This broccoli crab salad consists of crunchy veggies, sweet crab, and a creamy dressing with a delicious kick of citrus. Great for potlucks!
When I’m craving something fresh but want a boost of fiber and something more filling than salad greens, this broccoli crab salad is first on my list. It’s packed with protein and has so many different textures and colors. Even the most seafood-adverse palate will swoon over the balance of sweet and salty flavors! Add it to your regular rotation of summer recipes or serve it in the dead of winter – you can’t go wrong!
The Best Kitchen Tool for Broccoli Crab Salad
If you’re a big fan of salads, especially ones that air more on the side of slaws, you need to invest in a veggie cutter. This handy tool makes dicing and slicing all your favorite produce a no-brainer. It also works wonders for consistency. My all-time favorite slice is this one from Mueller.
How to Prepare Broccoli Crab Salad
Before you get started, rinse all your veggies under cold water in a colander.
- Dice the Veggies: Next, use a sharp knife or veggie slicer to chop the fresh broccoli, cauliflower florets, and cucumber into similar-sized chunks. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
- Dice the Crab Meat: To keep the texture consistent, dice the crab meat into similar-sized pieces as the veggies. Pop the veggies and crab into a large bowl.
- Make the Salad Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, pressed garlic, and lemon juice together.
- Toss the Salad; Lastly, toss the dressing into the salad until well-combined. Serve immediately and enjoy!
A Couple of Tips for the Best Broccoli Crab Salad
This salad is so simple, you can hardly call it a recipe. That said, a few tips will help you nail it and make it your own.
- Swap in your favorite ingredients. Play around with whatever ingredients you’re craving most – this salad is super versatile! Feel free to add in diced red pepper or green pepper, red onion, snap peas, or any other crunchy veggie hanging out in your fridge. Or, if you’re not.a fan of crab, swap in shrimp.
- Make the dressing the night before. Whip up the mayonnaise-based dressing the night before and allow it to marinate in the fridge to develop its flavor. This will also help you cut down on day-of prep!
- Toss the salad right before serving. This salad is best served fresh and crunchy, so only toss in the dressing right before you plan to serve it.
Crab Pasta Salad Hack: Craving a more carby salad? Boil your favorite pasta to al dente, drain it, allow the noodles to cool, and toss them right in.
Different Ways to Serve Broccoli Crab Salad
While this salad is filling enough to be eaten as a meal all on it’s own, it also makes for the perfect side dish. Serve it anywhere you would pasta salads or potato salads. Pair it with a nice cast iron ribeye or alongside grilled chicken.
Best Practices for Storage
Once tossed, this salad is best served straight away. If you’re trying to prep ahead, dice all the veggies and whip up the dressing, but keep the two stored in their own separate airtight containers. When you’re ready, toss the salad right before you plan to serve it.
What exactly is imitation crab meat?
Imitation crab meat isn’t actually crab at all. It consists of pulverized fish that’s shaped and dyed to look like crab meat.
Is this salad gluten-free?
Yes, this broccoli crab salad is naturally gluten-free.
Can you swap the mayo-based dressing out for anything else?
While creamy dressing works best, you can make this salad with Italian dressing if you want to keep it a bit lighter.
How many calories are in a serving of this salad?
There’s about 300 calories in each serving of this salad.
More Crunchy Salads to Try
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad – Broccoli salad with nuts and bacon
- Broccoli Cucumber and Tomato Salad – Broccoli and greek yogurt salad
- Pickled Vegetables Salad (aka Giardiniera) – Pickled cauliflower, carrots, & broccoli
- Olivier Potato Salad – Slavic-style potato salad
- 1 medium cauliflower head
- 1 medium broccoli head
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes
- 1 lb cucumbers
- 1 lb crab meat
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp salt adjust to taste
- Dice all the vegetables into similar-sized, small cubes (if you have a vegetable dices, it will come in handy). Dice the tomatoes into quarters. Dice the crab meat into similar-sized pieces as the veggies.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice together.
- Add the dressing to the veggies and stir to combine. Season to taste. Serve fresh and crispy!
I love the dressing. It's super easy to make & it takes from the fishy taste (if any). I don't do cauliflower but I add shredded cheese & bacon bits to mine!
Hi Megan, I love how you were able to make the recipe your own! The added cheese and bacon bits sound absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy!
Are the broccoli and cauliflower used raw or to be steamed or boiled first?
Hi Suhair - We use them straight from raw! It provides the BEST texture. Hope this helps!
This is such an easy salad to whip together. It has great textures. We like it served with our grilled chicken.
Yummy! Glad you enjoyed this one, Erin!
The crab brings a delicious flavor & makes it so hearty! I'll be making this all summer long!
This is a great dish for summer potlucks and hosting!
This was fantastic!! We loved the flavor and it was so easy to make!
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the feedback, Eden!
Is the 291 per serving or for the whole salad?
No, it is per serving size, which this recipe makes 8 of.
Yes it is an interesting combination but very good;). I use the canned kidney beans.
can I use Best Food mayo ? or it doesn't matter ..?
I used organic mayo form Trader Joes. Best Foods mayo is very delicious too!
We make another salad with cauliflower. We add radishes, tomatoes, onions and mix with mayo, sour cream and ranch.
Hmmm, yumm! I will be making new list of crab salads to try 😉 Thanks for sharing!
I make mine with crab meat, corn, eggs, kidney beans, green onions and mixed with mayo and garlic. It's also really good. I will have to try yours.
Kidney beans and crab, that's an interesting combination. I would love to try this one. Appreciate you taking time to share the recipe 😉
I usually make salad with crab meat, eggs, cucumber, and green onions mixed with mayo and dill. I just made your salad for dinner and it is very tasteful. Thank you!
Tatyana, thanks for sharing your salad recipe. With eggs would be a great one to make after a work out 😉 Glad you loved the salad!
Wow! Thank you for another great way to use crabmeat!!!
No problem 🙂 How do you like to use crab meat?