Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus

Crab and Avocado Salad With Citrus is a wonderful dish to serve as a light summer evening meal while sitting outside on your patio with a glass of chilled white wine. If you are entertaining, it makes an impressive first course served any time of the year. The sweet, delicate flavor of lump crab meat pairs perfectly with the rich, buttery taste of avocado. Each component of the salad is mixed with a slightly spicy citrus vinaigrette and topped with sections of orange. We all enjoy having quick and easy cooking ideas for summer meals. This delicious and colorful dish takes almost no time to prepare and is light, healthy and refreshing.

Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus
Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus

This dish was inspired by an appetizer that I had during a vacation to Vero Beach, Florida, at the Citrus Grill. The appetizer salad was so good that I knew that it would be the inspiration for a meal at home so that I could remember the delightful sunny days at the beach in Florida. At the restaurant, the salad was made with grapefruit and topped with micro greens which I enjoyed. In my version, I decided to use blood oranges which I knew my husband would prefer in place of grapefruit but most citrus would be good.

Tropical Sun And Sand On Vero Beach, Florida
Tropical Sun And Sand At Vero Beach, Florida

Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus 

I suggest using 3 or 4 oz. of crab meat per person. Recipe serves 2. Adapt accordingly.

Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice (I used the retained juices of the sectioned orange)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. or to taste of sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Makes approximately 1/3 cup.

Crab Layer

  • 8 to 10 oz. container lump crab meat (pasteurized)
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy citrus vinaigrette (see above)
  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Whisk the vinaigrette and mayonnaise until smooth and then gently toss with the crabmeat (being careful not to break the lumps).

Avocado Layer

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. or to taste of spicy citrus vinaigrette (see above)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Slice avocado in half, remove pit, peel and dice. Place in a bowl, mix in the vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning. *Depending on the ripeness of the avocado, you may wish to add  some additional vinaigrette or lime juice to bring out its flavor. You may also wish to add a little extra hot sauce. Just remember you do not want to overpower the delicate flavor of the crabmeat.

Citrus Layer

  • 1 or two oranges, depending on size

Peel the orange. Cut into segments over a bowl, cutting the flesh from each side of the membrane. Carefully remove any seeds that might be present and set the orange segments aside. Reserve the collected juice in the bowl for the vinaigrette (you will need at least one tablespoon).

To assemble, spoon a layer of avocado onto a plate (I used a ring mold for the plating but that is optional). Top with a layer of crabmeat retaining a couple of lumps for garnish, if desired, and then add a few segments of orange. Remove the mold, if using, garnish with a couple of crab lumps, drizzle with a little extra vinaigrette and serve.


I served this crab and avocado salad with Tuscan rosemary crackers and a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio…a Sauvignon Blanc would be lovely as well. It can also be served with greens as a main course salad. Since crabmeat is expensive, other serving ideas might be layering smaller portions in a martini glass on top of shredded romaine lettuce as an appetizer or serving tiny portions in a china spoon for one bite tapas passed around at a cocktail party.

No matter how you choose to serve the crab and avocado salad with citrus, I think you will find it to be a wonderful flavor combination. Enjoy!

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

182 thoughts on “Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus

  1. What a light and refreshing salad/ appetiser Karen. Avocado is great with delicate flavoured meats and seafood. I also love your spicy vinaigrette and the blood oranges! Mouthwatering!


  2. What a fantastic colour combination and just that tad different way of presentation made by cubing the avocado and mixing the dressing throughout. The honey and hot sauce together really appeal . . . now to get a friend to bring some fresh crab from the Big Smoke in exchange for a perfect lunch 🙂 ! [the Sauvignon Blanc already waiting here!!]

  3. What a gorgeous and delicious looking plate. I picture you and your husband lounging by your lake enjoying your meal and the scenery on a delightful summer evening.
    Love your ring mold idea and the blood orange substitute.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Norma. The salad’s different colors does make a pretty presentation. Having had this dish with both orange and grapefruit, my husband and I prefer the orange’s sweet taste with the delicate crab meat.

