Crab Salad Lettuce Cups {Mayonnaise Free}

I had crab on the brain after crab feast last week at The Hungry Cat. Ah how I missed Maryland steamed crabs. Since this was Hungry Cat's last crab party of the season, I knew I had to take crustacean matters into my own hands. Luckily we have a decent selection of crab in the states, but I always make sure it's wild caught, well managed and from the U.S. Seafood Watch has a good site to check your fish selection to ensure it's sustainable and a good choice.

Crab Salad Lettuce Cups

I lived in Baltimore for over 10 year and even had the experience of working in a crab house, so I can never get enough of this multi-clawed creature, though I don't miss the copious amounts of Old Bay stuck under my fingernails from peeling shrimp all day.

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With good crab, you don't need to douse it with heavy mayonnaise or a goopy sauce. I used minimal seasoning to let the crab shine bright and served it on mini Romaine lettuce leaves for the same reason. The leaves also make for a lovely presentation for a luncheon or party.

crab salad lettuce cups

Crab Salad Lettuce Cups {Mayonnaise Free}

Serves 4


  • 8 ounces fresh lump crab meat, picked with shells removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 avocado, cored and cut
  • About 8 baby romaine leaves


  1. Place crab in bowl and season with Old Bay.
  2. In a medium bowl, place garlic, basil, Dijon and vinegar and whisk. Gradually add olive oil, stirring until combined.
  3. Combine crab with vinaigrette and mix well. Fold in the cucumber and avocado. 
  4. Lay out the lettuce leaves and scoop the mixture down the middle, garnishing with a shake of Old Bay.