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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5 from 128 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

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. The dill really makes this recipe. I make it just as it’s written and it’s very good, just don’t skimp on the dill.

  2. I’ve made this several times and enjoyed it alot. One day went to make this and realized no crab meat…so used frozen cooked shrimp and rough cropped the shrimp plus added bell pepper. This has quickly become a family favorite.
    Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this crab salad recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so vibrant. Your knack for balancing textures had me hooked from the first bite. This is definitely going into my regular meal rotation, thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    This salad was super filling, but still refreshing and light! We took it to a labor day cookout today and everyone loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious!!! I did not have Ole Bay seasoning, so Slap Your Ma’am was the substitute I used. This recipe is definitely a keeper!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  6. I am not a personal fan of celery, I swap mine out for diced cucumbers and I also add a little garlic powder. Fair warning though, I do find that this gets a little more watery overnight because of the cucumbers – on the rare cases I’ve had leftovers. LOL.

    Alternatively: This also mixes well with corn (I use 1 can of sweet corn drained) and cilantro with some diced jalapeno & mixed bell peppers (instead of celery/cucumbers), if you want to give it more of a fiesta mix.

    This crab salad is such a hit in our house, and it’s become a great go-to for fast snacks/meals because of how easy it is to put together, and it’s versatility.

  7. Has anyone made a Crab Salad with real crab meat? There are too many carbs in imitation crab meat for me, so I want to use real. Is there anything different I need to do?

  8. 5 stars
    Tried similar recipes before, but your had better amount of seasoning, others were too much of Old Bay.

  9. This is seriously the BEST imitation crab salad I have EVER had! EVER!!! I did not have celery, so I ground some celery seed up (about 1 teaspoon) and it turned out delicious!! I am SO thrilled I found your recipe! THANK YOU!!!!