Crab Louie Salad

Crab Louie

Crab Louie Salad
Homemade Crab Louie Salad

Summer is synonymous with salads in my house. During the hottest times of the year, it’s not uncommon for us to have large salads for dinner topped with meat cooked outside on our grill. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to create salads different enough that my family doesn’t become bored with the menu. We try to follow the guidelines for building a healthy salad. It’s amazing how easy it is to make an unhealthy salad if you don’t follow some simple rules.   I believe that if you’re making a salad, you should make the effort to make it healthy.

We frequently try different combinations of lettuce with different vegetables. Of course, we swap out the types of dressings, too. I have even been known to use salsa as a dressing when I am trying to create a salad with a southwestern flair. During a recent heat spell, I was trying to come up with some new salad ideas. That was when I remembered Castagnola’s Lobster House and their Crab Louie salad.

Lobster House in Santa Barbara
A postcard showing the exterior of Castagnola’s Lobster House

Castagnola ‘s Lobster house was a Santa Barbara institution.  The owners of the restaurant owned a fleet of fishing vessels, so the restaurant’s advertised “catch of the day” really was the day’s catch.  The food was excellent and the Crab Louie salad was a visual work of art. At least, that was my opinion when I was a teenager. I’m only sorry that my food styling and food photography don’t do this recipe justice.  I had never tasted crab before the first time I tried one of these salads, and I fell in love with the sweet taste. I would squeeze lemon juice onto the heaping pile of crab meat and only sparingly use the “Louie Dressing” which tasted suspiciously like 1,000 Island.

It was a love affair that ended only when I went away to college. Sadly, The Lobster House, as my dad called it, is closed. The restaurant and the salad live only in my memory. I did my best to recreate  the taste of that salad with this recipe. Let me know what you think. Thank you for visiting my site.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crab Louie
Recipe type: Main Course Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
A refreshing dinner salad that is delicious and filling. It can be modified by using other seafood such as shrimp or lobster.
  • 2 - 3 outside leaves from head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups hearts of romaine torn into bite sized pieces for each salad
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup shredded red cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 4 - 5 slices of cucumber, halved
  • 1 hard boiled egg cut into quarters
  • 2 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 4 ounces of cooked crab meat, shelled and deveined
  • A wedge of Lemon (or two)
  • 1000 island or seven seas dressing to taste
  1. Arrange the exterior leaves from the romaine on a plate to form a decorative base on which to build the salad
  2. Toss lettuce, carrots, and cabbage together. Arrange on serving plate or bowl.
  3. Arrange chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and egg quarters around the edge of the plate
  4. Arrange crab meat in the middle of the salad
  5. Sprinkle green onions and radishes around the top
  6. Serve with lemon wedge and dressing on the side.

A link to this recipe was also shared at Strut Your Stuff Saturday and Beverly’s Pink Saturday.

10 thoughts on “Crab Louie

    1. Many years ago, thousand island was a favorite of practically everyone I knew. There were a few blue cheese lover’s among us, too. Then suddenly, ranch was everywhere. Thank you for you comment and for visiting my site.

  1. Since I grew up on the Gulf Coast, often I had the opportunity to eat barbecued crab, stuffed crab, and crab salads. This recipe looks really good, and I’m going to try this one.

    1. I grew up in California,but I was the daughter of older parents from land locked States. My mom’s experience with seafood was limited to oysters and salted cod. She liked freshwater fish, though. There were many foods I didn’t experience unitil I was nearly grown. Hubby grew up in San Francisco, AKA “The City “, so he has really broadened my horizons AND challenged my culinary skill. The man loves seafood.

  2. I used to work as a waitress at the Castagnola Lobster House restaurant in Santa Barbara. I was searching the internet in hopes of finding the recipe for their barbecue shrimp. That search led me to your website and your crab Louie recipe! Do you have any suggestions to enable my search? I would be so grateful.

    1. Thank you! I will try the recipe and let you know. My three sisters who also waitressed at the Lobster House are equally appreciative!!

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