This Vegan Lobster Roll is a fun and healthy twist on the New England classic. The perfect sandwich for summer, this recipe is perfect for vegans and folks allergic to shellfish--and it’s ready in just 15 minutes!
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Hey Internet, I’ve racked up a bit of a track record here for making vegan seafood, so my next task was to make a New England lobster roll--but vegan.
Kinda tough, since it’s been a while since I had one, but the flavors of this vegan version took me right back there.
If you’re wondering what to take to a summer BBQ or a fun meal to enjoy with your family out on the deck, look no further than this recipe right here.
It takes just 15 minutes to make so you can spend more time with your family outdoors and less in the kitchen ESPECIALLY on a hot day.
These light and fresh flavors are not too fishy but savory and delicious, just how I remember a New England lobster roll.
My dad’s originally from Massachusetts, so I can’t wait to see what he thinks of this one. He isn’t vegan, but he can’t eat shellfish anymore so I’m hoping this will be a hit with him.
It certainly was a hit with my husband! I’ve tested and made this vegan lobster over 10 times now, and every time, the noises that come from him while he’s eating! He’s shy, but not with his feelings about good food, and for that I am grateful.
So, enough raving. Let’s get into this fabulous recipe!
What You’ll Need
The main components in my vegan lobster roll recipe are:
- Hearts of palm - They don't have much of a flavor themselves but make a great stand-in for seafood. In my opinion, hearts of palm are key for texture, but just use chickpeas if you prefer.
- Chickpeas - I actually love the combo of these together, plus it’s more protein!
- Vegan mayo - While Maine lobster rolls are usually just cooked lobster meat and butter, a classic New England lobster roll has a mayo base and a few other things for a fabulous and delicious sandwich, so this is what I’m using today. Use my light homemade vegan mayo or store-bought.
- Old Bay - Sorry, it’s not a NEW ENGLAND lobster roll without Old Bay. This spice blend is a classic, though it is a bit salty so I use less and add more smoked paprika and garlic powder. You could make the spice blend yourself if you prefer--I recommend this Old Bay seasoning recipe if you do.
- Dulse flakes - These little babies give the vegan lobster a seafood-y flavor. Dulse flakes are optional, but I highly recommend them. You could alternatively use kelp flakes.
- Celery and celery leaves - If you HATE celery, leave this out, but it does a lot for the flavor and texture.
- Red onion - You can use green onion if you prefer.
- Fresh herbs - I used dill and chives here and they add a lovely fresh and bright element.
- Lemon juice - Really brightens the flavors.
- Buns or rolls - Finally, the classic vessel of a New England lobster roll is actually a hot dog bun. I personally prefer a sub roll, so I used these whole wheat smaller sub rolls from my local bakery. Either will work, or you’re welcome to throw it on some lightly toasted sandwich bread or even lettuce cups. It would also be great on a bagel!
How to Make a Vegan Lobster Roll
Here’s the 15 minute process to make these delicious rolls:
Make the vegan mayo if you are making it at home: just throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.
Drain your chickpeas (rinse if you’d like), and mash with a fork.
Drain your hearts of palm and slice them lengthwise, and then into ½-inch thick half moons. Don’t worry if they fall apart. Add them to the chickpeas.
Now add the chopped green onion, celery, celery leaves, and herbs. Give it a good stir.
Now add the spices, mayo, vinegar, lemon juice, and dulse flakes (if using).
Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet. You’re welcome to use a bit of neutral oil here if you prefer, but I don’t personally. You just want to lightly brown the mixture--it tastes better in my opinion this way but it’s not required. If you want to leave it uncooked it won’t make you sick or anything. :)
Finally, serve it up in your preference of bun, roll, or lettuce cup, whatever you prefer. If you want to grill or toast the rolls first, you can. Some folks use vegan butter and grill them.
I recommend storing the vegan lobster separately from the rolls to avoid anything getting soggy. The “meat” will last up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
I have not tried freezing anything with hearts of palm yet. Please let me know if you do--I’d love to hear about it!
More Vegan Seafood Recipes
I’m starting to really love making vegan seafood! Here’s the ones I’ve published so far--be on the lookout for more!
- Vegan Tuna Casserole
- Vegan Tuna Melts
- Side note: What else can I do with vegan tuna?
- Vegan Fish Tacos
- I also made vegan lox, an exclusive recipe in my Plant Based Jewish Recipes e-book.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Mr. Zardyplants loves it too, and like I mentioned before, really went crazy for this recipe, requesting it multiple times. I’ve done a few other things with this vegan lobster meat, so I’ll share those with you soon!
These vegan lobster rolls are:
- And perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, but impressive enough to serve guests!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!