Maryland Crab Dip
Maryland crab dip is a creamy, cheesy, hot crab dip recipe flavored with classic Old Bay seasoning. It’s a must-have appetizer for any party!
This creamy Maryland crab dip is a must-have appetizer here in blue crab country. You can expect to see it, and some mini crab cakes if you’re lucky, at game day parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and every summer BBQ.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need for creamy crab dip.
- Lump crab meat – For best flavor, we recommend crab found in the refrigerated section, often by the seafood. You could also use frozen or other canned crab meat, but the flavor will not be as good.
- Shredded cheddar cheese – We recommend shredding your own cheese. You could also use cheddar jack or Monterey jack cheese.
- Cream base – This creamy dip uses cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream to provide creaminess and some flavor.
- Lemon – For the perfect flavor, you’ll need to add some fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- Worcestershire sauce – Just a little ups the flavor of this dip.
- Ground Mustard – Ground or powdered mustard adds just the right amount of tangy, sharp flavor.
- Old Bay seasoning – In Maryland this is the holy grail of spices. We put it on everything! You’ll also find it in our cheesy shrimp casserole, shrimp salad, and crab stuffed mushrooms too.
Does the Type of Crab Matter?
Maryland crab dip traditionally uses blue crab since that is the crab we are known for. It is a small crab that can be found in the waters of the Atlantic ocean all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
If you can’t find blue crab meat in your area you can substitute with Dungeness crab meat. I personally don’t recommend snow crab because I find it too sweet and I don’t think it works as well with Old Bay seasoning.
Step 1 – Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2 – Make the dressing. Mix the cream cheese, 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and ground mustard in a large bowl until well combined.
Step 3 – Fold in the lump crab meat. Carefully fold in the lump crab meat into the cream cheese mixture. You’ll want to avoid breaking the clumps as much as possible.
Step 4 – Spread the dip into a baking dish and bake. Spread the mixture into a lightly greased 1.5 quart baking dish (8×8 inch) and then top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.
Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the dip is hot and bubbling.
Step 5 – Serve. Serve fresh and hot from the oven with your favorite crackers, bread, chips, or veggies.
The Best Crab to Use
For the best flavor, we strongly recommend fresh, lump crab meat that you would find in the refrigerated section of the seafood department at your local grocery store. Of course, we live in Maryland, so it is easy to find fresh crab at just about every store.
If you can’t find it, you could use either frozen or, as a last resort, canned lump crab meat. At minimum, just make sure it is lump crab meat because you want big chunks in the dip.
What to Serve it With
This Maryland crab cake inspired dip almost demands great dippers. Some of our favorites include:
- crusty, sliced bread, such as French bread baguettes (toasted or untoasted)
- pita chips
- bagel chips
- pretzel chips
- soft pretzels
Hot crab dip is totally keto, so if you want to keep the carbs on the low side, serve with celery, cucumber, and bell pepper slices.
How to Make it Ahead of Time
If you plan to bring this to a game watching party or another get together, you can make up to 1 day in advance and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container. To reheat, place in your oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through.
Freezing Crab Dip – For a longer storage option, you can freeze the dip either before or after baking. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Unbaked – First, mix together all ingredients, leaving off the cheese and Old Bay that you sprinkle on top at the end. Place the mix in a sealed container, we recommend a sealable food storage bag. Make sure to get as much air as possible out of the container before freezing.
To reheat, thaw it first in the refrigerator overnight and then place it in a baking dish and bake according to the instructions in the recipe, adding the cheese and Old Bay on top before baking.
Baked – Bake dip WITHOUT the cheese on top. Once baked allow the dip to cool completely and then store it in a freezer safe sealed container. We suggest a sealable food storage bag. Make sure to get as much air out of the container as possible before placing it in the freezer.
When you’re ready to reheat the dip thaw it in the fridge overnight. Once thawed pour the dip into a baking dish and top with shredded cheese reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s warmed through.
Looking for More Easy Dip Recipes?
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Bacon Artichoke Dip
- Cherry Cheesecake Dip
- Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Creamy Jalapeno Corn Dip
- 5 Layer Greek Dip
- Mexican 7 Layer Dip
- 5 Minute Restaurant Style Salsa
Maryland Crab Dip
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl combine cream cheese, 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Old Bay, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and ground mustard. Stir together until well combined.
- Add the lump crab meat and gently fold it into the mixture doing your best to break apart the meat as little as possible.
- Spread the mixture into a lightly greased 1.5 quart baking dish and top with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the dip is hot and bubbling.
- Serve with your favorite crackers, bread, chips, or veggies.