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27 Easy Imitation Crab Recipes

These irrisistible imitation crab recipes are easy to make, flavorful and nutritious.

Imitation crab was invented way back in 1970s Japan. Since then, it has spread all around the world with 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 making it harder and more durable than an actual crab. It also makes it more cost-effective.

Explore how you can utilize this affordable crab alternative in your daily cooking!

Imitation crab recipes

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.

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.

1. Air Fryer Crab Rangoon

crab rangoon


These delightful crab rangoons are 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.

2. California Rolls

california rolls


A California roll made with fake crab meat is a great place to start for anyone who has never made sushi.

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!

3. Quinoa Sushi Salad

quinoa sushi salad


May I introduce the simpler low-carb version of a California Roll: 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 to create this perfect appetizer with crab flavor.

4. Shredded Crab Salad

shredded crab salad


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.

5. Crab Rangoon Pizza

crab rangoon pizza


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.

6. Cold Seafood Salad

cold seafood salad


This 5-minute seafood salad is the seafood lover’s answer to a traditional potato salad.

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 and allow the flavors to intermingle and deepen in a great way.

7. Kani Salad

kani salad


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.

8. Sushi Casserole

sushi casserole


A sushi casserole involves Sushi ingredients layered in a dish, topped with plenty of sesame seeds or seaweed.

Baked to a delightful crisp to create a delicious combination.

This recipe calls for a spicy California roll mayo sauce to bring everything together in this easy recipe.

9. Crab Meat Casserole

crab meat casserole


This Chinese crab casserole is a super easy weeknight meal that the whole family can enjoy.

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.

10. Tomato Crab Bisque

tomato crab bisque


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.

11. Seafood Pasta Salad

seafood pasta salad


This seafood pasta salad is a versatile dish that’s great for the warmer months.

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.

12. Vegan Crab Dip

crab dip


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. If you want to make this non-vegan, imitation crab is a super affordable way to create it for yourself.

13. Crab Stuffed Salmon

crabbed stuffed salmon


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.

14. Crab Cakes

crab cakes


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?

15. Crab Pasta Salad

crab pasta salad


Crab, pasta, fresh vegetables, and a creamy dressing: what could be better?

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.

16. Kimchi Slaw

kimchi slaw


Kimchi 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 shreds easily, adds a delightful flakiness, and pairs perfectly with the zingy kimchi to make this slaw.

17. Crab and Cabbage Salad

crab and cabbage salad


This crab and cabbage salad incorporates non-fermented cabbage on the other end of the spectrum.

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.

18. Crab Crescent Bites

crab crescent bites


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.

19. Seafood Enchiladas

seafood enchiladas


This seafood version of the classic Mexican enchilada 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!

20. Rainbow Roll

rainbow roll


Become a sushi master with this super simple, vibrant recipe that produces gem-like little morsels.

Whether you’re gearing up for a dinner party or want a picnic lunch, this effortless rainbow roll topped with fresh salmon is the dish to choose.

Enjoy these dinner recipes.

21. Spicy Crab Roll

spicy crab roll


These sophisticated, 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.

22. Crab Bisque

crab bisque


Using just nine ingredients, you can have a restaurant-worthy crab 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.

23. Cheesy Crab Rangoon Casserole

cheesy crab rangoon


From the American casserole to the Chinese crab Rangoon, there’s so much flavor at play here.

Flaky, tender crab meat wrapped in a crunchy outer shell, creamy sauce and plenty of cheese to complete the image.

If that doesn’t sound like heaven, I don’t know what does!

24. Crab Cheese Springrolls

crab cheese spring rolls


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.

Since you don’t have to worry about cooking the crab, they’re also super simple to make in a hurry!

25. Spicy Kani Salad with Mango

kani salad with mango


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.

26. Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

crab rangoon egg rolls


Get all the crunch of a crab Rangoon with all the richness of an egg roll with this ultimate fusion recipe.

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!

27. Crab Dip

crab dip


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!

imitation crab recipes

27 Easy Imitation Crab Recipes

Yield: 8-12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

There are different and fun ways to cook imitation crab. Here are some imitation crab recipes that are delicious and easy on the budget. 


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Get your shopping list going and make sure you've got all the ingredients.
  3. 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!

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Monday 10th of October 2022

I always have imitation crab in the freezer. What a great collection of recipes. I am going to give the sushi salad a try.

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