Published by Rebecca Maness.

Old Bay Seasoning has a loyal following, especially on the East Coast, where many sprinkle it on everything. But you don’t have to harm crabs in order to enjoy the flavor of this savory spice mix—it’s “accidentally vegan” and tastes great on a variety of animal-friendly foods, from French fries and popcorn to chicken-less nuggets and fish-free fillets. Each year, millions of crabs are stolen from their homes in the ocean to be dismembered and boiled alive. But with ingredients like hearts of palm, artichokes, and jackfruit, there’s no reason to eat crabs. We’ve found some of the best vegan crab recipes, many of which use Old Bay or seaweed for a crab-friendly taste of sea.

Say no to serving up cruelty by trying these recipes:

Cheesy Vegan ‘Crab’ Dip

This dip comes from Maryland-born Caitlin Shoemaker, so it’s sure to be authentic. Shredded trumpet mushrooms, dulse granules, and Old Bay make it one that you’ll want to serve at every party.

Crabless Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

With their seaweed and hearts of palm filling, these stuffed mushrooms will be a hit at any gathering.

‘Seafood’ Stuffed Bell Peppers

To elevate your crabless cakes from an appetizer to a full-fledged meal, try stuffing them in bell peppers. The crab cakes used for this recipe are made from lion’s mane mushrooms.

Thai-Style Coconut + Crabless Soup

Kelp granules give the jackfruit in this recipe its salty ocean flavor, which pairs perfectly with the lemongrass, curry paste, and ginger.

Vegan Cajun Seafood Boil

No animals had to die to make this delicious Cajun seafood boil, seasoned with plenty of Old Bay.

Vegan Chesapeake Chowder

A type of seaweed called kombu is used to make the “dashi” stock for the base of this chowder.

Vegan Crab Cakes With Horseradish Dill Tartar Sauce

There are endless recipes for vegan crab cakes out there, but this one is made with marinated artichokes and a crispy panko breading.

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Vegan Crab Louie

Crab Louie is a salad that dates back to the early 1900s. This vegan version is great for an easy summer lunch or an appetizer.

Vegan Crab Melts

This twist on the tuna melt is made with egg-free mayo and, of course, Old Bay.

Vegan Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon is a staple of Chinese takeout, but it’s super-easy to make at home. Use your favorite vegan cream cheese to make it friendly to cows, too.

Vegan Crab Salad

Hearts of palm, kelp granules, and Old Bay Seasoning come together to create a party-friendly spread that’s great on crackers.

Vegan Crab Salad Rolls

This simple recipe is made with shredded and smoked tofu, and it’s easy enough to make for a quick lunch.

Vegan Spicy ‘Crab’ Sushi Rolls

The spicy “crab” in this recipe is made from baked tofu that’s shredded with a box grater and mixed with vegan mayo and Sriracha.


By going vegan, you can help save the lives of countless animals, including crabs and other animals who live in the sea. For more inspiration, try these fish-free recipes and check out our three-week vegan meal plan:

PETA’s Three-Week Vegan Meal Plan