Hot Crab Dip

Hot crab dip 2
Let me just say that I have been inundated with millions of emails from readers asking, no begging me to come up with some type of Easter menu they could cook for their friends and family.  One that was easy and could easily feed a crowd. 

Okay, maybe not a million people asked me this, I don't want to exaggerate, it was only in the hundreds of thousands.

So I thought about it and figured we better get started since we're only a couple or so weeks away from the holiday where the bunny who delivers eggs (strange concept) extravaganza.

So over the next two weeks I will be holding your hand through what you thought was going to be a stressful menu preparation.  Lucky for you we're going to take it one step at a time.  It seems most people who have inquired are cooking for a small army or a big one and needed some no-brainer but delicious items to prepare for this special day. 

Well folks you came to the right place.  I've got your backs.  We are going to start with appetizers, move on to salad, conquer a main course and then, oh yes, dessert.  You will not be disappointed, no, not at all.

So let's set the tone.  It's Easter. Fifteen family members are coming for brunch/lunch/dinner and an Easter Egg hunt and you don't know what to make.  Or maybe you need to bring a dish to wherever you are going to do your egg hunting.  Well this appetizer is the one for you.  It is decadence to the enth degree.  It is heaven.  It is elegant.  It is love.  It is HOT CRAB DIP like you have never had before.  In your life.  Ever.

This appetizer has never failed to be demolished in about 4.2 seconds.  It's amazingly rich and comforting and it is special enough to make for a holiday celebration.  It can also be put together 24 hours ahead; freeing you up to clean all the toilets in your house before your guests arrive with time leftover to flatiron your hair. 

So let's get started, we only have a couple weeks here!

Here are the simplest of ingredients you need. When you put them together, the universe becomes one and geometric planetary alignments occur causing explosions in your mouth that cause the Earth to tilt over and trigger tidal forces that bring on magnetic field interactions that could...okay I'll stop.  But all of that really happens, so watch out.

Okay, what you need; fresh lump crab, mayonnaise, cream cheese, lemon juice, hot-pepper sauce, scallions, Parmesan cheese, salt, fresh ground pepper and French or sourdough bread.

Now let's start with the important stuff.  CREAM CHEESE.  Oh yeah, now we're getting seriously, serious.  The original recipe called for 1/3 fat cream cheese.  Yeah, that is soooo not going to happen here.  We're celebrating, we're not cutting the fat.  I can't even imagine what this would taste like with lowfat cream cheese Yuck!

Really, this is not a bar of soap.  It's the cream cheese remember?  8 oz of cream cheese is what you need.  Add it to a mixing bowl making sure it is room temperature, don't forget that part.

I'd like you all to meet my boyfriend...mayonnaise.  He is by far the loveliest condiment you could ever know.  And he likes to keep it REAL...see it's right on his label.  He's such a charmer.

Now again don't even consider using some light mayo or something sacrilegious like that.  I mean this is what gives this dish the unbelievable richness and decadence I was speaking of.  If you need to do jumping-jacks between bites go ahead.  Deep-knee-bends, go for it.  Just do not use LIGHT MAYO.  It's for LOSERS!  1/2 cup of mayonnaise is unfortunately all we need in this dip.

Mmmmm...mayo and cream cheese.  Okay, make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature because you need to mix these two ingredients together to form one fluffy, creamy mixture.  If your cream cheese is cold it will not look whipped like this.  It will be clumpy and dumpy and it will make you grumpy. 

Lemon squeezing time.  My friend Sandy gave me a ji-mungo bag of lemons the other day from her tree.  She even wrote my name on some of the leaves.  I felt very special.  These lemons are the juiciest lemons I think I have ever squeezed.  Thanks Sandy!

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice gets added to the mayo-cream cheese mixture.

I love Frank's Hot Sauce.  I have an Uncle named Frank.  Maybe that's why I love it so much....

1/4 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce is what is called for...however I might add more.

Now for the scallions or spring onions or green onions...whatever you want to call them...just dice them will need 3 altogether. 

Add them to the bowl.  And mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Now for the crabmeat...Mr. Crabs is freaking out...he knows I hate cheapskates and well, he is by far the biggest cheapskate I know!

Oh bummer, Mr. Crabs is totally.  You can still see his little claw over there on the left.  Spongebob is going to be pissed.

Go ahead and add the crab to the mixture and fold it in.  You will need 12 oz fresh lump crabmeat (about 2 cups).  Do NOT use canned crab or anything funky like that for this dish.  Go to the fish counter and ask for LUMP CRABMEAT.  I can't even think of what this might taste like with some stinky, canned crab.  Eeewww.

Now for the salt.  And here's a question for you all.  Why do you think the salt is "Iodized"?  Hmmm, anybody, anybody?  Well, at one time, in certain parts of the United States, there was not enough Iodine in people's diet and they were developing goiters.  Yep, nice huh?  Iodine is a necessary mineral for the synthesis of certain thyroid hormones.  When iodine is deficient in the diet, these hormones cannot be made.  Ummm, if you don't know what a goiter is you need to take a minute and search Google images; it might be scary.  Anyway, think twice before you reach for your rock salt or your she-she-la-la French sea salt because you too might wake up with a goiter.  It's really something to consider.  Really.

A 1/2 teaspoon of salt is all you need to remain goiter free.

Now for the pepper.  My friends gave me this adorable pepper grinder several years ago.  Isn't it cute?  It suits me perfectly.  Thanks guys, I'm still using it.  Sorry this picture is just the crappiest of crap.  It doesn't do this very special grinder justice.  I'll try harder next time.

A 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper will do it.

Mix everything together gently.  You don't want to mutilate the crab.

Spread into a 3 cup baking dish.  Do not put this dip into a giant dish.  The one you see here is approximately 10 x 7 and roughly 1.5 inches deep. 

