Hot Crab Dip

Has this week been painfully long for anyone else? Who is so glad it’s Friday?! I’m trying to rest up (and trying desperately to get some nagging zits to go away) because Sara and I are headed to Utah to start working on some publicity for our book. Those of you who are in Utah, be sure to tune into Studio 5 on Wednesday if you want to see us cooking some of our favorite recipes in the book!

Well, the Superbowl is almost here, and I’ve mentioned a time or two that I really couldn’t care less about football, but I love football food. This crab dip is another variation of the Jalapeno Popper Dip and the Garlic-Artichoke Dip. So, like the others, you’ll need cream cheese, mayo, and Parmesan, then you’ll also need Creole mustard (or a similarly mild coarsely ground mustard), minced garlic chopped green onions, lemon juice, and shredded crab. Now…about the crab. Unless you’re married to someone on Deadliest Catch (or are a crabber yourself), crab can be quite expensive, even if you live in a place where fresh crab is abundant.

Here are your options:

–Find someone local who will sell/give you crabs (this sentence sounds so wrong) for a good price or trade (not getting better). I know when it’s shrimp and crawfish season here in Louisiana, people are constantly along the side of the road selling shrimp or crawfish, and a lot of times, they’re willing to give you a great deal for some kind of trade.
–Check the seafood department of your grocery store for some plastic cannisters filled with fresh crab. This is quite expensive (like I’ve seen it for $14 for about 8-12 ounces), but it’ll be pretty good.
–Frozen crab can be hit or miss. I found some frozen crab claws at our Kroger, but they had not been properly sealed (they had just been cellophane-wrapped) and they were all freezer burned. If this is the case, don’t waste your money.
–You could actually use fresh or frozen crawfish or lobster if you can get it for a better price. Shellfish is shellfish (say that three times fast!), especially when lots of cream cheese and mayonnaise is involved, right?
–Apparently, there is a pretty good brand of canned crab called Phillips. It is found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores and Costcos. Shockingly (I’m being sarcastic here), I am unable to find Phillips Crab at any of my local establishments, but I’ve read great things about it for those of you who can find it!
–There are other brands of canned crab (like Chicken of the Sea). There are mixed reviews about it and honestly, I kept thinking about how different canned and fresh tuna taste and I couldn’t bring myself to try it. Has anyone tried those types of canned crab? Any thoughts feelings about them?
–Smuggle some crab legs into your purse from the Friday night buffet at the Chinese restaurant. I don’t recommend this on so many levels.
–There is Krab. Imitation crab. I am opposed to it for the solitary reason that one of my biggest pet peeves in the universe is when people substitute “K” for “C” when it is not 100% necessary (and really, is it ever necessary?!) However, it is cheap. My husband hates seafood. I was not spending $15 on real crab for a dip that would go largely uneaten. So…Krab it was. And it was pretty good–not as good as the real thing, and I’m also opposed to meat that has the texture of string cheese, but hey, if you chop it up small enough, no one will ever know, right?
So ANYWAY, enough about crabs! Once you have all your ingredients together,


preheat your oven and place the shredded crab (krab? [Oh, holy night, I shudder at the sight of it!]) in a large bowl and add the juice of a lemon. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir it all together until it’s well-combined. Spread the mixture into a 9″ pie plate or into a medium-sized baking dish and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until it’s golden brown and bubbly on top. See my picture?

That is not golden-brown. That is overdone. It’s also called, “I kind of left the crab dip in the oven while I went to the bus stop to pick up my kid and then got sidetracked talking to Sara about top-secret (but soon-to-be-not-top-secret) blog business.” If you’re not crazy about burned cheese, I don’t recommend it.

So it’s super easy and who (besides my husband) doesn’t love crab dip?! And guess what…even he loves it because I didn’t tell him it had crab in it and he ate a lot of it. So that’s gotta say something, right?


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. My favorite easy crab dip:
    2 blocks cream cheese
    2 jars Old English Cheddar
    2 bunches green onions, chopped

    Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power. Easy and delicious! Fritos, crackers or baguette. Yumm

  2. Made this for my family the other night…it was AMAZING!! Best crab dip I have ever tasted!! It was sweet and creamy and we ate every last bit of it!! I did one extra thing and layered it with parmesan cheese so it had kind of a crusty top when I took it out of the oven!!

  3. Will be making this Christmas Eve to take to a get together. Sounds good and looks good. Wish me luck!

  4. Omgosh, you crack me ypup with the “K” for “C” comment. We call VERY country people ‘country with a ‘K”. I can say this bc I’m from the bayou and can be ‘country with a ‘K'” myself sometimes! Lol! Also daughter and granddaughter of fishermen. I’m a stickler for fresh gulf seafood. My recent move to NY has been a challenge in that dept! Also, I’ve always gotten it for FREE! Will be trying this dip this summer in NOLA!

