Crab Louie Salad

Shrimp and Crab Louie Salad with creamy and spicy classic Crab Louie Dressing (like Thousand Island Dressing). If you are salad fans like myself, this is a Salad-For-Dinner worth looking forward to!

Crab Louie Dressing is also a great dipping sauce. Make once use many ways!
Crab Louie Salad
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

A restaurant style Crab Louie Salad that you can make at home in just 30 minutes. Actually, even better with lump crab meat, succulent sautéed salt-pepper shrimp and drizzle of real delicious Crab Louie dressing. Crab Louie Salad is a salad for dinner which does not disappoint. If you are salad fanatic like myself, this is a Dinner Salad worth looking forward to. 

Louie Salad Dressing is the heart of this salad and a party of flavors in the mouth. I specially make extra dressing to use for simple romaine wedge salad or to serve as Dipping Sauce. So so good!

Crab Louie

Crab Louie is a seafood, primarily crab, salad with array of fresh classic salad ingredients such as romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, and eggs. First time I tried Crab Louie in SF Bay Area. I specially enjoyed how flavor of sweet and tangy Louie Dressing pairs with delicate crab meat and fresh vegetables. Delicious! 

Crab Louie is often made with Dungeness  or King Crab meat. But for convenience, I use jumbo lump crab meat. You can in-fact use any cooked crab meat you can find easily. Also, can add more shellfish seafood. Likewise, I add salt and pepper shrimp with lump crab meat to give Crab Louie more seafood flavor and to make it a more substantial dinner salad.

Tip: You can also serve it as fancy first-course salad. In that case, arrange ingredients in layers so that guests can pick and choose what they like more. A bowl of teared romaine hearts and Crab Louie dressing on the side will be perfect to make-your-own-salad salad bar.

Shrimp and Lump Crab Meat Louie Recipe

Ingredients for Crab Louie Salad 

Like I mentioned, my take on Crab Louie Salad has mix of fresh cooked shrimp and lump crab meat. Best part is, shrimp is delicate just like crab meat since both are shell fishes. Shrimp cooks quickly and makes Crab Louie Salad substantial and loaded with seafood flavor.

Shrimp is an optional but I highly recommend it. If using, cook shrimp simply with salt and pepper until it curls. Let it cool down while you prepare rest of the Crab Louie Salad Ingredients.

Here is what you need to make Crab Louie Salad:

  1. Crab Meat
  2. Shrimp
  3. Romaine Hearts
  4. Tomatoes
  5. Cucumber
  6. Avocado is not classic ingredient but it's creamy texture goes great with dressing. I highly recommend it. 

Crab Louie Dressing

Crab Louie dressing tastes very close to Thousand Island Dressing. It is a classic creamy mayonnaise based dressing with ketchup, chili sauce, garlic, lemon juice, horseradish as main ingredients. It gets sweetness from ketchup, heat from chili sauce and horseradish. 

This dressing we enjoy with many kinds of salads. Lettuce Wedge Salad, Spicy Caesar Salad or any Shrimp and seafood based salad.. Honestly, any greens and refreshing proteins salad will benefit from drizzle of homemade Louie dressing.

Crab Louie Dressing is a also good dipping sauce.  This recipe is a keeper!

Here is what you need to make Crab Louie Salad Dressing:

Crab Louie Dressing Ingredients

  1. Mayonnaise
  2. Ketchup
  3. Chili Sauce such as sriracha
  4. Mustard
  5. Lemon Juice
  6. Garlic
  7. Worcestershire
  8. Relish

Use good quality mayo and ketchup for this recipe. If you can find Classic Mayo, even better. Or make it at home, try homemade mayonnaise recipe.

Tip: Always adjust chili sauce per taste. If you can find Chili based Ketchup then use that instead of regular ketchup and chili sauce.

To make the dressing, in a medium bowl mix all ingredients and half of chili sauce. Once well mixed, taste and adjust salt, and chili sauce. 

Making Crab Louie Dressing

Note: Salad Dressing may taste sharp on it’s own but it goes well with crab salad. To test, instead of tasting with spoon, I always taste test dressing with piece of romaine or cucumber. This way I can gauge how it will go with salad.

Crab Louie Salad Dressing drizzled on Louie Salad

Honestly, Crab Louie Dressing makes the Crab Louie Salad. Once you have dressing ready and shrimp cooked and cooled. That's it. Only make sure to pick crab meat for shells. Arrange everything on a wide Salad Platter.

Crab Louie is ready to devour! Serve half dressing on salad and half on the side for self serve.

Crab Louie Salad

Shelf Life of Crab Louie Salad Dressing:

Dressing will stay good (refrigerated) for 4 days up-to a week. However, it disappears in 1-2 days from my refrigerator.


As always, here are the perks of cooking at home i.e. adjust and adapt what you eat to your preference and diet needs. I often use these substitutes to make Crab Louie Salad at moment's notice. Sometimes, it starts with what crabmeat I can find with my local grocer.

