Simple Crab Salad

Crab Salad
Crab Salad on Watercress. Annabelle Breakey/Collection: Stockbyte/Getty Images
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
192 Calories
16g Fat
11g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 192
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 693mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 3g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*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 your stockpot)
  • 2 quarts white vinegar (amount equal to the water)
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup celery (diced)
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper (green or red, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 8 cups salad greens (or Boston lettuce leaves)
  • Optional: 6 avocado wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Scrub the crabs thoroughly.

  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 the water should be just below the top of the rack. Place the pot over high heat. Bring the water and vinegar to a boil.

  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.

  5. Remove the cooked crabs and repeat the steaming process with the rest of the crabs.

  6. Allow the crabs to cool, then crack them open and pick out the crabmeat.

  7. In a large bowl, mix the crabmeat with diced celery, chopped bell pepper, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and mayonnaise.

  8. Serve over mixed greens, watercress, or lettuce leaves with a slice of avocado or tomato wedges if desired.


  • 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.