This addictive and delicious baked hot crab dip is creamy, cheesy, loaded with crab meat and is the perfect party appetizer or game day snack. It’s a 30-minute dip made with cream cheese, sour cream, sharp cheddar, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, hot sauce and big chunks of sweet crab meat.
Hot crab dip is a decadent appetizer to add to your party table with plenty of flavor to dip your chips into. Despite its name, it isn’t spicy but temperature hot. It’s a warm, baked dip with lots of melty cheese to go around. Serve this rich dip with crostini, tortilla chips, crackers, or toasted bread.
Ingredients in Hot Crab Dip
HOT CRAB DIP RECIPE TIPS
- Lump crab – I used canned lump crab meat for convenience but you can use fresh crab as well. If using canned or tubs of lump crab meat, drain them fully of liquid so you don’t dilute the dip. These prepared crab meat in tubs and cans are usually fully cooked and ready to eat, so you don’t have to worry about cooking them before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients.
What is Lump Crab?
Lump crab meat comes from the body meat of the crab and has a delicate flavor. It is made from real crab and is not the same as imitation crab or krab. Lump crab is a great choice for making dips or crab cakes.
- Cream cheese – This is the base of the dip. I used 8 oz. of cream cheese along with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and sour cream each. If you want to leave out mayonnaise or sour cream, add more cream cheese instead. Using 12 or 16 oz of cream cheese as a full substitute will also work.
Soften up the cream cheese by bringing it to room temperature before cooking so it combines easily with the rest of the ingredients. If you forgot to take out the cream cheese ahead of time, try microwaving it for about 30 seconds to soften it.
- Mayonnaise and sour cream – I used Duke’s mayonnaise for this recipe. You can use just cream cheese and mayonnaise and skip sour cream but I find the tanginess of sour cream adds more flavor.
- Cheddar cheese – I used sharp cheddar for its bold flavor to match the strong flavors of crab and green onions. You can do a mix of other cheeses like Parmesan or mozzarella or follow the recipe and top with mozzarella instead of cheddar for cheesy strings.
- Green onions – This adds some bite. If you’re not a fan of green onions, try substituting them with chives or parsley.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce adds some umami flavor to the dip. Feel free to skip this if you’re not a fan.
- Old Bay seasoning – Old Bay seasoning compliments seafood so well and should not be skipped.
- Lemon juice – Just like Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice compliments any seafood dish and adds some zest.
- Hot sauce – Hot sauce is optional but highly recommended. The small amount used will not make the dip spicy but deepens the flavor. The word ‘hot’ in the recipe name is used more to describe the temperature of the dip than the spice level. I used Cholula hot sauce in this recipe, which is a staple in our house.
- Salt – The amount of salt you need to add depends on if the lump crab meat is salted to begin with. This recipe and the salt amounts are catered to lump crab meat that is not salted or seasoned. If yours is, decrease the amount of salt and Old Bay seasoning used.
- Leftovers and reheating – The dip will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. To reheat, bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed up.
- Make ahead – Combine all the ingredients, cover and keep overnight until ready to bake. Bake according to the recipe instructions and add more time, if needed to account for it being slightly chilled beforehand.
- Add more flavor – Add some minced onions and garlic or onion and garlic powder for more flavor.
- Add more cheese – Mix in some shredded Parmesan for more cheese and flavor or top with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese before baking for long, cheesy strings.
- Substitute hot sauce – Substitute the hot sauce with a few shakes of cayenne or jalapenos.
- Substitute green onions – Switch out green onions with chives or parsley.
And that’s about it. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made, or what you paired the dip with in the comments below.
MORE PARTY DIPS TO TRY
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Million Dollar Dip
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Velveeta Rotel Sausage Dip
- Cream Cheese Sausage Dip