Sweet Balsamic Chickpea Cakes (They're Vegan, Too!)

Written by Molly Patrick

I made these for you because you’re awesome, and in preparation for the upcoming holiday season, I want you to try these "crab cakes" made from chickpeas.

They're easy to whip up and very similar to a traditional Crab Cake. Your house will even smell slightly of fish when you're done cooking them (I was surprised by this fact myself).

They're gluten free, and will soon be a favorite at your dinner table.


  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (see note if you want to pressure cook your own)
  • 1/3 cup gluten free crackers, ground up
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped (use entire onion)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dulse flakes or powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil


Place the crackers in a food processor and process until they are ground up, resembling flour. Measure out 1/3 of a cup and set aside (if you end up with more than 1/3 of a cup, store the remainder in a container for another time).

Place the garbanzo beans in the food processor and pulse several times until the beans are processed but not smooth like paste. Even if you have a few whole beans, that's OK. In a large bowl, place the garbanzo beans, processed crackers, green onions, red bell pepper, red onion, parsley, mustard, lemon juice, ground flax seeds, garlic powder, dulse, salt and black pepper. Stir ingredients together. The mixture will be on the dry side — this is a good sign. If it’s easier, mix everything together with your hands (that’s how I do it).

Form the mixture into 6 equal patties. Make them fat and round (you will be pressing them out a little in the next step).

Heat the oil in a large enough pan to hold all 6 (if you do not have a large enough pan, you will need to fry them in two batches). When the oil is hot (I mean hot, not warm. To test if the oil is hot enough, put a small amount of water on your fingertips and flick the water in the oil. If it sizzles, you’re ready to go).

Place the crab cakes in the oil and allow to cook until the underside gets brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until crab cake is brown on the other side.

Make the mayo below and serve on your favorite gluten free bread / bun. Alternatively, you can serve this on top of mixed greens and topped with the mayo.

Sweet Balsamic Mayo

Place some vegan mayo in a bowl and add equal parts balsamic vinegar and agave nectar (start with 1 teaspoon of each and see what that does for you). Whisk to combine. Try it and adjust to your taste.

NOTE: Want to pressure cook your own beans? (The answer is "yes!")

Here’s how:

Soak 1 1/2 cups of garbanzo beans overnight (or for 8 hours). Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a pressure cooker along with 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Lock the presser cooker lid into place and place the valve on top. Turn heat to high and bring beans to pressure. You'll know they are at pressure when the cooker starts hissing and making lots of noise (it will take about 10-15 minutes to reach pressure). Turn heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes (start timing it after they have reached pressure).

After 20 minutes, turn off heat and allow to cool, about 10-15 minutes. If you're in a hurry, carefully bring the pot to the sink and run cold water over the lid until the pressure has gone down.

If this is the first time using a pressure cooker, please read the instruction guide before making your first batch of beans.

Get more hearty vegan and gluten-free recipes right here.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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