Lobster Salad with Old Bay Buttermilk Dressing & Toasted Brioche Croutons

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Lobster roll, but make it a salad: Lobster Salad with Toasted Brioche Croutons! Toss tender greens with creamy Old Bay buttermilk dressing, then layer on sweet & delicate lobster meat, crunchy-fresh veggies, & toasty brioche croutons for a complete lobster roll experience! Fun, playful, & so easy to make, this lobster roll salad is the perfect light summer meal & a beautiful centerpiece for any al fresco dinner. Ready in 25 minutes or less!

An overhead shot of a white oval platter of lobster salad atop a green cloth on a white textured surface. A small green bowl of dressing, two glasses of water and small dishes of chives and pepper sit alongside the platter.

Everything You Love About Lobster Rolls, Re-Imagined as a Stunning Summer Salad! 🦞🥗

Lobster rolls are (sadly) not a big part of our lives here in the Midwest. 😭 Even so, when summer rolls around my lobster cravings always strike (it just screams summertime, right?!). We created this lobster roll salad recipe as a fun & playful way to get a taste of a lobster roll, no matter where you live.

This recipe takes all of the elements of a classic Maine-style lobster roll, serving them as light & fresh salad with greens rather than in a bun. It has must-have lobster roll components like fresh lobster meat, a creamy dressing spiked with Old Bay seasoning, & brioche bread (served as toasty croutons!). Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, & avocado bring it all together as a beautiful lobster salad entrée.

If you’re looking for a dish with wow factor worthy of all of you summer entertaining needs, this lobster salad recipe is it. It’s so fun & playful & makes a stunning centerpiece for any dinner party. We’re obsessed with the look on people’s faces when it’s served – everyone who tries it LOVES it!

Lobster Salad Recipe Highlights

Close your eyes & you might just think you’re diving into your favorite lobster roll! This lobster salad recipe is…

A LOBSTER ROLL, RE-IMAGINED. This salad has the core elements of a classic lobster roll – delicate lobster meat in creamy Old Bay buttermilk dressing & buttery brioche bread – but they’re served with greens & crunchy veggies. Skip the bun & make it a hearty salad!

SIMPLE BUT FANCY. While it may seem super fancy, this lobster salad recipe is easy to make & comes together in 25 minutes of less. The result is a fun, beautiful, & elegant centerpiece for your summer table. A total stunner!

PERFECT FOR SUMMER. This is the time of year to hunt for delicate lobster meat & enjoy a true taste of summer. Feel free to use previously-cooked lobster or steam the lobster yourself! Perfect for warm evenings or al fresco dinner parties with friends.

Is it even summer if you don’t have a lobster roll?! 🦞 ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Lobster Roll Salad, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

A macro close-up side shot of a forkful of lobster salad resting on a white platter of salad.

A Brief History of Lobster Rolls

Here in Minnesota, our exposure to great lobster rolls is unfortunately minimal so whenever I visit family on the East Coast, where fresh lobster is abundant in the summer months, I make a point to enjoy as many lobster rolls as possible. That’s where you find the real lobster roll aficionados, after all – New England seafood shacks & roadside stands are the go-to spot for this special summer sandwich!

New England & Canadian fishermen have likely been eating fresh lobster meat between slices of bread for a long time (it makes a great seafaring snack!). However, lobster legend credits Perry’s restaurant in Milford, Connecticut with the creation of the lobster roll we know today. Back in the 1920’s the restaurant’s owner, Harry, served hot lobster meat in specialty split top buns for guests on the go. An icon was born!

As the lobster roll phenomenon spread throughout the Northeast, it adapted into a few different styles. Today, the most common lobster rolls are Connecticut-style (hot lobster dunked in butter, served on a toasted bun – like Perry’s) or Maine-style (served cold & dressed in mayo with crunchy greens). Each style has its band of loyalists.

This particular lobster salad recipe is closer to a Maine-style lobster roll because of the creamy mayo dressing & chilled lobster meat. It’s also worth noting that “lobster salad” typically refers to the seasoned lobster meat that’s nestled into a bun. Our recipe prepares the lobster meat but adds crunchy lettuce & veggies to make a hearty green salad. A fun nod to a New England classic!

Key Ingredients

Despite being a totally fancy-feeling dish, this recipe for lobster salad is pretty simple to make. Tender lobster meat is the star of the show, & a few other staple ingredients bring the flavors & textures that remind us of a summer lobster roll.

Lobster salad ingredients are arranged on a wooden cutting board and white surface: lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, chunks of brioche bread, chopped lobster, and dressing ingredients.

