This hot crab dip is a mixture of crab, cheese and spices, all baked together to form a creamy dip that’s bound to get rave reviews. A super easy make-ahead appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser!

I love to serve dips at parties, they’re easy, most can be made in advance, and people go crazy over them. Some of our favorites include BLT dip, jalapeno popper dip, and this decadent crab dip.

Crab Dip Recipe | Hot Crab Dip | Seafood Dip #dip #crab #seafood #appetizer #dinneratthezoo #cheese Crab Dip Recipe | Hot Crab Dip | Seafood Dip #dip #crab #seafood #appetizer #dinneratthezoo #cheese

Hot crab dip in a skillet topped with tomatoes and green onions.

I serve at least one dip at every party; they’re easy to make, feed a lot of people, and there are so many different flavor possibilities! The star of this crab dip is a hefty dose of real crab, which is served up in a creamy base with plenty of cheese.

How do you make crab dip?

This dip is made with real crab meat, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and spices. Everything gets combined, then goes into a skillet to bake to gooey brown perfection. Add a sprinkling of fresh tomatoes and green onions and you’ll be ready to eat!

Crab, cream cheese, mayonnaise, green onions and spices in a mixing bowl.

Tips for Crab Dip

  • Splurge a little and use real crab here. I used frozen crab meat, but you can also buy refrigerated crab meat in cans in the refrigerated area of the seafood counter. In a pinch you can use imitation crab, but it won’t have the same flavor.
  • I use Monterey Jack cheese because it’s a mild, creamy cheese that melts well and doesn’t overpower the flavor of the crab. Other cheese options include mozzarella, cheddar or fontina.
  • Green onions are a fairly standard addition to crab dip – if you don’t have them on hand, you can try parsley instead.
  • My recipe calls for smoked paprika – it’s definitely worth purchasing this spice if you don’t already have it in the pantry.
  • This dip can be made in an oven safe skillet or in a baking dish, whichever you prefer.
  • Serve your crab dip with baguette chips (crostini), vegetables, breadsticks and crackers.

Crab dip in a skillet ready to go into the oven.

Can you make crab dip ahead of time?

You can assemble your crab dip up to 8 hours before you plan to serve it. Simply cover the dip and refrigerate it, then place the crab dip in the oven right before you’re ready to eat. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the bake time since you’re starting with a cold dip.

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese sprinkled over a skillet of crab dip.

Crab Dip Variations

Crab meat doesn’t need a whole lot added to it to make it special, but here are a few ways to jazz up your basic crab dip if you’re looking for a new flavor combination.

  • Spicy: Add minced pickled jalapenos.
  • Artichokes: Add 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts.
  • Seafood: Use 4 ounces of crab meat and 4 ounces of salad sized shrimp.
  • Bacon: Add 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon on top of the baked dip.

No matter how you decide to serve your crab dip, it’s sure to be a hit. Crab can be expensive when it’s not in season, so I save this dip for a special occasion and my guests are always so happy and impressed!

A hand scooping out some crap dip with a crostini toast.

More fabulous dip recipes

Crab Dip Video

5 from 28 votes

Crab Dip Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
Hot crab dip in a skillet topped with tomatoes and green onions.
This hot crab dip is a mixture of crab, cheese and spices, all baked together to form a creamy dip that's bound to get rave reviews. A super easy make-ahead appetizer that is always a crowd pleaser!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Serves 8


  • 8 ounces crab meat
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions divided use
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese divided use
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • cooking spray


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a small baking dish or oven proof skillet with cooking spray.
  • Place the crab, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, 1/4 cup green onions and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Spread the crab mixture evenly into the prepared dish. Top with the remaining cup of cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until dip is bubbly and cheese is melted. Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese has started to brown.
  • Top with remaining 1/4 cup green onions and tomatoes, then serve immediately.


Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 142mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

Related Posts

Free Bonus

5 Secrets to Meal Planning + Free Toolkit!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wow, that looks incredible. I love crab and I’m drooling right now. I’m going to add some crab to the grocery list. I’m going to be craving this until I can pick some up. I like the one in the refrigerator section the best and I’m always looking for new recipes so I can use it.

  2. 5 stars
    Very simple and delicious crab dip – I’m Pinning this one in my “tried and true” folder! Great Christmas Eve appetizer – love the Christmasy garnish (I used green onion and red pepper)

  3. Do you use real mayo or can you use Miracle Whip? Also, just on general principles, I would add some Old Bay seansoning if I made this. Sounds yummy yummy, and easy to make, and who doesn’t love a good crab dip. I plan on trying this recipe at our Christmas Eve get together with 15 guests, so I’ll probably double the recipe.

      1. Miracle whip will change the flavour as it is sweeter than mayo. People think they are interchangeable, but they are not.

  4. 5 stars
    This was really yummy! I used the fresh refrigerator section of crab out of the shell so it was easy to make. We had it as a meal with a nice salad.

  5. Crab dip is one of my favorites and this one sounds delicious. I think I’ll make it for our Father’s Day BBQ.