Our 17+ Best Imitation Crab Recipes

Are you a seafood enthusiast who is unable to get fresh crab in your area? Make an imitation crab dish!

Imitation crab isn’t really crab, but this amazing ingredient is still high-quality seafood because it’s made from deboned white fish flesh that has been washed to remove unwanted pieces and fat. Then, the fish is blended with ingredients and formed into a paste that does a great job of mimicking real crab meat.

Imitation crab is also known as a crab stick. They are a Japanese innovation, created from a kind of fish called a surimi.

Despite the fact that it is not fresh crab, it is made from fish and has a similar flavor, giving you your seafood fix.

Imitation crab, also known as surimi, has become a popular ingredient in various dishes, thanks to its versatility, affordability, and delicious taste. Although it’s not made from real crab, this seafood substitute offers an alternative for those who enjoy the flavor of crab but either can’t or don’t want to consume authentic crabmeat. Made from a mixture of fish, starch, and other flavorings, imitation crab can be easily found in most supermarkets and is worth a try if you’re looking to explore new recipes.

There’s a multitude of dishes that can be prepared with imitation crab, ranging from simple salads and appetizers to more elaborate main courses. With its delicate texture and mild flavor profile, it easily blends with various cuisines, filling the culinary gap for seafood lovers who are looking for budget-friendly options. In this article, we will introduce some exciting imitation crab recipes that you can prepare at home, satisfying your seafood cravings without breaking the bank.

Experimenting with imitation crab is a great way to add variety to your meal repertoire, especially for those who appreciate seafood. The following recipes will not only demonstrate how to incorporate this versatile ingredient into your dishes but will also inspire you to come up with your own delicious creations. So, buckle up and embark on this flavorful journey of imitation crab recipes!

This collection of excellent imitation crab meat recipes includes everything from salads to appetizers to casseroles and pasta meals. Enjoy! 

Source: thelifejolie.com

1. Seafood Macaroni Salad

Served as a side dish at barbecues, seafood macaroni salad is delicious. Using this recipe to balance out strong and savory tastes takes just 15 minutes and is delicious.

I like to add black olives, celery, red onion and maybe some additional shrimp to this macaroni salad to make it more substantial. 

For the best flavor possible, chill your seafood salad before you serve it to you hungry guests.

Source: ladysavings.com

2. Cream of Crab Soup

Consider the following scenario: It’s a chilly, wet Sunday afternoon, and you’re enjoying a nice bowl of creamy crab soup. After just one sip, you’ll be in soup paradise!

Cream of crab soup is one of my favorite appetizers, particularly when served as part of a dinner that includes a variety of different shellfish. It’s also a delicious light lunch option when served with a fresh salad!

Source: www.annsentitledlife.com

3. Crab Salad

You’re going to love these imitation crab recipes. Imitation crab is very versatile and if you have a craving for a thick and creamy seafood salad? You’re going to adore this one!

Combine shredded imitation crab, sour cream, mayonnaise, chopped onions, fresh dill, celery, and seasoning (salt & pepper) in a large mixing bowl. After an hour of chilling, it’s ready to be presented to guests.

Add avocado and lightly toasted white bread to make a stunning lunchtime sandwich.

Source: southyourmouth.com

4. Hot and Spicy Crab Dip

To serve with toasted bread, crackers, or vegetable sticks such as carrots and celery, hot imitation crab dip is the ideal appetizer.

It’s also very simple to make! To make imitation crab dip, combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, and your preferred spices and herbs in a mixing bowl.

Leave in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve and then prepare to dunk into some creamy crab deliciousness.

Source: yummly.co.uk

5. Copycat Crab Casserole

Crab casserole is another dish that can be found at a variety of Chinese establishments.

This recipe for crab casserole is a knockoff of the dish served at Hunan’s, a popular Chinese buffet restaurant in Mississippi.

You’ll like this dish. It’s just so creamy and the cheese makes it extra delicious. And it just takes a few minutes to put together!

Source: lemontreedwelling.com

6. Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon appetizers are a common sight at Chinese restaurants, but did you know that these crispy, deep-fried morsels were originally developed in the United States?

When making this dish at home, three ingredients are all that’s required: imitation crab (obviously!), wonton wrappers (which are available at most good grocery stores), and cream cheese. 

To make the perfect pre-dinner nibble, dip them in sweet and sour sauce.

Source: cdkitchen.com

7. Imitation Lobster Rolls

For those of you who like lobster rolls as much as I do, you understand how irritating it can be when you cannot locate fresh lobsters.

I like to get a pack of fake crab sticks and create my own version of imitation lobster rolls.

They’re also very simple to make! Toss some shredded imitation crab in a bowl with mayo and other ingredients such as pepper, garlic powder, and green onions.

You could even throw in some shredded lettuce. Place the mixture on a gently toasted bun, and you’ll have fake lobster rolls in 15 minutes or less!

Source: crabsaladrecipes.blogspot.com

8. Creamy Crab Salad

For those of you who like a rich and creamy seafood salad will quickly become a new favorite.

The salad is made up of nothing more than fake crab and celery, but the magic is in the dressing!

In a separate bowl, whisk together two types of dressing: ranch and plain and simple mayonnaise. If you want to spruce it up, add a dash of smoked paprika.

