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Crab Roll (New England Style)

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Experience the taste of the East Coast with our New England-style crab rolls! These sandwiches are bursting with fresh flavors and succulent lump crab meat, creamy homemade dressing, all nestled in a buttery roll. This is the perfect recipe for weeknight dinners and takes less than 20 minutes to make!

crab seafood rolls on buns with chips
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Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Delicious Flavor: Crab rolls offer the best combination of flavors, with sweet and succulent crab meat mixed with creamy dressing and fresh herbs. When combined with a buttery roll and simple spices, the flavor of the crab shines through, creating a truly mouthwatering experience.
  • Easy to make: These are ready in no time and require just a few ingredients and no cooking! They can be whipped up quickly for a satisfying meal or snack.
  • Customizable: You can easily swap ingredients to suit your taste and preferences. You can adjust the ingredients, seasonings, and condiments to create a personalized version.
diced celery, fresh basil, and fresh dill in separate glass bowls

Key Ingredients

  • Crab
  • Buns
  • Mayo
  • Celery
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
mayo, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, pepper, and fresh lemon in separate glass bowls

What Type of Crab to Use

I love to use jumbo lump crab. Here are some options.

  • Jumbo Lump Crab Meat: Jumbo lump crab meat consists of the largest, whole pieces of crab meat from the body of the crab. It has a luxurious texture and a rich flavor.
  • Lump Crab Meat: Lump crab meat has smaller, flaky chunks (compared to jumbo) that come from the body of the crab. It has a sweet, delicate flavor and a firm texture.
  • Claw Meat: Claw meat comes from the claws of the crab and has a slightly darker color and stronger flavor compared to lump crab meat. While it may not be as visually appealing, it adds depth of flavor to crab rolls and is often used in combination with lump crab meat.
  • Imitation Crab: Imitation crab has a different flavor profile compared to real crab meat. It tends to be sweeter and may have a slightly different taste due to the ingredients used in its production.
jumbo lump crab meat in a glass bowl

What Type of Bun to Use

Traditionally, New England-style rolls are served in a split-top, soft-sided hot dog bun. This type of bun is ideal for holding the creamy crab filling without overpowering the delicate flavor of the crab. The split-top design allows you to easily fill the bun with the crab mixture, while the soft texture complements the tender crab meat.

If you can’t find split-top hot dog buns, you can also use other types of soft-sided buns or rolls, such as brioche buns or potato rolls. The key is to choose a bun that is soft, slightly sweet, and sturdy enough to hold the crab filling without falling apart.

top sliced hot dog buns on a flat surface in packaging
top sliced hot dog buns on a flat surface

How to Make Crab Rolls

Full detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.

  1. Combine mayo, celery, dill, basil, lemon juices, spices, and optional sweetener in a bowl. Stir.
  2. Fold in crab meat.
  3. Load the mixture into buns.
toasted top sliced hot dog buns in a cast iron skillet
collage of 4 photos with jumbo lump crab meat, Old Bay Seasoning, celery, lemon, dill, and basil in a glass bowl

How to Substitute Mayo

Plain Greek yogurt and sour cream are popular substitutes for mayo. Both offers a creamy texture and tangy flavor similar to mayo. Use either as a 1:1 substitute for mayo, or adjust to taste.

How to Prevent Soggy Rolls

  • Toast the Rolls: Toasting the rolls before assembling will help create a barrier that prevents moisture from soaking into the bread. Toast the rolls lightly until they are golden brown and slightly crispy.
  • Serve Immediately: Serve the crab rolls immediately after assembling them to prevent the bread from absorbing moisture over time. If you need to make them ahead of time, wait to assemble them until just before serving.
  • Drain Excess Liquid: If the crab meat or any other ingredients in the filling are moist, be sure to drain off any excess liquid before assembling the rolls. Excess liquid can make the filling too wet and cause the rolls to become soggy.
crab seafood rolls on buns with chips

Substitutions and Add-Ins

  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Diced or Sliced Tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Pineapple Mango Salsa
crab seafood rolls on buns with chips

How to Store Leftovers

If you know you plan to have leftover filling, don’t load it into the buns. Store the buns and leftover crab filling separately. The filling can be store in the fridge for 3-4 days, but it’s best when used pretty quickly. I recommend 1-2 days.

Freezing

I don’t recommend freezing. The texture and taste of the dressing will change.

crab seafood rolls on buns with chips

Pair With These Recipes

Cajun Fries
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese
Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Smoked Sweet Potatoes

More Crab Recipes

Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab and Shrimp
Grilled Snow Crab Legs
Creamy Crab Bisque
How to Cook Crab Legs

crab seafood rolls on buns with chips

Crab Roll (New England Style)

Experience the taste of the East Coast with our New England-style crab rolls! These sandwiches are bursting with fresh flavors and succulent lump crab meat, creamy homemade dressing, all nestled in a buttery roll. This is the perfect recipe for weeknight dinners and takes less than 20 minutes to make!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, New England
Servings 5 sandwiches
Calories 262 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz lump crab meat
  • ⅓ –½ cup mayo, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt I used 1/2 cup. Adjust to suit your preference.
  • 1 celery stalk Finely diced. This was ¼ cup for me.
  • 1 tablespoon dill I used fresh.
  • 1 tablespoon basil Chiffonade. I used fresh.
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Adjust to taste.
  • ½-1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning Adjust to taste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener or sugar Optional.
  • 5 Top sliced hot dog buns I prefer to toast them first.

Instructions
 

  • Combine the mayo, celery, dill, basil, lemon juices, spices, and optional sweetener in a bowl. Stir.
  • Fold in the crab meat.
  • Load the crab meat filling into buns.

Notes

If you can’t find split-top hot dog buns, you can also use other types of soft-sided buns or rolls, such as brioche buns or potato rolls. The key is to choose a bun that is soft, slightly sweet, and sturdy enough to hold the crab filling without falling apart.
I like to use 1/2 cup of mayo because it makes the filling super creamy. You can start with 1/3 cup and adjust from there if you aren’t sure what texture you are going for.
You can use mayo, plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream. It’s up to you.
If you prefer a tangy crab roll, you may not need any sweetener or sugar. I list it as optional and I like to add it to balance out the zesty flavor just a smidge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 19gFat: 17g
Keyword crab meat roll, crab rolls, crab rolls recipe, crab salad roll
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Recipe Rating




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This was SO delicious! The combo of the crab with the spices/herbs was perfect. Definitely making this one over and over again!

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