Imitation Crab Meat Salad Recipe

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This imitation crab meat salad blends a simple mayo dressing with canned corn and fresh dill.

You can spread it over some crackers, use it to make yourself a sandwich or serve it as a side dish for a nice dinner or a holiday.

Close-up of imitation crab meat salad

Imitation Crab Meat Salad Recipe

The ready made crab that’s sold at the deli counter, is usually full of preservatives and additives.

This is why I prefer to make seafood salad at home using imitation crab meat and a creamy homemade dressing.

Another reason why I like to make this salad at home is because I can tailor it to my own taste.

As a result, I’ve substituted the celery and lettuce that are typically present in crab salad with corn.

In my opinion, the texture of corn blends better with the crab meat and enriches the flavor of the salad.

Nevertheless, you can still add celery, chives or any other vegetable you prefer.


  • Crab meat – This recipe is made with imitation crab sticks also known as Surimi, but you can use crab flakes as well. Imitation crab sticks, however, are generally easier to find and can be cut into evenly sized pieces.
  • Dressing – The dressing is made with mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. If you want to make it more spicy, you can add some ancho chili powder and Dijon mustard.
  • Corn – The rich and creamy taste of corn makes it a perfect match for the mayo dressing. I recommend using canned corn as it’s easier to work with and incorporate into the salad.
  • Fresh Dill – Even though it may seem like an odd combo, dill blends perfectly with the flavor of the mayo and the crab meat. In case you can’t find any fresh dill, you can substitute it with 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon dried.

Ingredients for imitation crab meat salad on a table


Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

  1. Add the strained corn, lemon juice and seasonings into a glass bowl.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together with a spoon.
  3. Combine the chopped imitation crab meat with the corn and seasonings.
  4. Stir in the mayonnaise and mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.

    Imitation crab meat salad mixed in a glass bowl

  5. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving.

Variations and pro tips

  • Turn it into a rich seafood salad – You can easily turn this recipe into a full-blown seafood salad by adding some fresh shrimp or lobster. If you’re using lobster, you should make sure that it’s cooked to the right internal temperature.
  • Add some vegetables – Finely chopped celery, shallots and chives will give this salad a nice crunch. If you want to make it more fresh you can also add some cucumbers, bell peppers or avocado.
  • Spread it on a sandwich roll – One of the best ways to enjoy crab salad is to spread it on a hoagie roll and eat it as a sandwich.
  • Grate some hard boiled eggs in it – Although the mayonnaise already contains egg yolks, I’ve found that grating 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs in the mix makes the taste even richer. Mayo and boiled eggs is always a win-win combo which is why I also use it in my Savory Salad Cake.

A serving of imitation crab meat salad shot from its side


Imitation crab meat salad has the best flavor while it’s fresh.

Nevertheless, you can refrigerate any leftovers you might have in an airtight container or a plastic bag.

Crab meat salad, whether it’s made with imitation meat or not, will last for 3 – 4 days in the fridge.

If you’re not sure whether your salad is still edible, you should check it for signs of spoilage such as a change in color or unusual smell.

A serving of imitation crab meat salad shaped as a ball

Note that this salad won’t have its best flavor when it’s just been pulled out of the refrigerator.

Through some experimentation I’ve found that I need to let it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

a plate with a ball-shaped serving of imitation crab salad with corn and mayonnaise
5 from 1 vote

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Imitation Crab Meat Salad Recipe

This imitation crab meat salad is made with a creamy dressing of mayo, lemon juice and seasoned with some fresh dill. You can enjoy it over a sandwich roll, with some crackers or serve it as a side dish.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 4
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 10 oz sweet corn
  • 9 oz imitation crab meat
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill


  • Strain the corn using a sieve or a strainer.
  • Cut the imitation crab sticks lengthwise, then chop them into pieces. If you're using frozen crab meat, you should defrost it first.
  • Add the corn into a glass bowl, then mix it with the chopped dill, lemon juice, and seasonings.
  • Stir in the imitation crab meat and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Transfer the mayonnaise to the bowl and stir until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Let the salad cool for an hour in the fridge.
  • Fill a serving of the salad in a small cup, then take a plate and flip the cup upside down. This will shape the salad as a hemisphere.



  • Since this salad holds well in the refrigerator it's possible to make it the night before. If you end up making it ahead of time, I recommend adding the lemon juice and dill right before serving
  • You can enrich the salad with even more types of seafood. Shrimp fit in very well.
  • To make the salad more nutritious and give it an even richer flavor you can also grate 3 hard boiled eggs into the mix.
  • This salad can be used as the main filling of a sandwich. It also goes well with roasted meats like pork and beef. 
  • One great variation of this salad is adding grated pickled cucumbers or carrots to it. Freshly opened pickles work best.
  • For more crunch, you can include some finely chopped celery. However, what I like about this salad is that it's not crunchy, which lets me enjoy its creaminess more.
5 from 1 vote

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Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 25g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1151mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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Imitation Crab Meat Salad Recipe

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