This easy Crab Dip recipe is meant to impress, made with fresh lump crab meat in a creamy dip that can be served hot or cold. It’s the perfect appetizer or side dish for parties, game-day or holidays.

Hot crab dip baked in a round baking dish with cheese on top, and bread slices on the side for dipping.

I’ll take advantage of any opportunity to make crab for my family, including Baked Crab Legs, incredible Crabs Cakes, or this easy and delicious Crab dip. For a similar recipe, check out my clam dip.

The ingredients are so simple, hopefully the only thing you need to grab from the store is fresh lump crab meat.

Individual bowls with the ingredients needed to make Crab Dip, labeled.

How to make Crab Dip:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in mayo, sour cream, garlic, green onion, Old Bay seasoning, salt, Worcestershire, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce and mix until smooth.
  3. Stir in crab meat.
  4. Spread into a 9″ pie dish or similar size baking pan and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
Four process photos for making Crab Dip.

Serve warm, with slices of sourdough bread, crackers, tortilla chips or chopped cold veggies.

Variations:

Cold Crab Dip: prepare dip as instructed, but don’t bake (serve it cold).

Crockpot Crab Dip: Add dip to the slow cooker and cook on low for 1-2 hours, until heated through.

Crab Dip in a Bread Bowl: For an extra fun appetizer, bake the crab dip right inside a bread bowl (homemade or a large round store-bought loaf). Hollow out the bread, leaving about an inch around the inside edges. Fill with crab dip and bake as directed in recipe. Save the removed bread pieces for dipping.

Fresh Crab Meat substitution: Since the crab is the star of the show here, I only recommend using fresh jumbo lump crab meat. You can use canned crab meat if really necessary.

Make Ahead and Storing Instructions:

Leftover crab dip will keep, stored covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Rewarm in the microwave.

To Make Ahead: Crab dip can be prepared 1- days ahead of time, stored covered in the fridge, then baked according to instructions.

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Recipe

Hot crab dip baked in a round baking dish with cheese on top, and bread slices on the side for dipping.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 35 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounce package cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ of a lemon , juiced
  • 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese , divided
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce , or more, to taste
  • 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat

Dipping ideas:

  • sourdough bread
  • crackers
  • tortilla chips
  • chopped cold veggies

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in mayo, sour cream, garlic, green onion, Old Bay seasoning, salt, Worcestershire, and lemon juice.
  • Add ¾ cup cheddar cheese and hot sauce and mix until smooth. Stir in crab meat.
  • Spread into a 9″ pie dish or similar size baking pan and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
  • Serve warm, with slices of sourdough bread, crackers, tortilla chips or chopped cold veggies.
  • Leftover crab dip will keep, stored covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days. Rewarm in the microwave.

Notes

Crab: Fresh lump crab meat is best for this recipe since it’s broken pieces of jumbo lump crab meat. You can find it at the grocery store in a container on ice, in the fresh/refrigerated seafood section. Costco has the best price I’ve found. Since the crab is the star of the show here, I only recommend using fresh jumbo lump crab meat. You can use canned crab meat if absolutely necessary.
Salt: Taste a little of the crab. If it tastes salty, you can omit the added salt.
Make Ahead Instructions: Crab dip can be prepared 1- days ahead of time, stored covered in the fridge, then baked according to instructions.
Variations:
  • Cold Crab Dip: prepare dip as instructed, but don’t bake (serve it cold).
  • Crockpot Crab Dip: Add dip to the slow cooker and cook on low for 1-2 hours, until heated through.
  • Crab Dip in a Bread Bowl: For an extra fun appetizer, bake the crab dip right inside a bread bowl (homemade or a large round store-bought loaf). Hollow out the bread, leaving about an inch around the inside edges. Fill with crab dip and bake as directed in recipe. Save the removed bread pieces for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 22gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1156mgPotassium: 269mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 769IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 229mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I’m excitedly waiting for this dip to come out of the oven. I added an Italian blend cheese along with the sharp cheddar instead of cheddar and tabassco instead of hot sauce. The dip is ok cold, but i believe its going to be Great out the oven. Frying egg roll wraps for chips. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely delicious! I made it for a party, and everyone loved it. I served it with garlic toast/crisps. The pan was scraped clean!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for Super Bowl Sunday and it was a huge hit!!! My husband’s family is from Baltimore, so he is super picky and he gave it 5 stars!! Served it with baguette, crackers, and fresh veggies….all great compliments to the dip.

