This is by far one of the coolest dinners I’ve eaten all year, for several reasons.  Because I love lobster.  Because I’ve always wanted to try a lobster roll.  And especially because one of my long-time blog readers helped make this meal a reality.  Lovely Lydia who hails from Maine recently sent me a message to let me know that lobster has recently been at the its best price all season…and oh, by the way her husband is a Maine lobsterman and could help select and ship some lobsters for me.  Seriously, how cool is that?  Of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to indulge in one of my very favorite foods, particularly when I could get the lobster from someone I (semi)know.

Now obviously this isn’t the kind of thing we can do on a regular basis but it is undoubtedly worth the occasional splurge.  In fact I do believe this will become an end-of-summer tradition for us.  This was my first time steaming whole lobsters, breaking them down, etc.  It was quite an experience and a fair bit of work (not to mention I made an unbelievable mess), but again, totally worthwhile.  We used half of the meat for these lobster rolls and saved half for a future meal.  These were everything I was hoping for.  As with many recipes of this sort, I think the key is lots of lobster and not much else.  And I figured if I was taking care to make really good lobster rolls, homemade buns were a definite requirement.  Instructions on how I did that below.  Thanks to Lydia and everyone at Jones Lobster for the great customer service, fast shipping, and friendly touch!


2 lbs. cooked lobster meat, roughly chopped into ½ to ¾-inch chunks
1 small rib celery, finely chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
Squeeze or two of lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Brioche buns, for serving*


  • 01

    To make the lobster mixture, combine the lobster meat, celery, mayo, chives and lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Mix gently until well combined.  Serve on toasted brioche buns (see below).

  • 02

    *To make the buns, I used a single batch of the dough from the perfect burger buns but instead divided it into six equal portions and formed them into flattened cylinders about 6 inches long.  Just before baking, I used a sharp knife to make a single shallow slash down the center of each roll lengthwise.  I baked them as instructed with the burger buns.  

    To prep the buns for lobster rolls, heat the oven to 450˚ F.  Use a bread knife to remove a V-shaped portion of bread from the center of each bun to make room for more lobster, taking care to leave them intact at the bottom.  Brush the insides of the buns with melted butter and toast for a few minutes until lightly browned and slightly crisp.

  • Alyssa

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now, and I always leave feeling inspired to jump in my kitchen and dig ingredients out from my own cabinets and create something spectacular.

    But then there are days like today where I just find myself wishing I had a friend like you. “If Annie was my friend, then someone would bring me cupcakes,” I think. “And maybe lobster rolls too.” :)

  • Justeen

    Lobster rolls are such a treat! I’ve had them a couple of times when I visited Boston, but I bet fresh homemade ones are even better!

  • Sarah Bulmer

    I live in MA and it’s not summer without a fresh lobster role on the cape or from Boston. This looks absolutely perfect! I definitely agree that what makes a great lobster roll is a lot of meat and not much else.

  • Laura Davis

    Beer? With Annie’s dinner? What the what? Heh, they look great girl. Have been feeling lobster-ish myself. We have a guy who catches then off the wrecks here. Not as good as those cold water Maine “bugs” though!

  • Tastetastic Voyage

    These look great, Annie!

  • annieseats

    I know, right?! I surprised myself with that. I even liked it!

  • annieseats

    Aw, I love this :) Thank you.

  • Cindy Lou

    Question, does Jones Lobster give you instructions on how to cook the lobster? I would love to make this for my better half, but I have no idea how to go about cooking a LIVE lobster.

  • Patti T.

    My in-laws make a trip to Maine almost every year, just to buy lobsters for a family feast. We live close to the Maryland border so it is quite the treck. The one thing they are sure to do is have a lobster roll while they are there. They go there just to get the lobsters not for a vacation!! I don’t eat lobster, all the more for them. Did you have any trouble with preparing the live lobsters?? I have seen it done, and am a little squeamish. Great post by the way, and very authentic lobster roll recipe.

