Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado

My next recipe from Patricia Wells’ new Salad as Meal cookbook (affiliate link) is a keeper. Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado is light, delicious, and insanely easy to prepare. If you can chop, shake your arm, and operate a toaster, you can impress your friends with this recipe. The only tricky part may be finding fresh lump crabmeat, depending on where you live.

Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado

This crab salad recipe requires chopping some celery, bell pepper, and avocado, then mixing in some jumbo lump crabmeat, spices, and a creamy lemon-chive dressing. Toast some sourdough bread to serve alongside and you’re good to go. What could be simpler?

Using a light hand when mixing the crab – you want to preserve the hunks of meat. You paid good money for high-quality lump crabmeat so don’t shred it beyond recognition.

You may be tempted to skip the sourdough to reduce your carb count. Don’t! Have a small piece if you must, but the crunch factor is so worth 18 or so grams of carb.

Cream vs. Half and Half

I substituted fat free half-and-half for the light cream in the Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing. (Note this is the same dressing used in Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Parsley & Spring Onions.) The nutritional information underneath the recipe below is for Patricia’s original recipe (with light cream). If you want to cut some fat and cholesterol, keep in mind that a cup of regular half-and-half has 28g of fat (17g saturated) and 190mg of cholesterol. Fat free half-and-half has 0g fat and 1mg cholesterol. Even though Patricia says that a higher fat content will help resist curdling when you add lemon juice, I had no problem with curdling using fat free half-and-half.

Making the Red Hot Salt

To make the Red Hot Salt, I used Ancho chili powder, some smoked paprika my stepdaughter brought me from Hungary, and Bahamian sea salt. It probably doesn’t have exactly the same flavor of the recipe below, but they were all ingredients I had on hand.

This crab salad is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It is also a good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin K, Folate, Phosphorus, Zinc and Copper.

All nutritional information provided here was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the website.

Crab Salad with Lime and Avocado
I could easily sample this bright, flavorful crab salad once a week, and often do. It’s low in calories and fat and high in protein, just the right fit for someone who loves to exercise, as I do. It goes together in seconds, making it all that much easier to love. This salad as a meal is a good lesson in salad construction: toss each of the ingredients separately with the dressing so that all parts are evenly and lightly dressed. If the limes in your market are not top-rate and don’t have enough peel to make a good zest, opt for organic lemons. Serve this with a slice of toasted bread slathered with Guacamole Light (page 23).
Recipe type: Salads & Dressings
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound (2 cups) fresh cooked lump crabmeat
  • Grated zest of 2 limes or lemons, preferably organic
  • ¼ cup Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (page 326)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Coarse, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, trimmed, seeds removed, and minced (1 scant cup)
  • 2 celery ribs, finely minced (about 2 cups)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, chervil, or parsley leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Hot Salt (page 307) or fine sea salt
  • 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into very thin half-rounds
  • 4 thin slices sourdough bread, toasted, for serving (see page 270)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat and citrus zest and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the crabmeat. Taste for seasoning.
  2. In another bowl, combine the bell pepper, celery, cilantro, and Red Hot Salt and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables. Taste for seasoning. Combine the contents of the two bowls, mixing gently to blend.
  3. Mound the salad in the center of the dinner plates. Arrange the avocado slices around the salads. Serve with the toast.
WINE SUGGESTION: The last time I prepared this salad we had it with a mineral-rich Riesling, the Domaine Ostertag Clos Mathis.

Nutritional information includes the bread, but not the dressing or Red Hot Salt.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 285 Fat: 9g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 25g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 568mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 26g Cholesterol: 87mg
Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing
Salad dressings do not need to be rich or calorie-laden to be delicious, and this dressing drives home the point. With the lactic touch of light cream, the gentle acidity of the lemon juice, and the bit of color and pungency of the chives, this all-purpose dressing is a standard in our kitchen. Use it to dress a simple green salad, a couscous salad, a potato salad, or a light green bean salad.
Recipe type: Salads & Dressings
Serves: 10
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup light cream
  • ⅓ cup finely minced fresh chives
  • Lemon zest
  1. In the jar, combine the lemon juice and salt. Cover with the lid and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the cream, chives, and lemon zest. Shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be used immediately. (Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake to blend again before using.)
But will it curdle? Given the right circumstances, such as the addition of acids or heat, any milk or cream product will curdle (meaning the curd protein coagulates and forms clumps). The greater the fat content of the milk or cream, the more it will resist curdling. I use a light cream with a 12% fat content, much like what is also called half-and-half, and have never had a problem with curdling when adding lemon juice to the cream.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 33 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 1g Sugar: 0g Sodium: 126mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 1g Cholesterol: 9mg
Red Hot Salt
I love spice and color in my food, and this vibrant red salt provides a pleasantly smoky aroma, great color, and a fine, mysterious flavor. It will brighten up just about any salad, vegetable, meat or poultry, and the combination is an essential ingredient in my Spicy Basque Mixed Nuts (page 8).
Serves: 16
  • 2 teaspoons ground piment d'Espelette or other ground mild chile pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot-smoked pimentón de la Vera or other hot-smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the jar. Cover, and shake to blend. (Store the salt mixture, sealed in the jar, at room temperature for up to 1 month. After that, the flavors will begin to fade.)
Piment d'Espelette, the mildly spicy pepper from France's Basque region and the pimenton de la Vera from Spain, can be found on my Amazon Store on the home page of
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ teaspoon Calories: 1 Fat: 0 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 0 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 149mg Fiber: 0 Protein: 0 Cholesterol: 0

Disclosure: For my participation in the Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal Challenge, I received a copy of Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells plus two copies to give away. This post contains at least one affiliate link, which means if you click it and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.


  1. says

    I’ve had my eye on this recipe. Your picture looks beautiful and interestingly, I used fat free half and half in a second round of the creamy lemon chive dressing and it tasted essentially the same. Nor did mine curdle. Great pointer! Also about the sourdough… although I’d never skip a carb! ;-)

  2. says

    That crab salad looks delicious – love the lime and avocado! I am diabetic too, and always on the look out for great diabetic friendly recipes. :D

  3. Pammie says

    I am a big fan of Patricia Wells, just saw her on the Today Show and am very excited about preparing this crab salad. The spices sound phenomenal!

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