Crab Salad for Sandwiches 6 - 600x600

Crab Salad for Sandwiches in 12 Minutes

This easy crab salad for sandwiches is also great as a side salad or as an appetizer. There are loads of flavorful variations shown for how you can serve it.

Homemade Imitation Crab Salad for Sandwiches, Salad, or Appetizers

This simple recipe for crab salad sandwich is perfect also as the main salad or as an appetizer. It is one of those rare diverse recipes that has many forms for serving and doesn’t require heating up. Also, it’s flexible in some of its ingredients.

This delightful crab salad has fantastic flavors, even with all imitation crab meat. It is good as a seafood salad, sandwich, and even as an appetizer atop crackers.
crab salad 2 - 600x700
crab salad 2 - 600x700

Easy Crab Salad for Sandwiches, Salad, or Appetizer

Jeff Baygents
This delightful crab salad has fantastic flavors, even with all imitation crab meat. It is good as a seafood salad, sandwich, and even as an appetizer atop crackers.
5 from 1 vote
Prep: 12 mins
Total Time: 12 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 150kcal


  • 14 oz Imitation Crab Meat or real crab meat lump in 6 oz cans
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • stalks celery chopped fine
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp sour cream or Greek Yogurt, plain
  • 3 stalks green onions chopped well


  • By hand, pull apart the crab meat into small pieces and add to a medium sized bowl.
    separated shredded crab meat - 150x150
  • Prepare and add in the remaining ingredients. Combine well and serve or store in fridge, covered.
    all ingredients before mixing for crab salad - 150x150


Ensure the real crab meat is cooked before using.  The pre-packaged imitation crab meat usually comes that way. 
Can also be served as a sandwich or as an appetizer topper for crackers, toast triangles, or bagel chips.


Variations of this Recipe for Crab Salad Sandwich

Crab Salad for Sandwiches

It’s easy to make this crab salad for sandwiches recipe. There are several ways you can make them as sandwiches. Here are some of them you may like:

  • Use regular hamburger buns.
  • Regular or homemade sandwich bread, white, wheat, or honey wheat
  • Toast the sandwich bread slices first. Then add a lettuce leaf as well for the sandwich.
  • Make some foldable sandwiches using Pita bread. As a twist, heat and butter the Pita bread and sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and a hint of salt.
  • A creative, flavorful way is to make a sandwich out of Texas Toast or Toasted Garlic Bread slices.
  • Another ingenious way is having it on a sub roll. You can sprinkle it with Old Bay seasoning for added spices. Then, add lettuce, tomato, and top with either some granulated parmesan cheese or 1-2 slices of provolone cheese. You won’t need onion as it has that in it already.

You can also check out this recipe for crab dip as another option or as an appetizer for this sandwich.

Ingredients for crab salad 300x300
Ingredients for crab salad
separated shredded crab meat - 300x300
separated shredded imitation crab meat
all ingredients before mixing for crab salad - 300x300
all ingredients before mixing for crab salad
crab salad 6 - 300x300
crab salad for sandwiches ready

Imitation Crab Salad with Greek Yogurt

If you want it a bit healthier, skip the sour cream. You can replace it, as is shown in the ingredients listing, and make your imitation crab salad with Greek yogurt. And, to be more daring, try it with replacing the mayonnaise as well with Greek yogurt. I’ve made it with about 1 Tbsp of mayo and 1 Tbsp of sour cream, and then replaced the rest of those 2 amounts with Greek yogurt. However, to be fair, I used the full yogurt, instead of the low or non-fat kind.

Crab Salad Recipe with Real Crab Meat

Just as in our crab dip recipe, you can have a mixture between imitation and real or you can use all real. While the real deal comes in many forms, the popular one is real crab meat in the can. It might be labeled as “crab meat lump” in 6 oz cans. There are other types in cans and fresh but the canned lump is the most affordable usually. However, keep in mind that you might see “white crab meat” in cans cheaper than lump; those might be kind of mushy for your usage.

Food articles indicate that canned crab meat have already been pasteurized and cooked. We always recommend you review the can or ask your seafood department clerk for confirmation. Another option, if you’re at home, search the Internet for your canned brand of crab meat.

Lump Crab Salad Appetizer

The variations continue as you can use this also as a lump crab salad appetizer. Here are some of those ideas you can use to get started with. All of these are quick and easy to produce.

  • Crab Salad Triangles: Make some toast, butter the slices well, make the sandwiches, and cut them into 4 triangles.
  • Serve the crab salad atop bagel chips or crackers. Or, have a serving bowl out with the bagel chips and crackers on the side. Let everyone serve themselves for this delightful duo treat.
  • Roll the crab salad into large lettuce leaves and close them with toothpicks.
  • Crab Salad Cheddar Squares: Use regular sandwich bread and make sandwiches. Cut them into 4 squares. Add a modestly thick sharp cheddar slice in each square.

Crab Salad Easy Recipe – Easy Storage

This has been a tremendous list of various ideas for your adventure with this crab salad recipe for sandwiches. It’s remarkably easy to make the crab salad first. And then, you have the massive variety of options of what to do with it. It stores well in the fridge. The imitation crab salad will last about 3-5 days. If any real crab meat was used, you probably are looking at 2-3 days. If you’ve taken it out of the fridge frequently or have left it out a few times, the shelf life will shorten of course.

Can you freeze crab salad?

That’s a good, popular question. It’s usually not recommended for this kind of seafood salad but you can try it. First off, if you do freeze it, ensure it’s in a food storage bag or container designed for freezing. Otherwise, just double-bag it. For thawing it out, it’s best to do it in the fridge overnight. Because of its contents, leaving it out to thaw for a few hours can be a food safety issue for you. Also, trying to use the defrost cycle of a microwave isn’t good for this seafood salad.

Once it’s thawed out from the fridge, you’ll discover the texture is not near as good as it was when made. However, if you used a salad dressing instead of mayonnaise, you’ll find it will taste better than if you had frozen actual mayonnaise. A final note on freezing and then thawing it out is this. Plan on the thawed day to be the final one for consumption.

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