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 my favorites include BLT dip, jalapeno popper dip, and this decadent crab dip.

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 cheesy crab dip is a hefty dose of real crab, which is served up in a creamy base with plenty of cheese.

If you are in the mood for crab you should try some of my other favorite crab appetizer recipes like crab stuffed mushrooms, Maryland crab cakes, crab rangoon and crab salad.

Crab Dip Ingredients

To make crab dip make sure you have crab meat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, green onions, Monterey Jack cheese and diced tomatoes.

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

How Do You Make Crab Dip?

When you make this crab dip recipe start by placing crab, softened cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, green onions and Monterey Jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir everything together. Spread the crab mixture into a prepared baking dish or skillet. Bake it for 20 minutes then remove it from the oven. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil it for a couple of minutes so the cheese can start to brown. Add a sprinkling of fresh tomatoes and green onions and you’ll be ready to eat!

Mixture in a skillet ready to go into the oven.

Tips For The Perfect Dip

  • Splurge a little and use real crab here. I used lumps of frozen crab meat, but you can also buy refrigerated lump crab meat in the refrigerated area of the seafood counter or canned crab meat. In a pinch you can use imitation crab meat, but it won’t have the same flavor.
  • My recipe calls for smoked paprika. It’s definitely worth purchasing this spice if you don’t already have it in the pantry.
  • Serve your crab dip with baguette chips (crostini), baguette slices, celery, carrots, breadsticks, tortilla chips or crackers.

Quick Tip

You can make this dip in an oven safe skillet or in a baking dish, whichever you prefer.

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese sprinkled over a skillet of mixture.

Recipe FAQs

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.

What is crab dip made of?

Crab dip is made of crab meat, cream cheese, mayo, Monterey Jack cheese and seasonings. You mix those ingredients together and bake them until hot and bubbly.

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

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.

  • Spicy: Add minced pickled jalapenos or some hot sauce.
  • 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.
  • Cheese: 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 cheese, cheddar cheese or fontina cheese.
  • Seasoning: For a stronger taste, you can mix in some old bay seasoning or some of my salmon seasoning. You can also try mixing in a squeeze of lemon juice, some Worcestershire sauce or some pepper.
  • Creamy: For a creamier, thinner dip add 1/3 cup of sour cream.
  • Parsley: If you don’t have green onions on hand, you can try parsley instead.

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. My guests are always so happy and impressed!

More Fabulous Dip Recipes

Crab Dip Video

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5 from 31 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!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Serves 8

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. Splurge a little and use real crab here. I used lumps of frozen crab meat, but you can also buy refrigerated lump crab meat in the refrigerated area of the seafood counter or canned crab meat. In a pinch you can use imitation crab meat, but it won’t have the same flavor.
  2. You can make this dip in an oven safe skillet or in a baking dish, whichever you prefer.

Nutrition

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

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  1. My kids would absolutely love these. This would disappear in no time at our house! This is my kind of weekend treat.