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How to Make Perfect Lobster Rolls


How to Make Perfect Lobster Rolls

These perfect lobster rolls live up to their name: filled with lobster and crunchy veggies and seasoned with a citrusy mayo, they’re just irresistible!

The Best Lobster Rolls Ever (yes, really!)

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Yes, I know, my post title may sound a little exuberant and subjective. But seriously, I’m still recovering from the deliciousness of the lobster rolls we had for dinner last night. They were so good I have to restrain myself from planning to make more tonight, and tomorrow, and for the rest of the week!

A beautifully cooked 2-lb lobster.

For our vacation this summer, E and I are planning a road trip through New England and along the coast. When I was growing up, the beaches of Maine and Massachusetts were classic summer destinations and (although I probably bugged my parents all through the drive over: “are we there yet?”) I truly loved the trips, playing with my brother, discovering new scenery, crossing over the border and hearing people speak English, all of a sudden. Although I’ve driven several times to Boston, it’s been years since I’ve taken such a road trip to the Atlantic coast. Lately I’ve been having this romantic dream of enjoying the most delicious of all the lobster rolls on earth, bought from a vendor by the ocean, eyes closed, the sounds of the waves rocking me to a blissful state… Alright I’m losing my head again, but that’s the power of a good lobster roll isn’t it?

E did the hard work and shelled the lobster so I could make delicious sandwiches with the delicate meat.

Although, to be honest, the lobster roll is a sandwich that’s had its share of bad press over the years. Too much mayo, poor quality mayo, too little lobster, not enough flavoring… I’m sure it’s very easy to have a bad lobster roll. The good thing about making it yourself is that you have total control and can make it exactly as you want it to be.

A couple of weeks ago, I bookmarked Melissa Clark’s article “Redeeming the Lobster Roll”, from the first Gilt Taste newsletter. The idea of making my own lobster rolls had been running through my head ever since. Lobster is E’s absolute favorite seafood and I figured the dish would help us count the days until we would enjoy it by the ocean in New England. Clark’s recipe appealed to me due to its simplicity, but also because of its bright, citrusy mayo that I was convinced would elevate the dish to a new standard. I mean, is there a better match than lobster and lemon?

Very appetizing lobster meat.

All I can say is that the dish delivered bags of flavor. The mayo is a snap to make, and the sandwich is lightning quick to assemble. The great thing is that you can elevate the dish by steaming your own lobsters, or make it on a week night by buying ready-to-eat lobster meat from your favorite fishmonger. The only bad thing about it, I’m afraid, is that it has set the bar very high and I don’t know if I’ll ever have a better lobster roll, even on the New England coast. I’ll have to go and find out!

The Best Lobster Rolls Ever (yes, really!)

Crazy-Good Lobster Rolls

Resources to Help You Properly Cook and Prepare Lobster for Lobster Rolls

The Best Lobster Rolls Ever (yes, really!)

Perfect Lobster Rolls

These perfect lobster rolls live up to their name: filled with lobster and crunchy veggies and seasoned with a citrusy mayo, they're just irresistible!
Prep Time:20 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Marie Asselin,


For the citrus mayonnaise

For the lobster rolls

  • 1 1½ to 2-lb (680 to 900 g) cooked lobster
  • 2 small tender inner celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped, leaves reserved for serving
  • 2 hot dog rolls, split
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 green onion, minced plus more for serving
  • Fleur de sel, or flaky sea salt, for serving
  • Piment d'Espelette for serving (optional)


For the citrus mayonnaise

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, and salt. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oils until completely incorporated. Whisk in the lemon and orange zests and cayenne. Season with more lemon juice and salt if needed.

Prepare the lobster roll filling

  • Remove the lobster meat from shells (see Resources below for instructions) and dice into bite-sized chunks. You should have between 1 and 1 1/2 cups (250 to 375 ml) of lobster meat. Add the chopped celery stalks to a bowl with the lobster and fold in 3 to 4 tablespoons mayo, depending upon how you like your lobster rolls (I prefer to add a small quantity and serve the rest of the mayo in a small bowl to let everyone add more if they so wish). Taste and season with more salt and lemon if needed. It should taste lemony.

Assemble the perfect lobster rolls

  • Preheat a grill pan (or the barbecue) to toast the hot dog rolls just until they are warm and lightly marked. You want them soft with just a little crunch.
  • Divide the lobster mixture among rolls. Top with scallions and celery leaves; drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with flaky salt and Espelette pepper if desired. Serve with more lemon wedges and the remaining seasonings (celery leaves, green onions, mayo) in small serving dishes.
  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use gluten-free hot dog rolls.
  • Recipe Credit: Adapted from Melissa Clark.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

The Best Lobster Rolls Ever (yes, really!)

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


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Recipe Rating

  1. I developed a taste for lobster rolls when I was in my 20s and my folks were living in Nova Scotia… to a landlubber Ontarian, it felt a little sacrilegious at first to take a perfectly good lobster and chop it up in bits with mayonnaise, but I quickly learned that when you get just the right balance between lobster and mayo and lemon, it’s positively divine. Man, do I miss those lobster rolls.
    The only thing that’s missing to make these absolutely authentic to me is the top-split bun, but I’ve never seen those anywhere outside of the East Coast. :)

  2. I am ot a seafood lover, but your rolls look beautiful! I just got back from RI 2 days ago. My fiance is from there, ad we went for a glorious weekend. I highly recommend a trip to the Narragansett Bay area. It was beautiful. I hope you have a great time :)

  3. Looks great…I’m drooling. I grew up in New England next door to a lobsterman, and my own father used to take me scalloping with him. Nothing like a good lobster roll, and I haven’t had one in a while. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I’m a New Englander, and lobster rolls are one of my favorite things. Yours are absolutely gorgeous! And, they are definitely making me homesick…

    • The good news is that they are not difficult to make at home! How about a nostalgic lunch making lobster rolls for you this weekend? :)

  5. I want to make lobster rolls…… I literally said this to my husband last week. They look fantastic.

  6. I’ve never had a lobster roll but it looks like it might be missing avocado. Assuming one enjoys avacodo, would that be an ok addition or would it detract from the lobster.

    • The version I made is traditional but since avocado and lobster go so well together, and that the mayo is very lemony, I would definitely give it a try, I’m sure it would be delicious!