Imitation Crab Salad

Dive into this simple yet scrumptious 3-ingredient Imitation Crab Salad, made with mayonnaise, green onion, and krab (imitation crab meat). This quick and easy seafood salad is a refreshing, light dish perfect for lunch, dinner, or an appetizer. Packed with the succulent crab flavor, the creaminess of mayonnaise, and the subtle crunch of green onion, this dish is sure to be a hit with seafood lovers and salad enthusiasts alike.

Overhead view of imitation crab salad in hoagie rolls and a small glass bowl.

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Quick and Easy Crab Salad

This imitation crab salad recipe takes only 10 to 15 minutes to make and contains only three ingredients – imitation crab meat, green onion, and mayonnaise. Although you can use real crab to make crab salad, imitation crab has several advantages – it’s inexpensive, available year-round, and can be found in almost every grocery store.

What Is Imitation Crab?

When it comes to imitation crab meat, there is no hidden meaning or trickery about it. Imitation crab is just that – imitation, not real crab meat. But it doesn’t mean that imitation crab meat isn’t a great substitute for the natural (and more expensive) version. Imitation crab is sometimes called krab or krab meat to distinguish it from the real thing.

Imitation crab meat dates back hundreds of years to a type of mild white fish called surimi. When augmented with fillers, flavoring, and color, surimi imitates the taste, texture, and color of real crab. Nowadays, imitation crab is usually made with Alaskan pollock.

Please make no mistake; imitation crab does not include real crab. However, its “crabby” flavor is delicious.

Why You Should Try This Recipe for Imitation Crab Salad

This krab salad is one of the easiest dishes to whip up for lunch or even an afternoon snack. This imitation crab meat salad recipe gives you a perfect summer salad that won’t break your food budget.

Once you try this seafood salad, you’ll be hooked. It’s so much fresher tasting than the deli version and you know exactly what goes into it – no need to decipher any chemical-sounding ingredients.

Krab Salad Recipe – Ingredients You Will Need

Do you like recipes that don’t come with a long list of ingredients? If so, this imitation crab meat salad is for you – just three components!

  • Imitation crab meat
  • Green Onions
  • Mayonaise

Tip: If you buy imitation crab flakes, you won’t have to chop the imitation crab sticks for the salad.

Imitation crab salad ingredients on a tray.

How to Make Crab Salad with Imitation Crab

  1. Chop the crab meat into small bite-size pieces and slice the onions.
  2. Place the crab, onions, and mayo in a large bowl.
Imitation crab salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  1. Gently stir to combine.
  2. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving.

Allowing your imitation crab salad to sit in the refrigerator for at least a day will give the flavors a better chance to meld.

Imitation crab salad in hoagie rolls and a small bowl.

Recipe Variations

You can easily dress up this recipe for imitation crab meat salad if you like. Here are some ideas:

  • Veggies: Add your favorite salad ingredients – celery, red onion, cucumber, bell pepper, and black olives.
  • Herbs: Liven things up a bit by adding fresh dill, tarragon, and/or lemon juice. Garnish the salad with fresh parsley.
  • Zing: Add some garlic powder, Old Bay Seasoning, or Spice Islands Italian Seasoning. Or mix in some cocktail sauce, a pinch of cayenne pepper, or a bit of dijon mustard.
  • Cheese: Include 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cut the Fat: Use low-fat mayonnaise.
  • Sour Cream: Substitute half of the mayo with sour cream.
  • Yogurt: Substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise.
  • Seafood: Add another kind of seafood, such as shrimp, or make it with imitation lobster.

Can I eat imitation crab if I’m allergic to shellfish? This is not recommended because some of the ingredients used for flavoring could be extracts from real crab and lobster.

