I’ll admit, for me there are few seafood dishes that are quite as delicious as some well-made crab cakes. Sometimes, though, I want that crab flavor in a different form — that’s where this hot crab dip comes in.
Not only does this dip have all of the flavor to fulfill any crabby craving, it’s warm and cheesy, too. Is there anything better than that?
It’s also super easy. There’s no messing around with cracking eggs and packing together crab meat — just mix the ingredients together, pop it in the oven, and get your crackers or veggies ready to be vehicles for the decadent dip.
If you don’t have access to fresh crab, you can absolutely use canned crab. While fresher is always better, in this case, the other flavors of the ingredients will shine alongside the crab so it doesn’t have to be fresh-caught goodness as long as it’s good quality.
The next time you’re looking for the perfect party appetizer, try making this super simple dip.
Common Questions about Hot Crab Dip
What is crab dip made of?
Crab dip is a combination of quality crab and cream cheese with spices. It’s a cheesy dip that, with the seafood, is the perfect appetizer whether it’s game day or a sophisticated party.
What goes with crab dip?
Anyone from Maryland would say that anything goes with crab dip. For those who are less entrenched in the crabbiness of the mid-Atlantic region, anything from crackers and bread to fresh veggies are a great accompaniment.
What type of crackers go best with crab dip?
You can serve any starchy goodness with your crab dip from bread and pita to tortilla chips. The most traditional type to serve, though, is either Saltines or buttery crackers like Ritz crackers.
Making Hot Crab Dip Ahead of Time
You can combine all of the ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Just pop it in the oven when you’re ready.
You can easily store pre-made or leftover crab dip in the fridge to have it ready to heat or reheat.
Refrigerator: If you have any leftovers you can store them for up to 3- 4 days in an airtight container or cover the serving dish in plastic wrap.
Freezing: You won’t get the best quality from this dip if you freeze it. However, if you choose to, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Tips For The Best Hot Crab Dip
- When making this recipe definitely go for full-fat cream cheese and sour cream. You want the kind of creaminess that only those products can provide.
- Avoid overmixing. When you’re folding in the crab, be very gentle — overmixing will break up the crab.
- Freshness is key. Make sure to get the freshest crab meat possible so the flavor shines in this dip.
You’ll likely have most of these ingredients, except for fresh crab meat, in your kitchen which makes this the perfect recipe to serve on the fly. Just pop down to one of your local grocery stores to grab that crab.
- Cream cheese (softened)
- Sour cream
- Lemon juice
- Sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dry ground mustard
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lump crab meat
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
- Large bowl
- Casserole dish (small)
- Rubber spatula
- Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or hand mixer
How to Make Hot Crab Dip
Making this creamy crab dip is so easy that once you try it you’ll make it a regular on your rotation of party appetizers.
- Place the cream cheese in a large bowl.
- Beat the cream cheese on high speed using the stand mixer or electric mixer.
- Once the cream cheese is light and fluffy, add the sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar, lemon juice, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
- Continue to beat the mixture until it is completely combined and smooth.
- Next, sprinkle in the crab meat.
- Using a rubber spatula, very gently fold the crab into the mixture until it is evenly dispersed in the cream cheese mixture.
- Then, use the spatula to spread the dip into a small baking dish.
- Bake until bubbly and hot.
- Serve the dip immediately.
What to Serve With Hot Crab Dip
There are a few things you can’t serve with hot crab dip. It’s a great appetizer, of course, but it can be incorporated into other meals.
- Veggies – Put out cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or celery sticks for dipping — it makes for the perfect low-carb appetizer.
- Carbs – Crackers, chips, pita chips, and especially baguette slices are perfect to pair with crab dip.
- Proteins – Use this dip to dress up chicken, fish, or any meat. Just spoon it over top and watch your dinner guests swoon.
- Nachos – Make seafood-style nachos by spreading this over a pile of tortilla chips and topping with a sprinkling of cheese and your favorite garnishes. We love green onions or sliced olives.
- Soft pretzels – Dip these into the dip or spread the dip over top for an impressive presentation.
- Potatoes – Make a seafood rendition of loaded potatoes by swapping out the traditional toppings with this crab dip.
- Burgers – Top a burger (or chicken sandwich) with this dip instead of your typical condiments.
- Wontons – Stuff some wonton wrappers with this and make a new take on crab rangoon.
- Breakfast – Spread this dip on a muffin or biscuit before topping with a fried or perfectly poached egg.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Any kind of seafood makes a dish feel elevated. Whether you serve this on its own or as an accompaniment, it makes it feel like a special occasion.
- Easy – This simple dish takes just minutes to whip up before you put it in the oven.
- Portable – Make it ahead and just heat at your destination.
- Show-stopping – It’s cheesy aesthetic is enough to excite anyone, but everyone will also be enthusiastic about a seafood-stuffed appetizer.
- Delicious – Who doesn’t love a decadent, creamy dip dotted with chunks of delicious crab?
Variations and Add-ins
While this is a great recipe to start with, you can use it as a base to create your own signature style of crab dip.
- Old Bay – Any Marylander will tell you that every crab dish needs some Old Bay seasoning. Try adding a few dashes to make this an authentic East Coast treat.
- Crab – If you can’t find lump crab meat, or if you’re cutting costs, you can try using backfin crab meat. Just be sure to avoid using imitation crab meat — it has a sweet flavor that doesn’t actually imitate real crab.
- Cheese – If you don’t have cheddar on hand try using Colby Jack or a similarly textured cheese. You can also add parmesan cheese for some salty flavor.
- Garlic – Try using minced garlic, either fresh or jarred.
- Heat – If you want to add a little heat experiment with cayenne, red pepper flakes, or a few dashes of hot sauce.
- Bread bowl – Try serving this in a bread bowl rather than the serving dish for a fun presentation.
If you love this easy Hot Crab Dip recipe, you’re going to love these other appetizers and snacks too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Delicious and Easy Dips
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Hot Crab Dip
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound lump crab meat canned
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix until smooth.
- Fold in the crab meat until well combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly into small casserole baking dish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
- Serve immediately with crackers, tortilla chips, vegetables, or sliced baguette.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.