This refreshing Imitation Crab Salad in a simple mayonnaise-based dressing tastes so much better than what you can buy in a grocery store deli. It’s budget-friendly, requires minimal preparation time, and is easily customizable to your personal taste.
Just 15 minutes is all it takes to throw this together (even quicker if you’re fast at slicing and dicing!).
Although I live on the coast of NC where fresh seafood is abundant, I admit that I’ve always loved imitation crab (or “krab”) meat. This quick and easy salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
- Imitation crab meat – I use flake style imitation crab and cut it into about 1-inch pieces.
- Red onion
- Herbs and seasonings – Garlic powder, salt, pepper, sugar, Old Bay Seasoning, and fresh dill.
- Lemon juice
How to Prepare
- Combine the salad ingredients. Toss together the crab, chopped celery, and onion in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare the dressing. Stir or whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar and dill.
- Coat with the dressing. Add the dressing to the bowl with the crab and vegetables. Stir to coat as evenly as possible.
Imitation crab salad is made of imitation crab meat, celery, and onion in a mayonnaise-based dressing.
Imitation crab is made from surimi. Surimi is a paste made from deboned and minced fish meat (often Alaskan pollock, but it can be made from many types of white fish) and other ingredients.
The fish mixture is formed into different shapes. Surimi products are often labeled as “imitation crab” or “krab.”
I recommend NOT eating imitation crab if you have a shellfish allergy. I have read that some of the “other ingredients” used for flavoring are extracts from real crab and lobster, and sometimes even small amounts of real crab and lobster meat.
Imitation crab meat is sold in chunk style, flaked style, leg style (sticks), or shredded.
When properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, crab salad is good for up to 2 to 3 days but is best within 24 hours. Please be sure to use your best judgment when consuming leftovers.
It’s not recommended to freeze salads with a mayonnaise-based dressing because the texture of the mayonnaise changes significantly after defrosting.
How to Serve
- Real crab meat can be used in this recipe – feel free to use real crab meat in place of imitation crab (lump crab meat is my favorite). Remove and discard any shells if using real crab meat.
- Low fat mayo can be used in place of regular mayonnaise.
- Adjust the herbs and seasonings in the dressing to your personal preference.
- Sliced green onions can be substituted for diced red onions.
- Fresh dill is best in this recipe, but dried dill can be used. Use ¾ to 1 teaspoon if using dried dill.
- Add heat by adding a pinch (or more) of cayenne pepper.
- This recipe uses flake style imitation crab meat, but any shape will work. If using chunk style or leg style, cut into about 1-inch pieces (or even smaller if you prefer).
Imitation Crab Salad
- 1 pound imitation crab meat flaked style, cut into approximately 1 inch pieces
- ⅔ cup diced celery
- 3 tablespoons diced red onion
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Toss together the imitation crab, celery, and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare the dressing by stirring or whisking together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, and dill in a small bowl.
- Add the dressing to the crab mixture and stir to coat as evenly as possible.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- This recipe yields approximately 4 ½ cups.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.