How to Serve Imitation Crab Salad

There are many ways to serve this seafood salad with imitation crab. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crab Salad Sandwich: Serve your krab salad on a toasted roll with some green leaf lettuce or on warm pita bread with lettuce and arugula.
  • Crackers: Scoop up your salad with some homemade crackers.
  • Lettuce: Throw in some tomato and place it on a bed of lettuce for a delicious lunch, or spoon your creamy crab salad into a butter lettuce cup.
  • Tomato: Add crab salad to a large cored-out vine-ripe tomato.
  • Avocado: Place some crab in an avocado half.
  • Cucumber: Spread onto cucumber slices for an easy party snack.
  • Puff Pastry: Use as a filling for puff pastry shells.
  • Pasta: Crab pasta salad is so delicious! Try it with elbow macaroni, farfalle, rotini, or any other pasta with plenty of nooks and crannies for holding all that creamy goodness!

How Long Does Imitation Crab Last?

If you pick up imitation crab in a tray or container at the store, it will be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 five days after it’s been opened. Homemade imitation crab salad leftovers will last up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Freezing imitation crab salad is not recommended. If you freeze dishes containing mayonnaise, the texture will not be good once thawed.

Imitation crab salad in four hoagie rolls.

More Crab Recipes

Favorite Meaty Salad Recipes

Check out more of my easy salad recipes and the best seafood recipes on CopyKat!

What do you like about this recipe? Maybe the taste or even how easy it is to make? Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

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Overhead view of imitation crab salad in hoagie rolls and a small glass bowl.

Imitation Crab Salad

This seafood salad with imitation crab meat is quick, easy, and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Seafood Salad Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 167kcal


  • 2 pounds imitation crab meat chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onion tops
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise


  • Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Serve this crab salad in a bowl, on top of lettuce leaves, or on a roll.
Spice it up a bit by adding a few more ingredients like celery, red onion, lemon juice, and dill.


Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 581mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Aue

    The recipe I’m looking for, from Albertson, has cheese in it.
    Mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream, celery, I added onion and ???
    Anyone have that recipe?
    We no longer have the store here.

  2. K

    I too worked there also, 2 stores in Sacramento, Ca. and another in Southern Ca., and as the Deli mgr. I ordered the product to make it and I had made it quite a bit myself and it only consisted of the Krab meat chopped then shredded by hand, celery sliced on the slicer a 1/4″ thick, and mayonnaise. And we couldn’t serve it the same day we made it, it had to sit for a day to let the flavors marry and it really did make a difference. Now this was back in the 80’s, that was a long time ago (8 pieces of chicken back then was $1.99), maybe the recipe changed after that but I don’t know why it would… was one of the top sellers in our deli’s.

    • Linda Gale

      Back in the late 80s our Albertsons sold either a krab dip or krab salad, that we ate on Ritz crackers. Our friend the deli Mgr used to make it and I did have the recipe, but I’ve moved a lot. I know ours used Tony Chachere’s seasoning. It was so good and not the orange color that some recipes have.

  3. Lkoompin

    Not sure where you got your recipe, but I worked for them for 12 years and made that salad almost daily. They actually used yellow onions and also put diced celery in the salad…it makes a difference.

    • dana

      The real – original recipe for Albertsons crab salad. It has imitation crab, mayonaise, yellow onion, green onion tops, celery, shredded cheddar and olives. This is the one everyone is looking for.The 3 ingredient one is not the original and just isn’t the same. You need the crunch of celery and yellow onion. Will not disappoint…It is EXACTLY as you remember.

      To make at home
      1 pkg imitation crab meat
      1/2 cup mayo
      1-2 stalks celery chopped to small bits (1/2 cup
      1/2 cup diced yellow onion
      1/4cup shredded cheddar cheese
      1/4 cup green onion tops
      sliced olives to preference

  4. Andi

    This is so delish! I love to sprinkle a little Spice Islands Salt free seasoning “Original” on the mix before refrigeration. Just adds a bit of zing… Another fav is to mix in a bit of cocktail sauce instead of the Spice Islands. Throw on a tomato and add a bed of lettuce and it is my preferred lunch item. Whoop! 🙂

  5. Kelly in CO

    Awful, too bland. I do not recommend.

    I appreciate that you found the recipe bland, I can’t change how they wrote their recipe 😉 I personally would add a little chopped onion, and most likely a little fresh dill or some tarragon to jazz it up. Let us know how you jazzed up the salad with your own personal touch.

5 from 1 vote

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