How to Make Lobster Rolls: The Official Summer Sandwich

Lobster rolls are a special summer sandwich. The best one’s are found along seaside clam shacks in Maine, Massachusetts, or on the Cape. The lobster roll, like chili, is one of the most contentious foods out there; everyone’s got a favorite way to do it. The sandwich goes back to when lobster was plentiful and cheap as a means to use up less-than-perfect lobsters that wouldn’t fetch that high a price on the market.

How to Make Lobster Rolls

How to Make Lobster Rolls:  Variations & Impostors

In New England, you’ll find two different schools of how to make lobster rolls: chilled with mayo (our recipe) or served hot with butter. The latter, also know as the naked lobster roll is just fresh chunks of lobster on top of a grilled hot dog bun drizzled with warm butter. Some serve lobster rolls with both mayo and butter on the side. You can’t go wrong with these New England lobster roll recipes since they focus on the sweet taste of lobster. On the other hand, some people (we won’t name names), like to cover up the fresh briny succulence of the lobster meat with fancy ingredients like aioli, tarragon, Old Bay seasoning and so on…

A lobster roll is not called a lobster roll for nothing. We’ve found “lobster rolls” made with some interesting bread choices, including croissants, baguettes, sub rolls and even hamburger buns! There’s nothing like a properly made lobster roll. It all starts with fresh, succulent lobster meat,and lots of it. You see it takes two live lobster to make 8 ounces of lobster meat. Unless there’s filler, a good lobster sandwich is not cheap.

1. Rule #1: Never Skimp on the Maine Ingredient!

The best lobster is made simply: Chunks of lobster on top of a grilled hot dog bun with just a little mayo. Always use big chunks of lobster meat, not shredded or minced lobster. We’re not making lobster salad here. Now let’s make some lobster rolls!

2.The Lobster Makes the Sandwich

Cook a bunch of lobsters and shuck the lobster meat out of the shell. Do not overlook the knuckle meat. True lobster aficionados know it’s the sweetest meat of the lobster! Now mix your lobster meat with a touch of mayonnaise. We like to use Cains since it’s all-natural and local. Use just enough mayonnaise to hold the lobster meat together. Again, purists prefer just a little mayo, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Optionally, you can add a little chopped celery to give it a little crunch. Nothing else. Chill your lobster meat in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

3. Grab Some Top Split Lobster Rolls

Find some top-split hot dog rolls or New England style hot dog buns.  If you live outside the six New England States they can be hard to find. It’s the kind with flat, white sides, because it absorbs the most butter when toasted in a pan.  What’s nice about the east coast style roll is that when the outside is grilled, the inside stays soft. What’s more, the rolls will stand upright with lobster meat loaded and ready to enjoy.

top split lobster rollsOur favorite store bought roll is made by Pepperidge Farms, founded by Margaret Rudkin in 1937 in New Haven, Connecticut. It was named after her family farm. She started making preservative and artificial free bread for her son who was allergic to commercial breads.

Iconic Maine bread maker, JJ Nisan is best known for its endorsement by Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams in the late 1980’s.  It survived the Great Depression and two world wars.

Country Kitchen Rolls is another local favorite baked by Lepage Bakeries (LEWISTON, Maine) a 109-year-old-company- purchased by Georgia based, Flower Foods in 2012.

If you can’t find a “top-loading” hot-dog bun, give a brioche roll a try or even a nice buttery croissant. Local, fresh baked breads is always a real real treat, but be sure your bread does not overweight the meat. Remember the roll is merely the vessel to hold your luxurious lobster meat. Too much and you will sink your lobster roll!

4. Over-Stuff your Lobster Roll!

Next lightly butter both sides of each bun and grill for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Open the top split and pile in your lobster meat until your lobster roll is overstuffed. Don’t forget to supply a fork to get every chunk of lobster meat that spills out.

5. A Secret Lobster Roll Ingredient

You never want to over-complicate the lobster roll, but here is one little secret topping that gives your roll a little sweet and salty taste. Pick up one box each of Lorna Dune cookies, Keebler Club Crackers, and Ritz Crackers.

