Classic Lobster Roll


Gale Gand's Lunch!

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Ben Fink Photography, Inc.

It only takes one trip to Kennebunkport, Maine, to fall in love with lobster rolls. That’s what happened to me at the end of one summer. Thirteen of us descended upon the town for our annual summer family vacation. For five days straight, we ate lobster rolls anywhere and everywhere we could find them, and never tired of the taste of creamy lobster salad piled into a toasted bun. I came up with this recipe after that trip, with the help of my chef friend Dan Smith (cofounder of Hearty Boys, a Chicago catering company). He’s from Maine, so lobster rolls are practically running through his veins. If possible, eat this with the sound of the sea in your ears. Lobster rolls taste even better that way!

NotesNote: To cook a lobster, fill a large pot three-quarters full with water and salt it heavily (2 tablespoons salt per 1 quart water). It should taste like seawater (you can even use clean seawater if you have access to it!). Bring the water to a boil, then plunge the lobster in headfirst. Place a lid on the pot and boil for 12 to 15 minutes. The lobster’s shell will turn bright red. Remove the lobster from the pot and plunge it into ice water to chill it quickly and stop the cooking. Remove all the meat from the shell and use it immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.Pack it to go with:  a tangelo and red and green bell pepper rings. Eat it at home with:  cucumber and tomato chunks dressed with Mustard Vinaigrette.

Makes2 sandwiches


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Type of Dishsandwich


  • One 1- to 1 1/2-pound boiled lobster (see Notes), claw, knuckle, and tail meat removed and cooled; 8 ounces fresh lobster meat; or 8 ounces frozen lobster meat, thawed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 3 grinds black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
  • 2 hot dog rolls (the best quality you can find)
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened


  1. In a bowl, combine the lobster meat with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, pepper, and tarragon, if

  2. using, and gently stir to combine. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. When ready to eat, split

  3. the bun open, butter it lightly on the inside, and toast it in a toaster oven, then pile on the lobster salad.


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I'm thinking I would probably like a crisp, dry white wine to go with this, but I'm not sure exactly which one. I've really enjoyed a dry Riesling with trout, but not sure if that is what I want here. Any Ideas?


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