Hungry for lobster, but not the premium price tag? Try these 22 Langostino Recipes featuring the seafood fan’s favorite lobster alternative!
Ask any seafood lover what their favorite dish is, and 9 times out of 10 the answer will include lobster. Unfortunately, as one of life’s little luxuries, lobster comes at a premium. When making your favorite seafood dishes at home, this is where langostino steps in. All the lobster flavor we know and love, minus the sticker shock. We’ve rounded up 22 easy ways to use sweet and buttery langostino tails in recipes like langostino lobster rolls, pastas, scampi dishes, and more!
What is Langostino?
There is a lot of debate out there about what langostino actually is. “Langostino” is Spanish for “little lobster,” though it has different meanings depending on the area. In some parts of the world it refers to a kind of shrimp, in others a species of lobster.
So, let’s narrow it down to home soil. In the USA, langostino is the meat of the squat lobster. The taste is similar to American or Maine lobster, though langostino is more closely related to a crab. Meanwhile, the texture is more like shrimp.
Confused yet? Some put it down to semantics. Still, the FDA eventually stepped in to help clear up some confusion for consumers. Restaurants in the States cannot label langostino as “lobster” on a menu unless it specifies “langostino” or “squat.” At the end of the day, it’s important to know that langostino isn’t a lobster. Though it’s pretty darn close in terms of flavor.
Is it Langostino or Langoustine?
Langostino is also not to be confused with the French “langoustine.” This is another crustacean which is actually a lobsterette, also known in Europe as Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawns, or scampi. While they’re closer to lobsters, langoustines are often described as looking like something in between a prawn and a crayfish. So many semi-lobsters, so little time!
Can You Eat All of a Langostino?
The edible part of a langostino is in its tail. The tails are usually about an inch or so long and filled with delicate meat. Langostino tails are shelled and then used in recipes like pastas, salads, “lobster” rolls, and bisques.
Does Langostino Taste Like Lobster?
While the texture is more similar to a shrimp or a prawn, Langostino meat has a sweet taste that’s very close, if not almost identical to lobster. This makes langostino a prime substitute in many lobster recipes.
Is Langoustine Cheaper than Lobster?
True lobster is widely considered a delicacy across the world. For this reason, menus often use terms like “langoustine lobster” for marketing purposes. However, langoustines are a delicacy in their own right – live langoustines are almost double the cost of live lobster per pound!
This is because getting langoustines from the sea to the table often involves overnight shipment from remote parts of the North Atlantic. Just seeing another langoustine along the way can cause them stress, so they’re wrapped individually. For this reason, in seafood restaurants, you’ll often find fresh langoustines served in small portions, with a hefty price tag attached.
Langostino, while still wild-caught, is less dramatic and generally affordable. You can find frozen langostino tails that are already cooked and shelled at places like Trader Joe’s or Costco, or visit your local fish market. When properly prepared in recipes, langostino makes a tasty stand-in for real lobster!
22 Recipes to Try
If you’re a seafood fan craving the buttery and sweet taste of lobster, get ready to try these 22 langostino recipes using the best lobster substitute.
Langostino Lobster Roll
An easy recipe for homemade langostino lobster rolls that taste just as good as the classic! Featuring creamy, tender langostino meat served up between fluffy buns.
Garlic Butter Langostino
Turn a little bit of luxury into a delicious and easy meal, with langostino served in a lemony garlic butter sauce and garnished with parsley. Serve it alone or over rice or pasta for a perfect weeknight seafood dish!
Langostino Mac ‘n Cheese
Make rich and creamy langostino lobster mac and cheese with all the flavor of the real deal, at a fraction of the cost. Have this mouthwatering meal on the table in just 30 minutes!
Langostinos in Sherry Cream Sauce
Chunks of sweet langostino meat make a tempting stand-in for lobster when combined in a velvety sherry cream sauce. Filled with flavorful herbs and smoky paprika, this easy “lobster” dish is perfect as a light meal or appetizer.
Langostino (or Shrimp) Scampi
An effortless and tasty scampi recipe made with langostino tails or jumbo shrimp. It doesn’t get much tastier than seafood sautéed in butter!
