This is the best Imitation Buttermilk Crab Pasta Salad recipe! Imitation crab meat is tossed with your favorite noodles and a creamy seasoned sauce for a delicious, cool summer pasta salad. This is a perfect make-ahead meal for a Sunday afternoon lunch or late supper when we have evening activities!
This is normally a dish I reserve for summertime, but if the truth be told, we eat it year-round at my house. It's so easy to put together that my kids make it most of the time these days.
We love to make it Saturday night for Sunday lunch after church. Or if we have a busy day, I'll make it in the morning and let it chill until suppertime. For our big family, we always double it and leftovers (if there are any) are fought over on day two.
If you don't know this already, I'm a huge pasta lover. I love hot dishes, cold dishes, salads, side dishes, main dishes... you get the idea.
Favorite Pasta Dishes:
- Bacon & Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad
- Spicy Turkey Sausage Pasta
- Baked Penne : My Husband's Favorite Pasta Dish
And this recipe, it's one of my favorites ! It's so creamy and delicious!
Easy Imitation Crab Pasta Salad Recipe
A few notes about the recipe...
- First, this is a big batch. Be sure to grab a very large bowl to mix it up! It's usually enough for my family of 8 to have lunch (we usually add fruit or bread or both as side dishes).
- Second, I don't eat raw onions. Ever. And I mean never EVER. Green or otherwise. Therefore, I never use them in this recipe. But if you like them,
go ahead and ruin your pasta salad...I mean,add them to your pasta salad and enjoy. I was just kidding. About ruining it. Maybe. The bottom line is, the original recipe given to me did include them if that's something you like.
- Lastly, if you don't have buttermilk on hand, use this substitution. I've done it many, many times and nobody ever comments about the pasta salad tasting different.
What's the best pasta for imitation crab pasta salad?
This totally a matter of opinion, but we've made this recipe with penne, rotini, bowtie (farfalle), shells, pipette, cellentani... and more! Our favorite is rotini!! Why? Because my tractor-loving child calls it "plows" instead of rotini and he requests it so often that it's become a family favorite.
That aside, I really feel like bowtie or rotini work best in this recipe.
What goes with crab pasta salad?
Because we most often eat this cold pasta salad in the summertime, we love to eat it with other fresh and cool/cold foods. Sometimes we'll have a green salad. Or freshly sliced cucumbers and/or tomatoes. Another option is a side of fresh fruit.
You might also add fresh sliced bread or crackers. My favorite bread is a croissant. I've also served it with saltine crackers but that's not something most of my family enjoys.
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This Imitation Crab Pasta Salad Recipe is cool, creamy, and delicious. It's easy to make-ahead and filled with chunks of yummy crab meat.
- 1 lb. dry pasta (I usually use bowtie or rotini)
- 12 - 16 oz. imitation crab, torn into small pieces
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional, good with or without)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 10 to 12 minutes (or according to package directions).
- Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.
- In a very large bowl, combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, buttermilk, onions*, garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings.
- Whisk together until well combined.
- Add the pasta and toss until well coated. It can be eaten immediately but it's really better if you cover and chill it for a few hours or overnight.