Born and raised in Maryland, I grew up eating lots of hot crab dip. This Maryland Crab Dip Recipe is made with jumbo lump crab meat and sure to wow!
This recipe for crab dip is as authentic as it gets. It’s warm, cheesy, and full of Maryland’s most well-known flavor: Old Bay Seasoning.
Best Hot Maryland Crab Dip
Summer might be everyone’s favorite season, but if you live on the east coast, you know our real favorite season is crab season.
Growing up on the east coast, I can say that seafood has been a part of my life since before I can even remember. As an adult, living in Maryland, my love for seafood only grew and my appreciation for that Maryland blue crab is definitely a part of that.
If you have never been to Maryland, I highly recommend planning a trip and touring all the best restaurants for crab cakes, crab dip, and blue crabs.
Don’t want to travel far for this Maryland classic? This recipe brings a piece of Maryland to you! This easy crab dip comes together in a snap and is great for seafood cravings, parties, BBQs, football season, and more!
Maryland Crab Dip Recipe ingredients
- Fresh crab meat: I used jumbo lump crab meat but you can also use lump crab meat. I don’t recommend using imitation crab meat or shredded crab meat, the lump crab is what makes it authentic to Maryland.
- Wet ingredients: to make this decadent mixture you’ll need Worcestershire sauce, tartar sauce, and fresh lemon juice. Make sure you’re using a tartar sauce you know you like! You can use sour cream or mayonnaise if you don’t have tartar sauce. If you’re hesitant about using tartar sauce, use mayonnaise instead.
- Dry ingredients: what’s a Maryland crab dip without Old Bay seasoning? Definitely not Maryland crab dip. I like to go a little heavy on the Old Bay (it’s one of my favorite seafood seasoning), but you can adjust the seasoning to your liking and can always add more after cooking!
- Cheeses: you’ll need plenty of cheese to mix and top your warm crap dip with, I used whipped cream cheese, Monterey Jack, and mozzarella cheese. You can also use cheddar cheese if you prefer.
- Herbs: after baking you can top your warm crab dip with fresh parsley or sliced green onion to garnish.
- For eating and enjoying: I love pairing this insanely delicious crab dip with sliced and toasted baguette or fresh vegetables like celery and carrots.
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to make Maryland Crab Dip
This recipe is the real deal, the hardest part is trying not to eat it all in one sitting!
1. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. I like to use my pie dish.
2. Combine the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the whipped cream cheese, tartar sauce, Worcestershire sauce, a few dashes of hot sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice.
Next fold in the crab meat, half the Monterey Jack cheese, and half the mozzarella cheese with a rubber spatula. Careful not to break up the crab meat! You don’t want to use an electric mixer or stand mixer here, and try to be as gentle as possible.
3. Bake the dip. Transfer the mixture into your baking dish, and top the dip with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and dip is heated through.
4. Serve. Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted baguette.
If you’ve made this recipe, make sure you leave a review below!
How to store Hot Maryland Crab Dip
Store your crab dip in an airtight container or tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator.
How long will it last in the refrigerator?
Leftover crab dip will last about 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, you can either microwave in 30 second increments until heated through or heat in the oven at 350.
How to reheat?
The time to reheat in the oven will vary, depending on how much you are reheating, but I suggest starting at 10 minutes. Reheating crab dip in the oven is preferred for the best flavor.
Can you freeze crab dip?
Although cheesy crab dip is definitely better straight out of the oven, as long as it has been cooled you can freeze your crab dip for a few weeks. If you have any excess crab dip, it’s better to be frozen unbaked.
Store your leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer.
What to serve with this Maryland Crab Dip Recipe
This insanely delicious crab dip is so decadent that it should be served with very simple sides; remember, the crab is the highlight! You can choose from a number of toasted bread based sides or light crackers. Here are some of my favorites:
- fresh bread like toasted baguette
- Pretzel thins
- Pita chips
- Buttery crackers (I like Ritz crackers)
How to use leftover Crab Dip (Maryland)
Tip: try serving your creamy crab dip in a bread bowl.
Crab Dip Maryland FAQs
Crab meat will last about 3-5 in the refrigerator. Some canned crab meat can last up to 6 months. Check the label just to be sure!
The “yellow stuff” in crab is the hepatopancreas; In Maryland, this is also called the “mustard”. This is because the color resembles dijon mustard. In a lot of places, this is actually considered a delicacy.
However, it should be consumed in moderation as the hepatopancreas produces digestive enzymes and filters impurities from the crab’s blood.
Maryland blue crab is considered one of the best and sweetest tasting of all crabs. It also has a unique blue shell and turns bright orange when cooked. The Dungeness and snow crab are close seconds in terms of sweetness.
Crab dip can become runny from excess moisture in crab meat and overmixing, leading to proteins releasing moisture. Using full-fat ingredients, fully draining the crab meat, and avoiding overbaking can help prevent a runny texture.
Fishy flavors in crab dip most likely come from the crab meat itself or cross-contamination with fish. To avoid this, use fresh high-quality crab meat, store it properly, and prevent contact with fish or its residues. Before cooking with crab meat, always check the expiration date!
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Maryland Crab Dip Recipe
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 cup tartar sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning*
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pound jumbo lump or lump crab meat*
- 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
- sliced and toasted baguette, for dipping
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. I like to use my pie dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the whipped cream cheese, tartar sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Old Bay, and lemon juice. Next fold in the crab meat, half the Monterey Jack cheese, and half the mozzarella cheese with a rubber spatula. Careful not to break up the crab meat!
- Transfer the mixture into your baking dish, and top the dip with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and dip is heated through.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted baguette.
- If you've made this recipe, be sure to leave a review below and share on Instagram tagging @jzeats!
- You can use lump crab or jumbo lump crab meat for this recipe. In my opinion, the only time it’s really beneficial to use jumbo lump crab meat is for crab cakes where you really want the crab to shine. In a dip, it’s not quite as important to only have jumbo lump crab meat since there are plenty of other ingredients. You will save a lot of money using lump crab meat instead!
- Try to make sure you are using a tartar sauce you’ve tried and enjoyed, recently I made this using a new tartar sauce I haven’t tried before and it was not as good. I really enjoy the Whole Foods brand tartar sauce. If you’re hesitant about using tartar sauce, use mayonnaise instead.
- If you have never had Old Bay before or do not like it that much, start with only 1 tbsp. You can always mix in more after cooking!