Jul 17, 2018

New England Style Lobster Roll

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
In this New England-style lobster roll recipe, my dad keeps his lobster salad recipe simple, adding only some salt and pepper with a little cayenne to season the filling alongside a bit of celery and mayonnaise.

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To me lobster rolls are the epitome of summer. I think of hot summer days, the humidity hanging heavy in the air, and time spent lounging by the pool at my family’s house in New Jersey, only moving from my lounge chair to venture briefly between the pool-yard and the air-conditioned house. We all gather around the outside bar area and my dad makes plenty of lobster rolls to feed everyone with the leftovers from the lobster boil the day before.

Whenever we buy lobsters we make sure to buy enough that next-day lobster rolls are a guarantee. My dad has been making lobster rolls ever since I can remember and I favor his to any other I’ve tried.

Classic New England Lobster Roll

New England-Style vs. Connecticut-Style Lobster Roll

With mayonnaise a lobster roll is considered New England style, but when melted butter is subbed for the mayo, it is considered Connecticut style. Melted drawn butter creates a simple, creamy roll. For Connecticut style lobster rolls I like to keep the lobster in larger chunks.

In this New England-style recipe, my dad keeps his lobster salad recipe simple, adding only some salt and pepper with a little cayenne to season the filling. He uses just enough mayonnaise to make it creamy. It’s simple but it lets the sumptuous and delicate flavor of the lobster shine, piled high into a butter-toasted top-cut roll.

What’s in a New England lobster roll?

  • lobster meat
  • mayonnaise
  • celery
  • onion
  • lemon juice
new england style lobster roll recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Cooking with Lobsters

Lobsters are harvested in New England year round though they are primarily considered to be “in season” during the summer months starting in June. During the summer I usually buy live whole lobsters and cook them myself for dishes such as this. During the cooler winter months I frequently opt to have the fishmonger boil or steam them so that I can just pick them up. But if you are buying your lobsters whole, it takes about 4½ pounds of live lobsters to get 1 pound of meat.

If using fresh lobsters, buy them as close to the time you plan on cooking them as possible. They can be purchased a day beforehand and kept in the refrigerator, wrapped in damp paper towels or newspaper to ensure they remain alive until just before cooking.

Easier still, you can find lobster meat already cooked, broken down and removed from the shell at some specialty seafood markets.

new england style lobster roll recipe from cooking with cocktail rings overhead

How to Make New England-Style Lobster Rolls

  1. Mix the ingredients for the lobster salad. In a large mixing bowl combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  2. Chill. Chill the lobster salad in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to an hour.
  3. Toast buns in butter. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the rolls and toast until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside on a platter.
  4. Assemble and serve. Fill each roll with about ½ cup of the lobster salad. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
new england style lobster roll recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Some of my Favorite Lobster Rolls Recommendations (from Restaurants!)

Classic New England Lobster Roll

Print Pin
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat, chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely diced celery
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 to p sliced New England style rolls
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • Chill the lobster salad in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to an hour.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the rolls and toast until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside on a platter.
  • Fill each roll with about ½ cup of the lobster salad. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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