Easy Imitation Crab Salad

Imitation crab seafood salad recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
753 Calories
45g Fat
36g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 753
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 57%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 191mg 64%
Sodium 3468mg 151%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 51g
Calcium 249mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Imitation crab is a man-made product that is actually made from fish. It is a good choice for those who cannot eat shellfish but still want to enjoy a crab-like food. It is delicious mixed into a creamy cold salad. It can be found in some supermarkets in the fresh seafood section. There's often the option to buy it by weight, so shoppers can get the exact amount of imitation crab needed. It can also be found packaged in the refrigerated food case. Some stores may sell pre-made imitation crab salad. It is much cheaper to make mock crab salad at home, and it's easy to adjust the flavors and ingredients based on preferences.

Place a scoop of this seafood salad in half an avocado or in a cored-out tomato for an impressive and beautiful lunch or light dinner; it's perfect on a hot summer night. Imitation crab salad can also be served quite simply on a bed of lettuce, on a sandwich in lieu of tuna fish, as a chunky dip with vegetables, or as an appetizer spread with crackers. Feel free to also substitute freshly-cooked crab, lobster, or cooked shrimp for the imitation crab.


  • 1/2 cup sweet onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chives (chopped)
  • 1/2 pound imitation crab (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for imitation crab seafood salad
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together sweet onion, celery, dill pickle, sweet pickle relish, dill weed, salt, white pepper, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and chives until combined.

    Mix all ingredients except the imitation crab
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Toss in chopped imitation crab at the end. It has a stringy texture and may fall apart in the salad if it is overmixed.

    Toss in chopped imitation crab
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Cover and chill—at least an hour—until it's time to eat.

    Cover and chill
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 


  • Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Recipe Variation

  • Feel free to add other ingredients such as chopped cucumber, or change up the imitation crab for real shrimp or crab meat.
  • Chopped green onions could be substituted for sweet onion for a slightly different flavor.

What is Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab is made from surimi or Asian fish paste. It is often known as "krab" in the U.S. and sold in chunks or sticks. The fish paste is generally is made from pollock whitefish. The fish is first skinned, boned, and then minced. The minced pollock is rinsed and flavored before being formed into the fish paste known as surimi. The finished surimi is shaped into chunks or tubes and cut into blocks or sticks. It is cooked to give it a texture closer to real crab meat and is coated with a reddish food coloring to give it a pink tint like real crab meat. Imitation crab has less protein and potassium but more sodium than real crab. It also has less cholesterol and carbohydrates. 

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