This is definitely the best lobster roll recipe to make if you love Atlantic Canada or Maine lobster rolls with plenty of flavour. Lobster tail meat pairs with tasty ingredients like garlic, shallot, hot pepper, dill, lemon, and more, for a beautiful result. Serve the lobster filling in a long buttery bun or hot dog split-top bun. You’ll be able to enjoy the amazing flavour of the sea in every mouthful.
Nobody ever says no to an East coast style lobster roll and I never do! Knowing how to make lobster rolls means you can make this easy lobster roll recipe with ease whenever you are in the mood for seafood. This is a delicacy in the New England area of the US and also in the Atlantic Canadian provinces.
Ingredients for Homemade Lobster Rolls
As you’d expect, the most important ingredient in an East coast style lobster roll is the succulent lobster meat. It’s not always possible to get fresh lobster meat so feel free to sub the frozen kind or canned lobster meat.
Claw and knuckle meat is traditionally used for lobster rolls. If you can purchase a live lobster, steam and use all of the meat. You could also reserve the tail meat for a main course dinner another day and save the remaining meat for lobster rolls another day. If using a whole lobster tail, you will need about 1 regular sized lobster tail per roll to get enough cooked lobster meat for a good sized serving.
If you’re doing this make sure it’s completely thawed and dry it as much as you can on paper towels. Once you’ve mixed the thawed lobster with the other ingredients, it should taste just as delicious as fresh lobster meat would. Plus it’s a cheaper option for many lobster recipes such as lobster bisque.
In addition you need butter, shallot, garlic, chilli pepper, dill weed, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and hot dog buns. Chives, pickles, mayo and lemon zest are also perfect in this recipe.
How to Make a Lobster Roll
The first step in this gourmet sandwich recipe is to make the butter mixture. Mix the garlic, shallot, chilli pepper, dill, and lemon juice with the butter in a food processor. Divide half of this mixture between your lobster tails and broil them for several minutes. Flip them over in the melted butter and give them a few more minutes, then let the lobster cool.
Meanwhile, you can brush the remaining butter mixture over your pretzel hot dog bun, brioche hot dog bun or preferred kind of bun and toast under the broiler until golden brown.
Chop the lobster into chunks and mix with the mayo, pickles, chives, lemon zest, and dill weed, along with the butter from the pan. Spoon the lobster mixture into the buns, add some fresh chives (or green onions) on top and enjoy. Perhaps serve it with a side of chips or homemade fries on the side.
Classic Lobster Roll Variations
his classic east coast dish varies from place to place. For example, a Maine style lobster roll contains a simple mayo-based dressing along with the seafood. In a Maine lobster roll, the bun should be warm and toasted but the creamy filling should be cold.
Connecticut style lobster rolls boast a buttery sauce instead of mayonnaise. A Manhattan or Long Island style lobster roll is less common, but still worth knowing about. This version uses a mayonnaise mixture along with celery for some crunch. You will also hear about New England lobster rolls which are similar and served with New England style buns which are baked in a special pan so they have “whitewall” rather than browned sides.
You will see this classic lobster roll is a recipe with mayo and butter, for the best of both worlds! I think they are the best lobster rolls ever. Lobster rolls are also a special summer treat from the East Coast or Atlantic Canada and this is similar to what I ate there. I love to add diced pickles but feel free to omit them or swap them for thinly sliced celery if you prefer. Also you can leave out the chilli pepper if you want.
What to Serve with Lobster Rolls
There are a number of side dishes that pair really well with this lobster roll recipe. Lighter side dishes, so that the flavour of the lobster roll remains the main attraction are great choices. Some people like to add hot sauce to their roll, so have some available. Some side dish ideas are:
- Any coleslaw or kale-slaw recipe such as this Shaved Brussels Sprout Slaw
- Seasonal steamed vegetables such as corn on the cob
- A leafy green salad or a tomato salad like this Italian Burrata Caprese Salad
- Potato chips
- French fries, baked potatoes, potato salad, Canadian poutine or Polenta Fries
- Smoked baked beans
Lobster Roll FAQs
The most delicious lobster rolls can be made with whichever kind of bun you prefer. I’ve tried pretzel hot dog buns which were really good. Any hot dog style bun works because they are split on top, making them easy to spread out and toast. Try these keto hot dog buns to cut the carbs, or try the Sola brand ones which are also great. Use gluten free hot dog buns for a gluten free lobster roll.
Whether you want to use live lobsters, fresh or frozen lobster tails, claw meat, or a mixture, so long as you use good quality lobster meat, your rolls should come out delicious. Perhaps your experience of this classic dish has been from local food trucks or you’ve enjoyed traditional lobster rolls in the maritime provinces of Atlantic Canada or in New England. Making your own really isn’t hard and there’s something so special about lobster recipes.
This recipe is both local comfort food and an elegant dish, featuring chunks of fresh lobster in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, served on your favourite type of toasted roll.
Although a lobster roll is best served sooner rather than later, you can prepare the rolls ahead. If you are doing this, it’s best to prepare the lobster mixture and store in an airtight container for a few hours. Then just toast and fill the rolls shortly before serving, so the filling doesn’t make the bread soggy. I prefer to serve immediately for best results.
The Best Lobster Roll Recipe
Best Lobster Roll Recipe – East Coast Style
- 16 Ounces lobster tails 4 tails at 4 ounces each
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- ½ shallot
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 1 red chili pepper seeded
- 2 Tablespoon fresh dill chopped, divided
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch pepper
- 4 hotdog buns I used pretzel buns
- 1 Tablespoon chives chopped
- ¼ Cup pickles diced
- ⅓ Cup mayonnaise
- ½ Tablespoon lemon zest
- chives chopped, for garnish
- First, prepare the butter. Combine butter, garlic, shallot, pepper, dill, and lemon juice in a food processor and purée. Divide in half.
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- Cut lobster tails in half. Add a heaping spoonful of the butter atop each. Place cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Place under the broiler for 3 minutes. Flip the lobster over so the lobster meat is in the melted butter and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Remove and let cool while toasting the buns.
- Next, brush the buns with the other half of the butter. Place onto a baking sheet under the broiler for 1 minute.
- Remove the meat from the shell and chop into ½” pieces. add to a mixing bowl. Combine with mayonnaise, pickles, chives, lemon zest, and 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill. Pour in butter from the pan. Mix thoroughly.
- Add to the buns. Top with fresh chopped chives.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
This is hands down the best lobster roll recipe I’ve made. The rich, tasty dressing lets the lobster shine with big chunks of sweet meat in every bite. A lobster salad roll makes a great lunch if you’re out to impress. Head to the local waterfront or farmers market to find a good price on the seafood and get ready for an amazing flavour sensation. After you try them, you will also love lobster rolls as much as I do.
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.