Suppose you’re craving some delicious crab-based dishes, but you can’t find any fresh crabs in your neighborhood. It’s annoying, isn’t it?
But thanks to this Japanese food invention, you can now incorporate the crab flavors into your favorite dishes. Behold, the imitation crab!
To those who aren’t familiar with it, imitation crab or crab stick is a magical ingredient formulated to have a similar flavor, color, and appearance to cooked fresh crab meat.
It’s made from a combination of starch and white fish, surimi. You can find them at any grocery store; so visiting a wet market to purchase fresh crabs isn’t necessary now.
But I digress, here’s my best collection of imitation crab meat recipes that are sure to cure your longing for seafood.
1. California roll sushi
This imitation crab recipe is super easy to make and tasty enough to be your next appetizer! It’s packed with flavorful ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, and brown rice (or black rice).
The addition of wasabi accentuates the taste of the imitation crab, enhancing it to another level. Meanwhile, the vinegar adds extra flavor to the rice.
Here’s the recipe.
2. Seafood enchiladas
This enchiladas recipe is filled with seafood flavors from shrimp and imitation crab. Yummy!
Now there’s no reason for you to visit a fancy restaurant just to satisfy your seafood enchiladas cravings – you can create them at home. Also, it’s cheaper!
To make one, you need a handful of ingredients such as jalapeno, cream sauce, pepper jack cheese, flour tortillas, milk, sour cream, and ginger.
Check out this recipe.
3. Crab pasta salad
If you love everything about pasta, this crab pasta salad recipe can liven things up.
Everything about this recipe is creamy and delicious. The feta cheese takes the dish up a notch, while the presence of mayonnaise elevates the rich and sweet flavor of the salad.
Though the salad can already be enjoyed on its own, pairing it with lettuce cups, buttery crackers, or making a sandwich using bread or soft rolls makes it quite extraordinary.
Find full details about this recipe here.
4. Minnesota crab Louie
This Minnesota crab Louie is best served with a bed of lettuce and some crackers. Topping tomato, hard-boiled egg, asparagus, and avocado makes a big difference in the overall flavor.
Aside from the imitation crab meat, another highlight of this recipe is the shrimp that offers extra seafood flavor.
These ingredients become more interesting with the spicy kick from chili sauce and sweet flavor profile from mayonnaise and whipped cream.
Learn more about this recipe here.
5. Crab crescent bites
Win the hearts of your guests at your game day party by serving these crescent bites.
This crowd-pleasing dish is sure to leave everyone’s mouth watery with its creamy filling from imitation crab meat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and chopped green onion.
Quick tip: It’s encouraged to chop imitation crab meat into small pieces, so it stays put within the crescent bites when you finally sink your teeth into them.
Find full details of the recipe here.
6. Oven-baked crab rangoons
If you haven’t tried this recipe, you’re missing out big time!
These crab rangoons are filled with key ingredients such as cream cheese, imitation crab meat, and egg roll wraps, leaving a creamy flavor profile into the dish.
Things get more interesting with the addition of Worcestershire sauce, green onion, garlic powder, and sugar.
If you’re planning to make a big batch, then storing them in the fridge is the right thing to do.
Learn how to store these crab rangoons here.
7. Spicy Kani salad
This sweet and spicy Kani salad features only a few ingredients: imitation crab, cucumber, and the special dressing.
Though it looks simple from the get-go, expect a burst of flavor with the combination of these ingredients. The zing of the heat of the dish comes from the sriracha, while the inclusion of cucumber adds that crunchy and refreshing flavor.
Add deep-fried tempura bits at the last minute of the preparation to add extra crunchiness to the recipe.
Here’s the recipe.
8. Crab cakes
If you’re looking for something delicious, but you’re on a tight budget, then take this crab cakes recipe. You’re welcome!
Bread crumbs and the Worcestershire sauce are responsible for the crunchiness and complex flavor of these crab cakes. On the other hand, the sweet and tangy variation comes from mayonnaise and mustard.
Now, if you happen to be into crab cakes, you’re in luck! Here’s a gift to celebrate that: frozen crab cake recipes. Enjoy!
Get the recipe here.
9. Crab rangoon casserole
Among the imitation crab recipes, this crab rangoon casserole is my favorite.
This recipe is easy to put together and packed with fresh ingredients, so you feel amazed every time you dig into this hearty casserole.
It’s topped with panko breadcrumbs, butter, and parmesan cheese so expect a sweet, creamy, and crunchy meal!
Quick tip: You can double the toppings for additional crunch and creaminess.
Get the recipe here.
10. Crab soup
This soup recipe with imitation crab is hearty and tasty enough to keep you warm on cold winter nights. Plus, it takes five ingredients to make. How’s that?
Even the dish looks simple, but trust me, you’ll be mind-blown by its complex taste. All you need is imitation crab, milk, butter, and whipped cream.
Quick tip: You can spice up your crab soup with old bay seasoning. Feel free to add them if you have them on hand.
Here’s the recipe.
11. Crab bacon spinach pizza
If you love pizza and crabs, then this last imitation crab-based recipe is your next go-to meal!
What I like about this crab bacon spinach pizza is it’s cheap and easy to customize.
To make one, just add fresh baby spinach, chopped scallions, bacon on top of the pizza dough. And oh…more cheese, please!
