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Best Hot Crab Dip

This hot crab dip is the best crowd-pleasing party appetizer! Made with lump crab meat, cream cheese and sour cream then baked until creamy, cheesy and delicious.

Warm party dip recipes are a favorite! Others I like to serve include Rotel dip and cheesy chicken enchilada dip.

Spoonful of crab dip in pan.
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Best Crap Dip Recipe

This hot crab dip recipe hits the spot every single time. It’s almost as spicy as buffalo chicken dip and definitely as much of a crowd-pleaser as baked spinach artichoke dip.

If you know anything about Maryland, you know they love Old Bay Seasoning! So, if you want to impress your Maryland friends and family, use it in your crab dip. 

This zesty appetizer starts with fresh lump crab meat, cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, and Old Bay seasoning. It belongs on the appetizer table, along with queso blanco dip and bacon cheddar ranch dip

Why This Recipe Works

This is the best crab dip recipe you’ll ever make. Instead of trying to keep it simple, I perfected the recipe; every ingredient plays a very important role. 

  • Real ingredients. There are no shortcuts; every ingredient is fresh and whole. 
  • Feeds a crowd. This makes enough dip to feed everyone at your party! From game day, to Super Bowl or even at holiday gatherings, it will be hit.
  • Make ahead. You can even make it a day before the party and heat it back up right before everyone arrives.

Hot Crab Dip Recipe Ingredients

This cheesy dip is made with all of the ingredients you’d expect in a delicious crab dip – and a few surprising ones, too.

Crab ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Cream cheese. This is the base of the dip. Use a block of full-fat cream cheese and soften it before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Old Bay seasoning. This is a required spice if you’re making an authentic Maryland crab dip. It has every flavor that you need for an unforgettable appetizer. 
  • Hot sauce. Use as much or as little as you like. You can even leave it out entirely. 
  • Jumbo lump crab meat. Fresh crab meat tastes the best, but you can drain and use canned crab meat in a pinch. 
  • Cheddar cheese. Use another type of cheese in addition to the cream cheese. This is what makes it extra rich and extra cheesy.

Substitutions and Variations

The beauty of this homemade crab dip is that there are a lot of different ways to change it up and make it your own. 

  • Crab meat: Fresh lump crab meat is best for this recipe and can be found at the grocery store in a container on ice, in the fresh/refrigerated seafood section. You can use canned, if necessary.
  • Crockpot: Make it in the slow cooker and keep it warm during your entire party. Simply add the uncooked dip to a crock pot and cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours, or until heated through.
  • Seasonings: Instead of Old Bay Seasoning, use a combination of garlic powder and paprika. 
  • Spicy: Use more or less hot sauce to make it as spicy as you like. 
  • Cold crab dip: Mix all the ingredients together and serve it cold. It ends up tasting and looking like a cheese ball.

What is Lump Crab Meat?

Lump crab meat is fresh crab meat. It’s called lump because the pieces of crab are so large. It is considered the highest quality and most desirable form of crab meat.

How to Make Crab Dip

This recipe is as easy as mix, bake, and serve! You can’t get much easier than this!

Showing how to make crab dip in a 4 step collage.
  • Mix the dip.  Beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in mayo, sour cream, garlic, Old Bay, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese and hot sauce until smooth. Add crab meat and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the dip. Spread the crab dip mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese on top.
  • Bake. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake it for 20 minutes until the cheese on top is melty and bubbly.  
  • Garnish and serve. Top with green onions and serve with your favorite dipping items.

Expert Tips

As easy as this dip is, here are some tips to help you avoid any possible mistakes. 

  • Mixing the dip.  Use an electric mixer and beat the dip ingredients together until they are nice and smooth. It will help if you soften the cream cheese first. 
  • Baking the dip. Do not overbake it; this dip will burn. Remove the dip as soon as it becomes golden and starts to bubble. 
  • Serving the dip. Serve the crab dip with your favorite dippers. I like to use sourdough bread, sliced baguette, crackers, tortilla chips, and chopped veggies.
Dipping bread into crab dip.

Recipe FAQs

What is crab dip?

This recipe for crab dip is super simple. It’s a creamy cheese dip spiced with Old Bay and filled with fresh crab meat. If you love the cheesiness of Velveeta queso, then you will really love this crab dip recipe, too.

What are the best ways to eat crab dip?

The best ways to eat crab dip are with dippers (like veggies), as a sandwich spread, or even on a baked potato.

Is canned crab meat real crab?

Yes, canned crab meat is 100% real crab. The crab is pre-cooked and usually saltier than fresh crab because it’s in brine and preservatives.

What cheese is good with crab?

I used cream cheese and cheddar cheese in my hot crab dip. They are mild enough that they taste great with fresh crab meat.

Why is my crab dip runny?

If you use fresh crab meat, it probably won’t be runny. If your dip is runny, it’s likely because you didn’t drain the canned crab meat well enough.

How to store leftovers?

Store leftover dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Crab dip in white dish.

More Hot and Cheesy Dip Recipes

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Crab dip in white dish.

Hot Crab Dip Recipe

5 from 7 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Make a crowd-pleasing bowl of the best hot crab dip and watch it disappear! Everyone loves the tangy, creamy dip – especially since it’s made with real crab!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese , at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese , divided
  • 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat
  • hot sauce , to taste
  • Salt & Pepper , to taste

For topping (optional): chopped parsley or sliced green onions

    Optional for serving: Crackers, Tortilla chips, Sliced baguette, Sliced celery


      • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
      • In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in sour cream, mayo, garlic, Old Bay, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese and mix until smooth. Add crab meat and stir until combined. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
      • Spread mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish or baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Bake 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
      • Top with sliced green onions or parsley, if desired, and serve with your favorite dipping items.


      Crab: You can use canned,  but but fresh lump crab meat will taste the best.
      Storage: Store leftover dip in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days. 
      Make-ahead: Make the dip without baking up to 1 day in advance. Bake right before serving.
      Crockpot: Simply add the uncooked dip to a crockpot and cook on LOW 1 to 2 hours, or until hot. You can then add cheese and allow to melt or broil a couple minutes.


      Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 871mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 1mg

      Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

      Course: Appetizer
      Cuisine: American

      Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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