Lobster Tail Recipe (Fast & Easy!) – Wholesome Yum

Recipe for cooking lobster tail

Video Recipe for cooking lobster tail

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Welcome to the ultimate guide to cooking lobster tails! With the tasty butter sauce and ultra-fast cooking method, it’s the best lobster tail recipe for holidays, celebrations, and home dating nights. And while there are plenty of ways to make lobster recipes, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make roast lobster tail – it’s ready in just 20 minutes, including the time to butterfly them.

Making this dish at home is also much more affordable than taking it out in a restaurant (the same goes for crab legs!). I’ll cover everything you need to know: choosing the best lobster, how to butterfly lobster tails (the easiest way), how to cook lobster tails (for the most tender result), preparation and freezing instructions, and plenty of side dishes to serve with lobster.

Lobster tails roasted in a dish.

Ingredients and substitutions

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cooking lobster tails, what each does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

Lobster tails

  • – This recipe works with both warm water and cold-water lobster, but if you have a choice, get the latter. It has a whiter, firmer flesh and tastes better. You can buy lobster tails at most grocery stores or the seafood market (the cooler option), but I often prefer warehouse clubs because they have larger queues at a better price.
  • Salted butter – Adds flavor, locks moisture and helps with browning. I use salted butter and don’t need salt, but you can also use unsalted butter and add salt separately (you’ll need 1/8 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste, if your butter isn’t salted). Feel free to add some black pepper if you want, too.
  • Garlic – Use 2 fresh and crushed garlic cloves. Chopped garlic is more likely to burn (and won’t mix with the other ingredients), so I don’t recommend it for roasted lobster tail. You can also substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s what you have on hand, but I think the fresh taste is better.
  • Lemon juice: Not only does it pair perfectly with lobster recipes, but lemon juice also helps make the meat more tender.
  • Smoked paprika – For flavor. If you don’t have smoked paprika, then sweet paprika will work too.
  • Cayenne pepper: I only used a pinch, so my roast lobster recipe didn’t come out spicy, but you can add more if you like a kick.

How to butterfly a

lobster tail

The best way to roast lobster tails starts with butterfly lobster tails! While this may seem complicated, I promise it’s easier than you probably think. Here’s how to prepare lobster tails before cooking:

  1. Cut the lobster shell. Using kitchen scissors, cut the center of the shell, up to the tail, but without cutting the tail. You want to cut through the top of the shell, but don’t cut through the bottom.
  1. Divide the shell. Using your thumbs and fingers to open the shell. Open it gently first, and then continue to open the shell further, so that it separates from the meat on the sides. If you see a dark line in the center of the tail (this is the intestinal tract), remove it with your hands. It’s safe to eat, but it doesn’t look appealing.
  1. Pull the lobster meat over the shell. Gently pull the lobster tail meat upwards, separating it from the bottom shell. Leave the end attached to the caudal fin. Slightly push the empty shell underneath and place the row of meat on top.
  2. Place the butterfly lobster tail on a lined baking sheet, with the meat facing up. Your homemade lobster tails are already starting to look like you got them from a fancy restaurant, even before you cooked!
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The Best Ways

to Cook Lobster Tail

Once you have it butterfly, there are several options on how to cook lobster tail. Here are the main ways, with pros and cons:

  • Roast – This method is in the oven under the high heat of the grill. My easy lobster tail recipe is roasted! You can also bake lobster using a method similar to roasting, except using normal heat. However, I find that the high heat of grilling becomes more tender inside than regular cooking.
  • Air fryer: Works similarly to grilled lobster tail, but uses its air fryer. Even though the temperature is lower, the cooking time is actually very similar due to the airflow. Get the lobster tail recipe from the air fryer here.
  • Poached – Sometimes this is another term for boiled lobster, and sometimes it means simmering shredded lobster tails in a layer of butter (called butter poaching).
  • Boiling – This is one of the simplest methods, as it only involves cooking the tails in a large pot of boiling water. But, I find that the taste when you boil is not as rich as lobster cooked with butter.
  • Grilled – You can even cook lobster tails on a grill if you want! We don’t have enough pleasant weather during the year to make this my reference method, but I love it during the summer months. Get the grilled lobster recipe here.

As you can probably guess, I think the best lobster recipe is roasted! The cooking time is fast (less than 10 minutes!), requires minimal cleaning, and is super tasty with butter.