  4. 1 star
    This would have been great, except the 1 cup of cheddar cheese ruined the dip. 1 cup of cheddar cheese made the crab dip extremely oily and an absolute waste of money. Maybe sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the top, but that’s about it.

  5. I forgot to mentioned that I used two 8oz containers of Phillips jumbo lump crab meat. I made this recipe for me and my 14 year old son, along with some steamed jumbo shrimp on a snow day (school had closed) . He was simply in heaven. I toast some garlic Tuscan bread and the rest is history. This recipe is amazing!!

  6. 2 stars
    Found this recipe to be too salty. If I made again I would add seasonings at the end and taste as I went. There was 3 of us eating this and we all agreed. I did use canned crab meat that was drained.

  7. 5 stars
    Perfect ratios. I did a half batch and used a canned leg meat crab and granular garlic. It was absolutely delicious.

  8. 5 stars
    I used imitation crab meat due to finances and it was a very pleasant dip. My housemates (men) really liked it as well.

  9. 2 stars
    Made this last night and it just tastes like cream cheese. All the other flavours including the crab get lost as the cream cheese is so overpowering. Waste of crab meat 🙁

  10. 5 stars
    I whipped up this recipe for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. It was a hit with the entire family. The problem is I ate so much there was no room for the ham and all the fixin dinner afterwards. I think next time I might scale it back to 1/2.

    1. 1 star
      Skip the mayonnaise and go with extra cream cheese or sour cream if you’re having this warm. Also, if going all out for crab, might as well spring for some gruyere rather than cheddar.

  11. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I did not add any additional salt since I used canned lump crab (and I rinsed that before adding). I think the salt depends on what kind of crab you’re using. Taste before adding. I didn’t find this too garlicky at all by the way.

  12. Màde this recipe for the first time.
    I have some to my friends to try he is a chef ..Loved it ..Making it again for the holidays .. Used to by various Seafood Dips from Swiss Colony but ya have to put a 2nd mortgage on the house to pay for there shipping..Then I also read artificial ingredients ..Had seen enough ..Going to find a recipe that used Lobster in the Dip next. Thanks again !

  13. With the use of Old Bay and Worcestershire, make sure you use Atlantic Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) and not Swimmer Crab. Most crab meat I find is swimmer crab and the flavor difference is worth the search. I would also suggest making half the meat Claw as it adds a sweetness.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this crab dip (as written) to take with us on a camping trip in our RV. We were meeting friends sharing dinners and boat rides. I made it the day before and wrapped it up. It was perfect, I served it with tortilla chips and wheat thins. It was easy to heat up in the microwave and serve for quick snacks. I read other people’s comments and was afraid to add salt but in the end I did and was happy about my decision. It was delicious and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you for sharing this dip recipe as I will be making it again.

  15. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Came out “light” and delicious! Can’t wait to make it again. I substituted garlic powder for fresh garlic as I didn’t have any on hand and just adjusted seasoning to taste prior to baking. Thanks for sharing!

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve made this for several parties and always get asked for the recipe by friends and family. It’s definitely a hit!

  17. 5 stars
    I had this Dip in St Thomas this month and it was Delicious! I am Making This Crab Dip For The 4th!

  18. I do not understand the comments about only tasting salt or garlic and how it was not flavorful. I omitted the hot sauce because my mouth cannot handle anything spicy, but otherwise followed exactly as written. It was lovely. Great recipe.

    1. 2 stars
      Too salty, and too much old bay for me. I recommend waiting to add the salt and old bay until after everything else to taste it before adding it. I added a lot more lemon juice to counter it. Also needed to bake longer than 20 minutes here. I won’t make it again.

  19. 5 stars
    Don’t knock something that someone tried to share. Be nice and thankful. It was great. If you didn’t like it, keep your advise to yourself. That’s all I have. Stand Down. Leave the cook alone and say thank you.

  20. Then make your own and publish it. I give a hats off for anyone trying to make something and enjoying it. No reason to knock this person so bad.

  21. 5 stars
    This crab dip was a huge hit with my family. The recipe easily made enough for a sitting plus a couple more however it was so well received, it was demolished in one. 2 huge thumbs up.
    Thank you so much.

  22. 1 star
    Terrible crab dip. I tasted salt and garlic. I wish I’d read the reviews before making this. I’ve had good crab dip before and this is NOT it!!

    1. Interesting comment considering 94% of the recipes I’ve found for crab dip are remarkably similar to this. Perhaps you had a bad batch of crab (we catch ours off the west coast and freeze after it’s cooked and shelled)

  23. Delicious! And I’m glad it was so I didn’t waste all that lump crab meat!🦀 Followed recipe exactly. Will definitely make again ❤️.

