Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (2024)

by Michelle Dunster

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Lobster rolls are the perfect summer treat! Learn how to make this absolutely delicious dish with our easy-to-follow recipe. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to create these mouthwatering sandwiches using just a few ingredients. Whether you're hosting a cookout or treating yourself, get ready for an unforgettable taste experience!

Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (1)

*This post has been updated from an earlier version to include new photos and a few tweaks to the original recipe to make it even more scrumptious!*

As an East Coast Canadian originally from New Brunswick, there's no way I can have a blog and NOT post about seafood. I mean, that would be just insane right? lol

Practically anything and everything from the briny deeps of the sea is a favorite in this house, but the king that takes the crown is definitely fresh Atlantic lobster!

One of the best ways to enjoy those tasty morsels of succulent lobster meat is to serve it as the classic lobster roll. YUM YUM!

These amazing sandwiches areoverflowing with juicy chunks of lobster, some mayo, melted butter, a little lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, sliced green onions, and some salt and pepper. So simple but sooooo good!

If you leave some lobster claw meat intact, just tuck them in your sandwich like in the pictures – this is optional but awesome for presentation!

Serving these sandwiches with a big ol' hunk of claw meat is enough to impress just about anyone… OMG… drool…

Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (2)

My goodness, I wish I could have lobster every day! Don't you?

While lobster meat can cost a pretty penny depending on the season, if you look carefully in your grocery store flyers youmight be able to find some for a more reasonable cost. If you're lucky enough to live near the water, you might even want to check out the local waterfront or farmers market to find a good price.

Well, wherever you get your lobster from, you're going to LOVE it in this recipe!

Lobster rolls are very popular in the New England area of the US and also in the Atlantic Canadian provinces. Seriously, if you haven't had a lobster roll yet, please… PLEASE… do something special for yourself and make one!

You know deserve a nice treat like this once in a while! 🙂

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What are the two types of lobster rolls?
Are traditional lobster rolls made with butter or mayo?

The great debate of Atlantic Canadian/New England lobster rolls versus Connecticut style lobster rolls has been raging on for years! This regional showdown has been a constant source of contention among seafood lovers.

To me, the best lobster roll recipe is the Atlantic Canadian/New England style I grew up with. The main difference between the two is that traditional Atlantic Canadian (or Maine style) lobster rolls are more like “a lobster salad”. It's served cold and dressed with mayonnaise, chopped celery, chopped green onions and other ingredients.

Connecticut style lobster rolls are served warm and doused in melted butter only, no mayonnaise or other sauces.

Both styles of lobster rolls use buttered toasted hot dog buns.

The Atlantic/Maine style cold lobster and mayonnaise combination is usually what one thinks of when they think “traditional” lobster roll.

The recipe included in this post is for the traditional Atlantic Canadian/New England style lobster roll.

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Where Do Lobster Rolls Originate From?

The origins of the lobster roll are a bit mysterious, with some claiming it originated in Maine and others claiming it originated on Long Island. What we do know for certain is that the lobster roll made its first commercial appearance in Connecticut’s Milford Beach in 1929 and its popularity spread across Connecticut but not far beyond.

It wasn't until the early 1970's when lobster rolls inside of hot dog buns began being sold in Maine, New England, that they became more than locally popular, becoming a staple in the Maritime provinces of Atlantic Canada and all across North America, even being seasonally offered in McDonald's in some locations!

Be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredients & instructions!

What Ingredients are used to make Lobster Rolls

Chilled and roughly chopped lobster meat is the star of the show. A simple mayonnaise dressing including a little melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest flavor the lobster meat.

A finely chopped celery stalk provides crunch and texture. Green onions as well as a pinch of salt and pepper are used.

Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (5)

Be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredients & instructions!

How to make Lobster Rolls – Overview

You can find the full recipe details, including ingredient amounts and the full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but first, here's a quick overview of how to make homemade lobster rolls!

Start by combining the chopped cooked lobster meat with the mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, green onion, salt and pepper. Chill the lobster and mayonnaise mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

How To assemble Lobster Rolls:

Toast the buns and butter them if desired. Top cut hot dog buns are great toasted and buttered for lobster rolls! Spoon some of the lobster mixture filling into the buns. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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What is the best bun for lobster roll?

In my opinion, the best lobster rolls are made with top cut New England style buns that have been carefully buttered and toasted to a perfect golden brown. The combination of crispy warm bread and succulent lobster is simply amazing!

Whichever style of lobster roll you choose to make, the bun should be a soft, split top hot dog bun. These are the traditional American, split down the middle, split top hot dog buns. These are also often called New England style hot dog buns.

