The Classic Lobster Roll

Mary Anne here. It has always astonished me that the scavengers of the sea command such ridiculous market prices. A century or so ago, these hard-shelled crawlers were actually considered peasant food, but you’d never know it if you’ve bought Lobster Rolls on the eastern tip of Long Island. Last year, fresh shelled lobster meat fetched the hefty price of a hundred smackeroos a pound. Lord knows what pirate’s ransom it garners this year!

This 4th of July, I find myself landlocked since I had the good fortune to rent out the family abode by the bay. This is what they call a luxury problem so I decided that even if we can’t celebrate Independence Day out east, I’d bring a taste of the salty sea to our apartment in the ‘burbs. Michael and I were at Stew Leonard’s in search of soft-shelled crabs, and while those critters were out of stock, gorgeous shelled lobster was available for $25 a pound. Without hesitation, we grabbed a container and began planning a Feast-worthy concoction. While that might seem like a lot of money, it breaks down to $4.18 per serving, which makes this splurge pretty palatable!

Several years ago I was catering a summer event, which had lobster rolls on the menu, and I somehow grabbed navel oranges instead of lemons. Out of that happy accident, this delicious recipe was born. Fresh tarragon can be substituted for dill, and you’ll find that the sweetness of the orange juice is complemented by the kick of the cayenne. I’ll never squeeze a lemon over lobster again since this OJ-spiked salad makes for an amazing crustacean combo!

We plan to round out our spread with homemade Bread & Butter Pickles, Coleslaw, Root Beer Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob and then topped off with Mariel’s Key Lime Pie Pops. But whatever swims on your plate this 4th of July, we wish you the happiest celebration filled with sparkling food and a sea of love.

For some more festive menu options, click here.

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The Classic Lobster Roll
Makes 8 rolls

Note: Serve this on sliders as a passed appetizer. And for our readers who can’t tolerate gluten, this lobster salad is also delicious served over avocado halves atop a bed of arugula.

1 lb. fresh, shelled lobster meat, coarsely chopped – $25.00
1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh dill – $1.29
1 cup celery, diced – $1.99
6 top-split hot dog buns – $3.29

For the dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise – stock
½ cup sour cream – $0.89
1 Teaspoon Old Bay seasoning – stock
¼ Teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper – stock
the zest of 1 large orange (about 1 Tablespoon) – $1.00
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice – included above
1 Tablespoon ketchup – stock
2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped dill – included above
1 Tablespoon honey – stock
¼ Teaspoon Kosher salt – stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $33.46
Total Per Serving: $4.18

1. In a large bowl, combine the lobster meat, celery, and dill. Set aside.

2. In a medium size-mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and fold into the lobster mixture. (Can be prepared ahead of time up to this point.)

3. Divide evenly between the top-split hot dog buns and serve immediately.


  1. P.J. says

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! I miss Lobster Rolls most of all, being out in Colorado, away from my New England roots! Love your new takes on “old favorites”. Keep the recipes coming!!

  2. says

    Lobster and cheap in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron. Being on the West coast Lobster doesn’t really come up unless you’re wanting to pretend you’re rich.
    Recently, however, a fish market had very reasonably priced “Live Maine Lobster” (reasonably for lobster that is). We wanted to jump at the chance but were scared we’d blow our splurge having never made (and Ed never had) lobster before.
    I hope the opportunity comes around again because this sounds delicious!

    • feastonthecheap says

      You’re right, it is an oxymoron, but once you’ve “dressed” the lobster meat and loaded it onto rolls, it really does go far. You can also bulk it up with some chopped cooked shrimp. We’re always finding jumbo shrimp on sale – in fact, it’s so reasonable here it’s become a part of my “well-stocked” freezer. I toss shrimp into dinner salads, pasta dishes, and whatever else needs a bit of protein! Happy Independence Day! M & M

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