This cheesy hot crab dip recipe comes together super fast, and it’s always a big hit with friends and family! You can bake it in a pie dish, or use a couple of sourdough bread bowls for a fun, edible presentation. Old Bay adds tons of flavor. In my opinion, this is the best baked crab dip you’ll ever try!
I’ve been eating steamed Maryland blue crabs since I was a little kid. These days, I don’t have much patience for digging through crabs, even though I still love the flavor. Because of this, I’m always looking for new ways to add crab meat to recipes.
This hot crab dip recipe is one of those creations, and my entire family now requests it when we have get togethers (that is, if I’m not bringing Crab Cakes). Trust me, you’re going to love this.
Note: this is an updated version of an older recipe, now with step-by-step photos and additional tips!
For this crab dip, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Crab meat (preferably lump meat, if available)
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Old Bay Seasoning (I highly recommend this for seafood if you don’t already own it. Old Bay is practically a Maryland tradition.)
- Dijon mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Mild cheddar cheese
- Optional: bread bowls for baking, parsley for garnish, crackers/chips for serving
How To Make Hot Crab Dip
This recipe seriously couldn’t be any easier. Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Pick Through Crab Meat
While the oven is preheating, place the crab in a bowl and gently pick through to make sure there aren’t any lingering shells (I usually find a few).
If you’re using lump meat, try to avoid breaking down the lumps as much as possible. They add such a wonderful texture and help the flavor of the crab shine through.
Step 2: Combine The Filling and Crab Meat
Combine all of the ingredients in a separate small bowl, then gently fold into the crab meat, again taking care to avoid breaking up the lumps.
If you’re not using a bread bowl, you can spread the mixture into a pie dish (or a similar sized oven-safe serving dish), sprinkle the cheese on top, and place it in the oven. To bake in a bread bowl, keep reading!
Step 3: Make a Bread Bowl
You can to look for small round loaves that are approximately 6 to 8 ounces. If your grocery store has a self-serve soup section near the salad bar, that’s usually where I find them (I bought mine at Safeway, but I’ve seen them elsewhere).
To prepare the bowl, sliced off the top, then scoop out as much of the bread filling as possible while making sure not to tear the edges or bottom. Save the tops for dipping.
Step 4: Add The Crab Dip
One recipe should fit into two bread bowls. You can pack it in tightly if necessary (or just eat any extra! The dip is also tasty chilled or at room temperature).
Step 5: Top With Cheese
When I have time, I like to grate my own cheese in the food processor. But you can use pre-shredded cheddar. A cheddar/Monterey jack blend would also work. I don’t like to add a ton of cheese since I like the main focus to be the crab, but you can go nuts.
Step 6: Bake and Serve
Bake at 350 degrees F for around 30 minutes, or until the dip is hot. I like to sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley on top for color, but you can’t really taste it so consider it optional.
You can also sprinkle a bit more Old Bay on top for color and flavor. However, keep in mind that Old Bay includes salt, so don’t go overboard.
I’m stubborn about always using lump meat in grandma’s crab cakes. Unfortunately, lump crab is a lot more expensive than it used to be. You can use whatever type of crab meat you enjoy and/or is available in your region. The other ingredients in the dip make the swap less noticeable than it is in crab cakes.
When possible, I highly recommend purchasing crab meat from plastic container versus a can. The taste and texture difference is noticeable (think fresh versus canned tuna). You’ll find this at the seafood counter or at a seafood market.
Even if the cream cheese is at room temperature, it will sometimes get lumpy when mixed with sour cream because it’s much thicker. I recommend dividing the cream cheese into sections on a plate (like you would with butter), and microwaving it a few 7-9 second increments, flipping it over each time, until it’s soft and slightly warm, but not melted.
You can bake this in bread bowls, a 9-inch pie dish or any similar sized oven-safe dish (it would work well in a brownie pan, which is what I used with my buffalo chicken dip). Another option is to use two smaller oven-safe dishes. That way, you can essentially serve the hot crab dip twice, baking one at a time.
Looking For More Crab Recipes?
Hot Crab Dip
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (see notes)
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound lump crab meat (see notes)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated mild cheddar cheese, plus more if desired
- Optional: 2 bread bowls for baking (see notes)
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Crostini, crackers or chips for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, Old Bay, mustard and Worcestershire in medium bowl until well blended. Fold in the crabmeat, tossing gently to avoid breaking up the lumps.
- Spread in a buttered 9-inch pie pan or spoon into two bread bowls with the centers scooped out. Top with cheddar cheese and additional sprinkle of Old Bay, if desired (Note: Old Bay contains salt, so don’t go overboard).
- Bake the dip for 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling. Optionally, you can turn on the broiler for the final 1-2 minutes to add some additional color to the top. Keep an eye on it.
- Top with parsley, if using. Serve immediately.
- Cover and store any unused dip in the refrigerator. It reheats well in the microwave!
When possible, I highly recommend purchasing crab meat from plastic container versus a can. The taste and texture difference is noticeable. You’ll find this at the seafood counter or at a seafood market (whereas cans are sold near the canned tuna).
Look for bread bowls that are approximately 6 to 8 ounces. Bread bowls are often sold at self-serve soup stations (check your grocery store near the salad bar). You can also use a pie dish or brownie pan.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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