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Creamy Crab Pasta Salad

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This creamy crab pasta salad goes together quickly, and we love the mixture of imitation crab, vegetables, and an easy homemade dressing. Pair fresh flavors with chunks of crab and you have a tasty side dish or a meal.

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Make this deli-style crab salad for picnics, parties, and cookouts throughout the year.  We think this is better than store-bought too.

Imitation Crab Pasta Salad

In this recipe, I use imitation crab. Here is why, it does not have an overpowering fishy flavor, it is safe to eat cold right out of the package, it is easy to cut up in large chunks, it is inexpensive and easy to find ar our local grocery stores year-round.

However, if you want to use real crab meat, make sure that it is cooked through first, then remove the shell and cut up in large chunks.

Creamy Crab Pasta Salad
Creamy Crab Pasta Salad

What is Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab is made of Pollock with is also called surimi. Pollock is a mild white fish. To make the imitation crab, it is flavored and minced to make a paste then pressed into shapes and colored. If you have ever had fish sticks you have most likely had this.

While imitation crab does not have the same nutritional value as real crab, it is a budget-friendly option. WebMD has a bit more information on the the use of imitation crab versus crab meat.

How Do You Make Creamy Crab Pasta Salad?

This crab salad is a delicious mixture of crab chunks, onion, sweet peas, cheese, and a creamy salad dressing. Once the simple salad dressing is made, it is poured over the ingredients and mixed.

Serve it immediately or refrigerate and serve the next day. This is one of those recipes that can be made ahead. It is a real time saver if you are entertaining.

In an airtight container, this will last in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Imitation Crab Salad Ingredients in Mixing Bowl
Imitation Crab Salad Ingredients in Mixing Bowl

Make this a Gluten Free Pasta Salad

You might be thinking how a pasta salad can be gluten free. There is a pasta that is made from lentils or brown rice, or corn flour and this is a perfect recipe for that.

If you are wondering which one holds up better and tastes better, Healthline has more information on The 6 Best Types of Gluten-Free Pasta. Therefore, if you are watching your gluten, go ahead and swap out some or all the pasta for gluten-free pasta.

Cold Crab Salad
Cold Crab Salad

Variations to This Crab Salad

Seafood. I use imitation crab cut up into large chunks. Another lovely seafood addition to this recipe is cooked, cooled, and peeled shrimp. It is a great option to have in place of or in addition to the imitation crab.

Pasta. There are so many pasta options that work well in this salad. I like bite-sized shapes. Go ahead and try and few. Gluten free pasta works well in this recipe too.

Salad Dressing. I use Mayonnaise in this recipe, if you prefer, you can use Miracle whip salad dressing. Some folks might prefer a combination of the two salad dressings. Low fat works well in this recipe.

Onions. If you prefer a mild onion flavor, place them in a colander and rinse them under cold water. This will lessen the pungency of the onion.

Fresh Herbs. While I did not add fresh herbs to this today, a great addition would be a bit of fresh dill.

Lentil and Crab Salad Piled High in a Serving Bowl
Lentil and Crab Salad Piled High in a Serving Bowl

Enjoy this healthy side dish anytime of the year. It is a perfect dish to bring to a party. So simple and it is a hit at every party.

Creamy Crab Pasta Salad
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Creamy Crab Pasta Salad

This creamy crab pasta salad goes together quickly, and we love the mixture of imitation crab, vegetables, and an easy homemade dressing. Pair fresh flavors with chunks of crab and you have a tasty side dish or a meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold salad, easy meals, holiday recipe, salad side dish, side dish, summer recipe
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 259kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Onion 1 medium onion diced
  • 13 ounces Sweet Peas frozen and thawed
  • 16 ounces Imitation Crab Diced in chunks
  • 2 Cups Dried Pasta Cooked Cooked, drained, and rinsed
  • 4 ounces Mild Cheddar cheese Shredded
  • 4 ounces Mild Brick cheese Diced

Salad Dressing

  • 1 1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Rinse well with cold water until pasta is cold.
  • In a large bowl add the crab, cooked pasta, sweet peas, diced onion, and diced cheese.
    Imitation Crab Salad Ingredients in Mixing Bowl

Salad Dressing

  • In another bowl make the salad dressing by combining the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, milk, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the salad dressing over the crab mixture and gently stir the ingredients together.
  • Serve it immediately or refrigerate and serve the next day.
    Cold Crab Salad

Video

Notes

Variations to This Crab Salad

Seafood. I use imitation crab cut up into large chunks. Another lovely seafood addition to this recipe is cooked, cooled, and peeled shrimp. It is a great option to have in place of or in addition to the imitation crab.
Pasta. There are so many pasta options that work well in this salad. I like bite-sized shapes. Go ahead and try and few. Gluten free pasta works well in this recipe too.
Salad Dressing. I use Mayonnaise in this recipe, if you prefer, you can use Miracle whip salad dressing. Some folks might prefer a combination of the two salad dressings. Low fat works well in this recipe.
Onions. If you prefer a mild onion flavor, place them in a colander and rinse them under cold water. This will lessen the pungency of the onion.
Fresh Herbs. While I did not add fresh herbs to this today, a great addition would be a bit of fresh dill.
Enjoy this healthy side dish anytime of the year. It is a perfect dish to bring to a party. So simple and it is a hit at every party.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 461IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg

Environmental Information

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