Source: thefoodhussy.com

9. Casserole with Imitation Crab

Here’s another recipe for a crab dish in the Chinese restaurant style. One of my favorite things about this dish is that although it isn’t creamy, it isn’t lacking in taste either!

The components for your own fake crab dish, are very simple.

Imitation crab, mayonnaise, green onions, and mozzarella cheese are the main features of this dish. You could also add some fake lobster or shrimp flesh to your recipe.

Source: yummly.co.uk

10. Golden Corral Crab Salad

A good reason why Golden Corral is one of the most well-known buffets is that their cuisine is really delicious! Their crab salad recipe is one of my personal favorites.

It’s thick and creamy, with enough crisp celery pieces thrown in.

This refreshing salad is ideal with steak, fish, or fried chicken. It’s also a fantastic dish to serve at parties and BYO meals (potlucks). 

Source: thefoodblog.net

11. Seafood Enchiladas

Is your Mexican meal made with imitation crab? Yep! HUNGRY people will love this dinner! After just one mouthful, you’ll realize you’ve made excellent use of the fake crab sticks.

This dish is a bit more challenging to prepare as you will require some tortilla wrapping expertise. But believe me when I say that it is well worth the effort!

Source: cookiesandcups.com

12. Crab Alfredo

Alfredo sauce is my go-to sauce anytime I’m in the mood for some pasta. As soon as I realized how well imitation crab pairs with this meal, I couldn’t stop myself from cooking it.

To make your own Alfredo sauce, just combine mushrooms, onions, cream and chicken stock in a mixing bowl.

Serve with your favorite imitation crab and linguine or fettuccine for a delicious and delectable dinner you won’t soon forget!

Source: tastemade.com

13. Cheesy Crab Pasta

If you’ve never had a cheese and crab combination before, you’ll fall in love with this dish!

Shells are my preferred kind of pasta for this meal. Those delicate curves perfectly retain the rich yet spicy crab sauce, ensuring that every bite is a mouthful of pure seafood bliss.

Source: moolasavingmom.com

14. Imitation Crab Cakes

Crab cakes come in various forms, sizes, and tastes, and I like them all, but this crab cake recipe is my absolute favorite! Although it is made using fake crab flesh, it tastes exactly as good as the real thing.

The combination of Worcestershire Sauce and lemon juice is really delicious.

You may eat them on their own or combine them with other seafood to make a seafood burger!

Source: justapinch.com

15. Crab Popper Delights

Are you looking for the ideal appetizers to serve when you have friends around for dinner? These crab pleasure nibbles are guaranteed to amaze your guests and family members alike.

Use a mini muffin pan to hold the crab meat imitations, which are prepared with panko breadcrumbs, red bell pepper, and canned corn, and then baked until golden brown. 

These delectable bite-sized morsels will be gone in a second!

Source: cookpad.com

16. Crab Salad Summer Rolls

These super easy salad rolls are light, fresh and so tasty. They are also incredibly easy to make. All you need are some basic ingredients. Fake crab sticks, cucumber, cellophane noodles, and spring roll wrappers.

They make the perfect summer, lunchbox treat. 

Source: foxeslovelemons.com

17. Shrimp and Crab Pasta

This shrimp and crab pasta salad may be an exception to the rule that seafood is not often considered a kid-friendly dish.

It’s quick, easy, and tasty, and you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes.

This pasta dish is made with mayonnaise and can be topped with tomato pieces, cucumber, prawns, and, of course, fake crab.

Remember to sprinkle on plenty of parmesan cheese to finish it off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Healthy Ways to Cook Imitation Crab

  • Steam or poach imitation crab to retain flavor and keep it tender.
  • Add it to a stir-fry with plenty of vegetables for a well-rounded meal.
  • Use it in a salad with mixed greens, fresh veggies, and a vinaigrette dressing.

Making Imitation Crab Sushi at Home

  1. Prepare sushi rice by following package instructions.
  2. Lay out a sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi mat.
  3. Spread a thin layer of rice on the nori, leaving some space at the edges.
  4. Add a layer of thinly sliced cucumber and avocado.
  5. Place strips of imitation crab on top of the veggies.
  6. Roll up the sushi tightly using the bamboo mat.
  7. Cut the roll into bite-sized pieces and serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Popular Chinese Dishes with Imitation Crab

  • Imitation crab and cream cheese wontons
  • Crab Rangoon
  • Crab noodle stir-fry
  • Imitation crab and vegetable egg rolls

Preparing a Simple Crab Salad

  • Combine chopped imitation crab, finely sliced celery, red onion, and bell pepper.
  • Mix in mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving.

Baked Imitation Crab Recipes

  • Imitation crab and broccoli casserole
  • Baked crab stuffed mushrooms
  • Imitation crab baked macaroni and cheese

Making Imitation Crab Cakes

  1. Combine flaked imitation crab, breadcrumbs, finely chopped onion, and an egg.
  2. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs and spices.
  3. Form the mixture into small patties.
  4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the crab cakes until browned and cooked through.

Our 20+ BEST Imitation Crab Recipes (+Cajun Crab Dip)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 6 votes
Total Time 24 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 210 kcal


  • 1 pound imitation crab
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4-1/3 cup mayo
  • 4 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 5 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • Salt optional


  • Combine all ingredients except the crab and mix until creamy and smooth.
  • Fold in the crab meat.
  • Place in the refrigerator to chill.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 210kcal
Keyword cajun crab dip, imitation crab recipe
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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