The outside of the bun is slathered with butter and toasted in order to crisp it up and to give some contrast between the soft lobster and the crispy, buttery bun.

While top cut hot dog buns are traditional and most used with lobster rolls, you can use any buns you like really. Just be sure to butter whatever buns you're using and toast them!

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What's the Best Lobster for Lobster Rolls?

While there are many different types of lobster available, the best type for a lobster roll is freshly cooked Atlantic Canadian lobster. The sweet and succulent flavor of this variety makes it perfect for adding to a lobster roll.

The best parts of the lobster to use are the tail meat, claw meat and knuckle meat.

You can use either fresh lobster or frozen lobster that's been thawed. Pre cooked lobster is great for saving time, and you may even be able to find the frozen meat without lobster shells in the grocery store to save even more time!

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How much lobster meat in a lobster roll?

Wondering how much lobster meat you should use in a delicious Lobster Roll? The answer is simple: as much as you like!

The beauty of Lobster Rolls is that they are totally customizable. You can make them with just a few bits of lobster, or pile it high with large chunks for a hearty meal.

Rather than buying whole lobsters, you can also buy frozen, cooked lobster tails and claws that can easily be thawed and added to the roll to beef up your roll easily.

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Be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredients & instructions!


The traditional lobster roll recipe is pretty simple, but if you'd like to change things up a bit, you could try adding a little hot sauce to the mayonnaise mixture if you like.

In the future, I'll post more variations here as I test things out!

Can I make Lobster Rolls ahead of time?

You can make the filling for lobster rolls ahead of time, but don't assemble the filling with the bun until it is ready to be served.

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How to Store Leftovers
How long are Lobster Rolls good for?

To ensure your leftovers taste fresh and delicious, the lobster roll filling should be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container. It should last up to three days if kept cold.

Lobster rolls should be assembled right before serving for best freshness, so please store the lobster roll filling in a container (separate from the buns) in the fridge if you're not serving them right away.

Can I freeze Lobster Rolls?

While technically, you can freeze lobster rolls, I wouldn't recommend freezing them assembled in their buns as it will affect the texture. If you plan on freezing them, it's best to freeze the prepared filling in a container, then assemble the rolls in buns before serving.

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What to Serve with Lobster Rolls

  • Freshly cooked potato wedges or French fries.
  • Potato chips
  • Dill pickles
  • Buttery corn on the cob
  • Steamed mussels or clams with a side of drawn butter for dipping
  • Clam Chowder
  • Coleslaw
  • Mac and Cheese
  • A fresh garden salad filled with crisp lettuce and crunchy veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes.
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Other Recipes You'll Enjoy

  • Seafood Casserole
  • Easy Homemade Crab Cakes (Maryland Style)
  • Shrimp and Bacon Pasta Carbonara
  • Crispy Beer Battered Fish (With or Without the Beer!)
  • Maple Glazed Salmon

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Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (13)

Lobster Rolls Recipe – An Atlantic Canadian Favorite!

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  • Author: Michelle Dunster – DishesAndDustBunnies.com
  • Total Time: 15-20 min
  • Yield: 35 Lobster Rolls – depending on the size of the buns used 1x
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  • 2 ½ cups cooked, chilled lobster meat, roughly chopped – claw, tail and knuckle meat are all great
  • ¼ cup real mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsps melted butter, cooled to room temperature
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely (cut the stalk lengthwise in 3, then chop into very small cubes)
  • 1 green onion, only use the green parts – slice very thinly, then chop very finely
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: Some iceburg lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 3 toasted sausage rolls or top cut hot dog buns


  1. In a mixing bowl, gently combine the chopped lobster meat with the mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, green onion, salt and pepper.
  2. Put the mixing bowl into the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes.

How To assemble Lobster Rolls:

  1. Toast the buns and butter them if desired. Top cut hot dog buns are great toasted and buttered for lobster rolls!
  2. Optional: Into each bun, place some lettuce leaves. I like to make a little boat shape with the leaves when I place them into the buns, so that the lobster meat filling stays inside better. If you don't line your bun with lettuce, that's ok! I enjoy them either way!
  3. On top of the lettuce or inside of the bun, spoon some of the lobster meat filling.
  4. Serve right away and enjoy!
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Atlantic Canadian
Lobster Rolls Recipe - An Atlantic Canadian Favorite! (2024)


Is lobster roll better with butter or mayo? ›

Dressing. Some people like warm lobster rolls dressed with butter. I occasionally pine for the magnificent examples served at Neptune Oyster Bar in Boston. But most of the time, cold lobster meat dressed with plain old Hellmann's mayo is the way to go, perhaps with a little extra squeeze of lemon.

