Quick and Easy Crab Melt is a perfect sandwich for a summer dinner or lunch. This deliciously flavored crab salad recipe is an open faced crab sandwich on sour dough bread, topped with a fresh tomato and provolone cheese! Yum! You can't go wrong with this meal. Make this homemade imitation crab sandwich for a taste of your favorite meal in San Francisco or the seaside of Maine.
Try this fun homemade summer meal with friends, family, or a meal for one. Just like a tuna melt, this sandwich is perfect for anytime of the year. You can't go wrong dreaming of the seaside while eating this open face sandwich. This imitation crab style mixture is so delicious you will feel like you're eating King Crab!
- Imitation Crab, flake style
- Lemon juice
- Garlic, minced
- Onion, diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sour dough
- Provolone cheese
- Tomatoes, sliced
See recipe card for quantities.
- With a sharp knife, slice the tomatoes on a cutting board. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the imitation crab, minced garlic, lemon juice, diced onion, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated.
Be sure to break up the crab, with your hands or a fork, into desired size before mixing in the other ingredients. Using flake style imitation crab will give you the best results.
3. Place 4 pieces of sour dough bread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Space the bread out evenly.
4. Place ¼ of the imitation crab mixture on top of the sour dough bread.
5. Top the crab mixture with 1-2 slices of tomatoes.
6. Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of the sliced tomatoes and crab mixture.
5. Bake the open faced sandwiches in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and brown on the edges.
6. Try our favorite method, the air fryer method! Place the open face sandwich in a preheat air fryer and air fry for 3 minutes. The cheese will be a melted delicious golden brown and the crab meat and sour dough bread will be toasted!
6. Enjoy this delicious melt with a side of air fryer sweet potatoes, salt and vinegar chips, or your favorite fruits and veggies. You can't go wrong with this perfect summer meal.
Hint: Making this in the air fryer is a quick and fun way to get a delicious crab sandwich melt quickly. The cheese is so melty and the toast is a perfectly toasted.
- English muffin - Use the open face of an english muffin instead of sour dough bread for a different texture and style of bread.
- Ciabatta - Don't want an open face sandwich? Use ciabatta bread and toast both sides of the bread and make a ciabatta bread melt with the imitation crab mixture.
- French bread- Slice pieces of french bread and use instead of sour dough.
- Bagels - Use half of a bagel to put the mixture on. Depending on the size of the bagel, you may use more than ¼ of the mixture for a single slice.
- Cream cheese - Spread cream cheese, instead of provolone cheese, on the bread and then add the crab mixture on top of the cream cheese.
- Swiss cheese- Substitute provolone cheese with Swiss Cheese. This will give the melt a mild nutty taste.
- Havarti Cheese- Looking for a creamy and smooth cheese? Use havarti cheese instead of provolone cheese on top of the crab mixture.
- Dairy Free- make this meal dairy free by using vegan cheese and vegan mayonnaise.
- Appetizer - Make this fun open faced sandwich into a fun appetizer style meal by using small pieces of bread and smaller portions of tomatoes, cheese and crab.
- Old bay seasoning - Add the taste of old bay seasoning by adding 1 teaspoon of the seasoning to the crab mixture. Mix well so the flavor is throughout.
- Avocado- After the melt is cooked in the air fryer or oven, top the melted cheese with slices of avocado. You can also place the avocado on top of the tomatoes and under the cheese to be heated with the entire sandwich.
- Artichoke- Slice canned artichoke hearts and place in the crab mixture. Add about ¼ cup depending on how many artichokes you want added to the mixture.
- Shrimp- Make it a seafood party by adding mini shrimp into the imitation crab mixture. Add about ¼ cup of small shrimp to the mixture.
- Keto - Make this keto friendly and low carb by using a large mushroom or sliced zucchini as the base instead of bread. Follow the directions as stated but place the crab mixture on top of zucchini or a large mushroom.
- Tabasco sauce- Want a kick? Add in ½ teaspoon of tabasco sauce to the crab mixture or top the cooked melt with tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce.
Store the crab mixture, uncooked, in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. you can assemble the mixture before hand, but if not eating right away, wait to assemble on the bread and cook.
Because there is mayonnaise in the melt it is unsafe to store any cooked sandwich in the refrigerator to be heated again. If you plan to have leftovers only cook what you will eat so you don't have to waste food!
These ingredients don't freeze well, once assembled, and is not recommended.
Make sure to cook until cheese is melted and starting to brown and that the crab meat is heated up thoroughly.
We love using the air fryer to cook these because it cooks them quickly, it toasts the bread, and the imitation crab warms nicely. Either method, oven or air fryer, will give you delicious results!
Quick and Easy Crab Melt
- sheet pan
- 8 ounce flaky style imitation crab about 1 ½ cups
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ cup onion diced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices sour dough
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 slices tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl imitation combine crab, lemon, garlic, diced onion, salt and pepper, and mayonnaise. Mix until well combined
- Place 4 sour dough bread slices, open faced, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Put ¼ of the crab mix on one side of the ciabatta, repeat on all 4 rolls.
- Place a tomato slice and then provolone cheese slice on top of the imitation crab mixture.
- Bake open faced sandwiches for 5 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.
- Once cheese is melted, remove from the oven and enjoy!
Air Fryer Method:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375* F.
- Follow assembly instructions above.
- Place open face sandwich topped with crab mixture, tomato, and cheese, at the bottom of the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 3 minutes or until cheese and bread are toasted.
- Try this melt on ciabatta bread, french bread, english muffins for similarly delicious results.
- Do not store and reheat cooked crab mixture. It is unsafe to reheat mayonnaise.