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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
More fabulous dip recipes
Crab Dip Video
Crab Dip Recipe
- 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.
Making it now with artichoke hearts. Easy recipe.
I haven’t had crab in a while – what a great idea!!! Will try this weekend!
Love this crab recipe! Looks so easy and quick to make!
This Crab Dip looks delicious! Will be making it very soon.
I love how creamy and cheesy this is! It goes perfectly with the crab and makes a great appetizer!
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.
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)
Do you think canned crab meat would work?
Difficult to get crab meat in other form where I live.
Yes that will work!
Thank you for responding.
Have a wonderful weekend 😊
Attend a girls night in on the 22nd & everyone has to bring a dish..and this recipe will be mine❤
Haha! Ditto ! Same date and everything!
Another girl’s night with same date. We are doing a Mardi Gras theme.
Any one ever throw baby shrimp in? I was thinking abou adding along with some old bay.
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.
Yes Miracle Whip should work just fine!
Miracle whip will change the flavour as it is sweeter than mayo. People think they are interchangeable, but they are not.
Can this be prepared and kept in the fridge to be cooked later?
Yes that’s fine!
Delicious!! I added a little old bay and fresh lemon and it was a huge hit!!
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.
Crab dip is one of my favorites and this one sounds delicious. I think I’ll make it for our Father’s Day BBQ.
Omg can we say yum?!? I just love crab! Must give this recipe a try
This sounds like the perfect recipe! I have to try it out one night for the family.
I don’t eat a lot of crab but I don’t know why as I really enjoy it!! Thanks for the recipe inspiration.