Summery Crab Pasta Salad Recipe

Summery Crab Pasta Salad Recipe

It has been a hot second since I last posted a recipe (see my last one here). However, after all of the comments and DMs after I posted this lil crab pasta salad dish on Instagram earlier this month, I knew I had to share this recipe with y’all!

Before we kick off, I used a Texas-shaped pasta to make this dish (you can buy some here). BUT you can obviously make it with a variety of pasta types. I’d recommend using shells, orzo, rotini, or penne… but totally up to you!

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I made this summery crab pasta salad recently for a collaboration. And then I served it for a very white wine-filled evening with my best guy friend as we binge-watched Game of Thrones. Because how else does one watch Game of Thrones?

The trick to getting this dish right is balancing the textures… while also getting enough lime in the mix. If the crab in this crab pasta salad seems to stick out more than necessary, add more lime juice, cilantro, and mango.

Summery Crab Pasta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Category: dinner, lunch, pasta salad

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6-8

Summery Crab Pasta Salad Recipe

This dish is always a crowd pleaser. Though the crabmeat adds some form of body and protein to the dish, it's not absolutely essential to the overall taste of the dish. If you have somebody who hates/cannot eat crab, you'll still get the overall taste of the dish if you leave the crab out (or sub fish).


  • 3 cups of uncooked pasta (rotini, penne, orzo, etc.)
  • 1 8oz. package of imitation crabmeat, flaked
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons of cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons of lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt


  1. Cook the pasta by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta to the water and cook as instructed. After the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse the pasta under cold water.
  2. Place the pasta, flaked crabmeat, bell pepper, mango, and cilantro in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients: lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, ground ginger, and sea salt.
  4. Pour the lime mixture over the bowl containing the pasta. Toss to mix and disperse the dressing.
  5. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

PS: quite honestly, I added the bell pepper for look, not flavor. I’m really not a fan of bell peppers, to be honest. I’m actually not a fan of a lot of vegetables. Which probably explains my affinity for queso. But whatever. Basically feel free to channel your inner me and nix the bell pepper if you so desire. You’re not missing out on much.

Alsoooo a quick alternative recipe to the one listed above: pesto crab pasta salad.

In lieu of the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, ginger, and sea salt, combine pesto with the pasta, crabmeat, and either cilantro or basil. Basically, just stick ’em all in a bowl and mix them up. Very simple and delicious, and only takes 15 minutes of work!