Hot Crab Dip

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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This creamy hot crab dip recipe is loaded with sweet lump crab, gooey cheese, juicy corn, smoky bacon and spicy jalapeños. It’s an easy party appetizer that is sure to please all the seafood lovers at your next party!

Why You’ll Love This Hot Crab Dip Recipe

We make this hot crab dip for every party and it always a huge hit. Here’s why you will love it:

  • Cheesy: Who doesn’t love a gooey, melty, cheesy and creamy dip?
  • Flavorful: The flavors of salty, smokey bacon, crisp sweet corn and spicy jalapeños pair perfectly with the juicy crab meat!
  • Easy: This recipe tastes like a day at the shore, but comes together in less time than it takes to pack a beach bag.
  • Make Ahead: This creamy, cheesy dip is perfect for a party as you can prepare it up to a day in advance! Pop it into the oven right before your guests arrive!

Looking for more easy party friendly dips? Try my spinach and artichoke dip, creamy smoked fish dip or this easy taco beer cheese dip!

Ingredients for hot crab dip recipe are laid out in bowls on a marble counter top.

What You’ll Need

Most of the ingredients can be found right in your pantry, making this warm crab dip recipe super easy to whip together. For full ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Olive Oil: Any mild oil will do.
  • Jalapenos: If you don’t like the heat, use a bell pepper instead.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced, not the jarred stuff!
  • Shallots: If you don’t have a shallot, a yellow onion works well.
  • Lump Crab Meat: I like to use the real crab meat. Read on below for more details.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour Cream: You can swap this for cream cheese.
  • Worcestershire sauce: If you’re out, try subbing a little soy sauce with a pinch of sugar for a similar flavor.
  • Hot Sauce: You can add as much or as little as you like to adjust the heat.
  • Corn: Fresh, frozen, or canned will all work fine!
  • Cheese: I use a combination of shredded parmesan cheese and Monterey Jack, but shredded cheddar cheese would also be good!
  • Seasonings: A little hot sauce with some salt and pepper is all you need!
Round crackers and hot crab dip sit on a plate waiting to be eaten.

What Type of Crab Meat Should I Use?

Picking out crab meat can be tricky. The less expensive option is called “imitation crab meat” but imitation it is! This fake crab meat is made from fish and is lacking a true sweet crab flavor. You’ll notice how much better it tastes if you get the real thing.

If you see “jumbo” lump crab meat, that will be bigger, more meaty pieces of crab. I don’t think it’s really worth the splurge for this recipe. I use plain old lump crab meat, which mixes big pieces and small pieces of meat. That’s exactly what we want in our dip!

A cracker topped with creamy seafood dip being lifted off a plate.

How To Make Hot Crab Dip

Now that you know which crab meat to choose, you’re ready to get cooking. Served hot with crackers, this creamy crab dip will be the star of the party! For complete instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Saute: Sauté the jalapeños, garlic and shallots until tender.
  • Combine: In a large bowl, stir to combine all the remaining ingredients and then stir in the jalapeño mixture.
  • Bake: Transfer to a baking dish, top with cheese and bake! Told ya this was an easy dip!
  • Serve: I like it with Ritz crackers, toasted French bread rounds, or tortilla chips.
Creamy hot crab dip baked in casserole dish with crackers scooping out a bite.

Cooks’ Tips And Variations

This hot crab dip recipe is always a winner with me. It’s so simple to make but tastes extravagant. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll be enjoying this dip in no time.

  • Crab Meat: The quality of your crab meat will make a difference in the final taste. Like I said, no need to get the jumbo crab meat, but I’d steer clear of the imitation, too.
  • Make Ahead: You can prepare this dip up to a day or two ahead. Instead of baking it, cover it with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it. 30 minutes before baking, remove the casserole dish from the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. Then bake as directed!
  • Old Bay: A sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning can add an extra pop of flavor!
  • Try Chicken: If you or a guest has a seafood allergy, you can try using cooked and shredded chicken instead of lump crab meat. It’ll have a nice, corn chowdery flavor.
  • Try Using Different Onions: If you can’t get shallots, try using green onions, scallions, or chives. Skip sautéing them, just stir them into he dip.

How To Store Leftover Hot Crab Dip

Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to four days. I would not recommend microwaving this dip to reheat. The microwave can dry out the crab and ruin the texture.

Instead, place this creamy dip in an oven safe dish and bake in an oven at 350°F, for about 10 to 15 minutes and is hot throughout.

Hot crab dip is being scooped with a ritz cracker.
4.8 from 8 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 8 servings

Hot Crab Dip

A creamy and hot crab dip loaded with corn, gooey cheese, garlic, smoky bacon, and spicy jalapeños. It’s an easy party appetizer that is sure to please all the seafood lovers!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • crackers, crostinis, or tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 1 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray, set aside.
  • Add olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add jalapeño, garlic and shallots, cooking until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together remaining ingredients (including the crab) — saving a little cheese to add on top of dip. Add in jalapeño mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Transfer dip to prepared casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling at the edges. Serve hot!

Notes

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to four days.
Reheat: For best results, in an oven safe dish and bake in an oven at 350°F, for about 10 to 15 minutes and is hot throughout.
Make Ahead: You can prepare this dip up to a day or two ahead. Instead of baking it, cover it with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it. 30 minutes before baking, remove the casserole dish from the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. Then bake as directed!
Crab Meat: The quality of your crab meat will make a difference in the final taste. No need to get the expensive jumbo crab meat, normal lump crab meat works perfectly. For best flavor, avoid imitation crab meat. 
Old Bay: A sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning can add an extra pop of flavor!
Try Chicken: If you or a guest has a seafood allergy, you can try using cooked and shredded chicken instead of lump crab meat. It’ll have a nice, corn chowdery flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 427kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 1404mg, Potassium: 279mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 426IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 325mg, Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




24 Responses
  1. Kathy wills

    5 stars
    12/11/23. I just made this dip tonight following the recipe exactly except for the jalapeños. This was by far the best hot crab dip I’ve ever made.

    I have several other versions I’ve made in the past some with artichoke and etc. some with spinach, but this was by far the best

  2. Becky

    I pinned your recipe and put it on my blog: bubblybee.net and encouraged my readers to visit your 
    Blog. Love this recipe! 

  3. Kathleen Boisvert

    Sorry, I didn’t see the “canned” comment at the end, until i read again.
    What about Mayo, is there favorite you cook with?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Yup, I used canned lump crab meat. And I like the mayo made with olive oil personally, but any of them will work!

  4. Kathleen Boisvert

    What do you consider “Lump” crab meat? Fresh meat you have to pick your self, not faux meat,right?

  5. carrie @ frugal foodie mama

    Now this is my kind of dip! Love the combo of bacon, crab, and corn with a little kick from the jalapenos. :)

  6. Michelle De La Cerda

    I am such a fan of hot crab dip. It brings me back to my grandma making it for any gathering. I really like this recipe with adding the bacon and corn. Yum!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Thank you for letting me know!! This is why I shouldn’t work late at night!

      I updated the recipe on the site. It’s 1 lb of crab!!

Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.