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Nova Scotia Lobster Roll

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May is lobster season in parts of the province, and nothing beats the taste of a fresh Nova Scotia lobster roll! This recipe lets the lobster truly shine, with just a bit of mayo and celery added.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
A Nova Scotia lobster roll on a plate with plain potato chips.

I feel like I’m tempting fate by sharing my recipe for a Nova Scotia lobster roll. People who live here are very particular about how they like them. Where I would normally want at least a little Dijon mustard and lemon juice, my recipe research unanimously screamed, “No, don’t do it!!!”

So I dialed back my instinct and instead created a delicate balance of freshly caught lobster meat, mayonnaise, and diced celery. And you know what? My Dad is still raving about it. He said the lobster rolls I made to test this recipe are the best he’s ever had.

If you do want to experiment with other flavors, I have a list of variations below. Also, if you’re a true lobster lover, you may also like my recipes for Yarmouth-style creamed lobster or these lobster cakes with fresh basil (they’re so good for breakfast with fried eggs and homemade molasses baked beans).

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Ingredients For A Nova Scotia Lobster Roll

Ingredients to make a Nova Scotia lobster roll.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter: Used to toast the hotdog buns.
  • Diced Celery: Adds a subtle crunch and balances the richness of the lobster and mayonnaise.
  • Fresh Cooked Lobster Meat: The star of the dish! Use freshly cooked lobster if you can. However, you can also use frozen, thawed, and drained lobster meat.
  • Mayonnaise: Binds the lobster and celery together and adds creamy richness.
  • New England-style Hotdog Buns: Top-split buns are the traditional choice for holding the lobster mixture.

It’s important to note that when making substitutions in recipes, the texture and flavor may be slightly different. However, these substitutes are the best options for changing the original recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Butter: You can substitute with olive oil or margarine for a dairy-free option.
  • Diced Celery: Swap with diced cucumber or bell pepper for a different crunch and taste.
  • Mayonnaise: Replace with Greek yogurt or a vegan mayo for a lighter or plant-based option.
  • New England-style Hotdog Buns: If you can’t find New England-style hotdog buns, use brioche buns or regular hotdog buns, adjusting the toasting time as needed.

Recipe Variations

Try any of the following for a twist on this Nova Scotia lobster roll recipe:

  • Avocado Slices: Layer slices of ripe avocado in the bun.
  • Bacon: Stir crispy bacon bits into the lobster mix.
  • Bang Bang Sauce: I am not even joking; bang bang sauce is a mildly sweet, slightly spicy sauce that would be AMAZING in place of mayo.
  • Capers: Stir in a tablespoon of chopped capers for a briny, tangy flavor.
  • Chopped Fresh Herbs: Add finely chopped dill, parsley, or chives.
  • Dijon Mustard: I can 100% confirm Dijon is a terrific addition to a lobster roll. Stir it in to suit your taste.
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning: It’s so easy to make everything bagel seasoning at home. Stir some in with the mayo or sprinkle it on your lobster rolls as a finishing touch.
  • Fresh Jalapeño: Finely dice a fresh jalapeño and mix it to taste.
  • Lemon Juice and/or Zest: Stir in lemon juice and/or zest to taste.
  • Lettuce: Some people like to line their buns with lettuce before adding the lobster.
  • Old Bay Seasoning: Mix in a pinch or two of Old Bay seasoning for a bit of salty heat.
  • Pesto Mayo: Substitute the mayonnaise for this homemade pesto mayo,
  • Pickled Red Onions: Add a few slices of easy pickled onions for a tangy, slightly sweet crunch.
  • Shallot: Mixing in a tablespoon of finely minced shallot is so good.
  • Smoked Paprika: Sprinkle smoked paprika into the lobster mix to taste.
  • Wasabi: Mix a small amount of wasabi into the mayonnaise.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

How To Make A Nova Scotia Lobster Roll

Process shots 1 & 2 to make this recipe.

STEP 1: Chop the lobster into bite-sized chunks, leaving the claws intact. Place in a bowl with mayonnaise, diced celery, salt, and pepper.

STEP 2: Stir gently to combine (if using whole claws, turn over carefully to coat in mayonnaise).

Process shots 3 & 4 to make this recipe.

STEP 3: Butter both sides of two New England-style hot dog buns.

STEP 4: Place the buttered buns in a pre-heated skillet and toast until both sides are golden.

Process shots 5 & 6 to make this recipe.

STEP 5: Using the tines of a fork, gently press the insides of each bun to open wider.

STEP 6: Evenly fill the buns with the lobster mixture, reserving the claws to drape over the top. Serve with plain potato chips and a slice of lemon if desired.

Expert Tips

1. Use freshly caught lobster cooked in ocean water or heavily salted water if possible.
2. Use a light hand when mixing in the mayonnaise, especially with the claws, as they can break easily.
3. I love my lobster rolls topped with a drizzle of melted butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Recipe Notes

  • Top-split New England-style hotdog buns are ideal for a Nova Scotia lobster roll as they hold the filling well and toast up nicely. If unavailable, regular hotdog buns can be used.
  • Lobster rolls are best enjoyed fresh. Assemble them just before serving to prevent the buns from becoming soggy.

Storage

  • If you need to store leftover lobster rolls, keep the lobster mixture and the buns separate to maintain freshness and texture.
  • Store the lobster mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, toast the buns and fill them with the chilled lobster mixture.
  • Avoid freezing, as the lobster’s texture can become compromised.

Did you make this Nova Scotia lobster roll? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!

Printable Recipe Card

A Nova Scotia lobster roll on a plate with plain potato chips.

Nova Scotia Lobster Roll

Author: Kelly Neil
May is lobster season in parts of the province, and nothing beats the taste of a fresh Nova Scotia lobster roll! This recipe lets the lobster truly shine, with just a bit of mayo and celery added.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Family Meal Ideas
Cuisine Canadian / American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 508 kcal
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.

Ingredients
 
 

  • 8 ounces lobster meat, fresh, cooked
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, full fat
  • 1 tablespoon celery, finely diced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 New England-style hotdog buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions
 

  • Chop the lobster into bite-sized chunks, leaving any claws intact. Place the lobster in a bowl with the mayonnaise, celery, a pinch of salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. Stir gently to combine (if using whole claws, turn over gently to coat in mayonnaise). Taste, adjust the salt and pepper to suit your taste, and set aside.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Butter both sides of each bun with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the buttered buns in the pre-heated skillet. Flip and toast until both sides are golden.
  • Place the toasted buns on a plate. Use the tines of a fork to gently open the insides of the buns wider. Evenly fill the two buns with the lobster mixture, reserving the claws to drape over the top. Serve with plain potato chips and a slice of lemon if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Top-split New England-style hotdog buns are ideal for lobster rolls as they hold the filling well and toast up nicely. If unavailable, regular hotdog buns can be used.
  • Lobster rolls are best enjoyed fresh. Assemble them just before serving to prevent the buns from becoming soggy.

Storage

  • If you need to store leftover lobster rolls, keep the lobster mixture and the buns separate to maintain freshness and texture.
  • Store the lobster mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, toast the buns and fill them with the chilled lobster mixture.
  • Avoid freezing, as the lobster’s texture can become compromised.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 23gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 971mgPotassium: 298mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 392IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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