Here’s the recipe.
12. Seafood Chowder
Seafood chowder is rich, creamy and full of flavor. This chowder is made with shrimp, clams and crab.
The veggies are carrots, potatoes, celery and onion. Of course, it also has bacon.
This is a seafood chowder recipe that is actually easy to make but has so much flavor that everyone will think that you spent days on it.
When looking for your next favorite imitation crab recipe, this will be high on the list.
I love it when Tex Mex and seafood are combined and this is especially true when it comes to crab and Tex Mex.
Crab, even imitation crab, is my favorite seafood and chimichangas are my favorite Tex Mex food.
Combining the two in one dish is just a little slice of joy for me that I can really get behind.
If you find yourself trying to figure out what to make with imitation crab meat, look no further than this yummy recipe.
14. Buffalo Crab Dip
Crab dip is a ridiculously fabulous crabmeat recipe. Buffalo crab dip is a way to take that to the next level.
If you love that extra spicy flavor then you are sure to love this dip. Now, I am a wimp when it comes to spice but I am in the minority on this topic.
So if you are looking for an easy to make hot dip with imitation crab meat that is sure to impress, look right here.
What is a crab roll, you may ask? Well, it is a sandwich made with special hoagie style bread that is jammed with crab meat, mayo and seasonings.
It is delicious recipe using imitation crab.
While you can have the most famous version of this sandwich, a lobster roll, you can alter it to be a crab roll.
Crab alfredo is so creamy and delicious and Red Lobster really knows how to make a fantastic version.
You can use imitation crab meat to make this delicious main dish. One variation to the recipe that I would recommend is to add in freshly minced garlic.
Oh and don’t forget some hot garlic bread!
17. Crab Rangoon Dip
This is a hot dip that is cheesy full of imitation crab and frankly all things lovely.
This dip is so creamy. It is made with cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream.
Then we have the cheese and spices. It has two different kinds of cheese, fresh garlic, onions and spices.
As if that alone isn’t enough, we then add in the crab meat and the perfectly baked wonton chips.
Make a double batch folks because this one will go fast.
I love casseroles. I especially love cheesy casseroles. So when the idea of a cheesy crab meat casserole came up, I got darn near giddy.
Let’s talk about the cheese in this recipe for a moment. It calls for cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese and swiss cheese.
This is serious folks! I may be in love with this casserole.
Mac and cheese AND crab meat were meant to be together. I don’t know why it took so long for folks to understand this.
Yes, making this recipe does take a tiny bit of patience but it is so worth it.
Take your time making the sauce and then after about 30 minutes in the oven you will have something incredible.
This is one of those recipes that you can throw together on a random Tuesday and people will think that you are a hero.
First, cook up the pasta. While the past is cooking sauce the garlic and onion.
Then you add in the crab meat, wine and lemon and cook that all together.
By the time the pasta is done, your sauce is done and you are all set.
21. Kani Salad
This is a spicy Japanese salad that is made with imitation crab, cucumber, carrots and a spicy sesame dressing.
You can put this recipe together in just 10 minutes.
It is a salad that is crunchy and creamy at the same time. Now if you are a bit wimpy like me, you can leave the Sriracha sauce out of the recipe.
But if you like spice, you go on ahead and add it.
22. Egg Crab Salad
If you are a fan of egg salad and you love crab meat, you will love this recipe.
This is essentially a twist on the classic egg salad. It has sweet corn, imitation crab meat, celery cheese and chives.
Check out the full ingredient list and enjoy this creamy mayo based recipe.
This is a refreshing salad that has some delicious ingredients and yet is still easy to put together.
This salad has fresh avocado, oranges, bell pepper and cilantro. Oh and of course, it has imitation crab meat to boot.
24. Crab Po’boy
A crab Po’boy is essentially a crab salad stuffed sandwich. These were made famous in New Orleans.
The bread is usually a large fluffy hot dog bun or at least bread that is similar to that and that shape.
The bottom line
There are different and fun ways to cook imitation crab. From casseroles, salad, to soup and pizza, nothing goes wrong when we go right at it. Also, it’s amazing how it works perfectly with almost everything!
Learn these recipes, so you don’t have to worry about not having some fresh crabs when those seafood cravings hit you out of the blue. Imitation crab meat is your answer! Trust me, it’s worth a shot!
Do you know some recipes that make use of imitation crab? Feel free to share it with us!
- California roll sushi
- Seafood enchiladas
- Crab pasta salad
- Minnesota crab Louie
- Crab crescent bites
- Oven-baked crab rangoons
- Spicy Kani salad
- Crab cakes
- Crab rangoon casserole
- Crab soup
- Crab rangoon pizza
- Seafood chowder
- Imitation Crab Chimichangas
- Buffalo Crab Dip
- Imitation Crab Roll Recipe
- Red Lobster Crab Alfredo (CopyCat)
- Crab Rangoon Dip
- Crab meat Casserole
- Imitation Crab Mac And Cheese
- Crab Linguini With Lemon Butter Sauce
- Kani Salad
- Egg Crab Salad
- Avocado And Crab Salad
- Crab Po'boy
- Pick a few recipes to try
- Gather the ingredients
- Serve these recipes to your family and friends