Simple Crab Salad

Simple crab salad recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
358 Calories
10g Fat
16g Carbs
30g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 358
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 4725mg 205%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 30mg 152%
Calcium 317mg 24%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 787mg 17%
*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.)

Serve this simple, well-seasoned crab salad with a slice of avocado on salad greens. It's an especially nice salad for a hot summer lunch or dinner, and it makes a fabulous starter or appetizer salad.

Use 1 pound of fresh cooked crab for the salad. You can steam them yourself with Old Bay seasoning, or use freshly cooked crab from the market if it is available. The average blue crab contains about 2 ounces of meat. Some will feel heavier than others, so use more to ensure you have enough for four salads. A 2-pound Dungeness crab will yield roughly 1/2 pound of meat.

Diced celery and bell peppers add crunch and flavor while a little lemon juice and mayonnaise provide the perfect dressing. Serve the salad with slices of avocado or surround it with tomato wedges.

A serving size is considered 3 ounces, but you might want smaller or larger portions depending on whether the salad is an appetizer or main dish.


  • 4 Dungeness crabs, or 12 blue crabs

  • 2 quarts water (will vary depending on stockpot)

  • 2 quarts white vinegar (amount equal to the water)

  • 1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 8 cups salad greens, or Boston lettuce leaves

  • 6 avocado wedges, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crab salad ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Scrub crabs thoroughly.

    Scrub the crabs
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Place a wire rack in a large stockpot. Add equal amounts of water and white vinegar to the pot to a depth of about 3 inches. The level of water should be just below top of rack. Place pot over high heat. Bring water and vinegar to a boil.

    Add steamer to pot
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place about 2 to 3 Dungeness crabs or 6 blue crabs on the rack, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Old Bay Seasoning, cover, and steam for about 20 minutes. Dungeness crabs will be bright orange when done, while blue crabs will be red.

    Place crabs on rack
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  5. Remove cooked crabs and repeat steaming process with remaining crabs.

    Remove cooked crabs
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Allow crabs to cool, then crack open and pick out crabmeat.

    Allow crabs to cool
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. In a large bowl, mix crabmeat with diced celery, chopped bell pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and mayonnaise.

    Mix crabmeat with celery
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Serve over mixed greens, watercress, or lettuce leaves with a slice of avocado, if desired.

    Serve over mixed greens
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • If you don't use Old Bay Seasoning, season the steaming water with about 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Depending on which coast you live on, fresh crab salad will be seasonal in the winter through spring or in the summer through fall. Dungeness crab season begins in mid-November to early December and lasts until summer. This is the opposite of Maryland's blue crab season, which begins in April and lasts through mid-December.