Actual Maryland Crab Dip (The Finest!)

Stroll into just about any Maryland restaurant and also you’re sure to seek out sizzling crab dip on the menu. It’s our staple. Generally served on gentle pretzels and generally baked in a skillet, however at all times essential order. We eat it on hen (normally known as “Hen Chesapeake”) or in quesadillas, however one of the best ways to serve sizzling tacky crab dip is with recent bread, pita wedges, celery, and/or sturdy crackers.

Right here in Maryland, WE LOVE OUR CRAB DIP.

This Scorching Crab Dip Is:

  • Made with jumbo lump crab, similar to crab pretzels
  • Tacky dip meets crab muffins
  • Irresistibly creamy
  • Previous Bay-seasoned
  • Baked or sluggish cooked, your alternative
  • Further fast, no pre-cooking
  • Nothing lower than an enormous hit, assured!

This does Maryland justice!

hand holding baguette slice dipped in Maryland crab dip.

Search the web and also you’ll discover hundreds of thousands of crab dip recipes. They’re all centered round—you guessed it—crab, however the different elements can range. I’ve tasted dozens of crab dips (I’m surrounded by it!) and I do know what works, and what doesn’t.

The Finest Crab Dip Components

These are the 9 elements you should make one of the best Maryland crab dip on the planet. And that’s not an exaggeration. I do know lifelong Maryland locals who swear by this one!!!!

  1. Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is the bottom of this dip. No substitutions right here.
  2. Mayonnaise: I don’t like mayonnaise and I nonetheless love this crab dip. You don’t want a lot—simply sufficient to skinny out the cream cheese and add that mandatory creamy dip texture.
  3. Bitter Cream: Some crab dip recipes name for simply mayo and cream cheese, however I like to interrupt down these heavier elements with tangy bitter cream.
  4. Cheddar Cheese: You should use sharp cheddar or white cheddar if desired, however don’t use one other cheese that has a stronger taste since you don’t need to overpower the crab.
  5. Floor Mustard: A splash of mustard is a key ingredient in any Maryland crab cake recipe and we’re utilizing one thing comparable right here, too. Floor mustard is important—and don’t fear, you don’t style mustard.
  6. Lemon Juice: Contemporary, balancing taste!
  7. Previous Bay Seasoning: This salty spice is a staple in Maryland, the place it’s made, particularly with crab.
  8. Worcestershire Sauce: A lot taste. You don’t want so much—simply 2 teaspoons.
  9. Lump Crab Meat: For the best possible crab dip, I like to recommend utilizing lump crab meat or a mixture of lump crab meat and backfin meat. Lump crab meat ensures these massive, mouthwatering bites of crab.

A splash of sizzling sauce is scrumptious, too!

jumbo lump crab meat in glass bowl on gray backdrop with green linen in top left corner.

The right way to Make Scorching Crab Dip

You’re solely about 30–35 minutes away from this bliss.

  1. Beat the cream cheese first. You need it tremendous creamy and easy.
  2. Beat in the remainder of the elements, besides the crab.
  3. Gently fold within the crab meat. Keep away from utilizing a mixer for this step since you don’t need to utterly break down the lump crab.
  4. Gradual cook dinner or bake. Gradual cook dinner on low for 3–4 hours till sizzling and creamy; or bake in a casserole dish, pie dish, or oven-safe skillet for 25 minutes, or till browned and bubbly across the edges.

The method is fast, easy, and foolproof so long as you’re utilizing the fitting elements. A handheld or stand mixer is certainly useful and makes mixing simpler, however I’ve blended it collectively by hand earlier than too.

overhead photo of crab dip in cast iron skillet shown without cheese and with cheese sprinkled on top.
crab dip in cast iron skillet with toasted baguette slices around the edges.

Serving Crab Dip

For serving, maintain issues easy. You need the flavors from the dip to shine, so don’t serve with crackers or breads with overpowering flavors. Baguette slices, toasted artisan bread (pictured!), or sturdy crackers/pita chips are key so you may scoop up all that lump crab.

Finest Crab Meat for Crab Dip

On the market, you’ll find canned, frozen, or recent (refrigerated) crab meat. Unrefrigerated canned crab meat doesn’t have the freshest taste (clearly). If you should use canned, search for canned crab meat within the refrigerated part of your market. The brisker the crab meat, the higher the crab dip will style.

Crab meat labeled “hand-picked” or “fresh-picked” is absolutely cooked and offered in plastic tubs by the butcher or seafood counter. That is what I at all times use for crab muffins and crab dip, and extremely encourage you to make use of the identical right here. It’s pricier than canned, however you may have a very totally different (and recent) product. Don’t fear, all the opposite elements are fairly cheap, particularly if you buy store-brand or discover them on sale.

Ask your grocer the place to seek out the freshest crab meat within the retailer. I buy recent crab meat offered in a 1-pound tub from the seafood counter.

hot crab dip

This DOES NOT disappoint!

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hand holding baguette slice dipped in Maryland crab dip.

Crab Dip (Finest Maryland Model)

  • Writer:

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Prepare dinner Time:
    25 minutes

  • Whole Time:
    35 minutes

  • Yield:
    serves 8

  • Class:

  • Technique:

  • Delicacies:


For one of the best texture, use lump crab meat and every ingredient listed. No substitutions! Serve with crusty baguette, sturdy crackers, celery sticks, or pita wedges. For extra success ideas and to be taught which crab meat to make use of, see weblog submit above.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (191°C).
  2. In a big mixing bowl utilizing a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high velocity till easy and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, bitter cream, 1 cup cheddar cheese, floor mustard, lemon juice, Previous Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and sizzling sauce (if utilizing). Beat on medium-high velocity till mixed. Utilizing a spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold within the lump crab meat. In the event you used sizzling sauce, style, then add extra sizzling sauce if desired.
  4. Switch to a 9-inch (or barely bigger) baking pan, pie dish, or oven-safe skillet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or till sizzling and bubbly across the edges.
  6. Serve heat.
  7. Cowl and retailer leftovers within the fridge for as much as 5 days. Reheat within the microwave or in a 350°F (177°C) oven till warmed all through.


  1. Make Forward & Freezing Directions: You possibly can absolutely assemble this crab dip, cowl tightly, and refrigerate for as much as 2 days earlier than baking/sluggish cooking and serving. It’s also possible to freeze the unbaked or baked (and cooled) crab dip for as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge, then bake as directed; or, if already baked, thaw and warmth in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 25 minutes or till warmed all through.
  2. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Glass Mixing Bowl | Electrical Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Wooden Spoon or Rubber Spatula | Oven-Safe Skillet
  3. Ensure you’re utilizing a block of cream cheese, not cream cheese unfold. I’ve used lower-fat elements with no drawback like reduced-fat (not fat-free) cream cheese, bitter cream, and mayo, however the dip clearly tastes richer with the full-fat variations.
  4. Previous Bay: Use 2 teaspoons for a spicier kick. (I normally do!)
  5. Which Crab Meat to Use: For any questions relating to which crab meat to make use of, see Finest Crab Meat for Crab Dip within the weblog submit above. I extremely suggest recent (refrigerated) lump crab meat.
  6. Gradual Cooker: Observe steps 2 and three. As an alternative of transferring to a baking dish, spoon into your sluggish cooker (don’t add the 1/4 cup of cheese on high) and cook dinner on low for 3–4 hours till sizzling and creamy. Stir sometimes because it cooks. Over the last half-hour, sprinkle 1/4 cup reserved cheddar cheese on high.