Poor Man’s Crab Cakes are hands down one of my fav, affordable party foods! I mean, a vegetarian fritter…that totally reminds me of crab cakes?…without the costly crab?! Seriously, the ingredients in this recipe pack in the protein and fiber, and these cuties are gluten-free friendly (if you use gf bread crumbs).
Poor Man’s Crab Cakes
When I first made this recipe last year, I wasn’t even trying to make a vegetarian crab cake…it never crossed my mind. I just wanted to use our garden zucchini, carrots, and quinoa together into a crispy, healthy fritter.
So, after making them several times…and falling in love each time, they reminded me so much of crab cakes, only without the crab, which makes them crazy affordable!
Here’s a couple tips for this recipe…
1) This recipe calls for cooked quinoa. So, I like to make it the day before and refrigerate it, aaaaand I like to salt the water when I cook it, just like I do with pasta water (1/4 tsp Salt to 1 cup of dry quinoa). Side note: I always use the Aroma Professional Plus Rice Cooker to cook quinoa, rice, oatmeal, etc. It has all of those settings, it’s hands free, and cooks to perfection! This is not a sponsored post, I just love that kitchen tool.
2) When you portion the filling, be sure tightly pack the portion scoop, and I mean tight! Stuff as much filling as you can into the scoop, and then level it off. Trust me, this will help the filling stay together when you go to smash it down with your fingers.
3) When it comes to pan-frying this recipe, it doesn’t use a crazy amount of oil…yet the final result totally satisfies my fried food cravings.. I use just enough oil to coat the skillet surface, and that’s it!
I love to eat these plain, right outta the skillet! But, if I’m not being lazy, I’ll whip up a zesty, lemon aioli (lemon juice, yogurt, and a little mayo). This is when things start getting really real for these beauties. They pretty much don’t stand a chance!
Best ways to serve these beauties:
- as an appetizer with a lemon aioli dipping sauce
- as a quick snack any time of day (eat warm or cold)
- packed for the workday lunch
- as mini sliders
You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- kosher salt
- cooked quinoa
- fresh chives (or green onion)
- Old Bay Seasoning or paprika
- black pepper
- Panko bread crumbs (gluten-free option)
Kitchen tools I use for this recipe:
- Food processor or box grater (for zucchini and carrots)
- medium-sized mixing bowl (to mix all filling)
- flour sack towel or paper towels (to absorb moisture)
- 2 oz portion scoop (to measure filling)
- baking sheet (to press fritters before frying)
- skillet (to fry fritters)
- sandwich / pancake turner (to handle the fritters)
- paper towels (to absorb frying oil)
For more of my healthy, vegetarian, gluten free recipes, check out Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette or Vegan Thai Coconut Vegetable Curry. Both recipes come together easily and bring a ton of nutrition into your lunch or dinner!
* Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I receive a small commission for your purchases…at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Kitchen Girl!
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