    1. Hi Charlie, We enjoyed visiting Vero Beach, Florida…it really is beautiful. I’m happy to know you like the salad. Thank you for your compliment.

  4. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic…………..the flavor combinations sound delightful! The presentation in 5 Star! Such perfection with texture, color and artistry. The addition of the blood orange takes this dish right over the top. Cannot wait to make this….pure heaven.

  5. Karen this looks so refreshing! I love anything with avocado & blood oranges. Although I am not a huge fan of crab meat I would for sure make this with fresh grilled tuna or maybe even without any protein at all. Thanks for such an easy recipe idea for August.

    1. Hi Teresa, I’m glad to know you like the dish. I think grilled tuna would work well. There is no need to spend lots of time in the kitchen during nice summer weather…this dish comes together in minutes.

  6. Hello Karen, what a gorgeously colourful picture! As I don’t eat seafood, I was just imagining this with crisp bacon instead of the crabs…

    1. Thank you Kiki, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you like the photo. I believe you could use shredded chicken in this recipe. Of course, bacon sounds like a delicious idea as well.

  7. I love this divine combo of fine tasty ingredients & just like you, I love colour in my daily food! Yummmm! I must make this perfect dish soon! It looks just smashing, Karen! Yummmmmx

    1. Thank you Sophie, for your lovely compliment. Yes, I think food is so much more pleasurable when there is some color on the plate. I hope you will enjoy the salad.

    1. Hi Tessa, The salad was a good as it looks and the spicy vinaigrette went so well with the crab and avocado. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Hi Carina, I’m sorry that I have posted a recipe that will be hard if not impossible for you to prepare. I think you will like the dressing…it will go well on so many things. Enjoy! 🙂

    1. Hi Shaikha, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I do believe you would enjoy this dish…it was delicious.

    1. Hi Maureen, Some dishes are just meant to be stacked like this. I know the taste would be the same if I just plopped the ingredients on top of each other but a ring mold makes it so pretty. I appreciate your compliment.

  8. A match made in heaven, crab and avocado really compliment each other so nicely and the citrus would really liven up the flavours. It really is a lovely summer luncheon or a starter for company. Unfortunately today is absolutely teaming rain so we’re thinking more soup than salad.

    1. Hi Eva, I totally agree with you about crab and avocado going to well together and the citrus just added another dimension to the dish. I liked your corn soup as well…always good for a rainy day. It rained hard during the night and early this morning but it has since cleared up. I’m just hoping all the gray clouds doesn’t mean more rain as I’m hoping to grill this evening. 🙂

    1. Hi Angie, I know what you mean…when I had this dish in Florida, it impressed me so much that I knew I had to create something similar. 🙂

  9. Ahhhh….crab, avocado and citrus together – what could be better? Actually the vinaigrette wtih the sriracha sounds pretty good too! Your pics of Vero Beach make me want to head to the beach!

    1. Hi Becki, I have to agree with you, the ingredients in this salad go perfectly together. I’m glad you like the recipe. The beach was so lovely when we visited Vero.

  10. This combines two of my favorite things – crab and avocado, which I can get fresh here in Texas. I’ve made something similar with chunks of beautifully ripe mango, but I’ll have to try the oranges next.

    1. Hi Naomi, The first time I ever remember having crab was when I lived in Texas. There was a wonderful restaurant in Galveston called Gaido’s and I used to order their lump crab meat cocktail. I believe you will enjoy the bright taste that the orange gives to this dish. I make crab cakes with mango salsa so I know your dish must be very good as well.

    1. Thank you Liza, for your nice compliment. Absolutely, this would be wonderful in winter. I had the dish that inspired my recipe in February while visiting Florida.

  11. I love crab! One of those foods I’ll never turn down, although it’s a treat more than a regular dish because, as you point out, it’s rather expensive. But that means it’s perfect in a salad! You can use other ingredients to complement its flavor, and “stretch” it. And because we usually eat this sort of salad for a first course, we get to taste it when our taste buds are fresh, so it has more impact. Super dish — thanks.

