This crab salad recipe may add another item to your must-eat list.
Most salads are made of leafy greens, but that’s not a hard and fast rule— this one’s unusual combo has won us over. The shredded crab, sweet and crunchy veggies, and creamy dressing complement each other perfectly.
You can make this healthy delicacy at home very quickly using ingredients that are available all year. Imitation crab can be found in the frozen food section of any supermarket or grocery store.
Now that we have your attention, you can click here to see what ingredients there are, or read on. The information we collected might be of help to you.
What Is Imitation Crab?
The phrase “imitation” may sound silly, but don’t worry; this is an actual edible ingredient. It’s made of minced fish (not crab), starch, egg whites, sugar, salt, and additives.
Obviously, these ingredients speak to the product’s nutritional value — it doesn’t have much compared to the real deal. The preservatives and food dyes also raise concerns regarding potential risks to the kidneys and heart.
Despite all this, the FDA has declared that imitation crab is safe to eat, and we trust them on that point. As health enthusiasts, we view it as a tasty element to spice up your diet, but not necessarily a nutritious one.
Imitation Crab vs Real Crab
One benefit of imitation crab is that it’s pre-cooked. You don’t need to fire up the stove for this salad; just shred and go.
The faux seafood shares a similar texture with the real one, but has (arguably) a more appealing look. The idea is to make it look like the meat of large crab claws, which are expensive and less accessible.
Because imitation crab comes in the shape of sticks, it’s really easy to tell it apart from real crab. However, those with no experience with imitation crab may not be able to tell what’s used in this salad since it’s shredded.
Is Imitation Crab Vegan?
It is not vegan or vegetarian, for its main ingredient, after all, being fish. There is currently no vegan alternative to crab meat.
Is Crab Salad Healthy?
Like all of our recipes, this is a healthier alternative to similar online recipes. Here’s why:
If certain ingredients affect the nutritional profile in a negative way, we’re not shy about reducing them or removing them from the recipe entirely. We’re lucky to have good, dedicated chefs who can always come up with a way to make our healthy dishes taste excellent.
Even though this type of salad often comes with plenty of saturated fat and sodium (from the dressing), our adjustments fix that issue. The nutritional profile of this crab salad recipe meets our healthy eating guidelines.
Crab Salad Ingredients
1. Imitation Crab, Fresh Crab, or Canned Crab?
We have previously used fresh crab to make this amazing seafood salad, and nothing can quite match the real thing. However, if the choice comes down to imitation crab vs canned crab, we’ll pick the former without hesitation.
Unlike fresh crab meat, canned crab has an unpleasant odor that we often have to treat by glazing it with white wine. Since this salad involves no cooking, the odor can negatively affect your experience.
2. Veggie Options
Without veggies, this salad just loses its meaning.
To complement the crab, we selected plenty of crunchy veggies and diced them finely. You get a little of everything in each bite; a pleasant crunch, the interlaced flavors, lots of color — it’s all there.
The original recipe doesn’t call for corn, but ours does. We enjoy the natural sweetness it brings. It matches well with the pungent, earthy aromas of celery and radish.
Dressing for Crab Salad
The salad is completed with our tangy, creamy, and refreshing dressing. It has olive oil, mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, dill, and coriander. This is a rather basic dressing that you can try on other salads too.
Now that the ingredients are ready, let’s get into the process.
How to Make Crab Salad
Here’s a quick summary:
Shred the crab sticks
Combine all ingredients gently
The steps are simple. We won’t bore you with repetition, so the specific ingredient list and measurements are in the crab salad recipe card below.
Can You Freeze Crab Salad?
Salads are very tricky when it comes to freezing. The dressing, the veggies, and the imitation crab don’t thaw well — all your favorite textures fade in the process.
We highly recommend storing this salad in the fridge, tightly sealed or wrapped in plastic. It can stay fresh for up to 5 days when you store it right.
What to Eat With Crab Salad?
Crab salad leftovers can make for an incredible sandwich filling the following day. A little added lettuce will give you extra fiber, but feel free to get creative.
Of course, if you’re watching your carb intake, skip the bread and make little salad pockets with your leafy greens of choice. You can pre-wrap them and place them in your lunch box — they make for a fun meal.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
It was refreshing and delightful… It an easy and quick meal to make!?