Easy Imitation Crab Salad

Imitation crab seafood salad recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
647 Calories
43g Fat
48g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 647
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 3086mg 134%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 437mg 9%
*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 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 premade imitation crab salad, but t 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. Also, feel free to substitute freshly cooked crab, lobster, or cooked shrimp for the imitation crab.


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle 

  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh 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 coarsely chopped chives

  • 1/2 pound imitation crab, coarsely chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for imitation crab seafood salad recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium bowl, mix 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 Eats / 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 Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Cover and chill—at least an hour—until it's time to eat.

    Cover and chill

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

Recipe Variation

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


Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for two to three days.

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 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 crabmeat and is coated with a reddish food coloring to give it a pink tint like real crabmeat. Imitation crab has less protein and potassium but more sodium than real crab. It also has less cholesterol and carbohydrates. 

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Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Processed and Blended Seafood Products. U.S. Food and Drug Administration