Are you intrigued by the elegance of tea sandwiches, but unsure how to make them? These crab salad sandwiches are effortless to put together. Savor their simplicity and flavor.
Tea sandwiches, a traditional delicacy, are typically small and delicate, meant to be consumed in two to three bites. They come in a variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, vegetable, and fruit. Popular options for tea sandwich fillings in the UK and US include cucumber, egg, chicken, crab, smoked salmon, ham, cheese and pickle, roast beef, tuna, pimento cheese, and fig jam.
Crab salad sandwiches are made with mostly pantry staples. Let's talk about the key ingredients.
- Crab Meat: We used canned crab meat for the photo shoot, but if you have fresh crab meat, that would be ideal.
- Bread: We used a very thin white bread, but you can substitute with a bread that you enjoy.
- Vegetables: We used orange bell pepper, red onion, celery, and an English cucumber.
- Dairy: We used sour cream and full fat mayo.
- Flavorings: We used Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Want a fancier top? Use a tiny cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the center.
- Don't like them circular? Try triangles, fingers, square, cubes, flower shapes.
- Don't want bread? Try puff pastry or phyllo cups for canapes.
- Don't like them in one layer? Try open faced, double decker, rolled, or cubes wrapped with prosciutto.
- Don't want a tea sandwich? Use a hoagie roll, kaiser bun, potato rolls, or Hawaiian rolls.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients to make this tea time treat.
- Place the crab, cucumbers, red onion, celery, orange bell pepper, and the fresh dill in a large bowl.
- Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
4. Gently mix the ingredients to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover the salad and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
5. Spread butter on the bottom and top slices of bread. Center one tablespoon of crab salad in the middle of each slice.
6. Put the top slice on, then use a biscuit cutter to cut out circular shapes. Keep the remaining bread for croutons or toad in the holes.
7. Garnish these with a small sprig of fresh dill.
8. Enjoy right away with a cup of tea!
The crusts are cut off each sandwich and they are cut into pretty shapes, such as triangles, rectangles, squares, and circles. This recipe looks pretty and make the guest feel special.
This recipe shines with soft white bread. If you can find bread that is sliced very thin, your end result will look more dainty.
It's best to assemble first, then cut the crusts off; this way the filling goes right to the edges. With a standard loaf of bread, you can cut four triangles or three bars from two slices of bread. You can cut the the bread into larger squares or very dainty cubes. If you're making circular shapes, use a biscuit cutter or a small drinking glass.
You can make the salad filling a day in advance, but assemble them a couple of hours before the party begins. When assembled, dampen a paper towel and wring out the excess water. Place it on top, and cover with plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container and refrigerate. The damp paper towel has two purposes: it hydrates the bread, and it acts as a protective barrier from the air.
A traditional British afternoon tea would have three courses. Be sure to provide a variety of different kinds of hot tea, such as black, green, and herbal.
The first course is a variety of savory and sweet dainty tea sandwiches. They are traditionally served on a round plate on the bottom tier of a three tier tray. You'll want to try our cucumber sandwiches and our egg salad sandwiches.
- Make Ahead: The filling can be made the day before your big event. It's better to assemble them only a couple of hours before the guests start to arrive, so the bread doesn't get soggy or dry out.
- Leftovers: Crab salad can last covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. When it's made into sandwiches, they taste best if eaten the same day.
- Freeze: It's not a good idea to freeze the crab salad filling because it has mayo and sour cream in it. Any leftover bread can be frozen for breadcrumbs, croutons or toad in the hole.
- Need garnish ideas? Try radish, watercress, chive curl, edible flowers, cucumbers
- Don't know what to do with the leftover bread or filling? Make toad in the holes; the crab tastes wonderful with egg.
- Don't want soggy sandwiches? Butter the insides of the top and bottom slices.
Other Sandwiches You'll Love
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Crab Salad Sandwiches
For the Crab Salad
- 8.5 ounces canned wild caught crab meat, drained
- ¼ cup English cucumber, chopped
- ¼ cup orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
For the Dressing
For the Sandwiches
- 2 loaves of very thin white bread, 48 slices
- butter, softened
- fresh dill for garnish
Making the Crab Salad
- Mix the crab salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Carefully fold the salad dressing into the crab mixture, then cover and chill for a minimum of one hour to overnight.
Making the Tea Sandwiches
- Butter thinly sliced white bread.
- Place 1 tablespoon of crab salad in the center of 24 slices of bread, then place the remaining 24 slices on top.
- Use a 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter to make the bread a circle shape. Garnish with a dill sprig and serve immediately.
- Try radish, watercress, chive curl, edible flowers, cucumbers if you want more garnish ideas.
- Make toad in the holes with the leftover bread.
- Prevent soggy bread by buttering the insides of the top and bottom slices.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.