Simple Lobster Roll Ingredient

  1. In a zip lock back add 4-5 of each and mash em up fine.
  2. Just before you serve your rolls sprinkle a little of this mixture on the top of your rolls.
  3.  Give each roll a squeeze of fresh lemon.

This crumb topping is great on both hot buttered and mayo rolls! Also, try it on grilled or baked lobster tails.

What to Serve With Lobster Rolls?

Again, you want to keep your sea sweet sandwiches simple. Some sides can include: potato chips, potato salad, coleslaw french fries, onion rings or even a pickle or two. For starters, go for a nice cup of clam chowder with oyster crackers. And when in New England why not have some steamer clams or even fried clams with your rolls.

For a sweet side serve watermelon slices and for dessert bake up chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or whoopie pies—the official state treat of Maine.

Where to find the Perfect Lobster Roll?

Your itinerary to Maine would not be complete without a stop at a roadside stand for this New England, and now US favorite. A great little book documenting some of the best rolls in not just Maine, but in all of New England is Lobster Rolls of New England: Seeking Sweet Summer Delight, by the Lobster Gal, aka, Sally Lerman. 

New England Lobster Rolls

Can’t get to a lobster shack? Have authentic Lobster Rolls shipped direct to your door from LobsterAnywhere! Create a classic Maine dinner with two pounds of exquisite claw and knuckle lobster meat (that’s lots of lobster meat!), and eight traditional top split lobster rolls, express shipped. Plus, for fun we include a box of New England taffy. Get $10 off your first order of rolls. Enter code (ROLL10) at online checkout.

62 Responses to How to Make Lobster Rolls: The Official Summer Sandwich

  1. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Paul Nicolai August 5, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    I like lobster rolls hot and buttery.

    • Avatar of Lobster Louie
      Paul Nicolai August 5, 2016 at 10:36 am #

      I made the best lobster rolls I have ever had.

  2. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Kristin August 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    I have been dreaming of lobster rolls for a few month’s now. Not even sure why, I haven’t had one in about 20 years. Yum!

  3. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    metrogirl9 August 3, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

    Love the classic Lobster rolls I enjoyed in Brewster, Mass on Cape Cod…I sometimes added a shot of hot sauce, but mostly I loved to let the fresh Lobster taste shine through.
    A nice dry white wine or a cold beer made the meal heaven to me…!

  4. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Karen Carolan August 2, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    I was just visiting my family on Cape Cod. Other than seeing the Ocean having a lobster roll and fresh whole clams was the most awesome thing. Along with fresh made Clam Chowdah!!! I need to win my some Lobster Rolls.

  5. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Donna August 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    I like my lobster rolls warm with finely minced shallots sauted in butter with chopped peppadew peppers, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, black pepper and a sprinkling of grated romano cheese on a hot buttered bun. I know I have gone rebel but its so good!!!

  6. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Leslie H August 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I love a classic lobster roll! Pair them with a cold beer and dig in!

  7. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Cindy B July 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    It’s summer and it only means one thing! Tasty, sweet lobstah rolls from you guys! Love it, love it, love it!

  8. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Keith Beck July 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    Love lobster rolls! Finally had an authentic one last summer in Cape Cod. They are perfect with just mayo and a little bit of lettuce. Yum!

  9. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Barey July 28, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    Never Ever Had a lobster roll. But you can remedy that ?

  10. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Pauline July 26, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    I love the lobster rolls hot buttered rolls with a “bit of Mayo” on the lobster and compliment it with a nice “Icy Cold Beer!”

  11. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Sara Styron July 26, 2016 at 5:02 am #

    I has a lobster roll at 160 something in Old Charleston S. C. It was so delicious went back the next trip.j

  12. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Betty Campbell July 26, 2016 at 4:39 am #

    sure would like a lobster roll shipped to me.

  13. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Steve July 25, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    I am sure this taste great. I have not tried a real Maine lobster rolls, however I LOVE your lobsters tails, so I am sure I would enjoy and love these rolls!

