This creamy imitation crab salad is quick and easy to prepare and a cheaper alternative to a classic crab salad.
I have a secret for you. I like imitation crab. Yep, no shame! I can see all of the seafood-loving purists in the back row beginning to fume in twisted fits of rage, but guess what, my website, my rules.
Yes, I'll admit that real crab is better, but that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy imitation crab, right? After all, steaks are better than veggie burgers but I still enjoy both.
Imitation Crab Salad
As the name implies, imitation crab salad is similar to a classic crab salad, but uses imitation crab instead. This is an inexpensive alternative that is particularly popular in areas of the country where fresh crab isn't readily available or cost prohibitive. This recipe was inspired by my classic seafood pasta salad recipe.
What is Imitation Crab
Imitation crab is a mild tasting seafood product primarily consisting of white fish and binders, such a starch, to create a product resembling the shape and texture of crab leg meat. Typically any recipe calling for imitation crab can substitute real crab instead if you wish.
How to Make Imitation Crab Salad
My imitation crab salad uses mayo as the base of the creamy dressing, along with crisp vegetables and herbs for flavoring. I recommend dicing the onion and celery fairly small to get a bit of crunch for texture, without distractedly large pieces in each forkful.
The flavor of this crab salad is best when allowed to meld in the refrigerator overnight. However, if you are pressed for time, you can serve it immediately.
How to Customize Imitation Crab Salad
My recipe is a great base recipe to customize to fit to your own tastes. Other flavorings you can add include fresh dill, capers, peas, Old Bay Seasoning (affiliate link), or even a bit of dijon.
Just a quick note on dill: I tested the recipe with dried dill and wasn't very impressed with the taste, I recommend using fresh dill instead if you desire dill flavor.
How to Serve Imitation Crab Salad
Imitation crab salad can simply be enjoyed with a fork, however, some people enjoy serving it on a leaf of butter lettuce, or with crackers. Although, serving it on a halved avocado would also be an excellent fresh twist.
Imitation Crab Salad
- 1 pound imitation crab meat
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 stalks celery (minced)
- ¼ cup sweet onion (minced)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- Break imitation crab meat into bite-sized chunks and add to a bowl with all remaining ingredients.
- Mix to combine.
- The salad can be served immediately, however, the flavor will improve if it melds in the refrigerator overnight. Store tightly covered.
I love crab salad and don’t need the real thing. I have been paying about $12 a pound pre made at the grocery. Found your recipe and tried it today and love it! Taking your advice to let it meld overnight. I made it for under $4 and have extra. I’m a foodie and have been to catering school, and this beats all of the ones I have tried!
Can you add pasta to it or macaroni salad
Fox Valley Foodie
Pasta can certainly be added to make a seafood pasta salad. I would not mix it with macaroni salad, unless I am not understanding that part of the question.
I was thrilled to see this recipe for "imitation" crab salad, as I'm sure others who share my allergy to shell fish were! More, please!
Add one package of very very small frozen peas last. Awesome. Must be frozen