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

You need…

  • Lobster meat – A true treasure of summer! It’s hard to beat freshly caught lobster meat, but if you live inland there are still plenty of options to choose from. More tips in the Ingredient Spotlight, below!
  • Lettuce – Crisp, crunchy lettuce leaves create the base of the lobster salad. We like romaine lettuce, but feel free to use your favorite light, crunchy greens.
  • Veggies – Cooling cucumbers, a burst of juicy-sweet cherry tomatoes, & creamy avocado bulk up this lobster salad, making it a satisfying meal. We love their beautiful colors & crunchy, creamy combination of textures.
  • Old Bay seasoning – A must-have for lobster! This classic seafood seasoning has hints of celery salt, paprika, cayenne, & black pepper that give seafood an irresistibly complex kick of flavor. Old Bay plays double duty in this easy lobster salad recipe, seasoning both the creamy dressing & the crispy brioche croutons.
  • Creamy dressing – A nod to Maine-style lobster rolls, this lobster salad dressing is a simple mix of mayonnaise, buttermilk, & aromatic seasonings like lemon, garlic, & chives. It coats the tender lobster beautifully!
  • Brioche bread – Buttery hot dog buns are the foundation of any lobster roll! Instead of nestling the lobster meat into split-top brioche rolls, the brioche is torn into rustic pieces & toasted with butter & Old Bay seasoning to make croutons that are deliciously light & airy.
Ingredient Spotlight

Summer Lobster Prep & Shopping Tips 🦞

The lobster season typically begins in June & July, making the summer months prime for fresh, delicate lobster meat. Most lobster comes from New England coastal states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, & Maine, where it’s a seasonal delicacy.

If you live near the coasts, fresh lobster should be pretty easy to come by in the summer months. If you’re farther from the ocean, like us here in Minnesota, you can still typically find cooked lobster meat at most local seafood markets. High-quality frozen lobster is also a great option.

A few shopping & prep tips for your lobster meat, depending on what’s available to you…

  • Previously cooked fresh lobster – Visit your trusted local seafood market for the best quality lobster. Freshly cooked lobster meat should be tender yet firm with a red-pink hue. Buying your lobster meat pre-cooked means it’s ready to toss right into your lobster roll salad – easy!
  • Steaming lobster at home – Grabbing fresh lobster tails from your local fishmonger & cooking them yourself is also a great, easy option. For this lobster salad recipe, grab 1 ½ pounds of lobster tails, steam them until the lobster meat is cooked through, & remove the meat from the shells to prepare the salad. Learn more! ⇢ How to Steam Lobster Tails.
  • Frozen lobster – If you’re having a hard time finding fresh lobster, feel free to use frozen instead. (This is a trick I use often for other lobster recipes, like our popular Seafood Pot Pie.) My favorite brand is Luke’s Maine Lobster Meat, which is highly accessible & fantastic quality lobster meat from knuckles & claws. Tip! Thawing Frozen Lobster. ⇢ The fastest & safest way to thaw frozen seafood is to place it in a sealable bag & submerge it in cool water, which allows the seafood to slowly come up to room temperature.

How to Make Lobster Salad with Greens (3 Components, 25 Minutes)

Lobster recipes can feel a little fancy & intimidating – but trust us, you have nothing to worry about here! Once you have all your ingredients, this lobster salad recipe is crazy easy to make. There’s next-to-no cooking involved (just 5 minutes toasting the breadcrumbs) & the rest is simple prep & assembly.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

This lobster roll salad recipe consists of 3 key components, all of which are easy to prep:

  1. Lobster prep. This is only necessary if you’re defrosting frozen lobster or cooking your own. If so, I suggest steaming meaty lobster tails for this recipe – you’ll be shocked at how simple it is! Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance. If you’re using freshly cooked lobster meat, simply give it a rough chop & it’s ready to go!
  2. Toast the brioche croutons. Gently tear the brioche into rustic, bite-sized pieces & toast them in a pan with butter, salt, & Old Bay seasoning until they’re beautifully golden & crisp. Delicate brioche toasts very quickly, so keep a close eye on the pan!
  3. Prep the buttermilk lobster salad dressing. Whisk together buttermilk, mayo, lemon zest & juice, fresh chives, Old Bay seasoning, celery seed, garlic powder, & Tabasco (if you want a kick!) until it comes together as a smooth & creamy sauce.

Lobster Roll Salad Assembly. ⇢ With all the components ready, assembling a beautiful lobster salad is super simple. Toss the lettuce leaves in a light coating of buttermilk dressing, then transfer them to a large platter or bowl. Top the bed of lettuce with lobster meat, chopped veggies, & toasted brioche croutons, & the lobster salad is ready to go!

An overhead shot of a white oval platter of lobster salad atop a green cloth on a white textured surface.

Serving & Storage Suggestions

As much as we dream of eating a handheld lobster roll by the ocean, a stunning platter of lobster salad is the next best thing. It’s a beautiful centerpiece for al fresco dinner parties & backyard entertaining, but it’s also just a great easy meal to enjoy on a hot summer evening.

What to serve with lobster salad? ⇢ With plenty of lobster meat & veggies, this lobster roll salad is a satisfying meal all on its own! If you want to add a few extra sides, feel free. Enjoy it with grilled vegetables or grilled potato wedges & a cold glass of rosé or chardonnay. Light & fruity beers like Belgian-style, blonde, or pale ales can also pair nicely with lobster.

