37+ Easy Imitation Crab Recipes for Seafood Fans

Imitation crab is a great budget-friendly substitute for real crab. It has a delicious, mild flavor that makes it a great addition to many dishes. Wondering how to cook with it? These recipes with imitation crab will help you create a delicious dish in no time.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I'll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Platings + Pairings.

Imitation crab is a great way to make delicious and healthy seafood dishes without the cost of traditional crab.

Whether you’re a beginner chef or a kitchen pro, these imitation crab recipes are sure to help you create delicious meals in no time.

The BEST Imitation Crab Meat Recipes

Overhead shot of kani salad in bowl topped with avocado and sesame seeds.
This light and refreshing Kani Salad, or crab stick salad, is a Japanese-style appetizer made with julienned cucumber, crab sticks, and a tangy mayonnaise-based dressing.
Kani Salad
Crab Rangoon Dip with crispy wonton chips is the perfect party, potluck, or gameday appetizer. Creamy, cheesy, and packed with crab, this hot crab dip tastes just like your favorite Chinese restaurant but is so much easier to make!
Get the RECIPE from Foxes Love Lemons
Alaska Sushi Roll is a delicious American spin on sushi that comes together in minutes! The roll contains creamy imitation crab tossed in Kewpie mayo, cucumber, and avocado rolled in rice and nori.
Get the RECIPE from The Heirloom Pantry
Air Fryer Crab Rangoon is an easy appetizer ready in less than 20 minutes. The wonton is crispy with creamy crab filling on the inside.
Get the RECIPE Simply Stacie
Delicious and Easy Crab Cakes that are simple to make, ready in no time, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Get the RECIPE from Jo Cooks
These fried imitation crab stick bites are dipped in a light tempura batter, quickly fried and seasoned with Old Bay!
Get the RECIPE from Aleka’s Get Together
Crab Salad is one of our go to dishes for picnics, parties, and pot lucks. It’s loaded with flavor, perfect for making ahead, and always a huge hit.
Get the RECIPE from Lemon Tree Dwelling
While lobster rolls are delicious, they can be cost prohibitive. This imitation crab roll are just as good and so much cheaper to make!
Get the RECIPE from Airports and Aprons
Crab Pasta Bake – imitation crab meat, butter, cream, pasta, Old Bay Seasoning & a few more easy ingredients, makes delicious casserole in no time!
Get the RECIPE from Fantabulosity
This imitation crab dip is a creamy and savory appetizer or snack that’s perfect for holiday parties or game day. It’s an easy dip recipe that can be prepped in 5 minutes, and with just a few simple ingredients.
Get the RECIPE from Gastronotherapy
This Hot Imitation Crab Dip is super easy, uses only a handful of ingredients, and is delicious. Serve it hot.
Get the RECIPE from Chew Out Loud
Your favorite Chinese takeout appetizer becomes a fun dinner with this Crab Rangoon Pizza. It’s irresistible drizzled with sweet chili sauce.
Get the RECIPE from Foxes Love Lemons
This Easy Sushi Bake is made with creamy crab filling, spicy mayo, and tangy sweet rice. You’ll love how easy and delicious it is.
Get the RECIPE from Simply Home Cooked
Crab stuffed salmon is a quick and easy to make salmon recipe. Baked salmon fillets stuffed with imitation crab meat and ricotta cheese in a delicious garlic butter sauce.
Get the RECIPE from Chef Jar
Learn to make crab rangoon crescent rolls in this easy recipe. A cream cheese and crab mixture is surrounded by a tender, flaky crust.
Get the RECIPE from 24 Bite
This Mock Crab Ceviche is easy and budget friendly with all fresh ingredients and imitation crab. You may want to have it all summer long.
Get the RECIPE From 24 Bite
How to make crab salad poke bowls with our very own homemade poke bowl sauce. A fun sushi bowl variation with no raw fish!
Get the RECIPE from My Therapist Cooks
Crab rangoon egg rolls are a delicious appetizer loaded with crab, green onions, cream cheese, a few spices, and fried to golden perfection.
Get the RECIPE from Britney Breaks Bread
Delicious, mouth-watering Japanese mango kani salad is sweet, salty, spicy and creamy! Kani are tender crab sticks, the star of this salad.
Get the RECIPE from Sabrina Curie
Perfectly cooked sushi rice is layers up with creamy crab salad, cucumbers, avocado, and seaweed. Just like your favorite roll, in a bowl.
Get the RECIPE from Delicious By Design
This kimchi crab slaw is a unique slaw recipe! We love it for its additional Asian ingredients that give it that extra crunch and tangy, umami flavor.
Get the RECIPE from In The Kitch
If you’re a fan of sushi, you’ll love this easy and delicious Salmon Sushi Bake recipe. All the flavors and textures of sushi in a convenient and satisfying casserole.
Get the RECIPE from Wholly Tasteful
This refreshing imitation crab salad is a blend of imitation crab meat, crunchy celery, and red onion in a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing.
Get the RECIPE from The Blond Cook
This imitation crab and cabbage salad is the easiest kani salad you will ever make. Loaded with thinly sliced cabbage, sweet corn, julienned carrots and crab meat, and topped with a simple mayonnaise dressing.
Get the RECIPE from Chef Jar
This imitation crab salad with sesame soy dressing is packed with imitation crab, glass noodles, lettuce, and fresh herbs!
Get the RECIPE from Toast to Home
"Jeon" means "pancake" in Korean, but there's no flour involved! These savory Crab Stick Omelettes are the perfect appetizer or side dish to make on the fly! You'll find yourself making them over and over again!
Get the RECIPE from Chef Julie Yoon
These baked imitation crab chimichangas are a tad bit healthier than a restaurant, while being just as rich and decadent!
Get the RECIPE from Alison’s Allspice
Vietnamese crab summer rolls, (also known as fresh spring rolls) are a healthy, often low-fat meal or snack I’m a huge fan of.
Get the RECIPE from Simmer & Sauce
Homemade California Sushi Rolls can be easy to make with step by step photo instructions featuring imitation crab, avocado, & cucumbers!
Get the RECIPE from The Schmidty Wife
This California Roll in a Bowl is a deconstructed version of your favorite sushi roll complete with imitation crab and avocado on a bed of sushi rice and topped with a spicy mayo sauce!
Get the RECIPE from To Simply Inspire
These Crustless Crab Quiche Bites are made with crab, Swiss cheese, and simple seasonings, resulting in great flavor and a creamy texture. Super easy to make and perfect as a snack or appetizer.
Get the RECIPE from Belly Full
Crab Soup is super easy, so don't be afraid to try it! In just 20 minutes you have have thick, creamy crab soup-the ultimate comfort food! 
Get the RECIPE from The Happier Homemaker
Imitation Crab Salad Recipe a flavorful combination of imitation crab meat sticks, pickles, corn and a light garlicky mayo-yogurt dressing. Perfect for sandwiches.
Get the RECIPE Cooking LSL
This Creamy Crab Salad is filled with imitation crab in a creamy and tangy sauce that’s perfect on a toasted roll or served by itself.
Get the RECIPE from I Wash You Dry
This creamy and satisfying salmon sushi bake is loaded with salmon and imitation crab. Perfect for a potluck or weeknight homemade sushi fix!
Get the RECIPE from Toast to Home
The Japanese crab salad recipe has artificial crab, crunchy cucumber, and bursts of umami flavor in the crab roe.
Get the RECIPE from A Dash of Soy
Imitation crab meat salad recipe is refreshingly delicious salad with a mix of crab imitation meat, cucumbers, corn, shredded cabbage and yogurt.
Get the RECIPE From Chef Jar

