Insanely Delicious Hot Crab Dip

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Insanely Delicious Hot Crab Dip makes the perfect party appetizer. This delicious and addicting crab dip is ready in just 30 minutes and will instantly wow the entire crew!

Everyone loves a great dip, because we all love to play with our food sometimes. If you are looking for more incredible dips you have to try my 5 Minute Dip, Ranch Dip or this easy Rotel Dip!

Hot Crab Dip in a metal pan. There is piece of bread dipping into the pan.

Hot Crab Dip

Whether it is football season, baseball season, basketball season, party season, you get the idea, this dip has to be on your list of things to make! Hot crab dip is creamy, cheesy and full of flavor. It is super savory without being fishy. When I put this on the table it is one of the first things to disappear. Hand down one of the best appetizers EVER!

When it says hot crab dip, it is not spicy hot, but temperature hot. The dip is served and kept hot to keep all the cheese ooey and gooey and oh so delightful. You can definitely make it spicy if you prefer. Just add a bit of hot sauce to the mix. This crab dip is so quick and easy, it’s going to be one of your new go to recipes! If your worried about it being overly fishy, don’t be. This is the perfect way to eat crab and not even know it!

Ingredients for Delicious Crab Dip

Be sure to buy lump crab meat, and not imitation crab meat. There is a huge difference and you will be able to to taste it. Look for it in the canned meat section with the tuna.

  • Cream Cheese: Soften the cream cheese by leaving it at room temperature for about half an hour or microwave it or 30 seconds.
  • Sour Cream:  Helps thin the cream cheese and adds a great bit of tang.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds more creaminess and flavor
  • Cheddar Cheese: Finely shredded
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic is an impeccable flavor in the dish.
  • Paprika: You will love the color and flavor it adds.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This adds depth and a great umami flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Helps balance the dish.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add more or less to taste.
  • Lump Crab Meat: Look for this in the canned meat aisle by the tuna.

How Do You Make Hot Crab Dip?

This couldn’t be any easier. Just throw everything into a bowl and stir and bake. Hot crab dip is so good but so easy it’s almost crazy.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and fold in lump crab meat.
  3. Bake: Spread in a small casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a slice baguette or tortilla chips.

Hot Crab Dip in a metal pan with sliced bread on the side.

What Is Lump Crab Meat?

  • Lump crab meat comes from the body of the crab. They are smaller than the Jumbo lump crab, but still sturdy.  Lump crab meat is usually found in a can, although some butchers will carry it too. It is a blend of broken pieces of jumbo lump and a special grade of crab meat. You can mix it with a fork without worrying that it will break apart into mush. This is perfect in dip recipes, salads, casseroles, and crab cakes
  • Imitation Crab: Imitation crab is just what it implies, not real, but fake. Imitation crab is highly processed food made by combining minced fish with starch, egg whites, sugar, salt and additives to mimic the flavor, color and texture of real crab meat. It’s not exactly what you want in your hot crab dip. Steer clear of it if you can.
  • Can I Use Fresh Crab Meat? Yes, you can. Fresh crab meat is typically sold in plastic containers over ice at the market. These crabs have been steamed or boiled but will cost a little bit more.

A piece of bread being dipped into Hot Crab Dip.

Tips for Insanely Delicious Hot Crab Dip

Keeping it simple and keeping it easy makes this one of the best appetizers to try!

  • Crab: Be sure to drain the crab well. If there is too much liquid left in the crab, it can make the dip watery and too thin. Check for any bits of shell as well. There are often some bits of shell that stow away in the canned crab and it’s unpleasant to bite into.
  • Cheese: Use a medium or sharp cheese, but nothing that will overpower the wonderful taste of crab. Buy a block and gate your own. Using pre shredded cheese is usually coated in preservatives and anti caking agents which will prevent the cheese from melting nicely.
  • Spicy: If you want to add a bit of a kick and some extra heat, add some hot sauce or diced canned jalapenos to the mixture.
  • Keep it hot: If need the crab dip to stay hot for a long period of time, once it’s baked transfer it to a crockpot and keep it on low. You might lose some of that golden top, but it will stay warm and melty.
  • Make Ahead: You can make this dip up to 2 days ahead of time. Mix altogether but do not bake. Cover tightly and keep in the fridge. Remove from fridge half an hour before baking.
  • Serve it with: We love chips, buttery crackers, crostini, baguettes, celery, carrots and cucumbers.
  • Leftovers:  If you actually have leftovers, store them for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven. Do not freeze.

Hot Crab Dip in a metal pan with sliced bread on the side.

Looking For More Hot And Cheese Dips? Look No Further!

