This crab salad is a blend of imitation crab, vegetables and herbs, all tossed in a simple creamy dressing. A quick and easy salad that’s perfect served over lettuce, with crackers, or in a sandwich.

I’m always looking for new lunch options, some of my favorites include bagel dogs, a chicken club sandwich, rainbow veggie pinwheels and Greek pasta salad. This crab salad can be made in less than 10 minutes, is packed with protein and is totally delicious! You can never have too many salad recipes!

Creamy crab salad with fresh vegetables and dill in a mayonnaise dressing.

I’m always tempted to pick up those ready made salads at my local deli counter, but doing that on a regular basis can add up really quickly! This crab salad is a copy of the seafood salad my grocery store makes. It’s inexpensive to make and tastes even better than the store bought version.

Crab Salad Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need imitation crab meat or real crab, celery, red onion, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, mayonnaise and fresh dill.

How Do You Make Crab Salad?

Place your crab, celery, red onion, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mayo and dill in a bowl. Stir everything gently until it well combined. Garnish with additional fresh dill. Serve immediately, or place the salad in the refrigerator for later use.

Imitation crab flakes in a bowl.

Tips For Crab Salad

  • I use imitation crab flakes because they’re already cut into bite sized pieces. You can also buy the stick-style imitation crab and slice it yourself. I make this recipe with imitation crab because it’s easy to find and inexpensive, but real crab meat is also great.
  • I highly recommend using fresh dill, the flavor is superior to dried dill. If you need to use dried dill, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of dried for fresh.
  • You can use low fat mayonnaise if desired to save a few calories.
  • This salad can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Quick Tip

I recommend making sure your red onion is finely chopped so that you don’t get large pieces in each bite. You can also use sliced green onions instead of red onion for a milder flavor.

Imitation crab, celery and red onion in a serving bowl.

Flavor Variations

This salad is delicious as-is, but you can add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.

  • Protein: You can use other types of seafood in this salad. Sometimes I use half crab, half shrimp for a seafood salad. Or go all out with lobster for a luxurious lobster salad.
  • Vegetables: You can absolutely add more finely diced veggies to the mix such as scallions, cucumber, bell peppers, jalapeno, or even some fresh corn kernels.
  • Seasonings: Feel free to add other seasonings to the salad. Some great options include swapping out the Old Bay for Cajun seasoning, or adding spices such as garlic powder, onion powder or smoked paprika. You can also add fresh parsley, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, cayenne pepper or sriracha.
Imitation crab, seasoning, dill, celery and mayonnaise in a bowl.

Recipe FAQs

What is imitation crab?

Crab salad is often made with imitation crab, because it’s inexpensive, available year round, and can be found in almost every grocery store. Imitation crab is made of mild white fish, typically Alaskan Pollock, which is blended with other ingredients to form a product that looks and tastes similar to real crab. You can use real crab in your crab salad if you prefer, but it’s definitely easier to go with imitation crab.

What is crab salad made of?

Crab salad is made with fresh crab or imitation crab, finely diced veggies and herbs in a mayonnaise and lemon based dressing.

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Ways To Serve Crab Salad

You can eat this salad as-is, or serve it in a variety of different presentations.

  • Lettuce Wraps: Spoon your crab into a butter lettuce cup.
  • Crackers: Serve your salad with a side of buttery crackers.
  • Crab Salad Sandwiches: Add your crab to a toasted roll along with some green leaf lettuce.
  • Avocado: Spoon your crab into an avocado half.
  • Crab Pasta Salad: Add 8 ounces of cooked short pasta to make a pasta salad.
  • Cucumber: Spoon onto cucumber slices for an easy party snack.
  • Puff Pastry: Fill up cooked puff pastry shells with the salad.
Crab salad served on a bed of lettuce with a side of crackers.

Once you try this crab salad, you’ll be hooked. It’s so much fresher tasting than the deli version and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a crowd!

More Great Salad Recipes

Crab Salad Video

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 130 votes

Crab Salad

AuthorSara Welch
Creamy crab salad with fresh vegetables and dill in a mayonnaise dressing.
This crab salad is a blend of imitation crab, vegetables and herbs, all tossed in a simple creamy dressing. A quick and easy salad that’s perfect served over lettuce, with crackers, or in a sandwich.
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time11 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound imitation crab meat flaked style, or sticks cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped, plus more for garnish

Instructions 

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir gently to combine.
  • Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 2 days.
  • Sprinkle with additional chopped dill for garnish if desired.

