made from Trader Joe’s. Not even hot sauce helped.

I tried seasoning them with Old Bay, but it didn’t work either. To me, it tasted like they just coated jackfruit in breading, fried it, and called it a day.

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes stack

TJ’s is one of my faves, so for them to take such a loss on what could have been such a win was hard for me. I honestly wondered if it was possible to make a brag-worthy vegan crab cake myself. As with most foods, it’s all about seasoning.

Once I remembered that, I was back in the game. The last thing I was going to do was fumble the ball like TJ’s so I moved forward with giving it a try for myself.

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

What Kind of Jackfruit Should I Purchase to Make Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes?

The type of jackfruit that you purchase is REALLY important! This will determine your success with this recipe. You want to make sure that you purchase young green jackfruit in either brine or water. You can find this at your local Asian market or Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s currently only sells jackfruit in brine, so if you choose to purchase it from there just pick up a green can of this stuff and you’re good to go. If you’re taking a trip to your local Asian market, you may see a few different types of jackfruit: fresh jackfruit, canned jackfruit in syrup or canned jackfruit in brine or water.

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes stack

Again, you want to go with the latter. Fresh jackfruit will be much too sweet, as will canned jackfruit in syrup. Stick with Jackfruit in brine or water and you should be set!

How to Make Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes:

Preparing these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes was super easy. So easy, I’m ashamed I waited so long to make them. In preparing them, it’s important to take a few minutes to prep your jackfruit properly.

This way you can avoid the unwanted seeds that are usually present in jackfruit. You want them to be as realistic as possible, which means you only want the stringy parts.

Once you’ve chopped up your veggies and separated your jackfruit, it’s time to mix everything! While you’re mixing, you’ll want to go ahead and heat the oil on the stove you’ll be using for frying. This way, it’s ready for you when you’re ready to start frying them.

brown hand holding Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

To make this part a little easier you could form all of the patties, then fry them. Alternatively, you could make a few patties and fry them. Then while those are frying, begin prepping a few more patties for the next round and continue this until you’re done. Personally, I’d rather get all of them done at once. I love cooking, but I hate messy fingers!


I’m happy to report that these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes are WAY better than anything you could buy in the stores. They’re easy to put together and are very well seasoned. I even tested them out with my omni husband and I’m happy to say he’s a fan of them too!

These Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes are so crispy! The next time I make them, I’m going to try air-frying them to see if that works out. For authenticity’s sake, I wanted to go with the old-fashioned grease the first time around. Give these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

What to Eat With Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes:

Tools You Might Need:

Other Jackfruit Recipes You’ll Love:

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5 from 22 votes

Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes

Vegan jackfruit crab cakes seasoned to perfection and amazingly delicious!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Crab, Jackfruit, Old Bay, Seafood
Prep Time 22 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 10 cakes



  • In a small pan over low-medium heat, sauté green peppers and onions until softened.
  • While those are cooking, begin removing the seeds and hard parts from the jackfruit, leaving only the stringy parts. Remember to keep an eye on the stove.
  • Once the peppers and onions have softened, remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl add all of the ingredients together( with the exception of the frying oil) and combine.
  • In a larger pan (I used a cast iron pan) appropriate for frying, add the oil and heat over a medium low temperature.
  • While the oil is heating, begin forming the patties using a ¼ measuring cup. Scoop out enough to fill the measuring cup, then form round patties with your hands, and set aside. Repeat until all of the mixture has been formed into patties.
  • By now your oil should be hot enough, but check by flicking a tiny bit of water into the pan. If the oil begins to pop, it is hot enough. If not, you may need to increase the stove setting or wait a bit longer.
  • Once the oil is done heating, carefully begin placing the patties in the pan leaving enough space to flip them easily. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until browned.
  • Once done cooking, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess grease. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!


  1. 5 stars
    Honestly there was no difference than the real deal! These have the texture and flavor that you think you are missing! Amazing!

  2. I Tried A Recipe On The Vegan Crab Cake I Didn’t Really Enjoy It Maybe Something Was Missing

  3. 5 stars
    This is AMAZING! Seriously a must try! It’s so simple and easy to make and my Husband and I love them. I’ve made them two times already within a week. Desiree you have done it again girl! Keep doing ya thang love!

