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Best Lobster Roll Recipe

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5 from 11 votes

A warm buttered lobster roll is the best lobster roll out there. This lobster roll recipe is simply fabulous, requiring only 4 ingredients!

Lobster rolls come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors but the best ones of all include fresh lobster meat, tossed in warm butter, and loaded in a buttered and toasted New England bun. It’s a lot of butter, a lot of lobster and not a lot of frills, just the way a lobster roll should be!

Growing up in Connecticut, I am 1,000% biased. Lobster rolls are almost always warm and buttered. Cold? Mayo? No thank you.

For all my fellow lobster lovers (and butter lovers) come with me and experience the best lobster roll ever! Oh and while we are still on the subject of lobster, why don’t you make a Lobster Roll Puff Pastry and then Lobster Mac and Cheese? You’re welcome.

Ingredients Needed

  • New England hot dog buns – also called split-top hot dog buns, these rolls have crustless sides that are great for buttering and toasting. If you can’t find them, you can use regular hot dog buns or even hamburger buns flipped inside-out for easier/better toasting.
  • Live lobsters, or fresh lobster meat – whole live lobster are preferred but fresh lobster meat works as well! If you’re buying whole lobsters, you’ll want 4-5 lobsters that are 1 ½ pounds each. 4 soft-shell lobsters will yield just shy of 1 pound of meat whereas 5 will yield a bit more than a pound.
  • Salted butter – you’ll want a stick of buttah for lobster rolls!
  • Fresh chives – chives add a pop of green and freshness.
Lobster roll recipe ingredients

Best Lobster for Lobster Rolls

The best lobster for lobster rolls typically comes down to availability, but many people prefer using cold-water lobsters, particularly Maine lobster, for their sweet and tender meat. Maine lobsters are known for their quality and flavor, making them a popular choice for lobster rolls.

When selecting lobsters for lobster rolls, look for live, fresh ones. If you can’t find live lobsters, look for fresh lobster meat from a local fish market that is firm and fresh smelling. Ultimately, the key is to use high-quality lobster with tender, fresh meat to make the best lobster rolls!

How to Make a Lobster Roll

Learn how to make a lobster roll. Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Boil.

    Add 1-2 inches of water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Place the lobsters in the pot, cover it, and let them cook for 20 minutes at a gentle boil until they turn bright red.

  2. Crack.

    Remove the lobsters from the pot and let them cool enough to handle them without getting burned. Use lobster crackers to extract meat from tails, claws, and knuckles. Remove any green tomalley from the tail meat.

  3. Chop.

    Chop the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.

  4. Using precooked lobster meat instead?

    Chop meat into bite-sized pieces and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  5. Toast.

    Butter both sides of each bun generously with ¼ stick butter. Toast both sides of the buns in a heated pan for 1-4 minutes until they turn golden.

  6. Toss.

    Melt the remaining three-quarters of the stick of butter and mix with chopped chives. Toss the lobster meat in the warm butter and chive mixture.

  7. Assemble.

    Using tongs, evenly stuffing the warm, buttered lobster meat into each roll.

  8. Serve.

    Serve the lobster rolls right away!Serve lobster roll right away, warm

Connecticut vs. Maine Lobster Roll

A Connecticut Lobster Roll is characterized by warm lobster meat coated in melted butter, served in a toasted bun, highlighting the lobster’s natural sweetness with a rich, buttery flavor. It’s a minimalist approach that lets the lobster shine without many additional ingredients. Originating from Connecticut’s coastal region, it’s a simple yet indulgent dish.

Maine Lobster Roll, on the other hand, features chilled lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise and sometimes celery, herbs, and lemon juice.

This recipe focuses on the warm, buttered lobster roll (the better one, HA!).

Make Ahead

  • To store: store cooked lobster meat in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered once it’s cooled completely. I don’t recommend storing assembled lobster rolls; they’ll get soggy!
  • To make ahead: You can cook the lobsters ahead and remove the meat. I recommend buttering the lobster last minute. I also recommend buttering and toasting rolls right before serving.
  • To reheat: instead of reheating lobster meat which can lead to toughness and fishiness, I recommend taking lobster out of the fridge about 30 minutes in advance of serving, to bring to room temperature. Then toss in warm, melted butter to warm further. Toast buns last minute; they don’t reheat well.
  • To freeze: I do not recommend freezing lobster meat. It won’t thaw and reheat well.

