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Cold Crab Dip

Cold spicy crab dip is one of my favorite dip recipes to make- and eat! It just tastes so stupidly good- it is one of those things that you just want more of!

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Cold Crab Dip

Cold spicy crab dip is one of my favorite dip recipes to make- and eat! It just tastes so stupidly good- it is one of those things that you just want more and more of.

My recipe calls for jumbo lump crab meat and is a heavy dip with cream cheese as the main combining element. It is quite simple compared to some other cold crab dip recipes- but I think that is better for letting the core flavors shine.

It is served cold (surprise surprise) and tastes great with many things. An easy crab dip is a winner at any party or simple seafood dinner- and you will be popping to the fridge every five minutes to pick at the leftovers!

Chopping onion on board

What Is Cold Crab Dip?

You get hot crab dip and cold crab dip. They both use almost the same ingredients- but this one uses pre-cooked crab meat and is served chilled.

In general, the difference is you don’t need to do any cooking to make this. It uses raw onion and garlic for a punchier flavor.

If you love crab and fast, easy recipes- this is the one for you.

What Kind of Crab Meat is Best for this Cold Crab Dip Recipe?

A delicious crab dip is only possible with delicious crab meat- but what type is best? I like to use jumbo lump crabmeat- which comes from larger crab varieties, such as king crabs and blue crabs.

It is sweet, juicy, and delicious- the perfect choice to make crab dip with for a summer party.

Because of its chunky size, it is easy to work with. All you need to do is break down the bigger chunks and gently fold them through the sauce.

Shredded cheese on table

What Can You Use As an Alternative?

In my opinion, there is nothing quite like jumbo lump- and it is worth the price tag for a special occasion. That said, when it is not an option, backfin crab is a close second.

Another money-saving option is imitation crab.

Imitation crab meat is a godsend when the real thing seems a little pricey or isn’t available in your local store. You can absolutely make an imitation crab dip rather than use jumbo jump.

Because this cold crab dip recipe is so creamy and rich, it combines super well with the imitation crab flavors and hides the fact that it’s not genuine crab.

If you opt for imitation crab meat, consider adding a little cocktail sauce to the dip for some added interest. Old Bay seasoning can also help boost the illusion.

Sour cream in bowl

How to Make Cold Crab Dip in Ten Minutes

This easy crab dip recipe makes the perfect party appetizer in just ten minutes. There are quite a few ingredients to prepare- but most things you are likely to find in your cupboards anyway!

It doesn’t require special techniques or fancy kitchen equipment- just simple prep and a lot of mixing.

Let’s get started!

What Will You Need?

The only things you need for this recipe are a large mixing bowl, a hand mixer or whisk, and a serving bowl. You should also have a good knife for chopping the onions and garlic- or a mincer (this is a big time saver if you have it!).

Have some plastic wrap or an airtight container to store the cold crab dip mixture while you refrigerate it before serving.

A Few Notes On the Ingredients

Make sure the jumbo lump crab meat has been checked over for shells before you weigh it- you ideally want a whole pound of cleaned meat.

It doesn’t need to be tabasco- and hot sauce will do.

The type of cheese you use can totally change the flavors of the finished cold crab dip. Some people like to use mozzarella cheese for a creamier, lighter taste- but I think it works best with a strong cheese flavor, such as cheddar cheese.

If you want to make the cold crab dip recipe a little healthier, swap the cream cheese for low-fat cream cheese. The same applies to the sour cream, but it really needs a real egg mayonnaise to get the texture and richness of flavor.

I always use green onions in my cold crab dip, but white onions are also fine. I would not recommend red onions for this cold crab dip recipe.

A great alternative to Worcestershire sauce (if you can’t find it or don’t like it) is fish sauce. It packs a similar pungent salty punch and works great in this dip.

This recipe doesn’t use any additional seasonings other than salt and pepper (I don’t think it needs them), but you can choose to add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or paprika if you want a little kick beyond the hot sauce juice.

Garnish is mainly to make your crab dip look better on the party table, but it also adds some texture to the mixture. Chives compliment the flavors perfectly and are a worthwhile addition to more than just style. It can also benefit from some grated lemon zest right before serving.

A Few Recipe Notes

You can keep your crab dip healthy by swapping in low-fat ingredients.

This crab dip is okay to keep refrigerated for up to five days- as long as it isn’t left sitting out for too long exposed to air, similarly to my crab salad recipe.

Cold crab dip in bowl

Serving Suggestions for Cold Crab Dip

This is easily the best crab dip recipe I have tried- and I have tried a few! I look for any excuse to eat crab dip- at parties, when the sun is out, and just because I feel like it.

When it is this easy to make and tastes as delicious as it does, there is no reason not to make it whenever you get the chance! Even if you can’t always get high-quality crab meat, you can switch to imitation crab meat or canned crab rather than go without it completely. Crab dip is a great recipe to make because, unlike fried crab legs, you can get away with using imitation crab.

Get the tortilla chips and celery sticks at the ready and enjoy this delicious cold crab dip recipe at your next get-together!

Yield: 15 servings

Cold Crab Dip

Cold Crab Dip

Cold spicy crab dip is one of my favorite dip recipes to make and eat! It just tastes so stupidly good; you can't get enough of it!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 2 c. shredded cheese (I use a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese)
  • 1/2 c. minced onion
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 'tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Tabasco
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste (roughly half a teaspoon of each)
  • Fresh parsley or chives (optional garnish)


  1. Start with a large mixing bowl. Add your cream cheese (softened), mayonnaise, and sour cream. Beat them together using a hand mixer (a whisk is fine if you don't have a mixer. It just might take a little longer and a bit more elbow grease) until they fully combine.
  2. Pour in the grated cheese (one cup cheddar, one cup pepper jack) and the minced garlic and onion. Mix thoroughly to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
  3. Next, add the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco (or whatever other hot sauce juice you use), and then pour in your lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Check your jumbo crab meat for bits of shell and break it down into small pieces. Then, fold it into the cream cheese mixture until the crab meat is evenly coated. Taste it (my favorite part) to see if the seasoning comes through enough. If you feel it needs more salt or pepper or a bit more heat, add it in, and mix it well.
  5. Cover the bowl before you put it in the fridge, or transfer it to a sealed container for chilling. Chill for at least one hour.
  6. When ready to serve, add your garnishes! I like to use chives and parsley, but you can also use finely chopped celery and lemon zest.


    • I always try to make my dip ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator overnight, but as long as you let it cool for an hour at least, it will be fine.
    • Serve the dip up with crackers, tortilla chips, or baton veggies. It also makes a tasty side dish with meat--an alternative take on surf and turf!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g

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