    1. Hi John, I’m with you…I love crab how ever it is prepared and find it very difficult not to order it when I see it on a menu. Using it in a salad like this does make a little go further since it can be expensive. Thank you for your nice compliment…it was delicious.

    1. Thank you Lynda, for your nice compliment. This salad does have a nice combination of flavors…I’m glad that you like it. I’m like you…since I discovered sriracha, I use it in so many recipes.

  12. It looks like a very tasty and fresh dish to enjoy during the summer with a glass of wine and great company. Eva just posted a creamed corn soup with crab and avocado so the psychic blogging connection strikes again. 🙂

    1. Thank you Boleyn, for your nice compliment. I do think that is a very nice dish for summer even though it would be good anytime of the year. Yes, I smiled when I saw Eva’s soup. 🙂

  13. Yummy! I bet this is Maine crab being used in this particular recipe. I find it sweeter than Maryland crab. Both are worth savoring though. Last trip to Maine we came home with 10 pounds worth!

    1. Hi David, I think people in New England get spoiled with all the wonderful seafood that is available to us. Maine crab meat does have a very sweet and delicate taste. Ten pounds of crab…that is a lot! 🙂

    1. Oh Conor, I know what you mean. Each morning our temperatures here at the lake have been down into the 40’s and the leaves are starting to get a yellow cast. Summer always passes so quickly. We will be closing down the cottage in a few more weeks but for now I’m still going to cook like there is no end of summer. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you Uru, for your nice compliment. You are always so sweet to comment on my non vegetarian dishes and I really appreciate it. 🙂

    1. Hi Celia, We are really blessed to have such wonderful seafood here in New England. I know that crab can be expensive in many areas. This is definitely a recipe could be made in much smaller portions are served with salad greens for a small starter. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  14. Very nice, Karen. I love the combination of citrus, avocado and seafood. It pairs beautifully together. Given it’s still toasty in Texas, we may give this a try. We just have so many ideas and recipes rolling around right now, it’s all a question of when something rises to the top of the priority list. 🙂

    1. Thank you Richard, for your nice compliment. Even though you live in the center of Texas, I know you have access to the wonderful fresh crab meat from the Gulf Coast area which would be great in this dish. I know what you mean…there are so many wonderful dishes that we all want to prepare. It is just getting around to trying them all.

    1. Thank you Tracy Lee, for your compliment…I’m happy to know that you like the crab and avocado salad. I know that most people think of summer as being over when children head back to school, new programs on TV start their new season and summer clothes go on sell. I refuse to let go of summer until the official first day of Autumn on September 22nd. That is when we will start closing down our summer cottage in Maine and head back to New Hampshire. Then of course, there is always the possibility of having an Indian summer after our first frost. 🙂

  15. Lovely vibrant colours that really do transport me to a sunny patio, especially pleasing since it is misty and damp here! Crab and avocado are a delightful combination, brought together with citrus fruit, ideal. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Tracey, for your lovely compliment. Today has been that kind of a day here as well. I treasure each sunny day since we have had such a grey and rainy summer this year. I do think this is a pretty salad that is full of flavor…I’m happy that you like the dish.

  16. Think I would go with the grapefruit. As it makes a startlingly good vinaigrette. Either way it’s a very healthy dish (without the mayo). And loving your idea of serving this in Martini glasses. Very elegant.

    1. Hi Johnny, I think both versions are good…just depends on which citrus you prefer. There is only one tablespoon of mayo in the recipe but it could certainly be eliminated. I used it more to bind the crab than for flavor. I think serving the salad in martini glasses would be very nice when entertaining. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  17. What a lovely dish for summer. My family always enjoys things like this. These food are really enticing, on the lighter side and full of fresh flavor.

    I hope you had a marvelous summer. I have certainly enjoyed your articles. I think I am ready for the colder weather. How about you?