  24. 5 stars
    I am from coastal NC and hot crab dip was something my cousins and Aun’ts would bring to every event and it is on every local menu. This is the BEST I have ever had! I used mozarella only because I didn’t like the look of yellow cheddar, I used 1 large garlic clove instead of 2 other that that I followed the recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  25. The garlic is a bit overpowering. In the future, I will sauté onion and garlic and then incorporate that mixture into the dip. I may omit the Old Bay in the future. Also, I plan on adding at least a half cup of mayo and some cayenne pepper.

  26. We use fresh caught Dungeness crab and it is salty because the crabs are boiled in salt water. I would suggest you taste the crab before adding any ingredients with salt and go from there.if it’s too salty you can rinse it a little in cold water but you may lose some of the flavor. Regular mayo is even salty so just be careful…I cut down the Old Bay because the flavor gets a little tiresome and taste after each addition.

    1. Epicure crab dip seasoning about 1/2-1 tap would be an idea to use instead. Or the veggie seasoning. A little goes a LONG way

  27. I made the crab dip recipe but used 1/2 lb. Imitation crab and 1/2 lb. Lump crab meat. Got rave reviews at an outing! Yummy!

  28. 5 stars
    I used mock crab and garlic powder (didn’t have fresh), did not add the salt. Delicious recipe. Will add some chopped celery in future. Chopped spinach or small broccoli florets are also a consideration. Based on the comments, if you use canned crab, be sure to rinse it well to reduce the salt. I live in Canada, so I don’t think the Canada/US comment is likely the issue.

  29. 5 stars
    This is the best recipe, made this crab dip for my friends and they enjoyed it. Not complicated for a person like me who don’t always follow instructions, I even printed it so I can make it again next time.

  30. 5 stars
    Great dip! I’m based in Europe so can’t get old bay, so I used some paprika and onion powder instead. I’ve made it a couple of times, and hot or cold its always delish!

    Sorry, forgot to add my 5 stars!

  31. 1 star
    I spent over $55 on this and it ended in the garbage. I wouldn’t even let my dog eat it…I was so disappointed, I don’t know if it is a difference from US to Canada but I was just bummed that I spent so much on this dip and it was disgusting.

    1. 1 star
      I wish I had read the comments before investing in this dish, but I was obviously not thinking. I agree with many – waaaayyyy too much salt, I would have omitted it entirely. Also beware it also took twice as long to heat as it called for – yes I have a professional oven so my oven is not the issue. Being a waste not/want not person I added 2 cups of thawed chopped spinach to try and offset the terrible salt issue. We also used unsalted crackers as our vehicle of choice. I will only use about half the Old Bay (and I LOVE Old Bay!) because of the heavy salt content that ingredient also added.

      1. Make sure you always use fresh jumbo lump crab meat. The canned stuff has considerably more sodium.

      2. 5 stars
        She did say to taste it BEFORE adding salt! Read the instructions and tips! You can’t give a true review if you don’t do as the recipe says.
        I thought it was a great recipe and will definitely be a keeper!

  32. I used this recipe with cold smoked fish, minus cheese, the combo of ingredients worked nicely.
    Thank you,

  33. 3 stars
    I would have given this 5 stars but it’s SO salty. Crab is already salty, I would completely omit the salt if I ever make this again. Such a pity, I lost a lot of expensive ingredients and it’s really just not edible as is.

  34. 5 stars
    This was a huge hit at my cocktail party last night, eating some cold leftovers right now and it’s even better today!

  35. 5 stars
    The ingredient list calls for jumbo lump crab meat but the notes say lump crab meat is best. It matters because jumbo lump is more expensive and that’s what I bought based on the ingredient list. 5 star recipe but please be more clear!

  36. 1 star
    Terrible! No one could eat it. It was okay cold but it was so fishy when heated. Got crab from Whole Foods so quality was good.

  37. 5 stars
    I’ve made this countless times & it a great for any occasion. You can always modify it & make it to your liking, but this is my favorite recipe of all time.

  38. 5 stars
    This was delicious. Will make again. I added a diced, seeded jalapeño pepper and made with half cheddar & half gruyere cheeses. I imagine one could substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayo & sour cream to lighten the calories but made per the recipe, it was very satisfying spread on a home made sourdough bagette accompanied by a green salad & a bottle of white pinot gris. Enjoy!

  39. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious, didn’t last very long in my house lol. I will be making it again this weekend in a bread bowl. I also got some bagel chips since we couldn’t find any Bruschettini. Tortilla chips were also good with it. Thanks for the recipe!