Where did lobster rolls originate in Canada? ›

The History of the Lobster Roll

Lobster rolls are native to New England's six states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). They can also be traced to the Canadian Maritimes (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia).

What is the best bun for lobster rolls? ›

Try a brioche bun or a nice buttery croissant. Also be sure to visit your local bakery for fresh bread. Optional: Add fresh chives and lemon zest to your mayo, or fresh chopped celery for a little crunch.

What is the difference between a Maine lobster roll and a New England lobster roll? ›

What's the difference between a Maine lobster roll and a Connecticut lobster roll? A Maine lobster roll is served with the lobster meat chilled and dressed in mayo with some crunchy greens like chives, celery, and/or scallions. A Connecticut lobster roll is served warm, dunked in butter, on a toasted bun.

What is a true lobster roll? ›

A lobster roll is a dish native to New England and Atlantic Canada. It is made of lobster meat served on a grilled hot dog–style bun. The filling may also contain butter, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper, with variants made in some parts of New England replacing the butter with mayonnaise.

What is a Connecticut style lobster roll? ›

Unlike the classic New England lobster roll (made up of cold lobster salad in a bun), the CT version is comprised of a top-split hot-dog bun stuffed with warm lobster tossed with a little melted butter.

Why is Maine lobster better than Canadian? ›

Canadian lobsters are characterized as having thicker, harder shells, which diminish the sweetness and softness of lobster meat compared to that caught in Maine. This is often attributed to differences in water temperature. That Canadian lobsters live in colder waters than Maine lobsters is a given.

Why is lobster famous in Canada? ›

Over half the world's lobster comes from Canada.

The lobster fishery is carefully structured and managed with some of the world's most stringent guidelines for optimal sustainability and the highest quality lobster, year-round.

What is the lobster capital of Canada? ›

Barrington, Nova Scotia is the Lobster Capital of Canada.

The lobster fishing grounds off Barrington's shores are amongst the richest in the world and lobster has been the economic backbone of communities in this area since the 1800's.

Do you toast the inside or outside of a lobster roll? ›

Toast the Bun

You'll want to toast the buns before assembling the lobster rolls. You can spread butter or mayo on each bun and toast both sides in a toaster oven, under the broiler, on the grill or in a skillet. Just make sure not to over-toast the buns.

Why are lobster rolls so expensive now? ›

Morander pointed to many reasons for the price hikes (the current cost of a Lobster Landing roll is $26.50), but emphasized three: the quality of the meat, sourcing challenges, and the labor-intensive nature or roll-making.

What state is most famous for lobster rolls? ›

Lobster rolls in the U.S. are most commonly associated with the state of Maine, so the cold, tossed-in-mayo iterations are easiest to come by.

What part of lobster is best for lobster roll? ›

Opting for chopped tail meat will also work, but we'd recommend saving the tails for a more authentic experience. It's almost as if lobster knuckle and claw meat were made to be used in lobster rolls and the soft, succulent consistency makes 'em the best choice around.

What is a New York lobster roll? ›

The popular lunchtime or dinner item can be found all along the north and south shores of Long Island too, at fish markets and clam shacks where you can order a roll packed with lobster meat and seasoned with mayonnaise, fresh herbs, and served on a brioche or hot dog bun.

What is a Rhode Island style lobster roll? ›

Rhode Island's go-to recipe is fabulously simple: cold lobster lightly dressed with mayonnaise and served in a warm hot dog bun, usually with a little bit of lettuce and sometimes celery.

Why does lobster taste better with butter? ›

"Butter poaching helps to flavor and enrich the lobster, making it melt in your mouth." You'll have to keep your eye on the lobster during the cooking process because the technique of butter poaching requires time and temperature control according to Becker's guidance.

Why do people dip lobster in butter? ›

One of the best things about eating lobster, crab, or shrimp (and even scallops) is dipping the juicy, succulent meat into butter and savoring the delicious flavor combination. If you're indulging in a fresh seafood meal that includes those shellfish, clarified butter - also known as drawn butter - is a must.

What goes best with lobster rolls? ›

Lobster Side Dishes: The Perfect Pairing
  • Coleslaw.
  • Clam Chowder.
  • Corn on or off the cob.
  • Mac and cheese.
  • Cheesy biscuits.
  • Crusty loaf of bread (or similar)
  • Veggie Fries.
  • Champagne.
Apr 2, 2024

What is a lobster roll with mayo called? ›

It's as simple as this: If the meat is cold, it's a Maine lobster roll. In most cases, the meat is tossed with mayonnaise, tarragon and celery or scallions before it's piled into a bun.


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