Dips are great, it gives all permission to play with our food. If you want to dunk, skim, scoop or just daintily dip your choice of finger foods in scrumptious, flavorful dips. I have the perfect ones right here! Dips are one of the best choices when it comes to appetizers, party foods, or snacks. They are customizable, portable and come hot, cold, spicy, mild, and even in sweet varieties. If you need a few ideas to get you started, these are some tried and true winners to try.

Insanely Delicious Hot Crab Dip

4.7 from 30 votes
Hot Crab Dip makes the perfect party appetizer. This delicious and addicting crab dip is ready in just 30 minutes and will instantly wow the entire crew!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 12 People


  • 8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lump crab meat canned


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and fold in lump crab meat.
  • Spread in a small casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a slice baguette or tortilla chips.



Updated on February 20, 2021
Originally Posted on September 17, 2018


Serves: 12

Calories178kcal (9%)Carbohydrates2g (1%)Protein11g (22%)Fat14g (22%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol51mg (17%)Sodium580mg (24%)Potassium133mg (4%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A428IU (9%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium111mg (11%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Caribbean, Mediterranean
Keyword crab dip, crab dip recipe, hot crab dip
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic



Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Leave a reply
  1. 5 stars
    With the Hot Crab Dip, can you mix that up, put it in the casserole dish and refrigerate to bake later in the day?

    1. How did it turn out when you refrigerated it first? I’m making it for Christmas but want to make it a day ahead.

    1. 5 stars
      We made this crab dip over the weekend and it is one of the best that we have ever tried ! It may take a little longer than 5 minutes to put together though because of assembling all of the ingredients and if you have to grate the cheese yourself.

  2. 5 stars
    We loved this! I used imitation crab (refrigerated) because the canned lump meat was so expensive. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m trying your recipe so far it smells amazing I did however add a little old bay I’ll let you know how our guests like it after the party tomorrow

      1. 5 stars
        I used a heavy sprinkle (1/2tsp or less) Old Bay and it was delicious! I also used Tony’s in place of salt, added left over boiled shrimp, chopped roughly, and lightly topped with fresh grated Parmesan! Yum

  4. 5 stars
    Wow. What a great recipe. Even the pickiest eater wolfed it down. I used fresh frozen crab from our left summer crab season. And just because I’m a recipe renegade, I used jalapeno jack cheese and a large dash of hot sauce. Delicious. Well done Alyssa!

  5. This was very very very good. I stole bites along the way. I did use imitation crab to cut costs, but even still, it was soo good. I’ll make this again and again.

  6. 2 stars
    The recipe says to make in a “small casserole dish”, but the pictures show it made in a large cast iron pan. I like the iron pan idea, but will the recipe make enough to use my iron pan?

    1. Hey John, I’m a bit confused by your response. Did you actually make this recipe or are you rating your questions about it two stars? I would imagine either vessel would work and as it appears that she used an enameled cast iron pan which is very similar to a standard backing dish for this purpose. I tried this out for my better half after a disastrous attempt at crab Rangoon and it was a massive hit. I agree that adding some green onion would have been a great addition for both color and flavor but there weren’t any leftovers either way.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this for a drop-in party and it was a big hit. I had a lot of compliments on it. I had mixed it up a few hours before I needed it and put it in a mini/small crock pot instead of baking it in an oven when the time came as the oven was in use for other food items.. I monitored the crock and kept it on low and turned it off or on to keep it from cooking too much, especially as the amount diminished. It was so easy to make. I used fresh lump crab and while pricey, it was well worth it.

    1. 4 stars
      Alyssa, I love “The Recipe Critic” because of the fantastic free recipes and your warm posts. I pretty much did what Janell (sp?) did because the recipe needed a little bit more zip: Old Bay (2t with a sprinkle before baking), 4 generous shakes of Tabasco & Phillip’s fresh (cooked; in the refrigerator section). Waiting for it to come out of the oven! Richard…miss the Pacific Northwest…huge UW fan…hubby and I are alums. Cannot beat Dungeness! Now we crack Blue Crab (MD/VA).

  8. 5 stars
    Using this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, today!! Also a recipe renegade, I’m adding chopped pickled jalapeños & chopped green onions, subbing Bison French Onion dip (local fav) for 1/4C sr cream & first rubbing in Old Bay with the crab.
    Stay tuned!! ? ?

  9. 5 stars
    Added bacon and jalepenos…Fabulous! Had some left and used it for asparagus stuffed chicken . Also fabulous? great recipe

  10. 5 stars
    It was a dynamite recipe..a popular dish..used a little more hot sauce and oldbay to really hit it off…soooo good! I recommend for any type party..quick and easy!

  11. I just finished making and eating your Chicken Gnocci Soup. Wow!

    I was browsing when I found this recipe. All of the people writing in and saying that have old recipes brought a couple of things to my mind.

