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Classic Maine Lobster Roll Recipe

When you head to the New England coast, you have to enjoy a traditional lobster sandwich. But there’s no reason you need to take a trip to the coastline to eat this delicious seafood treat! All you need are some fresh lobster tails and claws and a few minutes of your time, and you can prepare this classic Maine lobster roll recipe at home.
Closeup of 2 Maine Lobster Rolls

When you head to the New England coast, you have to enjoy a traditional lobster sandwich. But there’s no reason you need to take a trip to the coastline to eat this delicious seafood treat! All you need are some fresh lobster tails and claws and a few minutes of your time, and you can prepare this classic Maine lobster roll recipe at home.

Classic Maine Lobster Roll Recipe

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What Do I Need to Make a Maine Lobster Roll?

The delicious combination of fresh lobster, creamy mayo, and a butter-toasted bun sets authentic Maine lobster rolls apart from the rest. But if you have fresh seafood at home, you can whip up your own rolls in a matter of minutes. Here’s what you’ll need to make this lobster roll recipe:

  • Water
  • Lobster tails
  • Lobster claws
  • Split top rolls
  • Mayonnaise
  • Celery
  • Sea salt
  • Dill pickle juice
  • Parsley
  • Butter

Ingredients for Classic Maine Lobster Rolls

How Do I Make a Maine Lobster Roll?

The key to a delicious lobster roll is properly cooked tails and claws. Follow these simple instructions to prepare the best lobster rolls at home:

Step One: Bake the rolls

Slice the rolls down the top if the aren’t already split and spread butter over the white side of the bread. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

Split top rolls on sheet pan.

Step Two: Boil the lobster

Pour the water into a large stock pot. Add salt and bring the water to a boil. Place the lobster tails and claws in the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. When the seafood is finished boiling, strain the tails and claws from the water and run them under cold water. Remove the meat from the claws and tails.

Lobsters in the bottom of a pot.

Step Three: Prepare the lobster filling

Combine the mayonnaise, pickle juice, parsley, and celery in a small bowl. Stir to mix. Chop the cooked lobster into bite-sized pieces and fill each roll with the lobster meat. Top the lobster with the mayonnaise mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy.

Overhead view of 2 lobster rolls side by side.

How much lobster meat do you need for a lobster roll?

It typically takes the meat from one claw and one tail to fill a lobster roll. You can use this measurement as a guideline to know how much meat you’ll need for each sandwich you plan to serve. Since this recipe makes four servings, you’ll need two claws and two tails. 

What is the difference between a Maine and Connecticut lobster roll?

There are a few differences between these two classic seafood sandwiches, but the main factor that separates the two recipes is how they’re served. Maine lobster rolls are typically served cold and topped with mayonnaise. On the other hand, Connecticut lobster rolls are served with warm lobster meat and topped with warm butter.

Closeup of 2 Maine Lobster Rolls

Lobster Roll Tips 

There’s no need to head to your favorite seafood restaurant to enjoy the classic flavors of a lobster roll! Just follow these simple tips and tricks for preparing this classic dinner at home:

  • Look for a bright red shell. Watch the pot of boiling water to ensure you don’t overcook your lobster meat. You’ll know your lobster is cooked when the shell turns bright red. 
  • Substitute uncut hot dog buns. If you can’t find split-top rolls for your lobster rolls, you can also use uncut hot dog buns to make the sandwiches. Unlike traditional hot dog buns, which are cut on the white side of the bread, split-top buns are cut down the top. To prepare your buns, simply slice the uncut buns down the top, then add your butter and bake.
  • Garnish with fresh ingredients. Add to the flavor of your fresh seafood by adding a couple of fresh garnishes to your lobster rolls. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is a great way to brighten up the seafood flavor. Then, add some fresh parsley to your rolls to enhance the flavor of the mayonnaise dressing.
  • Toss the lobster in butter. The freshness of the lobster will shine through with just a sprinkling of salt and pepper, but if you want to add even more flavor to your seafood filling try adding more butter. Before spooning the lobster meat onto your toasted buns, toss the meat in a small amount of clarified butter. After that, spoon the meat into the buns and top with the mayo dressing before serving.

Lobster roll on brown plate.

Tips for the Removing the Lobster Meat from Shell

  • Easily remove the meat from the tail with a knife. Use your knife to cut the tail from the top, down the middle. You can also use your hand to split the tail in half, then extract the meat with your fingers.
  • Use the butt of the knife to remove the tail meat. If the cooking process didn’t already crack your lobster tails, use the butt of your knife. Lay the tail on a flat surface, then place the handle of the knife flat on top. Next, press down on the handle with your palm to crack the shell, then use your fingers to remove the meat.

Overhead view of lobster roll on a plate with parsley and a lemon slice.

Closeup of 2 Maine Lobster Rolls

Classic Maine Lobster Roll Recipe

When you head to the New England coast, you have to enjoy a traditional lobster sandwich. But there’s no reason you need to take a trip to the coastline to eat this delicious seafood treat! All you need are some fresh lobster tails and claws and a few minutes of your time, and you can prepare this classic Maine lobster roll recipe at home.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Classic Maine Lobster Roll Recipe, Maine Lobster Roll
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 436kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 Quarts Water
  • 4 Lobster Tails
  • 4 Lobster Claws
  • 4 Split Top Rolls
  • ½ Cup Real Mayo
  • 1 Celery Stick thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill Pickle Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Parsley
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and place the 4 quarts of water in a large boiling pot, along with the salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Add your real mayo, pickle juice, parsley, and celery to a small bowl and stir well.
  • If your buns aren’t pre-split, you’ll want to cut them now.
  • Butter the white sides of the buns after splitting and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Immediately after putting your rolls in the oven, place your lobster tails and claws in the boiling water and boil those for 8 minutes. The rolls and lobster should finish simultaneously.
  • When the lobster finishes boiling, immediately strain the water and run the lobster under cold water.
  • Extract the meat from the claws and tails by cutting open the tail and cracking open the claws.
  • Cut the tail into bite-size pieces then fill your buns with the lobster meat.
  • Evenly divide the mayo mixture between the four rolls and drizzle over the top of the lobster.
  • Garnish, if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

  • For extracting the meat out of the tail, you’ll want to use a big knife and cut it down the top middle and then split and extract using your fingers. For the claws, I used the butt of the knife, if the cooking process didn’t already crack them. 
  • The lobster is finished when the shell turns bright red. 
  • If you’re struggling with finding split top rolls, they’re also referred to as uncut hotdog buns. Instead of them being cut on the white side like a hotdog, they’re cut down the top of the bun. 
  • For garnishes, I usually just add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of minced parsley, but this isn’t mandatory. 
  • It usually takes about one lobster tail and one claw to really fill a roll. This is helpful information if you want to double or triple the recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 4484mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 727IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 2mg
Recipe Rating