The Lobster Roll

The Lobster Roll

The Lobster Roll is a New England Tradition.


I’ve written about the Lobster Roll before on Well Worn Apron. I adore them. I recently just made one after nearly two years of living in Newport. It just seemed easier to pop over to the Snack Bar at First Beach, but with it being the summer season, it just made sense to make it. Glad I did.


Two Types


There are two types. One is a warm lobster in a New England split-top roll served with drawn butter. The other is a chilled lobster salad made with celery, salt, and pepper in a New England split-top roll. I love both types; however, I am partial the warm with butter.


Rhode Island Lobster Meat


Lobster meat, even in Rhode Island, is a luxury and treat. In Newport at the local dock (The Newport Lobster Shack is Newport’s fishermen co-op) where the fishermen and lobstermen come in, steamed lobster meat can set you back about $54/pound. That pound can make you eight to ten generous rolls. And in most restaurants, you can’t get one under $25. And that’s in Newport. It is worth purchasing fresh lobster meat. Don’t go for imitation meat. You can also get whole live lobsters, steam them, and remove the meat. I’m just a weenie about cooking a live lobster so I’ll just pay more and eat fewer times over the year.


Family Favorite


lobster roll


My guys prefer the chilled salad version of the Lobster Roll. I’ve fancied up the recipe a little to make it super special, but if you want to go traditional then mayo and celery is the way to go. I added fresh chives from the garden, but you can use parsley. Fresh lemon juice freshens up the flavor. I wouldn’t recommend adding tons of mayo. You want to taste the sea and the sweetness of the lobster in every bite.

The other key for a good lobster roll is the New England split-top roll. Outside of New England, they are very hard to find. They are great rolls for hot dogs, too. A nicely grilled hot dog with warm sauerkraut and good mustard. Yum.

Though they are the best during the summer, we enjoy them all year around. There is something special about sitting at the water smelling the sea air and gulls hoping to swoop in for your delicious treat. If you long for the taste of the coast of New England, then this is a perfect way to feel like you are sitting at a lobster shack on the water during the summer. Just without the danger of a seagull stealing it. And getting a sunburn.


The Lobster Roll


  • 1-pound lobster meat
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 New England–style split-top hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


  • Chop lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Mix lobster meat, celery, lemon juice, chives, and 2 tablespoons mayo in a bowl
  • Season with salt and pepper adding more mayonnaise if you like a more wet salad.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Butter the flat sides grilling them until golden.
  • Fill with lobster mixture.
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