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This easy crab dip recipe can be served as an upscale appetizer or at a casual backyard dinner party. Your guests will be impressed.

cold crab dip recipe with crackers

Crab dip is always a special treat for our family. We usually make it when we have a family vacation at the beach. You must understand that we love catching crabs, which has a competitive edge for some family members. It’s great, though, because even the younger kids can participate.  

However, if we are not at the beach, it can be challenging to purchase fresh crab meat. So, I wanted to create an easy-to-make cold crab dip, but I realized not everyone has access to fresh lump crab meat. I have solved this problem by using canned lump crab meat. You will get all the sweetness of fresh crab, but it is easy to find in most grocery stores, and it’s more economical to buy than fresh. They usually stock it near the tuna fish and sardines.   

Also, if you enjoy hot crab dip, be sure to make my Crock Pot Maryland Crab Dip Recipe. It features a warm, creamy, cheesy texture packed with classic crab seasonings.

gina cooking in the kitchen

Ingredients You Will Need

Ingredients for cold crab dip.
  • Dip Base: Cream Cheese, sour cream, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise. I don’t have a specific brand I used for these items, just what is on sale that week.  
  • Seasonings: Old Bay, garlic, tabasco, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. One note, be sure you use real fresh squeezed lemon, it tastes much better than the green bottle kind. 
  • Crab: I use lump crab meat for easy convenience, and it’s budget-friendly when checking out. 

📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

What is  Lump Crab Meat?

Lump crab meat refers to the large, choice chunks of crab meat from the body of the blue crabs. It’s known for its sweet, delicate flavor and is often used in recipes where the texture and flavor of the crab are prominent, such as crab cakes or crab dips.

Tips For Using Canned Crab

  • Remove: When you open a can of lump crab, be sure to remove the thin white paper on top and bottom of the canned crab meat before using it. This is usually a protective layer and is not meant to be eaten.
  • Rinse: When you purchase crab meat in a can, it is a good idea to use a small mesh colander and rinse the crab meat before using it to remove any excess salt or brine.

How To Make Easy Cold Crab Dip Recipe

number one
  • Begin by rinsing your canned crab meat. Be sure to discard the thin paper on the top and bottom of the can. 
  • Shred all your cheeses. Then zest your lemon if you would like to sprinkle some fresh zest on top of your finished crab dip. Next, squeeze the lemon juice. Mince your garlic.
  • Add all of the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
all the ingredients in a bowl to make crab dip
number two
  • Blend all the crab dip ingredents together to form a creamy, smooth texture. It will take about a minute of mixing to be sure everything is incorporated well.
  • After mixing the crab dip, give it a quick taste. If you like a spicier crab dip, then double the Old Bay Seasoning or sprinkle in some hot sauce.
cold crab dip mixed in a bowl
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Can I Make This Dip In Advance?

Yes, you can make this creamy cold crab dip in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.

How Do I Serve Crab Dip?

  • Fill a decorative serving dish with chilled crab dip.  Place the serving dish on a larger platter filled with ice to keep the dip fresh and at a safe temperature.
  • Surround the dip with an assortment of toasted baguette slices, tortilla chips, crackers, or colorful vegetable sticks such as bell peppers, celery or carrot sticks.
cold crab dip recipe with crackers

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cold crab dip with lemon zest on top
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Creamy 5-Minute Cold Crab Dip Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 1/4 cups
Sweet lump crab meat from a can, creamy cheeses, and a hint of Old Bay combine to whip up a tasty and crowd-pleasing dip in less than 5 minutes! When you make this creamy cold crab dip recipe, you will almost hear the ocean waves.

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

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Open the can of crab meat and place it in a fine mesh colander to drain, ensuring to remove any paper from the top and bottom of the can. Rinse gently and allow it to drain thoroughly.
    12 ounces lump crab meat
  • Shred the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
  • Mince the garlic
  • Zest a teaspoon of lemon peel and then juice the lemon to equal 1 tablespoon of juice.
  • If your cream cheese is not at room temperature, carefully remove the wrapper and soften it in the microwave. Make sure it is soft, but not runny.
  • In a medium-size bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.
    1/3 cup sour cream, 1 cup pepper jack cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 clove garlic, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Taste the dip mixture. If you prefer a spicier crab dip, add another teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.
  • Fill a serving bowl and top with lemon zest or chopped green onions.
    1 teaspoon lemon zest

Notes

Can I Make This In Advance?
Yes, you can make this creamy cold crab dip in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.
How Do I Serve Crab Dip?
  • Fill a decorative serving dish with chilled crab dip.  Place the serving dish on a larger platter filled with ice to keep the dip fresh and at a safe temperature.
  • Surround the dip with an assortment of toasted baguette slices, tortilla chips, crackers, or colorful vegetable sticks such as bell peppers, celery or carrot sticks.
qr code for cold crab dip
Serving: 1g, Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 872mg, Potassium: 170mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 717IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 267mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Author: Gina Dickson

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