This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure policy.

This Crab Pasta Salad recipe is perfect for your next potluck, cookout, or just a dinner side salad with great flavor. It is so quick to put together and will fill up the entire family. Give our Crab Pasta Salad Recipe a try today!

Crab pasta salad in a white bowl on a gold platter.
Crab Salad is a great side or light lunch!

🦀 What makes this recipe special?

This easy-to-throw-together recipe has only about 15 minutes of active time and is midwest comfort dining perfection. It is a great recipe for your next cookout or potluck and can be served for any meal where you might serve a coleslaw or a macaroni salad, but want a seafood twist. 

While I have given a great easy coleslaw recipe before and this delicious Rancharoni Macaroni recipe is an awesome grill-out pasta salad, I wanted to do something with crab. Well, imitation crab… this is a midwest recipe and we are not exactly known for our seafood. 

This is a great side dish for grilled pork chops or if you would be great with these Grilled Chicken Legs with Yogurt Mint Marinade. If you want to double down on seafood, maybe serve it as a side for this Grilled Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Recipe. 

🍜 Ingredients

This is a fairly typical pasta recipe with a few twists. 

Crab Pasta Salad ingredients.
Peas, lemon juice, red onion, pepper, salt, Creole seasoning, sugar, dill, mayo, celery, imitation crab, shell pasta, green pepper.
  • Medium shells pasta
  • Imitation flake crab meat, precooked
  • Frozen peas or fresh peas
  • Red onion
  • Green pepper
  • Celery
  • Mayonaise
  • Sugar
  • Dill
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tony Chachere creole seasoning

We use imitation crab in this recipe, but you could use the real stuff. This is meant to be a midwest comfort food. Don’t come at me about the imitation crab… if you know, you know.

Another unique aspect to this recipe is that we use Tony Chachere creole seasoning. I love this stuff and always have it on hand.

See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.

🍲 Instructions

This recipe is as simple as mixing all of the ingredients together. Then, put it in the fridge and let it sit for a few hours. The pasta takes about 10 minutes to cook in preparation.

While the water is heating and the pasta cooks, I chop up the veggies and get everything measured. 

Crab Pasta Salad process collage.
This recipe really is as simple as mixing the ingredients together and placing in the refrigerator.

Once the pasta is done and I run it under some cool water to cool it down, I just mix it together and put it in the fridge until I am ready to serve.

🤷 Substitutions and variations

You can make plenty of substitutions and variations with this versatile recipe.

  • Imitation Crab – Of course, you can use cooked fresh crab! Imitation crab is the recipe as I remember it, and it is a bit lighter on the pocketbook. 
  • Mayo – The recipe calls for regular mayo, but a great way to cut the calories down is to use light mayo. 
  • Pasta – I chose shell pasta. It seemed right to use shell pasta with a crab salad. Use any pasta that you see fit. 
  • Peas – I use frozen peas. You can also use fresh peas. I would not recommend using canned peas. They tend to be a bit mushy.

📦 Storage

Cover this salad and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not allow the salad to sit at room temperature for more than a few hours when serving this. 

Because this has mayo and seafood in it, it should not be left out at room temperature for lengths of time. I also would not recommend freezing this recipe.

🎓 History tidbit

Imitation crab is made from sumuri, a seafood paste made from white fish, artificial and natural flavors, starch, sugar, and sodium according to Healthline. It started being sold in the 1970s in Japan and offered an affordable substitute for crab.

Is it perfect? nah. That said, it has made its way into Americana.

❓ FAQ

What is Crab Salad made from?

Mayo, imitation crab, chopped veggies, and dill.

What is imitation crab?

It is a crab substitute made from sumuri, a white fish that has been combined with flavoring, sugar, starch, and sodium.

Crab pasta salad garnished with dill in a white bowl.
Give this tasty Crab Salad a try!

📝  Tips and tricks

  • Make the day before or morning of your event and it will be ready to eat by your event.
  • I use Tony Chachere creole seasoning, but Old Bay is great, as well.
  • While my instructions have this mixed in order, it really is just mixing all the things together.
  • A great way to reduce calories on this recipe is to use low-calorie mayo. It cuts the mayonnaise calories by about ⅔.
  • This makes 6 servings. Have a big party? Double it!

🛠 Products used in this recipe

😋 Did you make this recipe?

Thank you so much for giving this Crab Pasta Salad recipe a try! Could you do me a favor by leaving a review in the comments area below? This helps me know how I am doing and helps others decide if this is their recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry!

Print
clockclock iconcutlerycutlery iconflagflag iconfolderfolder iconinstagraminstagram iconpinterestpinterest iconfacebookfacebook iconprintprint iconsquaressquares iconheartheart iconheart solidheart solid icon
Crab pasta salad in a white bowl on a gold platter.

Crab Pasta Salad Recipe

  • Author: Ben
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe

Description

This Crab Pasta Salad is a flavorful side dish that is perfect for your next cookout, potluck, or dinner side with a seafood twist. It is easy to throw together and very filling.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces medium shells pasta, cooked per package
  • 8 ounces imitation flake crab meat, chopped and thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup red onion chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped (about ½ a green pepper)
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped (or 1 tsp dried dill)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ pepper to taste, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere Creole seasoning. 

Instructions

  1. Mix mayo, sugar, vinegar, dill, salt, pepper, Tony Chachere, and lemon juice in large bowl.
  2. Fold in pasta and crab
  3. Cover and put in the fridge for 4 hours and up to 3 days before serving. 

Notes

  • Make the day before or morning of your event and it will be ready to eat by your event.
  • I use Tony Chachere creole seasoning, but Old Bay is great, as well.
  • While my instructions have this mixed in order, it really is just mixing all the things together.
  • A great way to reduce calories on this recipe is to use low-calorie mayo. It cuts the mayonnaise calories by about ⅔.
  • This makes 6 servings. Have a big party? Double it!

Keywords: crab pasta salad

Want to save this Recipe?

Have it sent to your email address and receive occasional updates.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments

  1. Such a good recipe that was easy to make. Perfect for when I had family over last weekend.

  2. Very tasty, I loved the perfect balance of dill , it was so good I didn’t let it chill, I will be making again , hopefully I can save some for others, it’s to die for😋😋😋😋