Prep & storage. ⇢ This lobster salad recipe is best enjoyed fresh immediately after it’s assembled. You can also store each of the components separately in the fridge & quickly whip up another lobster salad later on. The components will keep for a few days & assembly is super simple.

A close-up overhead shot of a white oval platter of lobster salad atop a green cloth on a white textured surface.

I can’t wait for you to try this Lobster Salad with Toasted Brioche Croutons! This play on a lobster roll satisfies all our summer cravings & simply makes us smile. We hope you & your guests get a kick out of it too! ♡

If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations!

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An overhead shot of a white oval platter of lobster salad atop a green cloth on a white textured surface. A small green bowl of dressing and two glasses of water sit alongside the platter.

Lobster Salad with Old Bay Buttermilk Dressing & Toasted Brioche Croutons

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Entree Salads & Bowls, Seafood Recipes
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Lobster roll, but make it a salad! There are few dishes more quintessentially summer than a delicious lobster roll. This Lobster Roll Salad takes all of the elements of a classic roll & reimagines them into light & hearty salad: delicate lobster meat is tossed in a creamy Old Bay buttermilk dressing & served on fresh greens with crunchy veggies & toasted brioche croutons.

As is the case with any lobster dish, using the best lobster available to you is super important for this recipe. For quickness & ease, I suggest buying cooked fresh lobster from your trusted seafood market, but you can also steam the lobster yourself or use frozen lobster meat. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more guidance!

With the lobster already cooked, the only things you need to prepare are an Old Bay buttermilk dressing (inspired by creamy Maine-style lobster rolls) & brioche croutons (which toast up in just 5 minutes). From there, simply layer it all on a serving platter & enjoy!

This lobster roll salad is a beautiful centerpiece for al fresco dinner parties & backyard entertaining, but it’s also just a great easy meal for any hot evening. It’s seriously fun, totally stunning, & everyone who tries it loves it – a new go-to summer recipe! ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounces cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-sized pieces (see Recipe Notes)
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces (approx. 6 cups)
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 avocado, diced or finely sliced
  • ½ English cucumber, finely diced (approx. 2 cups)
  • toasted brioche croutons, below
  • Old Bay buttermilk dressing, below
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the toasted brioche croutons:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 slices brioche bread, crusts removed & torn into fine, bite-sized pieces
  • kosher salt or Old Bay, to season

for the Old Bay buttermilk dressing:

  • ½ cup buttermilk (see Recipe Notes)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon, juiced (approx. 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional: dash Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Toast the brioche breadcrumbs: Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the brioche. Stir to combine well, coating all of the bread in butter. Lightly season with kosher salt or Old Bay seasoning as desired. Cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted & golden, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat & transfer to a bowl for serving.An overhead shot of a black skillet with browned brioche breadcrumbs and a spoon resting in it. The skillet sits atop a light green cloth atop a textured white surface.
  2. Prepare the Old Bay buttermilk dressing: Combine all listed ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine well. Taste and season with additional kosher salt or ground black pepper as desired. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the the refrigerator for up to 1 week.Overhead shot of old bay buttermilk dressing in a green stoneware bowl atop a white textured surface.
  3. Lobster salad assembly: Place the lettuce in a large bowl or on a serving platter. Drizzle some of the Old Bay dressing over top. Toss to coat well. Top with the lobster meat, cherry tomatoes, avocado, English cucumber, & toasted brioche. Serve immediately, with additional dressing as desired. Enjoy!An overhead shot of a white oval platter of lobster salad atop a green cloth on a white textured surface. A small green bowl of dressing and two glasses of water sit alongside the platter.

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • Lobster: As the star ingredient of lobster salad, it’s best to use the best quality lobster that is available to you. A few options:
      • Fresh lobster: Head to your trusted local seafood market, which often carry already-cooked fresh lobster during the summer months, or grab 1 ½ pounds of fresh lobster tails & cook them yourself. For this recipe, I suggest steaming the lobster. Simply fill a large pot fitted with a steaming rack with a few inches of water, bring it to a simmer, then add the lobster tails, cover, & steam until they’re bright red – about 1 minute per ounce. Transfer the cooked lobster tails into an ice bath in a medium bowl, shocking them to a chill, then remove the meat from the shells.
      • Frozen lobster: Here in Minnesota, fresh lobster can be hard to come by – I often use Luke’s Maine Lobster Meat, which is great, highly accessible frozen lobster.
    • Buttermilk substitutes: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute for the lobster salad dressing by adding ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice or vinegar to a scant ½ cup of low-fat milk. Stir to combine & let the mixture sit for a minute to thicken slightly.
  • Storage: This lobster salad is best enjoyed fresh, the day it’s prepared, though the buttermilk dressing, brioche croutons, & vegetables can be prepared 2-3 days in advance & stored separately in the refrigerator.

Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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