Crab Roll Recipe

Christine Albury

This crab roll recipe is easy to follow and makes a fresh-tasting lunch that's full of flavor.

Do you love the taste of lobster roll but find it a hassle to prepare? Then this crab roll recipe is for you!

Crab roll photo

It is much easier to prepare than lobster roll but every bit as tasty. The juicy, sweet crab meat contrasts beautifully with the zesty mayonnaise dressing, creating a filling and wholesome lunch or a centerpiece at your next BBQ!

What sort of crab do I need?

This recipe is versatile and you can use either fresh, frozen or canned crab to prepare it. If possible, go for fresh - it has an unbeatable flavor and texture.

It calls for lump crab meat, which is white. Lump crab meat is made up of small, broken pieces of jumbo lump meat, plus other small pieces of body meat. Its flavor is delicate, so it's just perfect for dishes like this, or for seafood salads.

You may also come across jumbo lump crab meat in the store. It tastes wonderful and has a fabulous meaty texture, but it is more expensive than lump crab meat and is best appreciated by itself. Since this recipe involves coating the crab with a mayonnaise dressing, the basic lump crab meat works perfectly well.

Crab roll image

In a pinch, you could use backfin, which is cheaper still. It doesn't include any leg meat and is made up of flakes of body meat.

We would recommend avoiding claw meat for this recipe. As the name implies, this is sourced from the fin and claws of the crab and is dark in color. It also has a very strong flavor. Whilst that strong taste is great for dishes like crab soup or bisque, it doesn't work as well in this crab roll recipe, which should have a light, fresh flavor.

More recipes with crab

Crispy Crab Cakes

Avocado Crab Mango Salad

TexMex Crab Cakes


Crab Roll Recipe

      4 Servings


For the Pickles:
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 medium Carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup slices Radishes
For the Mayonnaise:
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 zest and juice from one Lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce, optional
For the Rolls:
  • 4 Brioche Buns
  • 12 ounces Fresh Lump Crab Meat
  • 3 tablespoons Chives, fresh, minced
  • 1 pinch of Salt, to taste
  • 1 dash of Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • 4 Lettuce Leaves


Note: Start this recipe at least 4 hours ahead of time to allow for pickling
  1. Heat the vinegar and sugar together in a non-reactive saucepan. Simmer gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the salt, set aside and leave to cool.
  2. In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, mix the carrot, red onion, and radish together, then pour the cooled vinegar over the top. Set aside, covered, for 4 hours. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, zest, and hot sauce (if using).
  4. Toast the brioche rolls lightly.
  5. Check the crab meat for any pieces of broken shell then mix with the mayo and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Put a couple of salad leaves into each roll and pile the crab meat on top. Dress with pickles and serve.
Source: The Spruce Eats
The Spruce Eats
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Author: Christine Albury
Source: The Spruce Eats
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 260 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 110
Calories 456

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g
  Saturated Fat 2g
Sodium 1041mg
Total Carbohydrate 61g
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 33g
Protein 20g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!

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