Lobster Roll Serving Suggestions

A lobster roll is perfect on its own, but if you’re looking for some fun, complementary side dishes, here are a few options:

  • French fries or potato chips: the crispiness of fries or chips provides a nice contrast to the soft and buttery lobster roll.
  • Coleslaw: a light and refreshing coleslaw can balance the richness of the lobster roll.
  • Corn on the cob: try Grilled Corn on the Cob for a summery option!
  • Salad: A simple mixed green salad or fun Italian Salad offers a refreshing contrast to the indulgence of the lobster roll.
  • Simple Broiled Asparagus: a simple veggie is sometimes all you need!
  • Chowder or bisque: a cup of creamy Corn Chowder or lobster bisque is a comforting, classic side.
  • Potato Salad: German Potato Salad is not too heavy, making it the perfect side dish for lobster rolls.
  • Assorted raw veggies: they add nice contrast and a pop of freshness to the meal.
  • Homemade Pickles: the tanginess of pickles adds palate-cleansing contrast to the buttery lobster roll.

Recipe Variations

Here are common additions and variations on lobster rolls to change things up!

  • The Maine Lobster Roll (mayonnaise + celery): mixing a small amount of mayo with the lobster meat instead of butter can add creaminess and help bind the ingredients together. Finely chopped celery adds crunch and a refreshing contrast. Serve chilled instead of warm.
  • Red onion: diced red onion can provide a mild sharpness and a burst of color to your lobster rolls.
  • Fresh herbs: chopped herbs like tarragon, dill, or parsley can elevate the flavor of the lobster.
  • Lettuce or greens: adding a layer of fresh lettuce or greens in the roll can introduce a crisp texture and a hint of freshness.
  • Lemon zest or juice: grated lemon zest or juice can bring a bright and citrusy note that complements the sweetness of the lobster.

Expert Tips

  • Fresh lobster meat, cracked yourself, can’t be beaten! I recommend buying 4 or 5 lobsters that are 1 ½ pounds each. If they are soft shell lobsters, 4 will yield a little less than a pound of meat, whereas 5 will yield a little more than a pound of meat. If they are hard shell lobsters (less common), I recommend 4 lobsters for 4 rolls.
  • If you decide to purchase pre-cooked lobster meat instead of live lobsters, 1 pound of meat will yield 4 delicious lobster rolls. Keep in mind the fresher the meat, the better the rolls! Also, I recommend bringing the meat to room temp for about 30 minutes so you don’t have to reheat lobster which can make it chewy/fishy.
  • It’s best to enjoy the lobster rolls right away.

More Seafood Recipes You’ll Love!

Best Lobster Roll Recipe

A warm buttered lobster roll is the best lobster roll out there. This lobster roll recipe is simply fabulous, requiring only 4 ingredients!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, New England
Keyword: any season, fall, summer
Servings: 4 lobster rolls
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Lobster cracker

Ingredients

  • 4 New England-style hot dog buns
  • 4-5 live lobsters (1 ½ pounds each) or 1 pound fresh lobster meat
  • 1 stick (½ cup) salted butter softened
  • Handful of fresh chives snipped

Instructions

To Cook Lobsters

  • Add 1-2 inches of water into an extra-large pot. Bring water to a boil. Add lobsters to the pot and cook (covered) for 20 minutes, keeping the water at a gentle boil. Lobsters should be bright red at 20 minutes.
  • Remove lobsters from pot and let cool long enough to crack them without burning your hands. Use lobster crackers to remove lobster meat from the tails, claws, and knuckles (see video below for step-by-step instructions!).
  • Rinse any tomalley (green stuff) from the tail meat with warm water. Chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl.

To Make Rolls

  • Note: if you bought pre-cooked lobster meat, skip the above steps, and chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Use a quarter stick of butter to generously butter both sides of each bun.
  • Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the rolls so one side toasts for 1-4 minutes until golden. Flip rolls to the other side and toast for another 1-4 minutes until golden. Remove rolls from heat.
  • Melt the rest of the butter (three-quarters of stick). Toss lobster meat in the warm butter and chives.
  • Use tongs to stuff warm buttered lobster meat evenly into each roll. Serve right away with lemon wedges if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Fresh lobster meat, cracked yourself, can’t be beaten! I recommend buying 4 or 5 lobsters that are 1 ½ pounds each. If they are soft shell lobsters, 4 will yield a little less than a pound of meat, whereas 5 will yield a little more than a pound of meat. Purchase 4 or 5 depending on how stuffed you like your rolls. If they are hard shell lobsters (less common), I recommend 4 lobsters for 4 rolls.
  • If you decide to purchase pre-cooked lobster meat instead of live lobsters, 1 pound of meat will yield 4 delicious lobster rolls. Keep in mind the fresher the meat, the better the rolls! Also, I recommend bringing the meat to room temp for about 30 minutes so you don’t have to reheat lobster which can make it chewy/fishy.
  • It’s best to enjoy the lobster rolls right away.
  • New England hot dog buns are the BEST! They are also known as split-top buns. These have flat, no crust sides that are great for buttering and toasting. If you can’t find them, you can use regular hot dog buns or even hamburger buns flipped inside-out for easy buttering/toasting surface.

Nutrition

Serving: 1lobster roll | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 711IU | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 2mg
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