  1. Crab Meat - Use what crabmeat you can find. I often find good quality jumbo lump crab meat. That's what I used for this recipe. You can also make Dungeness Crab Louie or King Crab Louie based on what kind of crab meat you love.
  2. Seafood Louie -  For today's recipe, I made shrimp and jumbo lump Crab Louie. You can also add more seafood such as scallops, oyster, and/or lobster. Please make sure seafood used is cooked and picked for shells.
  3. Chili Sauce Ketchup - I seldom find Chili Sauce based ketchup. So I always make Crab Louie dressing with part tomato ketchup and part Asian chili sauce - sriracha. If you can find Ketchup Chili Sauce, go for it! If can't, use Tabasco or any other good quality chili sauce with classic ketchup. I recommend taste and adjust for chili sauce. Few sauces are spicier than others.
  4. Horseradish - I used horseradish mustard for this recipe. Dijon mustard and grated or prepared horseradish, half and half will work too.
  5. Salad ingredients are very flexible. I like combination of crunchy romaine hearts with sweet cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Chopped celery or roasted red peppers also go well with Crab Louie.
  6. Use ripe Roma Tomatoes cut into wedges instead of cherry tomatoes.

Crab Louie Salad Recipe

Friends, enjoy something different for dinner this week. Crab Louie is a salad loaded with SO much flavor. Succulent Crab Meat and Shrimp with crunchy romaine, sweet tomatoes and creamy avocado. Sweet and spicy creamy dressing drizzled on the top and it is a dinner worth looking forward to.

I don't mind such delicious feast every day of the week. How about yourself?

Pairing Ideas:

Ratatouille Chipotle Barbacoa Summer Minestrone Soup

Crab Louie Salad

5 (11 reviews)
Crab Louie Salad
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: American () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: large salad platter - Serves: 8
(4 Main or 8 Side Salads)


Crab Louie Salad
Crab Louie Salad Dressing


  • 1. Prepare Ingredients Prepare Crab Louie ingredients. Cut romaine length crosswise, slice cucumber into halfmoons, half cherry tomatoes, slice avocados, pick crab meat for shells and slice hard boiled eggs. See Note 1.
  • 2. Cook Shrimp Heat cooking oil in a medium skillet. Season shrimp with generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook in skillet until shrimp turns pink from both sides. (about 2-3 mins each side). Don’t overcook. As soon as shrimp curls and is pink, its done. Remove and set aside to cool.
  • 3. Make Salad Dressing In a medium bowl add mayo, ketchup, half of chili sauce, garlic, relish, lemon juice, worcestershire, mustard, with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Whisk well until everything is well mixed. Taste and add more chili sauce per preference. Additional Notes: Sauce is preferred tangy and sharp. It goes well eaten with salad. See Note 2.
  • 4. Assemble Crab Louie To assemble Crab Louie Salad, on a large platter spread romaine lettuce. Top with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced avocado, boiled egg, cooked and cooled shrimp, crab in layers or spread evenly. Serve Salad Dressing on the side. See Note 1 and 3.
Savita's Notes:
  1. You can also use ripe roma tomatoes instead of cherry or skip tomatoes. If using seeded cucumber, I half it lengthwise and then scoop out seeds with a small spoon.  If using avocado, drizzle 1-2 tsp lemon juice on Sliced Avocado to prevent quick browning.
  2. I used horseradish mustard for this recipe. You can also use mustard and grated or prepared horseradish, half and half.
  3. Salad Dressing may taste sharp on it’s own but it goes well with crab salad. To test, instead of tasting with spoon, I always taste test dressing with piece of romaine or cucumber. This way I can gauge how it will go with salad.
  4. Serve Salad Dressing on the side or drizzle half of the dressing on the salad just before serving and serve remaining half on the side.

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15 Responses

  1. Yummy
  2. That dressing is amazing! I make something similar to use on burgers - we call it "secret sauce." The Worcestershire sauce, though, makes a huge difference in the flavor. So good!
  3. I made this crab salad for NYE and everyone loved it! Elegant enough to serve for a party but also so easy to prep!
  4. I have everything I need for this dish, can’t wait to make it this weekend! My family is going to love this!
  5. I just love this and its was a big hit with everyone. And this was such a pleasing experience!
  6. This was my first time making crab Louie salad and I was impressed! The flavours work so well, and the salad dressing crowns it so well.
    Thanks for the feedback. No doubt, dressing is the star.
  7. Such a perfect salad! I love how quick and easy this is!
  8. This was light and flavorful! A definite do again!
    🙌 Go for it!
  9. All my favorite seafood is in this salad so this is right up my alley! That dressing is the bomb - love the spicy kick.
    Indeed! Salad dressing is star of this salad. It tastes so good with crab and shrimp!
  10. Such a filling salad recipe. The dressing is delicious!
  11. This sounds so good! I just love crab and can't wait to try this at home!
    Thanks. My family are all crab lovers. I'm sure you will enjoy this salad if you like crab. Plus the dressing!! So good!