A delicious alternative to lobster Alfredo that won’t break the bank – or your diet. Full of flavor, with juicy langostino chunks and pasta tossed in a lightened up version of classic Alfredo sauce.
A budget-friendly version of a delicious sweet-and-spicy Louisiana étouffée. A classic Cajun and Creole-inspired dish made with sautéed peppers and onions smothered in a richly spiced tomato based sauce, scattered with pieces of soft langostino meat.
Langostino Cobb Salad
A healthy salad idea that sees a classic Cobb salad dressed up with juicy langostino tails. Low and carbs and big on flavor and protein, thanks to a mix of garden veggies, hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon and seafood!
Lobster Pasta Salad
This “lobster” pasta salad is a real summertime treat! Made with langostino in place of lobster, ripe heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and dill tossed in a creamy dressing with tender-cooked pasta.
Cilantro Lime Lobster Tacos With Spicy Slaw
Seafood tacos are fancy without even trying! A fresh and delicious summer dinner idea loaded with seared langostino lobster tails that have been seasoned with cumin and lime. Topped with a spicy slaw and fresh cilantro, these easy tacos are a burst of flavor in every bite!
Langostino and Pimiento Skillet Mac and Cheese
Tender langostino tails and mild pimiento peppers are tossed together in a creamy cheese sauce in this decadent homemade mac and cheese recipe. Topped with a layer of toasty breadcrumbs, for a fancied-up twist on classic comfort food.
Crunchy corn chips loaded with all your favorite nacho fixin’s – cheese, jalapeños, black beans and pico de gallo – with one major upgrade: langostino! Topped with sour cream, these homemade nachos are made for seafood lovers!
Summer Lobster or Shrimp Rolls
Toasted hot dog buns get piled high with creamy seafood salad made with langostino tails (or shrimp) in this low-effort recipe for perfect Maine-style “lobster” rolls. Crunchy celery and onions along with a squeeze of lemon bring out all the flavor in this classic seaside favorite!
Langostino Lobster Bisque
A favorite restaurant appetizer, made at home! Make luxurious and creamy langostino lobster bisque with all the beloved buttery flavors, plus fresh herbs and a hint of sherry.
Hot Lobster Roll Dip
Take your next game day appetizer spread to the next level with the help of this hot dip recipe made with langostino lobster! Bubbly cheese and crunchy potato chips are the perfect contrast in this crowd-pleasing party food.
Lobster Sushi Rolls
What’s better than homemade sushi? We’ll tell you: homemade sushi filled with the decadent flavors of lobster! These easy sushi rolls are wrapped up in soy paper and perfect for dipping.
Gluten-Free Creamy Seafood Alfredo Recipe With Shrimp and Langostino
Langostino lobster and juicy shrimp are the perfect pair in this easy, creamy seafood Alfredo made with none other than low-carb butternut squash spirals! A healthy pasta dish that’s just as decadent as the original.
Langostino and Andouille Sausage Empanadas
The Deep South meets the Southwest in these spicy homemade seafood empanadas! Filled with andouille sausage and langostino meat, you’ll love dunking these scrumptious appetizers into their creamy avocado dipping sauce.
Creamy Langostino Lobster Mac and Cheese with Brie
A little bit of luxury, wrapped up into a delectable homemade langostino lobster mac and cheese. The flavors of lobster and the creaminess of melted brie cheese take this baked mac and cheese recipe over the top.
Moist homemade cornbread dotted with chunks of rich and decadent langostino meat is the variation on the homestyle favorite you never knew you needed.
Cajun Eggs Benedict
A festive take on a classic American breakfast dish inspired by the flavors of southern jambalaya. This Cajun Eggs Benedict is made with juicy langostino tails and soaked in a mouthwatering New Orleans-style homemade béchamel sauce.
Garlic Chive Pesto Pasta with Langostino Lobster
Aromatic garlic and chives infuse this pesto pasta dish with all sorts of fresh, herby flavor. Tossed with langostino tails, yellow squash, and spinach for a filling and healthy meal idea.
Searching for even more seafood recipes to make at home? Check out the recipe finder!
Sources: Seafoodsource.com, Mashed.com