    1. Hi Adri, It seems we have similar tastes and I believe your family would enjoy this salad. We have had a wonderful summer and I’m happy that you have enjoyed the posts…I appreciate your kind words. Summer started out very rainy but now we have been having typical Maine weather. Highs in the middle 70’s and lows in the 50’s. We don’t usually close down the summer cottage until the end of September. 🙂

  18. THis sounds like a wonderful salad, Karen, and I agree. It would make an impressive starter for fine dinner. Though a ring mold isn’t necessary, look how nice your presentation is because you chose to use one. It’s the little things that dinner guests notice and you always seem to take them into account.

    1. Thank you John, for your kind words…they are very much appreciated. The salad is delicious and I think guests would really enjoy it. 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn, The citrus really brings out and complements the other ingredients in the salad. I believe you would enjoy the salad. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I do love the color combination in this salad. We all know that what we see with our eyes is the first thing we enjoy about a meal. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Lizzy, I know that you are so looking forward to the arrival of your warm season…winter can drag on forever sometimes. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and recipe. Thank you!

    1. Thank you TW, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos and that they took you on a mini vacation so to speak. 🙂 Thank you for your nice compliment.

  19. Blood oranges are my favorite and paired with crab would be delicious. I was thinking how cute this would be in the martini glass and remembered I have mini triffle bowls I could use. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’m going to serve this for a Sunday brunch party this weekend.

    1. Hi Mary, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe and are going to serve it at your brunch party. I hope you and your guests will enjoy it as much as we did. I think you mini triffle bowls will be a perfect way to serve the dish.

  20. Karen that’s a beautiful mouth watering image of the crab and avocado salad with citrus. I love recipes that do double duty, by that I mean they can either be a light supper dish or a starter.

    1. Hi B, I agree with you about a recipe doing double duty. The nice thing about this dish is that it is so easy to prepare whether you are serving it for a family meal or when you are entertaining. 🙂

    1. Hi Juliana, I’m happy that you liked the presentation…I do think it is a pretty dish with its layers of color. Thank you for your compliment.

  21. Wow, Karen! You have a lovely blog, m’lady. I just adore avos and your crab salad incorporating them along with blood oranges (or other citrus such as grapefruit, I’d choose Ruby Red!) looks stunningly delish! Thank you for stopping by my blog today as I am happy to have found yours. Long live summer and let’s pray we’ll be blessed with late Indian Summer days!

    1. Hi Stacy, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I’m happy that you enjoy my blog and this recipe…thank you for your nice compliment. I have had this dish with both citrus and they are equally good. I agree with you…it would be nice to have a lovely Indian summer. *To my readers who haven’t heard this term, in the US it is a series of warm pleasant days after a hard frost and before winter arrives. 🙂

    1. Hi Carolyn, I have to agree with you about crab and avocado going so well together. I’m sure Dungeness crab is wonderful…we never see it here on the east coast.

  22. Oh now this one is going right to the top of my list. What an excellent combination. I’m trying to think of what I can tell my husband the avocado is…maybe mashed peas- he likes peas. Oh forget it, he’ll just have to deal with avocado!
    That shot of Vero Beach is beautiful. I can actually hear the waves rolling in and the sea gulls calling me.

    1. Hi Diane, You gave me a chuckle,”mashed peas..he’ll just have to deal with avocado”. Too funny! 🙂 I’m happy that you like the recipe and photos. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  23. Oh, my gosh…this is heaven on a plate! Such a spectacular combination of ingredients…and I love them all separately, but even more combined in your salad!

    1. Thank you Liz, for your nice compliment. You are right…each ingredient is terrific on their own but combined together the salad is wonderful. 🙂

    1. Thank you Daniela, for you nice compliment. The salad is definitely as good as it looks and would make a nice presentation when having friends over.

  24. Wonderful! I love avocado and crab separately, and this is so beautifully crafted. What a great presentation this makes. I will definitely be making this soon. At various times in the year we have more avocados than we know what to do with…well, almost. I can eat them without any of the beautiful artistry, but when I serve to others, this would really be a treat! 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, I appreciate your love compliment. I’m happy that you want to make this salad. We can get your California avocados at the market all year but it would be nice to have them in abundance. 🙂

    1. Hi Amy, I’m happy to know that you like the salad. I love having easy to prepare dishes during the summer and this was perfect. We usually visit Vero Beach once a year as our son lives there…it is lovely.

