Savor the taste of succulent lobster nestled in a perfectly toasted bun with Connecticut-Style Lobster Rolls. This warm and buttery recipe with simple seasonings is the perfect easy summer dinner.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple Recipe: This easy lobster roll recipe is proof that great-tasting food doesn’t need tons of ingredients!
- Great Summer Meal: Enjoy warm lobster rolls, perfect for summer holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
- Buttery Perfection: Indulge in perfectly seasoned lobster served on a crisp, buttered bun.
- Handheld Delight: Easy to eat with your hands making it ideal for backyard dining and parties.
What is a Connecticut Lobster Roll?
Unlike the traditional Maine Lobster Roll, which utilizes mayonnaise, the Connecticut-Style Lobster Roll showcases tender lobster meat warmed in lemon butter and delicately seasoned with fresh herbs. Both styles of rolls are usually served on a buttered and toasted New England split-top bun.
The warm butter lobster roll is called "Connecticut-style" because it was created at Perry's Restaurant in Milford, Connecticut. Locals quickly fell in love with this version!
With simple seasonings, the natural sweetness of the lobster takes center stage, resulting in decadent warm lobster rolls that everyone will devour!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Lobster Meat: For the easiest option, consider purchasing freshly cooked lobster meat, preferably containing only the claw, arm, and knuckle meat, which has already undergone the cooking and processing steps.This way you don’t have to worry about cooking a whole lobster and then removing all the meat.
If fresh is not available at your local grocery store, you might be able to find it in the frozen section. It's also okay to use lobster tail meat. If you do that then save the claw meat for the top for the best presentation, and use the lobster tails on the bottom of the bun.
Butter: I recommend unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in your hot lobster rolls.
Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds so much to this recipe! It brightens the flavor and also keeps the butter from solidifying.
Chives: Chives have a milder flavor that works perfectly to add just a hint of flavor to the lobster meat. If you can’t find them, green onions (the green part only) work too.
Buns: Look for buns specifically labeled as "New England-style" or "top-split." These buns have flat sides which work perfectly for toasting. If you can’t find them, use regular hot dog buns and trim off the top crust to make flat sides.
How to Make a Warm Lobster Roll
1) Grill Buns
- Spread butter onto the flat sides of your hot dog buns.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat then place the buns butter side down.
- Toast for 30-45 seconds, then flip the buns over and toast the other side until golden brown.
2) Prepare Lobster Filling
- Melt butter in a medium skillet and heat over medium-low heat.
- Add the fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
- Gently toss the lobster meat in the lemon butter.
- Serve the warm lobster meat in your toasted hot dog roll and top with chopped chives.
- Change up the herbs. I love fresh chives in this recipe but fresh tarragon, chervil, and parsley also have flavors that work great with lobster. Use fresh herbs whenever possible and avoid any herbs that have a strong flavor that may overpower the lobster.
- Leave out the lemon for even simpler, buttery lobster rolls. Instead, serve the sandwich with lemon wedges on the side.
- Or go the opposite direction and add an extra squeeze of lemon and some lemon zest to the butter for a more intense lemon flavor.
- Enjoy a shrimp or crab roll instead. Swap the lobster meat for freshly cooked shrimp or crab meat.
- Swap the regular butter for brown butter. Gently cooking butter on the stove until it is lightly browned adds a nuttier and more complex flavor to the butter for your lobster roll.
- Prefer a cold lobster roll? Try my Maine-style lobster rolls that are served with cold lobster meat tossed with seasoned mayonnaise.
- For a spicy roll add a dash of hot sauce over the top.
Do I need to use clarified butter?
Clarified butter, also called drawn butter, is often served as a dipping sauce for lobster, and is also commonly used in lobster rolls.
The process of making clarified butter removes the milk solids from the butter. I find it’s an extra step that’s not necessary. While clarified butter offers a richer flavor, using regular butter works just fine, especially considering the addition of lemon juice in this recipe.
If you prefer to use clarified butter follow these steps:
- Use high-quality butter that has a high-fat content.
- Heat the butter in a saucepan, melting it over low heat without stirring it.
- As it melts, the milk solids will rise to the top.
- Use a spoon or ladle to skim off the foam that forms on top of the melted butter.
- The mixture that’s left in the pan is your clarified butter.
Warm lobster rolls are best served immediately. The entire recipe comes together pretty quickly and if you use lobster meat that’s already been cooked and processed then it’s a breeze. However, if you are using fresh whole lobster, you can cook these in advance and prepare the meat so it’s ready to be transformed into lobster rolls quickly and easily.
Store any leftover lobster mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To serve it again, return it to a skillet with a little additional melted butter and heat until warm. Store any leftover hot dog rolls separately at room temperature.
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Connecticut Lobster RollsRecipe by:
- 4 top-sliced hot dog buns
- 2 tablespoons butter softened, 14 grams
Warm Lemon Butter Lobster
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 28 grams
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 pound cooked lobster meat
- 1 tablespoon chives optional
- Butter the cut sides of all 4 top-split hot dog buns.4 top-sliced hot dog buns, 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat a grill pan or large skillet over medium heat. Place the buns cut-side down onto the heated pan.
- Cook for 30-45 seconds on one side, or until the bread is golden brown. Then flip the buns over and toast for an additional 30-45 seconds on the other side.
- Remove the buns from the pan and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the cooked lobster meat and gently toss it in the lemon butter until it is completely coated and the meat is warmed.1 pound cooked lobster meat
- Divide the warm buttered lobster evenly between each of the 4 buns. Top with chives, if using, and serve immediately.1 tablespoon chives