  14. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Captkate July 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

    Amazing lobster rolls. Friend shipped to us after a death in the family and was best meal in a sad time. Easy and delicious.

  15. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Chris O'Donnell July 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

    All terrific suggestions. Lobster meat…check. Cold Arnold Palmer…check. Buttered split-top rolls…check. I’ll go one better — TOASTED split-top rolls. Nothing better! Agreed, summer, fall, winter, spring…anytime of year. Lobster knows no season.

  16. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Maryjane July 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    I have enjoyed Lobster Rolls, both ways, Mayo & Butter. The best one we had was when we were on a Cruise From NY, to New Brunswick, St. Johns, & Boston. The Northeast know how to make them perfectly. Just thinking about them gets my mouth watering. YUMMY

  17. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Loretta July 20, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    Must be in a freshly buttered & toasted roll, stuff with as much of any fresh, buttered or mayo tossed Lobster……..drizzle with a little lemon juice……..Enjoy every last bite YUMMMM!!!

  18. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Travis July 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

    Hot buttered & toasted roll over flowing with lightly mayoed Lobstah baby!!!

  19. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Sheila Cohen July 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

    I love a hot buttered roll. I had a great lobster roll in Boston last summer but I don’t remember the name of the restaurant.

  20. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Mary Jo Von Ewegen July 20, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    Buttered and toasted roll with mayo!!! YUMMY!!!!

  21. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Ann B. July 19, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    Hot buttered for me….

  22. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Margaret July 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Toasted bun, buttered and mayo! Best I ever had was what I ordered from you guys. Amazing!

  23. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Walter Marczak July 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Got to be sitting outside. I like one of each: hot butter and little mayo don’t forget to put that tail meat in and toast that bun.

  24. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Carol Kuntz July 18, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    We were up in New England for over two weeks an I bet I had 12 different Lobster rolls. My favorite had a spicy mayo seasoning (maybe aioli). Don’t remember the place but I know I will find it when we return.

  25. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Ellen July 18, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    Best lobster roll I ever had was at a little seaside restaurant in Oqunquit, Maine! Definitely love mine with mayo and a little splash of Tabasco! 🙂 Yum, yum and more yum!

  26. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Martha July 17, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    Yummy! Love mayo and butter on my lobster roll!

  27. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    JM Taylor July 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    By far, add a little mayo and let the good times rollllllllllllll.

  28. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Deborah Thomas July 17, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    There are no favorites, but my favorite way to truly enjoy them is to make and devour 1 hot buttered and one with mayo and a bit of celery, I cheat by leaving a little lobster meat to eat by itself. I have given and served lobster rolls and other great food from Lobster Anywhere for a number of years.

    From Florida to Arkansas, always well received and want to know when there will be more. I’ve even served rolls in the winter with a side of sautéed bok choy over brown rice. No bad way to serve a lobster roll.

  29. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Jocelyn C. July 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    I think lobster rolls are delicious any time of the year. I am always craving them. lol

  30. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Becky July 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Love ’em with butter and mayo

  31. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Karen July 17, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Lobster rolls are best hot, with lots of butter. It’s a summertime special, to be enjoyed with friends.

  32. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Anita Barnes July 17, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    Buttered lobster rolls are the best. I’ve had them in Maine and I don’t think you can get them anywhere else as fresh and plentiful then in Maine. They never skimp on the lobster and it is the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.

  33. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Doug July 17, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Real lobster , huge chunks of meat !!!!! What else can you say but summer time sure is great when lobster and friends are involved !!!! Love it can’t wait to sit down with a REAL lobster roll and a cold bud light.

  34. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Don Jette July 17, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    I love a hot buttered lobster roll…..lobster any kind of way works for me. Although steamed and butter and vinegar is the best.

  35. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    naves21 July 17, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    I like my lobster rolls with a touch of mayo on a toasted bun overflowing with lobster.

  36. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Marcy Bronfman July 17, 2016 at 9:30 am #

    I never had a lobster roll but I’d love to try one.

