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Imitation Crab Salad

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Imitation crab salad is super simple but really delicious. It is great as a dip with pita chips, between bread for a sandwich, served in lettuce cups for an extra fresh option, or piled on crostini for a tasty appetizer.

Bowl of imitation crab salad on plate with pita chips ready to eat.

Few recipes are easier and more versatile than this creamy seafood salad. It is a great option for Lent or as an quick and easy lunch or snack.

Making seafood salad from fresh seafood is delicious. In fact I have a great recipe for shrimp salad that is super delicious served on crackers or in profiterole.

Hand holding pita chip with pink and white crab salad on top.

However, using imitation crab meat makes the recipe super affordable and even easier. There is no peeling or shelling, just open the package and chop it up.

Add some mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice and salt and pepper to make the basic recipe. From there you can go just about anywhere your heart desires.

I love eating crab salad with pita chips as a dip. It has that little bit of sweet from the crab with the salty crunch of the pita chips.

Sandwich made with crab salad in a golden Hawaiian sweet roll ready to eat.

We also had some piled on Hawaiian rolls. The soft sweet bread really goes well with the crab as well.

For a healthier option, serve the seafood salad on fresh lettuce for an extra fresh crunch. Do it in lettuce cups for a great finger food or put a scoop on a pile of greens for a great luncheon or dinner salad.

What is imitation crab salad made of?

I kept this salad pretty simple. It focuses on the imitation crab with just a bit of mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery and salt and pepper.

It is really tasty that way, but you can easily add more goodies if you would like. Think of this as a great base recipe that can be easily customized.

Cutting board filled with chopped crab next to bowls of mayonnaise, chopped celery and lemon juice.

Mayonnaise is my favorite dressing for seafood salads. However you can use a Miracle Whip style dressing or even Greek yogurt if you prefer.

The flavor profiles will all be quite different, but they will all give you a very similar texture. Feel free to experiment with your favorites or mix two together.

Speaking of the dressing, as written this salad is lightly dressed. Feel free to add a couple more Tablespoons of mayo if you like a higher dressing to seafood ratio.

A sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning brings a great flavor punch. Or add a sprinkling of dill for a fresh flavor.

Adding some finely diced or grated onions would be fabulous. Or if you feel like pickle relish in a must have in these kinds of salads, feel free to add a few Tablespoons of that as well.

Even a little bit of finely diced cucumber would be great. Let me know if you have anything different you enjoy adding to seafood salad.

Storing Seafood Salad

Leftover crab salad should be stored in the refrigerator. It is best used within a few days, so scale down the recipe if you don’t think you can use it fast enough.

I do not recommend freezing crab salad. It is better to make it and use it within those few days.

More Great Seafood Recipes

Creamy Cajun crab chowder is loaded with crab, corn and just enough kick to make it interesting. It is simple to make and tastes amazing. It brings a little bit of luxury to your table without a ton of effort.

Baked crab rangoon egg rolls taste a lot like the wontons you get at a Chinese restaurant, but in a fun egg roll shaped package. Plus they are baked until crisp so they are easy to make at home without a fryer.

If you want, you can even make crab cakes with imitation crab. They taste the same and are much more economical that way!

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of imitation crab salad on plate with pita chips ready to eat.

Imitation Crab Salad

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
Imitation crab salad is super simple but really delicious. It is great as a dip with pita chips, piled on bread for a sandwich, served in lettuce cups for an extra fresh option, or serve on crostini or in a pastry shell for a fun appetizer.
4.94 from 15 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 ½ lb. imitation crab meat
  • 2 ribs celery
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Roughly chop crab meat and finely dice celery.
    1 ½ lb. imitation crab meat, 2 ribs celery
  • In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
    ⅔ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Add crab and celery, tossing to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  • Chill until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


This salad works great as a dip or as a filling for sandwiches. It is also great served over greens or in lettuce cups.
You can even add a little bit extra dressing and some cooked and cooled pasta for a fun pasta salad.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 7gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 642mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 13th of January 2022

This looks delish and brilliant options to serve them! xoxo Lovely


Thursday 13th of January 2022

Yes, it is really tasty and super versatile!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 12th of January 2022

I saw this on your Instagram and I thought what a great idea! Looks yummy!


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

It's so simple but really tasty!