Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)

Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise is a delicious and inexpensive way to enjoy the classic Seafood Salad we all grew up with.

This Salad Recipe is a classic deli favorite just like Classic Egg Salad, Classic Tuna Salad, or Classic Chicken Salad, but using delicious, tender seafood!

Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise in a serving bowl

The flavor and childhood memories you have from being a kid are always so wonderful, and a Crab Salad Sandwich is a nostalgic favorite for many. This recipe combines imitation crab meat with a mixture of celery, mayonnaise, paprika, and dill to give you all those classic flavors you love from the sandwich shop, made fresh at home.

Sometimes it’s worth the extra effort to make nostalgic favorites, such as Pioneer Take-Out Fried Chicken, especially if you’ve moved away from your favorite places. Food is the ultimate in stirring up childhood memories.

It may sound a bit odd to mix seafood and mayonnaise, but it is a classic preparation you find in tuna salad, on lobster rolls and even chicken salad. Protein and mayonnaise are fast friends in these salads.

You’ll enjoy making this recipe to use in a crab salad sandwich! It is delicious on top of a bed of lettuce with added cherry tomatoes. However you find yourself enjoying the recipe, if you had it as a kid this will take you back to those memories. Serve this alongside an Easy Fruit Salad or Corn on the Cob for an excellent summer meal.

Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise in a serving bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of crab should I use to make Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)?

This recipe uses imitation crab meat, sometimes referred to as krab or krab meat. Don’t think that even though it isn’t actual crab meat that this isn’t still actual seafood. This is actually why many people refer to the salad as Seafood Salad.

What is Imitation Crab made of?

Imitation Crab Salad (krab) is actually made with Surimi, a whitefish that is ground then binded with a starch to resemble a crab leg. Huffington Post wrote a great post about what exactly imitation crab (krab) is. It’s true that, nutritionally, you’re better served purchasing actual crab meat, but for the purposes of this classic seafood salad, this is the ingredients you will find when you go to your grocer’s seafood counter.

How should I serve Crab Salad?

Make an amazing sandwich by adding it to a toasted hoagie roll with lettuce. Or add Crab Salad to 1 pound of cooled shaped pasta for a Seafood Pasta Salad, just double the ingredients outside of the crab meat to flavor the pasta as well, too. For a low carb presentation, add Crab Salad to a cored out vine ripe tomato.

More Easy Summer Salad Recipes

Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise on a sandwich roll

Tools used in the Making of This Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)
Mayonnaise: There are number of different brands, but this one is the most spot on flavor.
Spice Rack: You can use this spice rack to fill up the bottles with freshly purchased spices. It’s basically one of the most beautiful things in the kitchen and when you’re working with a large quantity of spices, not having to hunt and peck through your cupboards makes everything go at warp speed.

How to Store Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)

  • Serve: It is best to keep this recipe cold in the refrigerator until serving, but at most do not leave at room temperature longer than 2 hours due to the mayonnaise.
  • Store: Sealed in an airtight container, Crab Salad (Seafood Salad) will be good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Do not freeze recipes containing mayonnaise, as the texture will not be good once thawed. It is best to make a fresh batch of Seafood Salad before serving.
Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise in a serving bowl

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Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)

Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise is a delicious and inexpensive way to enjoy the classic Seafood Salad we all grew up with.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound imitation crab , krab meat
  • 1 shallot , minced (you can use red onion if you need)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup celery , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl add all the ingredients together gently, stirring until well coated.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving.



Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 971mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keyword: Crab Salad (Seafood Salad)
Crab Salad (Seafood Salad) Collage
Crab Salad with celery and mayonnaise is a delicious and inexpensive delicious way to enjoy the classic Seafood Salad we all grew up with.
Crab Salad Seafood Salad Sandwich with easy to make Seafood salad!
Just ten minutes for this Crab Salad Seafood Salad!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I used only 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and a glob of Dijon mustard instead and it was much better. 1/2 cup mayo is more than I like.

  2. This tastes really good but I found that adding some Old Bay kicks the flavor up a bit. Or dill, but Old Bay is awesome.

  3. I used Old Bay along with cracked black pepper and himalayan salt. Had green onion so used that (white part only, finely chopped). What I feel pushed it over on the flavor scale was a TBLS of fresh lemon. After chilling for an hour it was OUTSTANDING! Ate it in a bowl. Will opt for a nice roll the next time.

    1. I scrolled far down in the comments and the question of the dill being dried or fresh was asked. The author stated it’s dried dill. It would be nice to have that info in the recipe ingredients.

  4. Delicious, absolutely delicious. If you like surimi this recipe is a must. Try it on a grilled croissant! Amazing!

  5. This is a favorite recipe of mine and my husband’s! We don’t eat meat on Fridays and this is a perfect switch up from baked fish! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    1. Serious question: how is fish/seafood not meat? It’s flesh from an animal that had to be killed in order for you to eat it.

      1. Some Catholics believe the concept of fish not being ‘meat’ is based on the fact that fish are not of the land, like other mammals and chickens would be. Other religions and personal diet choices oftentimes follow the same guidelines.

  6. Love this recipe! Will never buy the store prepared version again. So simple, quick, and delicious. I too like adding Old Bay seasoning and also a cup of salad shrimp for that added texture and seafood goodness. I’m so glad I found this recipe. Thank you!

  7. Well, I love old bay, so I added some since it was suggested in the reviews,, but only AFTER I made the recipe, so I could give a true review. You won’t be disappointed if you make it exactly as directed (I tried it prior to adding the extra seasoning). It’s simple and delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  8. It’s delish. Made Crab Rolls like they do in the Florida Keys (except they do lobster). Hollow out the middle and lump the crab salad in. You won’t be disappointed. This will be my go to now.

