Recipe Review

I Tried Ina Garten’s Warm Lobster Rolls and They’re Almost Perfect

published Jun 4, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Headshot: Getty Images

When I think of the Hamptons, I think of lobster rolls and Ina Garten, so it only made sense to include Ina in our lobster roll recipe showdown. Her recipe goes in a Connecticut-style direction, meaning that the lobster is warmed in butter. Ina has never let me down, so I was excited and ready to give her take on the best summertime dish a whirl. Here’s how it went.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne; Headshot: Getty Images

How to Make Ina Garten’s Warm Lobster Rolls

Ina’s recipe calls for cooked lobster meat — and of course it does, because store-bought is fine. No steaming lobster, today! The lobster is warmed in melted butter with chopped celery, salt, and pepper. You then take the pot off the heat and mix in some fresh dill, fresh parsley, and lemon juice. In a separate skillet, you toast the outsides of split-top hot dog buns in butter until golden-brown. When the buns are ready, you stuff them with the lobster mixture and garnish with more fresh dill.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

My Honest Review of Ina Garten’s Warm Lobster Rolls

This was a really good lobster roll. If Connecticut-style lobster rolls are your thing, this recipe is certainly worth your while. This was one of the few recipes in our showdown that incorporated fresh dill, and I really enjoyed this addition. Note to self: If I’m going to make lobster rolls this summer, definitely throw some fresh dill on ‘em.

The lobster mixture was the ideal balance of meaty, buttery, acidic, and herby. Additionally, you have to appreciate Ina’s unapologetic permission to just buy cooked lobster meat. There is a time and place for steaming and cracking whole lobsters, but today is just not that day, and that is A-OK.

My biggest issue with this lobster roll was the decision to add the celery over heat. Personally, I don’t love cooked celery because it turns soft and limp. Even though the chopped celery was only over the heat for a few minutes, it definitely took away some of its crispy, raw texture.

If You Make Ina Garten’s Warm Lobster Rolls, a Few Tips

  1. Don’t cook the celery. If I were to make this recipe again, I’d mix in the celery off the heat with the fresh herbs so it retains its crunch.
  2. Trim the bun ends. Ina doesn’t call for trimming the ends of the bun, but I’m a huge proponent of this because it makes for beautifully toasted bun edges all around.

Overall rating: 8.5/10