Are you looking for a delicious and hassle-free creamy crab dip? Then you will surely want to make The Best Maryland Crab Dip Recipe using your slow cooker. It is the perfect creamy appetizer when you need a make-ahead party dip.

dipping nana bread into the hot crab dip

🦀 Why You Will Love This Recipe

Convenient Canned Lump Crabmeat:  No need to worry about finding fresh crab; you can easily use lump crab meat from a can when making this recipe. Perfect for last-minute entertaining. If you are blessed with fresh crab meat, that will also work. 

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 Easy Crockpot Recipe Perfect for Entertaining: This Maryland hot crab dip only takes a few minutes of prep time! No cooking is required; simply blend the ingredients and pour them into your slow cooker. Your slow cooker does the rest. This dip is a great recipe to make for a game day, birthday parties, holiday parties, baby showers, and bridal showers.

Traditional Cheesy Seafood Flavor: The combination of cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar, and the iconic Old Bay seasoning creates a savory dip with a traditional Maryland crab touch.

What You Need To Make The Best Hot Crab Dip Recipe

ingredients for making creamy crab dip
  • Creamy Ingredients: Cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream form the base of this dip, creating a rich and creamy texture.
  • Seasonings: Ground dry mustard, fresh lemon juice (bit the bottled kind), Old Bay seasoning, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce add a burst of classic crab flavors.
  • Lump Crab Meat: You can use canned or fresh crab meat for this recipe. When choosing fresh crab, opt for lump crab, which is meat from the crab’s body, instead of legs and claws. The meat is sweet and tender and holds together well in a dip. When buying lump crab, look for fresh, firm, and free meat from any fishy or off-putting odors. You could also use canned lump crab. I like to keep canned lump crab in my pantry for easy last-minute appetizers. 
  • Cheesy Goodness: Sharp cheddar cheese adds a delightful cheesy element to the dip.
  • Heat: If you prefer a spicier kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce or double the Old Bay seasoning.

 How to Make Hot Crab Dip in Your Slow Cooker

  1. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so your dip base is smooth. 
  2. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (reserving 1/4 cup for topping) and the remaining ingredients except for the crab meat. Mix until creamy.
cheese, spices, sour cream in a mixing bowl
  1. Drain the lump crab meat. I like to use a No-Mess Can Strainer when draining cans.
lump crab meat in cans

Tip: Be sure you do not accidentally mix the paper liner found at the bottom of canned crab meat.

crab meat cans empty showing paper liner
  1. Gently fold the lump crab meat into the cream cheese mixture, being careful the crab stays in large chunks.
crab dip mixture with lump crab meat on top in a mixing bowl
  1. Spoon the mixture into your small slow cooker and set it on low for 2 hours.
creamy maryland crab cooking in crockpot
  1. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Cover and finish the cooking time.
hot crab dip in a crockpot with a chip being dipped in.

Tip: Once the crab dip is cooked, turn the slow cooker to warm until you’re ready to serve. You do not want to overcook and dry out the creamy dip. 

How to Serve This Delicious Crab Dip

There are various scop ideas for serving this hot Maryland crab dip. 

creamy maryland crab dip recipe in a serving bowl with melted cheese and old bay on top
  • Set out a variety of your favorite crackers
  • Toasted crusty bread: If you have day old bread this dip is a great way to use it up. Toast and tear it into bit size pieces.
  • Baguette: Slice and toast.
  • Hard pretzels or soft pretzels
  • Pita chips
  • Celery sticks
  • Tortilla chips or kettle chips
  • Serve it in a bread bowl. After cooking the crab dip, you can serve it in a bread bowl for a special presentation. Scoop out the center of a round loaf of Hawaiian bread, fill it with the hot dip, and serve with the bread pieces you removed. 

 Tips and Questions When Making Hot Crab Dip

What type of crock pot should I use for dips?

When you are making hot dips, you will want to be sure you have a 1.5 quart slow cooker. Not only is this great for dips, but it’s also good to fill with cinnamon, cloves, and a few orange slices to make your home smell wonderful.

What is the best lump crab meat to buy when making Maryland crab dip?

You will want to buy lump crab meat when making traditional Maryland crab dip. Lump crab meat comes from the crab’s body versus claws or legs, so it is sweeter and holds together in chunks better. 

Blue crab, commonly found along the Atlantic coast, is the classic choice for Maryland-style dishes. Its sweet and delicate flavor, combined with its tender texture, is perfect in a creamy dip. 

shell spoon scooping crab dip onto a piece of bread

 How to Buy Lump Crab Meat

Look for fresh lump crab meat in the seafood section of your local grocery store. Make sure to check for any added preservatives and opt for high-quality brands. You can also buy lump crab meat in a can. This option is great for last-minute entertaining. 

​How To Save Money When Buying Lump Crab

You can save money on your grocery budget if you purchase lump crab in a can. For this recipe, since it’s being stirred into a creamy base canned crab meat is a perfect option.

The best part is 1 pound of fresh lump crab averages $60 per pound compared to canned lump crab at $20 per pound.

crab meat in a can for $20 vis fresh for $60

Crab Meat Variation Ideas

There are other terrific options if you cannot find blue crab meat in your seafood market or grocery. You can buy lump crabmeat from other crab species, such as Dungeness, snow crab, or king crab. Remember, each type of crab meat brings its own unique characteristics, ranging from a subtly sweet flavor to a more robust and buttery taste.

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Creamy Maryland Crab Dip with melted cheese and old bay sprinkled on top.
5 from 1 rating

The Best Maryland Crab Dip Recipe (Easy Slow Cooker)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 11 1/4 cup servings
Here is the best Maryland crab dip recipe features a creamy, cheesy texture packed with classic crab seasonings. Whether hosting a fun gathering with friends or simply treating your loved ones to a special appetizer, this hot crab dip is guaranteed to be a showstopper. 

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth in a bowl. Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so your dip base is smooth.
    8 ounces cream cheese
  • Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (reserving 1/4 cup for topping) and the remaining ingredients except for the crab meat. Mix until creamy.Drain the lump crab meat. I like to use a No-Mess Can Strainer when draining cans.
    1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Gently fold the lump crab meat into the cream cheese mixture, being careful the crab stays in large chunks.
    1 pound lump crab meat
  • Spoon the mixture into your small slow cooker and set it on low for 2 hours.
  • During the last 10 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Cover and finish the cooking time.

Notes

 
Tip: Be sure you do not accidentally mix the paper liner found at the bottom of canned crab meat.
Tip: Once the crab dip is cooked, turn the slow cooker to warm until you’re ready to serve. You do not want to overcook and dry out the creamy dip.
Serving: 11/4 cup, Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Sodium: 543mg, Potassium: 149mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 494IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 146mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American Classic
Course: Appetizer
Author: Gina Dickson

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