Notes

  1. I use imitation crab flakes because they’re already cut into bite sized pieces. You can also buy the stick-style imitation crab and slice it yourself. Of course you can substitute in fresh crab if you have access to it!
  2. I highly recommend using fresh dill, the flavor is superior to dried dill. If you need to use dried dill, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of dried for fresh.
  3. You can use low fat mayonnaise if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great, simple recipe! Tweaked it a teeny bit. Added a little sour cream and some Cajun seasoning. Used half crab and half krab. Went well with the Polish/Russian black bread I made yesterday.
    Definitely a keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    This was really great and easy to make! I added a little more mayonnaise because I was using dehydrated celery flakes. Will definitely be making this again.

  3. So good! I bought the 2 lb package of the faux crab at
    Sam’s . Used the recipe as read except for 1/8 cup sweet relish. Also used my food processor slicer blade to shred the fish makes it more “crablike”. Perfect so thanks!!!

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for the tip about shredding. I did 3/4 that way then left in chunks. I also roughly chopped up 1 cup med. cooked shrimp. I bunch thinly sliced scallions. Low sod. Old Bay to taste.
      What a wonderful base this recipe is used to work with.
      Those were just my tweaks.
      I made the original first,
      very good! 😋❤️

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious. Perfect as a summery side dish. I did not add the celery because I didn’t have any on hand, but it was great nonetheless. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi
      I made this with the help of my mother
      Shes 79
      It was a great bonding time for one another
      It was amazing
      I say you definitely need to try it

    2. Yum I just made this but added a bit of myself in here subbed celery for cucumber added a bit of sour cream used lime juice instead of lemon juice and no onions its amazing

  5. I’m trying to understand how this recipes has 21 g of carbs…I’m only counting about 6? Any help is appreciated 🙂

    1. Imitation crab has about 13 grams of carbs per serving, if you used fresh crab it would likely be less.

  6. 5 stars
    A really good recipe; I’ve made it a few times with both real crab and fake crab. Both are excellent. My recommendations:
    – Go WAY heavier on the Old Bay seasoning. At minimum a full teaspoon, maybe 2.
    – I serve this on toasted potato hot dog rolls. The toasting really bumps this up a notch and the potato rolls are better than regular hot dog rolls.
    – Don’t skimp on the fresh dill or use dried. It really makes a difference if you use the fresh stuff. And you can use the leftover to make pickles!
    – Sprinkle your sandwich or however you eat it with Old Bay and fresh lemon juice.

  7. Thanks for the inspiration!
    I had one pkg of the ‘faux’ crab meat (8 Oz) already, then bought a 12 Oz. Pkg of small, cooked (peeled and deveined) frozen shrimp. Defrosted & drained it, then added it to the shredded ‘crab.’
    Mixed it into a half cup of mayo + couple of Tblsps of cocktail sauce and a Tblsp of chili sauce. Added a dash each of garlic powder, dried minced onion and dried dill weed (what I had.) Chopped a stalk of celery and a half of a small green pepper and mixed it all together. Easy peasy, TY!
    Next time, I’ll probably grate and add a carrot, and maybe cook, cool and add a few cups of rice or shell pasta.

  8. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe! I added a little sugar to taste, otherwise as written. This is as good or better than any store-bought crab salad I’ve ever had.

    1. You can make it yourself by combining 2 teaspoons celery salt, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon each of black pepper and ground red pepper.

    2. I didn’t have any bay seasoning either as I live in Switzerland but it was still delish without it, used it instead of tuna salad in tuna melt, absolutely
      fabulous!

  9. 5 stars
    I have been making crab salad for years. This is by far the best recipe, yet!!! I added jalapeno to add a bit of a kick. Thank you for sharing. I will be using this recipe from now on

      1. Try this:
        2 tablespoons celery salt.
        1/4 teaspoon paprika.
        1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
        1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
        1 pinch dry mustard.
        1 pinch ground nutmeg.
        Good luck. 🙂