  5. I am the daughter of fisherman, the granddaughter of fishermen, and wife to a fisherman. It goes without saying, I am a seafood snob; and crabmeat just happens to be my most absolute favorite thing…I am a NC girl, after all.

    There’s a traditional “Down East” (this is NOT everything east of Raleigh) recipe very similiar to this one but it features horseradish. I also use Old Bay (on like everything) and whipped cream cheese in mine. However, crab casserole is even better than that 🙂

  6. Will you be able to add a link to your Studio 5 showtime? I live in Utah but will be at work when it's on.

  7. I made this tonight and hubby and I devoured it! I served it with baked wonton strips and it was (almost) just like crab wontons. Thank you so much! I left out cayenne because the kids were eating it too.

  8. I also hate the substitution of K for C in words. But I still call srimi Krab. If it helps (for me, it does), you can pronounce it: Kay-rab. At least that way, I don't feel I'm trying to fool anyone, even myself!

  9. This looks delicious. I've tried crab in a can before for a crab dip.. some recipe I found on foodnetwork..I think Sandra know she uses canned everything. But it was really delicious and like you said with the cream cheese and mayo.. it's gonna be good. But in fact it was really good. It's especially great when making it for a rather large party.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. I Totally Agree about the unnecessary use of K instead of C!!! this looks yummy! Love your site!

  11. We make a similar crab dip at our house, except we use spinach and artichoke cream cheese (and we'll use the canned lump crab meat when we're being cheap). It turns out awesome everytime.

  12. I love crab dip! I usually go with the canned crab meat. It tastes fresh and is perfect in dip.

  13. oh my gosh it's a seafood recipe! I am always looking for a good crab dip so I'm extremely excited about this!

  14. I'm not a fan of crab (or krab lol) but with that much cream cheese and other cheese and seasonings I think I could learn to like it!!!! 😉

  15. Oh dear. This looks like it might taste like the inside of a crab wonton. If I fry wonton wrappers to make chips and use those to dip…. *wipes drool* I have almost everything to make this and I bet hubby and I would love this.

  16. Yes!!!! I HATE when people use a 'K' instead of a 'C'. Nice to know there's someone out there whose crazy like me. 🙂

  17. I make a crab dip for my husband and I use canned crab. It's pretty good. He keeps asking me to use the imitation crab but I just can't bring myself to use that stuff. Moral of my story: I have used canned crab and it's alright. (I can't remember the brand though, it's not bumble bee)

  18. Oh holy hannah! this is RIGHT up my alley! I just might have to make this for Superbowl!! thanks for sharing!!

  19. I use Krab in dips all the time. And like you, as long as it's chopped up small, I can get over the extra K and food coloring. (though a bigger pet peeve is adding a y instead of an e or i- not that you care but just thought I would put that out there) But I use the canned crab meat all the time too. Usually on a lazy girl cook night when I make pasta and use a jar of sauce and toss in a few cans of crab or clams to jazz it up. It's not fresh but I think it's quite tasty in a sauce.

  20. Just found your blog. I'm loving it, and loving this recipe. Crab dips are awesome!

  21. Other than albacore tuna, I don't really like canned meats/fish, but I think that Bumble Bee canned crab is pretty decent. I prefer it over imitation crab. I might try this dip soon!

  22. I use canned crab, cause we'll, I'm cheap, but can't bring myself to buy imitation crab when I do make a dip. it's works. Also, I've never lived on the ocean, so I've never been tainted by having fresh delicious seafood available affordably, so I make do with what I've got.

    Also, does crab dip and bread count as a full meal? You've got a bread, fish, dairy, it works right?

  23. I'm gonna have to try this one. We moved away from Maryland about 2.5 years ago and haven't been able to find a good crab dip here in Charlotte (GOOD crab dip is EVERYWHERE in Maryland!) You should try baking some crab dip on top of a soft pretzel!!!

  24. Why would you expect to find good crab in a can in south Louisiana?LOL.
    I have dound the Phillips in a commissary near me and it's, well, it's okay — the best I've found outside of fresh blue crab.
    I'd like to try your version of crab dip soon.
    thanks for the recipe

  25. This looks delicious. I am putting it in my recipe book right now and next time we have crablegs I am buying extra so I can make this.

  26. In the UK our canned crab tends to be OK. A lot of chefs even recommend it for 'cooked in' recipes. It definitely isn't as different from regular crab as tuna is from raw tuna – and IMHO better than frozen.

    Otherwise East Anglia (in the UK) is the place to go for fresh crab!

  27. Haha, Oh man… this post made me laugh A LOT! The dip looks delicious. Can't wait to watch you on Studio5 — congratulations!

    -Annie @ {PeppermintPlum}