This Maryland crab dip recipe is one of my favorite appetizers. I've been eating Chesapeake Bay Maryland blue crab all my life, and this is a recipe from years of eating crab dip!
This simple recipe takes minutes to put together, 30 minutes in the oven, and it's scrumptious. It's even better than the top seafood recipe on my site, lemon and herb shrimp, and that's saying a lot!
For a great list of party foods, you've got to check out this simple charcuterie board, these cream cheese appetizers or this list of easy appetizers for a crowd. All are perfect for holiday parties or football season!
You may know I've only been in Florida for a little over 12 years. I hail from Maryland, just outside our nation's capital. In fact, I was born in Washington, DC, but lived in Maryland all my life until we moved to Central Florida.
I share this to say I've been eating blue crabs since I was a young kid. We used to go crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay every summer. With that leftover crabmeat we made crab cakes, crab soup, and Maryland Crab Dip.
We had great seafood in Maryland. If you're a seafood lover, check out this recipe for Drunken Mussels and this clam and mussels recipe also known as Cioppino.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
With lump blue crab meat, cream cheese, and the perfect blend of spices. You can make this to serve at home or easily put plastic wrap over it and take it to a party.
It can be served warm but is just as good at room temperature. It pairs well with a toasted sliced baguette or crackers. It's the perfect easy appetizer!
What Goes in This Dip
You'll only need seven ingredients to make this easy crab dip recipe.
Fresh lump crab meat - you can usually find canned crab meat at the seafood counter at your local grocery store. Fresh crab meat is best, picked from the blue crab, but most refrigerated varieties are also good.
Old Bay Seasoning - this is our favorite seafood seasoning and the only one we use for crab recipes, including crab cakes and crab soup. We also steam shrimp in Old Bay and beer.
You could probably switch up the other ingredients, but you must have those two. I use a recipe that goes way back and could never make this delicious crab dip any other way!
Scroll down to the recipe card for full printable ingredients list and directions.
How to Make this Hot Crab Dip Recipe
Preheat oven to 350º.
Mix softened cream cheese with mayonnaise, Old Bay Seasoning, and dry mustard in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
Gently fold lump crab meat into the mixing bowl being careful not to break up the lumps.
Spoon mixture into an 18 ounce oven safe baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheeses.
Sprinkle with extra Old Bay Seasoning.
Bake for 30 minutes. Brown slightly under broiler on low.
As the dish will be hot, use a trivet when serving.
Serve the creamy dip with crackers, tortilla chips, or toasted sliced baguettes.
An added bonus to this recipe is that it works for crab stuffed mushrooms or to serve in phyllo cups as a pretty appetizer.
Some people add sour cream to their crab dip recipes. Many also add Worcestershire sauce. I've also seen fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley added. I don't personally think it needs a thing other than what I've listed in the recipe.
For a little heat, you could increase the Old Bay Seasoning or add a couple of dashes of hot sauce.
To crisp the top, you could add crushed crackers or bread crumbs. I'd probably use Panko to do that.
The only thing I add on occasion is sliced green onions. It makes the dish more festive and it does add a nice flavor boost. Maryland friends - don't judge me too harshly for that!
Lump crab meat can be pricey, but it really does make a difference in the flavor of this creamy crab dip. If you can't pay that much for crab meat, the regular variety will work. Don't use imitation crab meat.
Make sure to use a block of cream cheese and not a spread, and allow it to come to room temperature before mixing.
You can serve this as a cold crab dip. We like it warm, but it's delicious either way.
If it isn't gone the first day, I would eat it by the third day. Store it in an airtight container. You can also freeze it before or after it's baked for up to two months. If freezing after baking, make sure to let it cool before freezing.
You should be able to find Old Bay easily, but if you can't, Phillips Seafood Seasoning is a pretty good substitute.
More Delicious Appetizers
Maryland Crab Dip Recipe
- 18 ounce oven safe baking dish.
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese ½ package, softened. I used Neufchatel light cream cheese.
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise I used Kraft light version
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay plus more for topping
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- 8 oz crab meat lump
- 1 Tablespoon Gouda cheese shredded
- 1 Tablespoon cheddar cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Mix softened cream cheese with mayonnaise, Old Bay Seasoning, and dry mustard in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Gently fold in lump crab meat being careful not to break up the lumps.
- Spoon dip into an oven safe dish.
- Sprinkle with cheeses.
- Sprinkle with extra Old Bay Seasoning.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Brown slightly under broiler on low.
- Optional: Top with sliced green onions.
- Serve the crab dip with crackers, tortilla chips, or a baguette sliced and toasted.
I tried to make crab cakes last night but sadly, they completely fell apart. I decided to turn it into a crab dip instead. This recipe saved the day. It was absolutely perfect!!
Oh no, Maria! I'm so glad we could help! We just made crab-stuffed shrimp and crab-stuffed mushrooms. Heavenly! Coming soon!
I need to make this for a crowd. How many x for a 8x8 dish?? X4 , maybe?
Hi Monica! You have to consider there will be other appetizers there. Crab is expensive! If you have a Costco, their prices are really great. This recipe, as written, is a little over 2 cups. For a heavy appetizer, meaning there won't be much else there, this would be good for 8 people. It's very filling. But there is usually cheese and crackers, chips and dip, etc. For an 8 by 8, I would say to do 4 times the recipe, but it will probably cost over $100 for that much crab. It will be the hit of any party, but I know that's a lot to spend. Let me know how it goes!
Kelley (Stillwell) champagne
I googled “Maryland crab appetizer” to bring to an Easter party and was very surprised when your site popped up! My maiden name is Kelley Stillwell! I’m also from MD outside of DC. What a strange coincidence! Must be a sign - I will be making this on Saturday 😊
Wow!! That’s crazy! I constantly have people putting in 2 “L”s! Where in MD? Nice to meet you! Let me know how the dip turns out! You can’t make a mistake. It’s so good!
If making for 4 people, what would you suggest the measurements be?
Hey Ginger- I would just reduce everything to one third. Enjoy! I'm getting ready to make it for tonight in just a couple of minutes! Let me know what you think. It's SO good!
DrainDrain the crab?
Yes, if there is a lot of liquid. I haven’t had that issue, but if it’s watery, do drain it. Let me know how it goes!
Could this be made in crockpot?
Hi Theresa- You could make this in a Crockpot, but keep in mind this was a small serving and not meant for a crowd. I'd suggest using a very small crockpot (1.5 quarts is the smallest I could find) and even then I would triple the recipe. Also, you won't get the crispness on the top of the dip by using a Crockpot, so I'd say if you can make it in a casserole dish in the oven, it will be better. Let me know how it turns out. It's really delicious!
This looks amazing!! Have you tried this with fresh main lobster? I have a pound and want to use it for a dip! Thanks so much!
Hey Tracey! I have not tried that but I have some lobster on the freezer and now you have me thinking! I might try that soon! Let me know if you do!
Wondering what 1 T of cheese stands for?
It's a tablespoon, Morrica. I've updated it to make it more clear. Thanks so much and let me know what you think of the dip. We love it!
So it’s 1/2 of a 4 ounce block of cream cheese?
Sorry for any confusion, Marianne. It's a half package. A regular block is 8 ounces, so it's half of that - 4 ounces. I thought it might help to know it was a half package. Enjoy!
Absolutely love this crab dip
Thank you, Dawn! I SO appreciate you rating it, too. It helps more people see it. Have a wonderful day!
What is a “T of Gouda”
T of cheddar? Did you mean a cup of each?
Hi Denise - it is a tablespoon of each. We like to be able to taste the crab, but you can add more cheese if you'd like. Enjoy!