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How to cook lobster

tail in the oven

This section shows how to roast lobster tails, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For complete instructions, including quantities and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to the grill (500 degrees F or 260 degrees C). Place the oven rack so that lobster tails placed on a baking sheet are 4 to 5 inches away from the grill.
  2. Mix the butter sauce. Whisk melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
  3. Brush the lobster tails with butter. It is important to cover all the lobster meat so that it stays pleasant and juicy, this is the best way to cook lobster tails! You’ll use about a tablespoon of butter mixture for each cola.
  4. Grilled lobster tails. Place under the spit, until the meat is opaque and slightly browned, about 1 minute per ounce of individual cola.
  5. Decorate and enjoy! Finish your lobster tail recipe with lemon slices and fresh parsley. You can also serve with melted butter on the side.
Lobster tail recipe finished with parsley and lemon.

How long to cook lobster tails?

The cooking time of roasted lobster will vary depending on the size of the tail. When grilling, the rule of thumb for lobster tail cooking time is about 1 minute per ounce of individual tail.

For example, roast 10-ounce lobster

tails for about 10 minutes total, and 5-ounce lobster tails will take about 5 minutes. If you want to be sure, use an instant-read thermometer to check cooking – the perfect internal temperature is 140 degrees F.

How to cook

frozen lobster tails Cooking frozen

lobster tails is as easy as fresh ones, and depending on where you live, it might be preferable to buy frozen tails. We’re in Minnesota, so I prefer to buy frozen lobster, as “fresh” is often pre-frozen, anyway. First you need to thaw them, so that they cook evenly.

How to thaw lobster tails

If your lobster tails are frozen, thawing them is a simple step in this lobster tails recipe. You have two options


  • Fridge: Thaw lobster tails in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to check your tails about an hour before you plan to cook them, to make sure they are completely thawed.
  • Cold water: Place lobster tails in a zip-lock bag and soak them in water for 30-60 minutes, until completely thawed.
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Cooking lobster tails using this method makes them look like the dish shown here.

Storage and preparation ahead of


Most seafood is the best freshly cooked, and lobster tail recipes are no exception. Therefore, I recommend cooking lobster immediately before serving. However, you can prepare lobster tails in advance, with these tips:

  • Butterfly lobster tails in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare the seasoned butter in front. Melt, whisk together with other ingredients and refrigerate.
  • Do not brush the butter mixture on the lobster more than 20 minutes before cooking. If you do, the acid in the lemon juice will begin to “cook” the lobster. (The lemon juice in seafood for extended periods makes lobster or shrimp ceviche.)
  • Brush and cook just before serving. Melt the seasoned butter, brush the lobster tails with butterfly and roast. It only takes a few minutes!

How to reheat the lobster?

If you have lobster left over (what?!), you can still reheat and enjoy it. Place each lobster tail on a large piece of aluminum foil and cover with a generous pat of butter. Wrap the aluminum foil tightly around each glue. Reheat the lobster tails in the oven to 350 degrees F for about 5-8 minutes, until hot.

Can lobster tails be frozen?

It is not recommended to freeze cooked lobster, as the texture will change. You can freeze raw lobster tails, but it requires a special method. Boil 2 quarts of water, with 1/2 cup of non-iodized salt. Add the lobster tails for 60 seconds, then soak in ice water to stop the cooking process. Cool completely in cold water, pat dry, then freeze in freezer bags. Preparing lobster tails for freezing in this way will allow them to last 9 to 12 months in the freezer.

Lobster tail roasted on a plate.

What to serve with lobster recipes

Now you know how to cook lobster tail, but what do you serve with it? I’ve got you covered with side

dishes and more:

  • Side dishes – Lemon slices and melted butter are a must in my book
  • .

  • Vegetables: Try sautéed broccoli or roasted asparagus as easy, light sides of this roasted lobster tail recipe. For more plentiful vegetarian options, pan-fried Brussels sprouts or creamy spinach are perfect.
  • Potatoes – As mashed potatoes,

  • roasted potatoes, or for healthier alternatives, cauliflower puree or roasted rutabga
  • .

  • Surf And Turf – If you want to get fancy, you can combine the best lobster with a quality steak, such as sirloin or filet mignon, for a special surfing and lawn occasion.


Seafood Recipes with Wow Factor

Lobster recipes may be a popular seafood for special occasions, but they’re not the only ones! Here are other popular ones to consider:

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