Looking for alternative crab recipes? Make these irrisistible imitation crab recipes that are easy to make, are flavorful and nutritious.
Imitation crab was invented way back in 1970s Japan when people were eating crab like it was going out of style. It was the market’s response to making crab meat much more affordable.
Since then, this real crab meat alternative has spread all around the world. With that expansion has come an explosion of imitation crab recipes to choose from.
The meat is shredded white fish combined with starch and shaped to look like crab leg meat. This makes it harder and more durable than an actual crab. It also makes it more cost-effective.
So, take this time to explore how you can utilize this affordable crab alternative in your daily cooking!
What is the Best Way to Cook Imitation Crab Meat?
Imitation crab meat is already cooked when you purchase it. So, all you need to do when preparing it is to heat it all the way through. Apart from that, you can treat it just like a crab.
Fry it, put it in soups, use it in a salad; the world is your oyster! You can even eat it “raw,”.
Although, reheating it to some degree might help this crab substitute put its best foot forward.
Best Imitation Crab Recipes
So, the question on everyone’s mind: what are the best imitation crab recipes? How can we make this affordable, simple-to-use ingredient shine?
Let’s dive into twenty-seven potential answers.
Americanized Chinese food offers some of the most delicious fusion cuisines. Including these delightful crab rangoons.
For the uninitiated: a crab Rangoon is a crunchy case that’s been stuffed with imitation crabmeat, cream cheese, and Worcestershire sauce and topped with green onions.
It’s a lot like a samosa! This is a healthy, delicious, and highly convenient way to make the best of imitation crab.
A California roll made with fake crab meat is a great place to start for anyone who has never made sushi. That way, you can focus on rolling the sushi, not cooking the fish.
These delicious little rolls are perfect for picnics and summer potlucks, especially good with a generous dash of soy sauce.
This is a perfect low calorie dinner recipe anyone can make!
Love a California roll, but don’t want to go through all that precise cutting and rolling? May I introduce the simpler low-carb version: the quinoa sushi salad with imitation fresh crab meat!
This delicious fiber-filled imitation crab salad recipe celebrates fresh vegetables and the flavor of the crab. All you need is twenty minutes! This perfect appetizer is the real deal with crab flavor.
Next up, we have a fantastic addition to your next potluck spread. This shredded imitation crab salad can be made up to three days in advance.
It will allow the dressing’s flavor to soak deep into the meat.
This creamy seafood salad is effortless. However, the bold and punchy flavor will blow your guests away.
Talk about fusion! Enjoy an American Chinese restaurants dish like an Italian pizza with this delightfully inventive dish.
These delicious imitation crab meat recipes feature crunchy fried Rangoon wonton wrappers, shredded crab, and sweet chili. Whip it up in no time at all to enjoy before Sunday dinner.
This cold seafood salad is the seafood lover’s answer to a traditional potato salad. It comes together with only five minutes of effort.
The mouth-watering dressing with sour cream is the champion of this simple recipe.
I highly recommend making this a few hours beforehand so it can sit in the fridge.
The longer it can sit, the more the flavors can intermingle and deepen in a great way.
Kani salad is a Japanese variant of a traditional crab salad. This vibrant and delicious recipe includes a truckload of fresh veggies and imitation crab sticks.
It even uses mango to create a delightfully sweet surprise in each bite that every seafood lover will enjoy.
This is another potluck-friendly recipe you can whip up in no time. Tweak the dressing to create your signature blend to compliment the krab sticks.
This dish is perfect for a bit of experimentation.
A sushi casserole is exactly what it sounds like. Sushi ingredients are layered in a dish, topped with plenty of sesame seeds or seaweed.
Baked to a delightful crisp to create a delicious combination.
The key to making these amazing imitation crab recipes feel like your favorite sushi lies in the sauce you choose.
For example, this recipe calls for a spicy California roll mayo to bring everything together in this easy recipe.
