Gloriously easy to make, crab salad is one of my favorite lunches. I like to stuff it in a tomato. It's also great on thick slices of almond flour bread.
Ready in just 15 minutes, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days.
One of my favorite lunches is some kind of seafood salad stuffed in a vegetable. Some of the recipes I make most often include tuna salad, salmon salad, and smoked salmon mousse, which is admittedly a bit more on the fancy side, but delicious and very easy to make.
I often make this easy salad and stuff it inside a big tomato. Sometimes I use large bell pepper instead. Of course, there's nothing wrong with eating it straight out of the bowl!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty crab salad. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Lump crab meat: You should definitely use real crab in this recipe rather than imitation crab. Make sure the crab you use is as fresh as possible, or it will have a fishy aftertaste. I find that the crab meat sold at the Whole Foods Market seafood counter is usually fresh.
Veggies: I use diced red onions and chopped parsley. They add flavor as well as color to the salad.
Mayonnaise: I prefer to use avocado oil mayonnaise in this recipe (in all my recipes, actually). My favorite brand is Sir Kensington's. It's creamy and delicious and not too vinegary.
Dijon mustard: Dijon is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. It works well to enhance the delicate flavor of the crab rather than overpowering it.
Hot sauce: I like Frank's cayenne pepper sauce, but you can use your favorite brand.
To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic granules. You can use minced fresh garlic instead of granules. The salt is optional - crab meat is usually quite salty, and so is Frank's Hot Sauce. You can mix the salad without the salt, then taste and decide for yourself.
Making this crab salad couldn't be any easier! Simply mix the crab meat and the diced veggies with a fork:
Then add the remaining ingredients:
Mix to combine, then serve.
The salt is optional - crab meat is usually quite salty, and so is Frank's Hot Sauce. You can mix the salad without the salt, then taste and decide for yourself.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can. It won't be as good because canned crab meat is a bit fishy (much like canned tuna). So if you can, use fresh crab meat. When I can't get fresh crab meat, I sometimes use this brand which is quite good for a canned product:
I'm not a fan of imitation crab. It simply won't be the same as the real thing (as long as it's fresh), and if you take a look at the ingredients list, I'm sure you won't want to anyway!
You certainly could if you wanted to. You can add a couple of hard-boiled eggs. You can either grate them coarsely or chop them, then gently mix them into the salad.
Here are a few ideas for varying the basic recipe:
- Instead of red onions, you can use the green parts of scallions, chopped.
- Capers make a very nice addition to this salad. Try adding a tablespoon.
- You can use sour cream instead of mayo, or perhaps half sour cream and half mayo. Although personally, I do prefer mayo.
I like to stuff this salad inside a big hollowed-out tomato. It's the perfect lunch!
If you'd like to try this serving method, use a big, firm tomato. Using a small serrated knife, cut off a ½-inch slice from the stem end, then remove the core by carefully cutting all around it and on the bottom.
Now, with a spoon, scoop out as much of the remaining pulp and seeds as you can, and stuff the cavity with the salad.
Sometimes I serve it in lettuce cups:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to three days. Give the salad another mix before using it.
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Crab Salad (Real Crab)
- 8 oz lump crab meat as fresh as possible
- 2 tablespoons red onion diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce I like Frank's Original Cayenne Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (see comment below under "Notes")
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic granules
- Pick through the crab meat to get rid of any shells.
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the crab meat, onions, and parsley.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
- If you didn't add salt, taste to ensure that the salad is salty enough to your taste. If not, add a pinch of salt.
- Serve immediately, in a bowl, stuffed inside a tomato or bell pepper, in a lettuce wrap, or on bread such as this almond flour bread.