Perfect Lobster Rolls

These are the best homemade lobster rolls we’ve ever had! Our recipe combines perfectly cooked lobster with the most incredible warm butter and mayonnaise dressing. These are almost too good!

Homemade Lobster Rolls with butter and mayo

Lobster rolls come with a lot of opinions. Mayo, butter, celery, hot, warm, the bun, it goes on. In Maine, you’ll see chilled lobster dressed in mayonnaise, while in Connecticut, it’s common to see the lobster tossed in warm melted butter.

These homemade lobster rolls are amazing and made with warm melted butter AND creamy mayonnaise. You might also enjoy our easy shrimp salad or these Maryland crab cakes.

Best Homemade Lobster Rolls

Key Ingredients

  • Lobster: We start with live lobsters and cook them ourselves. For the best lobster roll, you should cook your own lobsters too! I’ve shared Richard’s method below to guide you through it. If you already have cooked lobster meat, you’ll just need to toss it into the butter and mayo sauce.
  • Butter: We toss our perfectly cooked lobster meat into a warm bath of melted butter (yum!).
  • Mayonnaise: To finish the sauce, we add a little bit of mayo to the warm butter. It makes it a bit creamier (it’s so incredibly good!). When I have it on hand, I use homemade mayo.
  • Fresh Herbs: We love the lobster flavor to come through, so we only add a little bit of fresh herbs. I usually stir in a couple of teaspoons of fresh chopped chives and dill.

How to Make Lobster Rolls

We highly recommend starting with live lobsters to make the best lobster rolls at home. This way, you have complete control over the cooking process, ensuring the lobster meat is perfectly cooked. If you prefer to skip handling live lobsters, our lobster roll recipe below specifies the amount of cooked lobster meat needed.

While killing a lobster may seem daunting, it’s a necessary step. Our method is quick and effective. Place the lobster on a cutting board and find the faint cross on its shell where the head and body connect. Quickly and firmly insert a large, sharp knife into this cross, pushing down through the head and between the eyes. This severs the spinal cord, causing instant death. (The legs may still twitch, but this is a natural reflex.)

Lobster tails and claws ready to cook for lobster rolls

Remove the tails and claws from the body. You can save the bodies for another time for dishes like lobster stock, bisque, or mac and cheese. I freeze them.

Cooked lobster

Boil the tails and larger claws for 5 minutes and the smaller claws for 4 minutes. Allow the cooked lobster pieces to cool completely.

Removing the Meat from Tails: Use kitchen shears to cut down the top of the tail, then pull back the sides to crack the shell. Gently pull out the tail meat.

Removing meat from lobster tails

Removing the Meat from Claws: Twist off the knuckles, then use a knife or mallet to crack the claw shells.

Removing claw meat from lobsters

For smaller legs or pieces, carefully remove the meat, using tweezers or chopsticks if necessary.

Pulling lobster knuckle meat out of the shells

Now that you have perfectly cooked lobster meat, you can create mouthwatering homemade lobster rolls!

When you’ve removed all the meat from the shells, toss it into a bath of melted butter (yum). Stop yourself from eating all of the lobster in the butter, and allow it to sit for a few minutes until it’s warmed through. Then, toss the butter-basted lobster meat with some mayonnaise, herbs, and pepper. Then spoon onto lightly toasted rolls and enjoy.

Lobster in a bath of melted butter ready for lobster rolls

What to Serve with Lobster Rolls

I love serving lobster rolls on a soft bun with a summer side like our creamy potato salad, this herb potato salad, or my creamy pasta salad. A handful of potato chips is a good idea, too. For more ideas, try homemade coleslaw or my favorite broccoli slaw.

Perfect Lobster Rolls

  • PREP
  • COOK

I’m not exaggerating when I say that these homemade lobster rolls with perfectly cooked lobster tossed in a butter and mayo dressing are the best we’ve had. For the most mouthwatering texture, start with live lobsters. Our method for cooking the lobster guarantees perfectly cooked lobster. If you are uncomfortable killing live lobsters, buy whole steamed lobsters or lobster meat.

For this recipe, we separate the claws and tail from the bodies. We won’t use the lobster bodies in this recipe, but you can save them in the freezer for another day (they make incredibly delicious lobster mac and cheese–coming soon).

Makes 4 rolls

You Will Need

4 whole lobsters, 1 ½ pounds each, or 20 ounces cooked lobster meat

2 tablespoons salt

6 ounces salted butter

1/4 cup mayonnaise, see homemade mayo

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon finely chopped chives

3 to 4 twists fresh ground pepper

4 hoagie or sausage rolls


  • Prepare Lobsters for Cooking
  • 1If your lobsters are live, pick up a lobster by holding it right behind the head, and lay the lobster on a cutting board. To protect your hand, use a clean dish towel to hold the lobster in place.

    2Find the faint cross on the shell (carapace) where the lobster’s head attaches to the body. With a large sharp knife, firmly insert the tip into this cross and push it down through the head, between the eyes. This action severs the spinal cord, instantly killing the lobster. The legs might twitch a little afterward, but the lobster is dead.

    3Remove the claws and tails. Separate the lobster parts by size: tails in one pile, large claws in another, and finally, all the small claws together in a third pile.

    4Discard or save the lobster bodies for another recipe. The bodies can be placed into a freezer-safe container and stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  • Cook Lobster
  • 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil with two tablespoons of salt.

    2Cook the tails for five minutes, transfer them to a plate to cool. Next, cook the large claws for 5 minutes. Transfer them to a plate to cool, and finish by cooking the small claws for four minutes.

    3Remove the lobster meat from the shells when the tails and claws are cool enough to handle. For the tails, use kitchen shears to cut down the top of the tails, pull to open, cracking the back slightly, and then pull out the meat. For the claws, use a knife or mallet to crack open the claws and then remove the meat. Use tweezers or chopsticks to remove smaller bits of meat from legs and knuckles.

  • Make Rolls
  • 1Lightly toast four rolls.

    2Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low, then place all of the lobster meat into the warm butter.

    3After five minutes of sitting in the warm butter, spoon the buttery lobster meat into a bowl along with a few spoonfuls of the butter. The remaining butter can be saved in the fridge for other recipes (it’s lovely tossed with pasta).

    4Gently mix in the mayonnaise, dill, chives, and pepper. Divide the lobster between lightly toasted rolls and enjoy.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. Fat and calories are likely too high since these calculations include all of the butter in the ingredients list. Not all of this butter is actually used in the rolls.
Nutrition Per Serving Calories 652 / Total Fat 47.8g / Saturated Fat 24.1g / Cholesterol 304mg / Sodium 1267.5mg / Carbohydrate 23.4g / Dietary Fiber 1.3g / Total Sugars 3.3g / Protein 31.9g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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1 comment… Leave a Review
  • David nicholson September 3, 2023, 9:41 am

    Gotta try to find New England rolls (Wegmans and Trader Joe’s outside NE) Butter and toast on pan for the real deal 🙂


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