  25. This salad looks as beautiful as it must taste. I have never tasted avocado with other citrus than lime, but it sounds like an excellent idea to experiment with orange.

    1. Hi Sissi, You are so right…it makes a pretty presentation but it really is delicious tasting. I agree with you about lime, there is two tablespoons of juice in the dressing. I use lime instead of lemon in lots of vinaigrettes…I love its sweet tart taste. I think you will enjoy the combination of orange and avocado…especially with seafood. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  26. Glorious presentation. I know this has to be tasty and love that vinaigrette. Blood oranges are nice and sweet and a perfect compliment to the lightly sweetened crab. Is this dish to share? I think I would want one whole one just for myself! Take Care, BAM

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Bobbie. I’m happy you like the presentation…it would be nice served in smaller portions in a martini glass as well. I won’t tell anyone if you decide not to share. 🙂

  27. Avocado and crab and citrus make such a nice combination. And I remember a lovely visit to Vero Beach with my mother when I was in Jr. High. Glad to see it still looks pretty.

    1. Hi Michelle, All these ingredients do go very well together. If you get a chance to return to Vero Beach again, I think you would enjoy it. Our son lives there so we usually visit once a year…I think it gets nicer every time we go.

    1. Hi Marcie, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. We used to live in Florida and go down each year to visit family and friends. 🙂

  28. Karen, another delightful summer recipe with the most wonderful of ingredienst and colors! I love the whole frehness of this dish – it looks perfect as an appetizer for a dinner party or just because – unfortunately really fresh crab meat is somewhat hard to come by around here (but I saw that you used canned – that, I can get) – I just love how it tastes though, especially in combination with the avocado and the citrus.
    Hope all is well and you are enjoying the end of summer to its fullest!

    1. Hi Andrea, I appreciate your lovely compliment…thank you. It does make a nice appetizer and I know that you would serve it beautifully. Yes, there is very good quality canned refrigerated pasteurized lump crabmeat available and I do use it when fresh is not available at the fish markets. Summer has been very nice in Maine. I hope that you had a wonderful time with your family over the summer as well. 🙂

    1. Hola Rosita, Le agradezco su elogio encantador. Creo que esto hace un aperitivo bastante para servir al entretener invitados. Thank you for your compliment. This is a pretty appetizer to serve guests.

    1. Hi Louise, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe. I think the rosemary crackers added a nice crunch factor to a meal that has soft components.

    1. Thank you Lindy, for your nice compliment. I think the salad is pretty and the flavors really complement each other. Sorry to have made you hungry…grab something to eat. 🙂

  29. This looks so light, refreshing and delicious! I love to try to recreate dishes that stand out when we travel. It looks like you had a memorable time at Vero Beach.

    1. Thank you Laura, for your nice compliment. I think the salad is as good as it looks. Vero Beach is a pretty town to visit in Florida and has some nice restaurants.

  30. This sounds sensational. The combination of citrus, crab and avocado instantly transports me to someplace tropical – like a vacation on a plate! I especially like the idea of kicking up the citrus dressing with a little heat; I often make citrus vinaigrettes, and I’m going to try that technique. Thanks for sharing, Karen.

    1. Thank you Marlene, for your lovely compliment. I like “a vacation on a plate”, I’m glad you felt that way. I think you will like adding a little bit of spicy heat to a citrus vinaigrette…it worked real well in this recipe.

  31. I love this salad! Have always loved the combination of citrus and avocado and can imagine how well it goes with the crab meat. Delicious! Love the picture of the tropical beach. Wish I were there right now!

    1. Thank you MJ, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos and the salad recipe. I think the combination of these ingredients went very well together.

    1. Thank you Ducky, for your nice compliment. Yes those are blood oranges. I loved all the color that they added to the dish…pretty enough to serve guests.

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