    1. I had a friend many years ago who made a filling for scooped out mushrooms and then baked them in the oven. I was never able to duplicate what she did. It had cream cheese, crushed pineapple, the minced stems of the mushrooms, onion and ???? It was delicious.

    2. A different friend always made a cold dip with lump crab meat. It was always delicious as well but I do not remember how she made it exactly. My attempts to duplicate her dip have failed so I am missing something for sure. The dip was served cold and used as a dip. It had cream cheese, sour cream, minced onion, the chopped crab meat, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.and ??? Did it have crushed pineapple as well? It has been a long time ago.

    I am hoping that these ingredients will stir a memory with you or someone who had these recipes stashed somewhere.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this appetizer for book club and everyone asked for the recipe.

    I used the suggestions of adding Old Bay seasoning, chopped green onion, and fresh crab (not canned). It was outstanding!

  13. 5 stars
    I made it today, and loved it! Easy to make and it’s mild flavor ingredients accentuates the taste of crab. I used real garlic instead of garlic powder.

  14. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe..! It is Deeeee-LISH..! I discovered it in 2017 while planning my son’s 21st Bday party. I have been serving it for every fancy occasion since. I use the COSTCO real lump crab in the glass jar. But, I cant remember how much it makes…? What size serving dish is one recipe. I can never remember if I double it or not….and YES, you can make it a day or two ahead when you have house guests coming and want to be sure and have time to enjoy “them”…!

  15. 4 stars
    This is a good base recipe but I added a lot of Old Bay and then a bit of Frank’s Red Hot. It needed that vinegar to cut the richness of the cheese. Definitely make again with those additions. Fyi I doubled it and put it in the crock pot.


  17. I would love to make this because I think it will be very good. Only drawback I have right now is the serving size. I would like to know if I make the entire recipe can I freeze half as there is only 2 of us in the house?

  18. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! This is SO GOOD. It was devoured by my family in minutes and I ended up making it again the same week. I did what others recommended and added green onions and some old bay. One of the times I also added some steam shrimp. Everyone said this is better than restaurant crab dip! Thank you for the recipe!!

  19. Trying this recipe for the first time to experiment before I prepare it for Christmas. I too found the recipe yielded more than expected and I plan to freeze the remainder (uncooked). You suggest warming it slowly so the cheese doesn’t seperate. Do you think it would work to thaw in the fridge overnight?

  20. Where I live, I can only get imitation crab so I don’t bother. I was thinking that shrimp (it is the shrimp capital of the world) would be really good. I was wondering, however, if adding chopped artichoke hearts would be good, also?

  21. 4 stars
    Thanks for recipe!
    For my taste, agreed with Kristine above, really great base for a dip but need a little more acid or a bit of a kick.
    I added some hot sauce and it was yummy. I will try again, maybe chopped artichoke or Old Bay, or chopped jalapeño.
    If I was serving to guests might want some color, like chopped roasted reds?

  22. I made it exactly as the recipe suggested, with real crabmeat, and it was delicious and a big hit with the crowd. I highly recommend it.

  23. I made using imitation crab meat I can tell you that one pound (of the imitation) is way too much. I wonder if it should be one cup instead of one pound? Maybe one pound would be good with fresh or canned I don’t know.

    I only cooked part of it. When it did not turn out, I mixed another batch of all ingredients ECEPT the crab and about a quarter cup of the original mix with the crab and it made all the difference in the world. Great recipe.

  24. Amazing flavor and taste! Have made several times since finding this recipe & this is now my “go-to” recipe for appetizers!

  25. 5 stars
    From Baltimore so of course replace salt with 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning!!! Blue Crab recipes arent blue crab recipes without Old Bay!!

  26. Just made this- fabulous!
    I added about 2 tablespoons of old bay!!
    This was the first time I have made crab dip! Will def make again

  27. I’m making this as an appetizer while my husband and I put up our Christmas tree 🎄and listening to Christmas music….and of course, a toddy! I used your recipe but added Old Bay and a layer of jalapeños while it’s baking. I’ll add a little more cheese on top (Parmesan) and sone green onion. My first attempt!

  28. 3 stars
    Definitely easy to make but not insanely delicious!! Will try another recipe next time! Made this exactly according to the recipe!

  29. 5 stars
    This is the third or fourth time I’ve done this recipe and it’s always amazing I do add in chopped chives and scallions for appearance little bit of Parmesan and definitely paprika on top I’m a visual person but absolutely amazing every time thanks Alyssa!!

  30. 5 stars
    I made this for our quiet New Year’s Eve. It was absolutely delicious as written, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Thank you for the recipe; we can’t wait to have it again!

  31. 5 stars
    This is very similar to my recipe. Of course being raised in Maryland I had to add Old Bay! It is refreshing to see a recipe for anything crab without the addition of peppers onions etc. which we do not add in Maryland! Delicious!!!

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