Imitation Crab FAQs

What is imitation crab made of?

Imitation crab, also known as surimi, is typically made from a paste of white fish, such as Alaskan pollock, blended with other ingredients like starch, flavorings, and additives. The resulting mixture is formed into crab-like sticks or flakes.

Does imitation crab taste like real crab?

While imitation crab does have a similar texture and appearance to real crab meat, the taste is not identical. The flavor is often described as milder and sweeter compared to real crab. It is manufactured to mimic the taste of crab meat but with its own distinct flavor.

Can imitation crab be eaten raw?

Imitation crab is typically pre-cooked during the manufacturing process, which makes it safe to eat without further cooking. It is often enjoyed straight out of the package, added to salads, or used in sushi rolls.

Is imitation crab suitable for people with seafood allergies?

Imitation crab is made from fish, so it may not be suitable for individuals with fish or seafood allergies. Additionally, some brands may use additives or flavorings that could trigger allergic reactions. It’s crucial to read the ingredient labels carefully and consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific allergies or dietary restrictions.

Can imitation crab be used as a substitute for real crab in recipes?

Yes, imitation crab can be used as a substitute for real crab in various recipes. It is commonly used in dishes like crab cakes, seafood salads, sushi rolls, and pasta dishes. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture will differ from real crab, so the end result may not be exactly the same.

How to Store Imitation Crab

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days after opening.

Can You Freeze It?

Yes. Imitation crab can be frozen to prolong its shelf life. It’s recommended to transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag, ensuring it is tightly sealed. When thawing, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. However, freezing and thawing may slightly affect the texture of the imitation crab.

How to Make Ahead and Store

Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a few days or even in the freezer. Simply check the individual recipes for full storing instructions and details on how to make ahead. 

More Ingredient Guides

Did you try any of these recipes for imitation crab meat?

If you loved this roundup of what to make with imitation crab, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on  InstagramTikTokPinterest and Facebook.

Overhead shot of imitation crab salad in bowl with chopsticks.

Imitation Crab Salad

These 37+ healthy imitation crab recipes will help you create a delicious dish in no time. From appetizers, salads, soups & more! Try this light and refreshing Kani Salad. A Japanese-style appetizer made with julienned cucumber, crab sticks, and a tangy mayonnaise-based dressing.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • ½ medium cucumber (julienned or thinly sliced)
  • 1 pound kani imitation crab sticks


  • ½ cup Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce

To Garnish:


  • Using a fork or your fingers, shred the crab into thin strings lengthwise.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  • Add the cucumber and crab and toss to combine.
  • Divide the mixture into bowls and top with avocado, sesame seeds, panko and green onion.
  • Enjoy!


Kani salad can be made up to 3 days ahead of serving. Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge and don’t add any toppings or garnishes until right before plating.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Large Bowl


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1077mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.