  9. This tastes very good even before refrigerating for an hour I could not find my Dill so I used pickle juice and that worked out perfectly I also liked that this does not use too much mayonnaise I liked the crab being the star of the show thank you for a wonderful recipe

  10. Very good! I did add some Old Bay seasoning after reading comments from other reviewers. I’m glad I gave this recipe a try. Will make it again for sure.

    1. So thrilled you mentioned the old Bay Seasoning I used regular seafood seasoning and it was definitely a good idea thank you

  11. Easy and delicious ! I served it on a “vol-au-vent” (puff pastrie). It gave the krispiness I love. Merci!

  12. My husband likes seafood salad, so I made it for him and we put it over a Romaine mix salad. I used green onions for the shallots, because that’s what I had, and I substituted Old Bay seasoning for the salt and paprika, and that was good. My husband hates celery (“vile weed!”), so I made it without and then added some to a little bit for him to try, and he liked the crunch and couldn’t taste it, so I added it to the rest too. (I always use the lighter stalks for him, since they’re milder tasting, not the darker green outer ones, which often have a very strong taste.) We both thought the dill was overpowering. I’d try it without next time, or at least cut it in half unless you really love dill. And it may be because of the Krab we used, but it was very dry and needed almost 2x the mayo called for.

  13. Fake crab meat is made of various types of fish ground together into a paste. I didn’t see whitefish mentioned anywhere of the 2 articles (Huff Post & SF Gate). My package states pollock etc. It could have whiting and perhaps that is where is confusion came from.

  14. I had to make this at work. I can’t eat imitation crab meat because it’s made with fish, and I’m allergic. So, I followed the recipe to the letter, since I couldn’t taste test it. HUGE hit! All of the residents loved it. Next time I can get real crab meat, I’m going to make it again so that I can try it myself

  15. Great, the one I was looking for (or something like it). Dang, I look around and see all these recipes with pasta in them, and all I want is this. It tastes great, just the way you got it. Kind of the way grocery store delis have it.

  16. Very yummy!! I doubled the amount of diced celery (1 cup) and used 1/2 cup diced red onion. Also, added an extra 1/4 cup of Mayo.

  17. This is great cooked liked a cheese toasty, with Swiss cheese!!!
    May sound weird, but soooo tasty! One of my all time fav sandwiches!!!

  18. My Mom used to make this recipe for us when we were kids and put it in toasted hot dog buns served with chips and pickles, so yummy. I recommend this recipe VERY HIGHLY.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

  19. This was absolutely yummy! My first time making crab salad. I’ve always been nervous to make it just because I’m afraid I won’t get it right but this was hands down the next I’ve ever had! I didn’t have paprika so I didn’t add that and it was still great!

  20. The local asian buffet in our area has a crab salad that I love. I don’t think that it has shallots or onions in it but I could be wrong. Anyway, it is very thick. I was wondering if there is a possibility that they may add cream cheese to the mayonnaise? It also has carrot in it.

    1. I wouldn’t be able to tell without tasting it. It’s always a possibility that they did add it though.

  21. This was delicious. Particularly on a roll (freshly baked hot dog buns) which were toasted (oven or toaster over are great). Get it brown then butter it liberally (lobster loves butter). It is crucial to put the lettuce (shredded) down first to maintain the crunch and temperature level. I’ve had various presentations but the roll is the way to go!

  22. Easy recipe and great as filling for lettuce wraps when (thanks for the earlier comment). I added about 1 tbsp of dijon mustard to zing it up a bit.

    Will make this again.

  23. Great recipe! I would just caution to start small with the amount of shallot you use. I followed the recipe, but after sitting in the fridge for a while, the onion flavor took over the salad. I had to add more crab, etc. to tone it down. Other than that, it’s a simple and delicious recipe! I will use it again and again.

    1. The paprika, above all, adds a red tinge to the seafood salad without adding to the flavor. I am in favour of dropping some paprika and dill (maybe half?). Lobster is a subtle flavor so it needs less spice. Crab flavors or haddock imitation meat will stand up better against strong seasoning. Lobster flavored imitation meat is still the best when served on a buttered, toasted roll with a lettuce base. Enjoy!

  24. Had some lump crab leftover from another recipe. It was soooo good in this recipe. Not sure if I can bring myself to try it with imitation crabmeat.

  25. Is there way to get the nutritional info on this? I’m doing a high protein low carb diet and this looks So so good lol

    1. I have nutritional info at the bottom of the recipe card but if you’re following a strict diet, I suggest keying in the ingredients in your own calculating tool to ensure accuracy. I hope you enjoy it!

  26. Great recipe! I added Old Bay seasoning, instead of paprika, and served it as lettuce wraps. Thank you – it was a great success!

  27. Thank you, this is fantastic! I omited the paprika because I found the Spanish paprika overpowering to the sweet, delicate flavor of the truly superb flake Kroger krab I had. For a lazy version, powdered onion is good too. I’m going to tweak this slightly for sushi burritos, but this recipe is superb, I never would’ve thought to add dill. Thank you!!

    1. When I used to get this at Subway, I would ask for made with extra black olives. When I make it at home, I use a tortilla wrap and always add black olives. It is one of my favorites.

    1. I’m always looking for new recipes and came across this one several months ago. I’ve made it for the wife and I numerous times and we love it. I add frozen peas (defrosted), a squirt of lemon juice, and always red onion. We love it

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