  37. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Theresa (Terry) LeFoy July 17, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    I thought I’d eaten lobster in any way possible, but have never had a lobster roll!
    I just ordered 24 lobsters from this place, and have eaten em all over the world, I swear, these were
    sooo tender and sweet, fresh, you BET!!! No kidding either. I had bought the huge 24 oz a few months ago for one son’s BD, but the ones I just got, the 8 oz, are better for me, I eat 2 for dinner, or have a little surf n turf with one.

    Again, these lobsters slept in the ocean the day before I got them, had too, just tooooo sweet!!!
    Thank you for such a wonderful product!!! And I got the Maine butter with these.

  38. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    wm69olds July 17, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    I have ordered the Monster Lobster Tails many times, very yummy. I will order them with butter. I have wanted to try the Lobster Rolls, but have not had the chance as of yet.

  39. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Phyllis Tischler July 17, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    We have never had better lobster rolls!!!

  40. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Cary Polkow July 17, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    Hot and buttered the only way to go!

  41. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Becky Elliott July 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    I’ve never had a lobster roll, they sound delicious! I live in the Rocky Mountains and beef country. No lobster roundups around here for the wiley crustaceans… sadly. Would love to try it one day!!!

  42. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Ichikawa5 July 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    I’ve never had a true lobster roll…or even a variation. Every time I see one done in a cooking competition or featured on a blog I think oh how amazingly delicious that must be. I decided when I get my promotion at work I am buying this treat to celebrate so I can blog about it.

  43. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Vikki July 16, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    Hot butter, potato chips and a nice cold beer

  44. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Jeannie July 16, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Love lobster on a buttery toasted roll with a touch of mayo.

  45. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Gina July 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

    I just like a little mayo on my lobster roll and a glass of white wine 🙂

  46. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Kim dinatale July 15, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    Hot buttered lobster rolls from lobsteranywhere, nice cold beer, chips and friends what a way to spend a summer evening

  47. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Sally Carpenter July 15, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    I am a true lobster lover. I would love to travel to Maine to get the best, but in the meantime, I will be happy with lobster rolls, tails, salad–really just anyway I can enjoy the sweet taste of lobster!!!

  48. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Jenny Brackenridge July 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    I love any kind of lobster rolls. Just plenty of fresh LOBSTER, so any kind of Lobster rolls is fine with me! 🙂

  49. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    wilma clavelle July 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    I just started eating lobster since my husband introduced me to eating it and its great with hot butter on a warm croissant along with a cold glass of beer or a cold glass of wine and a buttery hot baked potatoe yum yum yummy.

  50. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Sandy Jordan July 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    I like lobster rolls with potato chips, buttered toasted roll,
    fried clams and an ice cold beer!!!

  51. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Jeannie July 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    Hot butter over my lobster roll is the best!

  52. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Karen Hamm July 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    My husband and I have never had one, but we sure would love to try your rolls!

  53. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Lynn July 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Hot buttered toasted roll with hot buttered lobster meat…there is no better sandwich! Beer is great with it and the bubbly is also excellent for the adults.

  54. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    dlaffery1958 July 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Sounds delicious!

  55. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Donna McMillan July 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    I like the roll buttered.

  56. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Jodi Hunter July 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    I like my lobster roll with hot buttered lobster and the roll, simple and delicious.

  57. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Trudy Rahn July 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    Oh.. With Mayo and a Cold Beer…

  58. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Heather July 15, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    I like lobster rolls with just touch of mayo, lots of butter on the roll to toast it!

  59. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Katherine August 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I’m a native maine Lady, and I am thrilled to say that I am having Lobster Rolls tomorrow for dinner! Spoiled am I!!!!

  60. Avatar of Lobster Louie
    Linda February 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve ordered the lobster rolls, I’ll get potato chips and coleslaw as suggested, but what do I serve to drink? Beer? Wine?

    • Avatar of Lobster Louie
      lobsteranywhere March 30, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

      Yes, we suggest a nice glass of Chardonnay, ice cold beer, and home made lemonade for the kids. And it does not have to be summer time to enjoy a lobster roll!

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