  • April Hall


  • Sarah

    Love that picture! My eyes just keep going back and forth between the lobster roll and the beer!

  • We just made lobster rolls over a week ago. My son has been asking for me to make it again ever since. We can’t beat the price so he may just convince me especially since your post.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    What a cool story behind these!! They look fantastic :D

  • sara from seattle

    Annie, how many lobsters did you need to get the amount of meat for the recipe? What size lobsters did you get? Thanks!

  • Thinking of Julie and Julia and that scene with the lobster…Oh my, these look so amazing. I love lobster.

  • Maia

    I like this maritime-inspired post! My grandmother serves lobster rolls during family functions in the summertime on croissant. I highly recommend this extra level of indulgence. Great post as usual!

  • Caroline L.

    That sounds like so much fun – what a great tradition to start :) I love lobster rolls!

  • Lobster rolls are one of my favorite foods EVER. I usually don’t buy uni-tasker type pans/gadgets, but King Arthur Flour has a pan specifically for making the New England style hot dog rolls, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want one :)

    These look delicious!

  • annieseats

    Nah, you don’t need one! These were super easy to do free-form :)

  • annieseats

    I was a little nervous but it really wasn’t too bad :)

  • annieseats

    I just looked in my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook for a method. No instructions came with the lobster, but there may be some on their website (I haven’t looked).

  • annieseats

    I got 5 lobsters. Not sure of the size. I ended up with about 2 lbs. of meat total.

  • Chelsea

    Perfect summer post – thanks, Annie! I imagine the Julie/Julia scene where Amy Adams attempts to boil lobsters when I read recipes including lobsters; I can’t help it. Looks like you had more success!

  • Ann P.

    I have yet to try lobster rolls, but after seeing this post, clearly i NEED to do so quickly!

  • Steph F.

    OMG! I can’t wait to try this! I just found your blog and I’m hooked. I love cooking but sometimes find it overwhelming when my target audience is a bit picky. I have decided to have more parties. . . that way I can experiment on them! LOL

  • Megan

    One of my favorite meals EVER!!! So glad you finally had the pleasure of a Lobster Roll. My other favorite version is to serve the meat warmed and tossed (ok maybe drenched) in melted butter and then served in the toasted bun. Nothing better than a New England summer night with a lobster roll and cold Sam Adams beer.

  • Cathy Pollak

    How awesome, I have yet to cook a live lobster but have had good luck with frozen tails. What agreat experinence and one of my fave foods also.

  • Charlie

    Annie: Oh I love lobster, especially with drawn butter! I like the meat hot when in the bun.

    I hope you save the shells for a good fish stock

    Have a Joyful Day :~D

  • Meg T

    My husband and I are native New Englanders (he’s from the Maine coast,
    I’m from the Connecticut shoreline) and we have come to realize that we were spoiled growing up! My family had lobster rolls once a week in Summer and
    thought nothing of it. I’m glad you had a chance to make one at home!

    I agree with another commenter – try a hot buttered lobster roll for a real taste of New England! The cold mayo-celery is not as authentic (though still delicious) :o)

  • Hey that’s my second cousin :) Great choice Annie!

  • I just returned from a vacation in Maine where I had my first lobster roll … and second … and third. I’m addicted! I can’t wait to attempt to make my own; though I’m afraid I won’t make it as well as the chefs up north. This recipe looks great – lots of lobster and not much else!

  • Elyse Huey

    My dad’s family is from Maine and New Hampshire originally. A few times I’ve been lucky enough to go up and visit my great uncle and great aunt and enjoy some lobster rolls. They are so delicious!

  • Lobster has been so cheap lately so we’ve been having it a lot this summer (we live on the South Shore of Boston.) We’ve also found fish stores that will steam them for you for free if you call ahead which makes clean-up so much easier. Looks like the perfect end of August meal!