  4. Shirley Tucker

    I’m deathly allergic to flax. What would you suggest i substitute for the flax egg?

    • Hey Shirley! The flax egg works as a binder in this recipe, so I think the next best thing would be an egg substitute like the egg replacer from Bob’s Red Mill. If you try it, please let me know how it goes!

  5. In case I can’t find flax eggs, I might have to use real eggs. If I do, should I use 2 regular eggs. I have allergies and I can’t use the egg substitutes.

    • Hi Faye, you can find ground flax seed meal at most grocery stores. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at Harris Teeter, but I usually buy it from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately since I haven’t tested this recipe with real eggs, I can’t say for certain how many you should use. I would try one at a time and see if it binds well enough. If not, add another. Let me know how it goes!

  6. I will. Thank you so much.

  7. Johnny Douglas

    5 stars
    OMGGGG these vegan crabcakes changed my world. I made these beautiful babies last night and they were so good. The texture was right on point, flavor explosion, and so simple. Thank you for providing this piece of heaven.

  8. 5 stars
    This is a really good crab cake recipe! Next time I will use a little more Old Bay. I cooked mine in my air fryer for about 7 min each side and they had a nice light brown color. Very tasty … recipe on its way to 2 friends!

  9. Pingback: Easy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese | ICanYouCanVegan ICanYouCanVegan

  10. @ThePlantBasedPair

    5 stars
    The flavor was on pointtt. Very well seasoned & I enjoyed the texture a lot as well. This makes a great appetizer and pairs well with a lot of dishes. I ended up making this 3x for my boo! Delicious.

  11. The recipe calls for a tsp of cayenne pepper and then further down calls for another 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. Seems like a lot of cayenne.

  12. 5 stars
    These are aaamazing! I cooked them in the air fryer! Wondering about the cayenne listed twice???

  13. Monique Turner

    5 stars
    So flavorful!!! These were super easy to make. My non-vegan friends and I enjoyed every bite!!!

  14. 5 stars
    These were sooooo good! In a happy accident I realized after everything else was combined that I was out of Panko and probably had no more than about 2/3 c of finer bread crumbs. The reduced amount of filler was just enough to adhere loosely, probably more like a Maryland style crab cake, though it required some delicate maneuvering in the pan. I also made six larger cakes rather than 10 smaller ones, and one large egg in place of the flax worked just fine as a binder. Can’t wait to make them again, and probably will before the week is up!

  15. 5 stars
    So amazing! Best usage of jackfruit I have found! Also easily made gluten free if need be!

  16. 5 stars
    My family and I tried this recipe on our weekly zoom call!!! Home run! Will definitely make again. We omitted salt and flax egg. Instead used 1 large egg and added more old bay. None of us are vegan, but will definitely try th traditional way next time. Thanks!!

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious! My whole family enjoyed this recipe. Even my notoriously picky meat loving 14 year old ate FOUR of the “crab” cakes and asked that I make them again.
    The only change would be to double the Old Bay next time. We ended up sprinkling more on the cakes as we ate them but I’m definitely putting more in the recipe when I make them again. Other then that, this recipe is a winner!

  18. 5 stars
    I made these about a months ago. I loved them! Even my husband who isn’t vegan loved them. I have made them once a week for the last month for US! Can I double the recipe, freeze the patties and cook them when ready to prepare?

    • Hey Marian, I haven’t tried freezing them just yet (mine never last long enough!), but I think it should work. Also yes on the doubling! If you do try freezing them please come back and let us know how it turned out!

  19. Is there anything I can substitute for Old Bay Seasoning as it not available in Australia Thanks

  20. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I made these and had my “meat-eater” family members eat it! They were amazed. I added crushed nori flakes to this recipe and it took it to a while new level.

  21. Cooking w Co

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe!

  22. 5 stars
    These were absolutely amazing! Thank you so much. Will be making again for sure.

  23. 5 stars
    Delicious! Will definitely make again

  24. 5 stars
    I am omni, and I love these jackfruit cakes. The flavor is fantastic, and they are quite simple. Plus let’s add – these little guys are WAY more affordable for a weeknight-on-my-own dinner than springing for lump crabmeat.
    Making for the 2nd time tonight, and I guarantee it won’t be the last time. Thank you for a great recipe.

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