If you love crab meat salad, you’ll love this bold spin on a classic. This zesty crab salad recipe is perfect for a summer lunch or dinner. It’s light and filling, with a creamy dressing that will leave you wanting more! It is much different than traditional seafood salad, but is crave worthy and loaded with flavor and texture. Enjoy it alone, on a salad, or in a toasted, buttered roll.
Best of all, the ingredients in this dish are inexpensive and easy to find at any grocery store. You can also substitute the crab if it’s not your favorite seafood, but I highly recommend trying it because it tastes amazing! This dish makes a whopping 12 servings so invite your friends over for lunch or enjoy this easy crab salad yourself throughout the week.
These are the super simple and common ingredients you’ll need to recreate this yummy crab salad. Any substitutions are noted. As with any recipe, feel free to make a few small tweaks which shouldn’t affect flavor too much.
Imitation Crab Meat – We love used Transocean because it also is made with King Crab, and it tastes the best. Some other brands just do not compare. I also like how this brand doesn’t have an overly fishy taste which can be off putting. Make sure you use the jumbo 2 pound size! You can find this at Sam’s Club.
Celery – This provides color, crunch, and some flavor that complements the crab and zesty dressing.
Shallot – We used a tiny one to add flavor. If you do not have a shallot, you can use 2 tablespoons of red, or yellow onion. Additionally, you can also use green onion, or dried minced onion for mild flavor.
Bell Pepper – You can use green or red in this recipe. I prefer red bell peppers because they are less bitter and are sweeter in cold salads like these.
Lemon Juice – Cuts the mayonnaise and sour cream adding a balancing “tang” to this salad. If you do not have lemon juice, white wine vinegar can be used.
Mayonnaise – This is a common ingredient in salads. You can use Miracle Whip or reduced fat mayo but it will slightly change the flavor.
Sour Cream – Adds ctreminess and a balance of flavor so that this salad is not too rich.
Zesty Italian Dressing – This is the “secret” key ingredient that adds all the amazing flavor.
Dried Basil – Complements the flavor or this salad bringing out the bold. You can use Old Bay Seasoning if you would like.
This salad is really as simple as chopping/dicing all your vegetables, chunking your crabmeat, and adding it to a large mixing bowl along with the dressing ingredients. Mix everything together, cover your bowl, and chill it for one hour or longer. This will help to firm the salad so it is a bit thicker. Plus, a good chill is always beneficial for helping flavors to meld.
If you have any leftovers of this Zesty Crab Salad, be sure to store it in an airtight container. This will stay fresh for up to 3 days for best flavor. You cannot freeze this recipe.
Crab & Summer Seafood Recipes
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about our favorite Zesty Crab Salad Recipe. If you’re looking for more recipes, we have tons of recipes dedicated to crab/seafood dishes! We also love hearing from readers- please leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for reading and happy mixing!
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- Crab Pasta Salad Recipe
- Crab Stuffed Avocados
- Crab Rangoon Dip
- New England Lobster Roll
Zesty Crab Salad Recipe
- cutting board & knife
- large mixing bowl with a lid
- wooden spoon
- 2 pounds Imitation Crab meat chunked
- 1 cup celery chopped into small pieces
- 1 medium red bell pepper cored, seeded, and chopped into small pieces
- 1 small shallot diced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ⅔ cup Zesty Italian Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Prepare all vegetables and add them to a large mixing bowl.
- Pull crab meat block apart with clean hands. It will come apart easily in larger sized chunks. For this salad, you really want the texture so I would avoid using a food processor.
- In a large bowl, add the chunked crab meat, vegetables, Italian Dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and dried basil. Mix all ingredients well to combine.
- Cover this salad and store it in the refrigerator, covered or at least one hour. This will help to thicken the texture.