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Best Maryland Crab Dip Recipe

This is the best Maryland Crab Dip recipe I’ve ever eaten and it gets rave reviews at parties. I’ve been eating Chesapeake Bay Maryland blue crab all my life, and this was an experiment I’m so glad I tried!

Crab dip in a dish on white towel with green onions and toasts.

This simple recipe takes minutes to put together, 30 minutes in the oven, and it has the best flavor. Whenever we take this to a party, it is hands-down the favorite dish there!

If you love crabs and haven’t had our Old Bay Crab Cakes recipe, it’s one of the most popular recipes on this site. Everyone loves them! You also must try this Hot Butter Crab. I found the recipe in an old cookbook from Maryland and it’s to die for!

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 crab meat, we made crab cakes and crab soup.

If you’re a seafood lover, check out this recipe for Drunken Mussels and this clam and mussels recipe known as Cioppino. I’m betting you’ll love this lemon and herb shrimp, too. They are all so good!

Why We Love this Crab Dip

This dip is so easy to make using 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, which means you don’t have to worry about hearing it up again at a party.

It pairs well with a toasted sliced baguette or crackers. It really is the perfect appetizer!

For more delicious party foods, you’ve got to check out my simple charcuterie board, this spinach dip from my list of cream cheese appetizers, or something from this list of appetizers for a crowd. All are perfect for holiday parties or football season!

Best Crab Dip Ingredients

You’ll only need seven ingredients to make this easy crab meat dip. I use a recipe that goes way back and could never make this delicious crab dip any other way!

Ingredients for crab dip.
  • 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. We use lump crab as I don’t think it makes sense to use jumbo lump crab meat in a dip. I reserve that for the Hot Butter Crab Recipe.
  • 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.
  • Dry mustard – adds subtle depth to this dish.
  • Cream cheese – we used the light version.
  • Cheddar and Gouda cheeses – just a little on the top.
  • Mayonnaise – we used the light version.

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full printable ingredients list and directions.

How to Make this Hot Crab Dip Recipe

Preheat oven to 350º.

Mix cream cheese with mayonnaise, Old Bay Seasoning, and dry mustard in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

Cream cheese, mayo, and spices in a stainless bowl with a mixer.

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.

Crab dip in a dish before baking.

Sprinkle with a bit of cheddar cheese and Gouda.

Crab dip with cheese before baking.

Sprinkle with extra Old Bay Seasoning.

Crab dip with Old Bay before baking.

Bake for 30 minutes. Brown slightly under the broiler on low.

As the dish will be hot, use a trivet when serving.

Crab dip in a dish on white towel.

What to Serve with Maryland Crab Dip

We prefer this dip with toasted sliced baguette slices. You can also serve this creamy dip with sturdy crackers, tortilla chips, pita chips, or crostini.


This is such a great recipe as is, but I know we all have different preferences.

I have heard from people who would like a more cheesy dip, but I think it takes away from the flavor of the crab.

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 another 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!

Top Tips

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.

An added bonus to this recipe is that it works for crab-stuffed mushrooms or served in phyllo cups as a pretty appetizer.


Can I serve this Maryland crab dip recipe cold?

You can serve this as a cold crab dip. We like it warm, but it’s delicious either way.

How long does this crab dip keep?

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.

What can I use if I can’t find Old Bay seasoning?

You should be able to find Old Bay easily, but if you can’t, Phillips Seafood Seasoning is a pretty good substitute.

Crab dip bite on toast above dish on white towel.

More Delicious Appetizers

Scallop and Shrimp Seafood Salad Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Dipping Sauce

Savory Mini Tart Recipes

Delicious & Easy Tomato Tarts

Crab dip in a dish on white towel with green onions and toasts.

Crab Dip Recipe

This Maryland crab dip recipe is one of my favorite appetizers. I’ve been eating blue crabs all my life, and this is a recipe from years of eating crab dip!
5 from 43 votes
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 69kcal


  • 18 ounce oven safe baking dish.



  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese 1/2 package, softened. I used Neufchatel light cream cheese.
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise I used Kraft light version
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay plus more for topping
  • 1/4 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.


Notes: Lump crab can be pricey, but it really does make a difference in the flavor. If you really can’t pay that much for crab meat, the regular variety will work.
Make sure to use a block of cream cheese and not a spread, and allow it to come to room temperature before mixing.
To save calories, you can absolutely use light mayo and Neufchatel (light) cream cheese. I almost always use a lighter version if it’s available and the taste is as good! 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @kastilwell or tag #FFFP!

This Maryland Crab Dip was originally posted on Food, Fun & Faraway Places on February 28, 2023 and has been updated for clarity.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was SO GOOD! Ordered too many crabs this weekend and picked the extra crabs for the dip. I didn’t have any Gouda but this was still so good. A Maryland classic!

    1. So glad you liked it, Toni! Too many crabs…dream come true now that I don’t live in MD anymore! Enjoy!

  2. 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!!

    1. Oh no, Maria! I’m so glad we could help! We just made crab-stuffed shrimp and crab-stuffed mushrooms. Heavenly! Coming soon!

    1. 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!

  3. 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 😊

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

      2. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

    1. Thank you, Dawn! I SO appreciate you rating it, too. It helps more people see it. Have a wonderful day!

    1. 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!