Green Recipe of the Week: Chickpea Crabcakes

This post is the second in a series which will be followed for the next two weeks with recipes posted every Saturday from Kim’s new book The Meatlover’s Meatless Cookbook. If you have any questions for Kim about green cooking, recipes, or meatless meal possibilities please add them below and we’ll include them in a follow-up interview to be posted at the end of the series. Let’s get cooking!


True story: Less than two weeks before the manuscript for my book, The Meatlover’s Meatless Cookbook was due, with most recipes edited and determined fit for public consumption, I pan-fried a batch of my falafel patties for me and my husband, Russ. He took one bite into his falafel-on-a-bun and looked at me with all seriousness. “This falafel looks and eats likes a crab cake.”

He was right. With thirty combined years of living in Washington, D.C.—crab cake central—we could both see that this chickpea patty had Chesapeake potential.

With the wild eyes of a mad scientist, I immediately went to work, replacing Middle Eastern falafel spices with Old Bay, the iconic Maryland seafood seasoning that’s had a cult following for three generations. Out with the tahini, in with a yogurt remoulade and horseradishy cocktail sauce that transport you from the Mid-East to the Mid-Atlantic.

The result: Downright crab-shacky.

Kitchen note: As with the falafel, dried chickpeas are a must for this recipe; the canned version are simply too soft and patties will fall apart.


1 cup dried chickpeas

1½ cups finely chopped onion (not quite 1 large onion)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, or ¼ cup each, chopped

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1?8 teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup vegetable oil

8 soft hamburger buns or English Muffins


Cover the chickpeas with water and soak for at least 8 hours at room temperature. (If your kitchen is very warm, you may want to place in the fridge to minimize chances of fermentation.) Drain and set aside. You will end up with 2 cups of soaked chickpeas.

Using a food processor or heavy-duty blender, pulverize the chickpeas, using the “pulse” function. Pulverize until the beans just form

a paste that sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. Be careful not to overprocess the chickpeas; too smooth, the batter will

fall apart when cooking.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) and combine using the “pulse” function. After being pulsed approximately twelve times,

the batter will be somewhat grainy and speckled with herbs.

Refrigerate the batter for about 1 hour, until firm.

Meanwhile, make the yogurt remoulade or cocktail sauce (details follow). Remove the batter from the fridge and shape into patties, using a scant 1?3-cup measure. Be careful not to overhandle the batter. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the patties on a plate or baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Return to the fridge and chill for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

In a shallow 12-inch skillet, heat . cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the patties into the hot oil in small batches (don’t crowd the pan) and fry the first side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. (If you’re the impatient sort, set a timer and relax. These things

don’t like to be fussed with.)

Gently turn onto the second side and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray to finish cooking in the oven for 8 minutes. (Before frying the next batch, heat the remaining oil.) The patties will have a somewhat drier appearance on the outside, which is a good thing.

Serve on a bun with the remoulade, cocktail sauce, or a schmear of mustard-mayo.

Makes 8 patties

Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and online journalist. She has been a strong advocate for the Meatless Monday campaign since 2008 (the movement itself was started in 2003). A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she is a regular contributor to True/ and She has also written for the Washington Post, Real Simple, and Huffington Post. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in Seattle with her husband.

You can buy Kim’s new book, A Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook here, or visit her website at

Special thanks to Lara Simpson for all her help making this collaboration with Women Of Green possible.

Want to be part of the ongoing conversation with other WOGs around the world? Become a fan of Women Of Green on Facebook.

Here are other ways to connect too.

Follow WOG on Twitter

Carolyn’s LinkedIn Profile

1 Comment
  1. This recipe sounds so good. Have you experimented with preparing them in stages? Would they get dried out if you complete all the steps except baking them…maybe refrigerate them after you fry them? Thanks

Leave a Reply