Zucchini “Crab” Cakes

Zucchini “Crab” Cakes, also known as Poorman’s Crab Cakes, are made with zucchini instead of crab. Even though these fritters do not contain any crab meat, they taste like regular crab cakes!

I am so in love with these zucchini crab cakes. You might think these are just zucchini fritters, but they actually taste like crab cakes.

The zucchini really soaks in the Old Bay Seasoning, which makes the zucchini taste like soft crab meat. The texture of the cooked shredded zucchini is also very similar to crab meat.

I could not stop eating these after I finished making them. I will be definitely be making these often. I also have a Cauliflower “Crab” Cakes version as well!


Recipe Tips

  • The key to the crab cake-like flavor is the Old Bay Seasoning, so I don’t recommend that you leave it out. The zucchini soaks in the seasoning, which makes the zucchini taste like crab meat.
  • You can use a large cheese grater to shred your zucchini. Make sure your shreds are not too long in length. You can slice them if they are, otherwise you will have zucchini shreds sticking out of the discs.

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

These crab cakes are made with shredded zucchini instead of crab but they taste like regular crab cakes!


  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (approx 1 large zucchini)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning (this is key to the crab cake-like flavor, so don't leave this out!)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (for pan frying)
  • tartar sauce (optional, to serve with the crab cakes)
  • lemon wedges (optional, to serve with the crab cakes)


  1. In a large bowl, add zucchini, breadcrumbs, Old Bay, black pepper, mayonnaise and parsley. Mix until everything is evenly combined.
  2. Scoop out 1/3 cup (packed) of zucchini batter. Press the zucchini firmly into the cup. You want to make sure you really compact the zucchini batter so that the cakes don't fall apart. Flip the measuring cup upside down to release the zucchini cake onto a sheet of parchment paper. The zucchini should slide out still holding its form from the cup. Repeat with remaining zucchini batter.
  3. In a medium skillet, add oil and bring to medium high heat. Depending on the size of your pan you may need more oil. You need a little more than 1/4 inch of oil so that the oil reaches the halfway point on the zucchini cakes during cooking. Gently slide a few of the crab cakes into the hot oil and cook a few minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy on both sides. Place cooked crab cakes onto a paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil. Repeat until all crab cakes are cooked. Serve crab cakes while they are still warm, with tartar sauce and fresh lemon juice.

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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Zucchini Crab Cakes

Related Recipes

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Parmesan Zucchini Crisps

Cauliflower “Crab” Cakes

4 comments on “Zucchini “Crab” Cakes”

  1. These look soooo good! Added bonus – extra veggies! Love it!

  2. I am going to have to try these!  I love crab cakes, and we have fresh crab available most of the time in the Northwest, but paying $40 for a pound of lump crabmeat is too expensive for a regular meal.  (And I’m just not into spending a bunch of time shelling crabs).  Thanks for the recipe! 

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