This Chinese crab casserole is a super easy weeknight meal that the whole family can enjoy. Especially if you want to try new recipes.
Resist the urge to get takeout and opt for this delicious dish. It only requires ten minutes of preparation and simple ingredients!
This is a fridge-friendly dish you can easily enjoy in a delicious way as leftovers the next day. It’s creamy, crunchy, and packed with delicious flavors that keep you coming back for more.
Whether you like to cook on your stovetop or you’re after a slow-cooker recipe to minimize prep time, this recipe is for you. Create a delicious, rich, warm crab bisque with ease.
This bisque is packed with crab meat that tastes like the real thing. In contrast to the smoky tomato soup base.
The sweet crab offers little jewels of delicate flavor that will have you emptying the bowl in no time.
This is a great option and one of the best recipes for special occasions.
This seafood pasta salad is a versatile dish that’s great for the warmer months. Whether you’re taking the family out on a picnic or need a quick game-day side dish, this can help.
Enjoy fresh vegetables, crab, and perfectly-cooked pasta enveloped in a tasty creamy dressing. This salad has a mellow, approachable taste, making it a definite crowd-pleaser.
Speaking of game day, here’s another dish that will fuel your celebrations. Featuring a crispy top and a “crab”-filled, creamy center, this vegan crab dip is to die for.
Instead of imitation crab, this recipe uses Hearts of Palm as a substitute for crab meat. That said, if you want to make this non-vegan, imitation crab is a super affordable way to create it for yourself.
For your next date night at home, prepare an ultra-luxurious seafood dish twice as good as anything you can find at your local restaurant.
Each smoked salmon fillet is stuffed with crab meat and ricotta cheese. The whole dish is drizzled with lashings of a sumptuous garlic butter sauce. Best of all, it’s easier to make than you think.
These imitation crab cakes are the fastest way to create some appetizers. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean sacrificing taste.
A quick and easy crab cake has a home in the heart of every entertainer. They’re a staple appetizer, but they can be expensive and time-consuming. So, why not try this reinvented version?
Crab, pasta, fresh vegetables, and a creamy dressing: what could be better? This crab pasta salad celebrates the convenience and taste of this unique ingredient.
Enjoy this salad in ten minutes or less if you need a last-minute meal to serve. However, it’s best to leave this sitting in the fridge for a day to let the flavors sink in.
Kimchi – otherwise known as Korean fermented cabbage – is a tart and flavorful ingredient with a lot of potential. Combined with mellow imitation crab, it becomes a punchy slaw that’s great as a side.
Imitation crab is the perfect ingredient for creating this slaw. It shreds easily, adds a delightful flakiness, and pairs with the zingy kimchi to bring it back down to earth a little bit.
This crab and cabbage salad incorporates non-fermented cabbage on the other end of the spectrum. It’s crispier and fresher, inviting the feeling of sunshine on your face.
Little nuggets of sweetcorn peppered throughout the salad offer a respite from the creaminess. The result is a delicious side salad that works for meal prepping, weeknight meals, and more.
Looking for the perfect party snack or a game day champion? These scrumptious crab crescent bites are unique, delicious, and total crowd-pleasers.
The top and bottom of the bites come from packaged Crescent rolls. The center is a creamy mixture of crab meat, cheese, and aromatics. Combined, these bites are to-die-for.
Enchiladas are an iconic Mexican dish featuring meat-stuffed tortillas, a tomato-based sauce, and plenty of grilled cheese. This seafood version takes the classic and gives it a unique twist.
Each flour tortilla is filled with an imitation crab mixture, then topped with an indulgent Mornay Verde cream sauce. Baked with extra cheese on top, this is a luxurious dish you simply can’t miss.
Love the Mexican cuisine? Check out these authentic Mexican soup recipes!
Become a sushi master with this super simple, vibrant recipe that produces gem-like little morsels. Topped with fresh salmon, every bite of this rainbow roll is a refreshing jolt to the senses.
