Maine Lobster rolls are a New England specialty that make for the perfect lunch or dinner. They're also great as an appetizer before a seafood feast! One of my favorite ways to enjoy lobster is in a delicious, creamy lobster roll with buttery, toasted buns and plenty of fresh lemon juice. So forget about those overpriced restaurant versions and whip up your own at home instead. Trust me, it'll taste even better than you can imagine. To make authentic rolls, you need to make New England Hot Dog Buns as well!
I created this recipe so you can share with your family or friends lazy afternoons, at picnic tables, by the water, or in your backyard! These delicious Lobster Rolls will help you find new ways to celebrate the season's bounty all year long.
- Easy - This recipe is beginner-friendly, especially if you are buying pre-cooked and dressed (meat removed from the shell) lobster meat.
- Flavor - Lobster all the way! It is the star, and all of the other ingredients are here to highlight the lobster meat so that it doesn't compete with anything else.
- Ingredients - All you need are simple ingredients except for the lobster meat. Mayonnaise, celery, fresh lemon juice, salt, and hot dog buns. You can add some lemon zest, crushed black pepper, and paprika if you want.
Best lobster meat
New Englanders will agree that the best lobster meat for a lobster salad roll is one that's fresh, not frozen. If you live near the coast, you will find live lobsters at your local fishmonger. If you prefer not to cook lobster and remove the meat from the shell yourself, ask your fishmonger if he can cook and dress (remove the meat from the shell) it for you. You want the meatiest and tastiest Maine or Canadian lobsters. Bigger is always better for this type of seafood that hails from North America's coasts.
I usually buy a large, cooked lobster from my local fishmonger and remove the cooked lobster meat from the shell myself. One large whole lobster, about 1 ½ pounds, will give you enough meat for 2 well-filled lobster rolls. I encourage you to use all the meat from a lobster, but you can also use just lobster tails if preferred.
If you don't live near the coast or have access to fresh lobsters, don't worry. This recipe works just as nicely with frozen meats found at your grocery store. Still, it won’t be quite the same experience in terms of taste since freezing changes certain compounds within foods that affect flavor profiles significantly (and not necessarily positively).
If you are unable to find lobster, try using shrimp or langoustines instead. You may also use crayfish in addition if desired!
To make authentic Maine lobster rolls, you need to use New England-style hot dog buns that are split on top, have straight sides, and are lightly toasted on both sides. However, regular hot dog buns will be just as good.
What is a Maine Lobster Roll?
They are an all-time favorite treat for the locals of Maine. A classic Maine-style lobster roll is a sandwich that consists of big chunks of fresh lobster meat (like tail meat, knuckle meat, and claw meat), perhaps on top of some lettuce or other greens, served in a toasted New England style split-top bun.
The lobster filling can be mixed with mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, and other seasonings but typically contains only salt and sometimes freshly ground pepper. It's one of the most popular dishes in Maine, so much so that it has been voted "The State Sandwich" by Mainers themselves!
You will fall in love with these rolls at the very first bite. Eating a Maine-style lobster roll is an entirely different experience from that of eating one in Connecticut. A Connecticut lobster roll is served warm with butter, lemon, and salt.
What to serve it with?
Although they are delicious without any sides, they are often served with french fries, potato chips, or coleslaw.
More comfort food recipes to try
Recipe and Video
Maine Lobster Rolls (Cold Lobster Salad Rolls)
- 1 ½ - 1 ¾ lb cooked and dressed* lobster (1 large)
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ stalk celery
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 New England Hot Dog Rolls
- Chop the cooked lobster meat into ½-inch (1.3cm) pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Finely slice the celery and add to the bowl. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a pan over high heat and toast the split top buns on both sides until golden brown.
- Fill the toasted buns with the lobster salad, top with celery leaves, and serve with lemon wedges and your favorite side dishes.