Low Carb Keto Creamy Crab Salad is a chilled crab-based salad with a creamy, flavorful dressing.
This delicious crab salad can be dressed up for an elegant lunch, or served at a summer gathering. It’s a real crowd-pleaser!
Cold Seafood Salads
I grew up with cold seafood salad at every summer picnic, potluck, or BBQ party. Nestled in between the potato salad and macaroni salad, that creamy seafood salad always called to me. It was pretty basic, just seafood (usually just imitation crab, which is actually a fish called Alaskan Pollock), chopped celery and onion, and a creamy mayo-based dressing with a few seasonings. It was somehow addictive though!
These days I make a different version of that salad using lump crab meat in a creamy base that’s packed with flavor thanks to sautéed onion and garlic, Old Bay spice mix, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon, and a few fresh herbs.
Lump Crab Meat
Lump crat meat is the meat that comes from the body of the crab (instead of the legs or claws). It’s great for using in recipes for salads, casseroles, crab cakes, etc. We recommend picking through it to remove any shell fragments before using it in a recipe.
What is Imitation Crab, Can it Be Used Instead of Real Crab, and is it Keto?
Imitation crab meat (also called kanikama or surimi) is made from seafood (commonly a type of fish called Alaskan Pollock that is ground into a paste and then mixed with fillers, artificial flavoring, and food coloring.
In recipes that call for lump crab (such as salads or casseroles), imitation crab works well as a substitute. However, because imitation crab is highly processed and has additives, many people think of it as the “hot dog” of the seafood world and try to avoid it.
Imitation crab can contain monosodium glutamate, sugar, starch, and gluten, all things we try to avoid when eating keto. It’s for that reason that we avoid imitation crab meat and stick with real crab. (You can read more about imitation crab on Dr. Axe.)
Easy Lunch Ideas for Entertaining
We love making this Creamy Crab Salad for a quick and easy lunch when guests are coming over. Before going keto, we served it up like a Main Lobster Roll on a split bun, but now we keep it low-carb and serve it on a bed of greens, such as baby spinach. You can also serve this salad with some kind of keto “bread” or “cracker”.
Summer Party Food Menu Ideas
This salad is a crowd-pleaser, which makes it perfect for bringing to a summer party, potluck, or picnic. Just be careful to keep it chilled until right before serving!
Here are a few other perfect party food ideas for your next summer gathering:
- Keto Watermelon Mojitos
- Turnip Fauxtato Salad from Ketogasm
- Keto No-Bake Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse with Fresh Blueberry Sauce
- Easy Keto Egg Salad from Hey Keto Mama
- Keto Instant Pot Crack Chicken
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ small onion, finely diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 oz (120 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 ml) sour cream
- 4 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried dill or 1½ teaspoons fresh dill
- ¾ teaspoon Old Bay Spice Mix
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 oz (240 g) lump crab meat
- 2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
- Add the butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until softened, but not browned, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
- Add the onion mixture to a large bowl and stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, parsley, scallion, lemon juice, dill, Old Bay, and Worcestershire. Stir in the crab and celery.
- Serve chilled.