This is one of those dishes you can confidently say looks as good as it tastes. Whether you’re gearing up for a dinner party or want a picnic lunch, this effortless rainbow roll is the dish to choose.
Enjoy these dinner recipes.
Are you looking for something a little more sophisticated? These spicy crab rolls embrace a complex flavor profile that combines creamy mayo and spicy sriracha.
It’s all wrapped up in a high-class black and white roll with a splash of red right in the middle. This stunning roll is quick to assemble but tastes as good as it looks. So, it’s great for date night.
Many of the crab bisques out there use a whole host of complex ingredients… but not this one. Using just nine ingredients, you can have a restaurant-worthy bisque ready in an hour or less.
I love this recipe because you can prepare plenty of it in advance, then freeze it. On cold nights when you don’t feel like cooking, heat a bowl and enjoy the comforting flavor with zero effort.
This recipe is chock full of so many different regional influences that it’s difficult to count them all. From the American casserole to the Chinese crab Rangoon, there’s so much flavor at play here.
Imagine biting into a mouthful of flaky, tender crab meat wrapped in a crunchy outer shell. Then, imagine a creamy sauce and plenty of cheese to complete the image.
If that doesn’t sound like heaven, I don’t know what does!
Spring rolls are typically a light and delicate side dish made with fresh vegetables and sweet crab.
But this recipe turns that original intent on its head, using rich cheese to create a delicious deep-friend treat. Dipped in a sweet, spicy sauce, these crab cheese spring rolls are so more-ish.
Since you don’t have to worry about cooking the crab, they’re also super simple to make in a hurry! Whether you need last-minute party food or a quick picnic solution, this is where to go.
Next, we have a light and refreshing take on a Kani (imitation crab) salad. The cucumber and mango offer a lot of delightful crunches and a dose of sweetness to counteract the creamy dressing.
The result is a perfectly-balanced salad that would be welcome at your next potluck. It would also be at home as your next meal prep side dish or game day appetizer.
Get all the crunch of a crab Rangoon with all the richness of an egg roll with this ultimate fusion recipe. These delicious rolls are the perfect way to celebrate an ingredient like imitation crab.
While they may look like they belong in a restaurant, these egg rolls are super simple. So, the next time you’re craving takeout, take half an hour to make a better version at home instead!
The final dish gracing our list is one of the simplest but also one of the most flavorful. If you’re an unabashed crab-lover, then you need a crab dip recipe like this in your back pocket.
This unbelievably delicious crab dip requires only four ingredients to come together: onion, cream cheese, imitation crab, and broth. In just five short minutes, you can have this ready to eat.
Serve with crackers, bread sticks, or even as part of a game-day spread to entice your guests.
Have you ever used imitation crab before? Let me know in the comments below if any of these dishes have offered a window into the possibilities of imitation crab!
- 1. Air Fryer Crab Rangoon
- 2. California Rolls
- 3. Quinoa Sushi Salad
- 4. Shredded Crab Salad
- 5. Crab Rangoon Pizza
- 6. Cold Seafood Salad
- 7. Kani Salad
- 8. Sushi Casserole
- 9. Crab Meat Casserole
- 10. Tomato Crab Bisque
- 11. Seafood Pasta Salad
- 12. Vegan Crab Dip
- 13. Crab Stuffed Salmon
- 14. Crab Cakes
- 15. Crab Pasta Salad
- 16. Kimchi Slaw
- 17. Crab and Cabbage Salad
- 18. Crab Crescent Bites
- 19. Seafood Enchiladas
- 20. Rainbow Roll
- 21. Spicy Crab Roll
- 22. Crab Bisque
- 23. Cheesy Crab Rangoon Casserole
- 24. Crab Cheese Springrolls
- 25. Spicy Kani Salad with Mango
- 26. Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls
- 27. Crab Dip
- Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious recipes. Don't be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn't know you liked.
- Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
- Get cooking and make your next Imitation Crab Recipe!
Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!