Now for the Parmesan cheese...the real stuff this time.  Get your box grater out or whatever you use and grate away!  Watch your knuckles, don't ask me why.

Sprinkle at least 3 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese over the dip.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until it's bubbly and the top is golden brown.

While the dip is in the oven slice a rustic loaf of French or sourdough bread.

When it comes out of the oven, it will be golden and bubbling and oozing and no one will be able to resist this.  I promise you, after you make this your guests will be powerless.  They will also not be able to help you with the dishes...hmmm...make it's that good.

Here is the dip on top of the bread.  Isn't it fabulous?  It is so creamy and just has such an incredible flavor.  I cannot even tell you how wonderful this is.  You are just going to have to make it yourself.

Print Recipe

Hot Crab Dip

Recipe from: Al Roker's Hassle Free Holiday Cookbook | Serves: 6-8


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 12 oz (2 cups) lump crab meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sliced French or sourdough bread


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have a 3-cup baking dish ready.
  • Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon juice, pepper sauce and scallions; fold in crab meat, salt and pepper. Spread in baking dish; sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake 20 minutes until bubbly and top is golden. Serve hot or warm with sliced bread.

Post a Comment

30 Comments and 8 Replies

  1. Must get oven fixed. Great photos! It looks really good!

  2. mona 2

    it’s 10am — too early for crab dip?? that looks amazing. what a fun site you have. thanks for dropping in on mine! my hometown in connecticut could use a frog-saving underpass. that is hysterical. those little buggers love to fly around in any form of rain- mist, drizzle or pour!

  3. Yum. Yum. Yum. PS–love your Atlas ring!

  4. Cathy, I LOVE the way you do your recipes!! I can’t wait for the other episodes!! :)

  5. Krissy 5

    I am so hungry…..AGAIN!
    I really do suck at cooking too! Well, cooking has gotten better but baking sucks!!!!

    You could be my neighbor if you wanted to move to South Dakota….the house next to me is for sale!!! Come on!

  6. eliza 6

    i didn’t realize this but you do have a theme in every (almost) post! cooking with wine! ;P anyway…your cooking looks delicious! who doesn’t love crab and cream cheese?

  7. amanda 7

    This looks fantastic. I would make it right now if it wasn’t for the whole crab allergy. Are there any alternatives you can use to crab that aren’t of the meat variety? I suppose artichokes would be good in it. I’m not really sure though, since I have no idea how crab tastes to begin with. If it wasn’t for the whole anaphalactic shock thing, I’d be on this recipe like white on rice! :)

  8. YU-HUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean – it sounds like it’d be… and LOOKS liKe it’d be… My mouth is watering!

  9. That looks super yummy!

  10. Tammy 10

    Okay, putting this on my list of THINGS I MUST MAKE!!! You made my mouth water!

    However, I’m going to have to call around for the fresh lump crab meat. Consider yourself lucky where you life. Here in Oklahoma it’s not easy to get fresh seafood *anything*… you can get all the fresh catfish you want, but e

    Actually, I do know of a good fresh fish/seafood place but it’s about 30 miles away. This looks worth the drive.


  11. Kevin 11

    That crab dip looks so amazing! I recently made a hot crab dip that I really enjoyed. It disappeared really quickly. I think I still have some crab in the freezer…

  12. Now I’m frickin hungry. That looks so good. Could you just fedex some to me, surely it would keep while in transit, right?

  13. Lisa 13

    This has to be the best website ever. I love the Noble Pig and all the yummies it offers. Can’t wait to make my first recipe from you guys….off to the kitchen I go!!!!!!

  14. Mary 14

    This recipe looks amazing! I needed a good app recipe for my sister’s St. Pat’s Party, and this will definitely be it. BTW, I just love your commentary and that’s another reason I chose this recipe! Cheers!

  15. steve 15

    Dip sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to try it. Also, thank you for properly villainizing imitation and canned crab. They are awful. One thing, though. I’ve read in the past that iodized salt was also part of the american response to the german and russian nuclear threats in the 40s and 50s. Iodine apparently reduces your susceptibility to radiation poisoning. According to wikipedia, iodized salt was distributed nationwide starting in 1924, which is a bit early, but I’m sure that nationwide nuclear fears couldn’t have hurt its popularity.

  16. Terri 16

    Made this for company last evening, with fresh Dungeness crab that we caught and processed ourselves. The six of us ate the entire recipe. Thank you for this keeper. :)

  17. Barbara Collins 17

    I’m sure this is fabulous but I live in AZ and we don’t get much fresh crab here (used to live in Seattle where we did). Do you think this would be any good made with the “Faux Crab” stuff???? Should I even bother trying???? Maybe lots of extra garlic……….

  18. Maureen Piera 21

    I made this for our family Christmas get-together and it was AMAZING! Followed instructions exactly (even doubled the recipe) and didn’t skimp on the crab (pricey but SO worth it!). I used the Half Baked ficelle bread loaves from Trader Joe’s so we had hot, fresh bread with our dip. The Trader Joe’s pita chips were good with it too, and an extra sprinkle of Cholula Chipotle hot sauce on each bite was nice. Can’t thank you enough for posting this recipe, going into the Hall of Fame at our house.

  19. Cheryl 23

    Do you think this will do ok in a crockpot? Like one of the little party/dipper ones? I’m trying to find a tasty crab dip to bring to someone’s place for a NYE party… and this sounds so good.

    • Maureen Piera 24

      Not sure about the mini crock pot, but I would be willing to experiment. Mine is a cheapy one and can’t regulate temp, so that’s a problem. I used a stoneware casserole, they retain heat and good for these things and for parties. I doubt this will last long enough to have to worry about keeping warm. One of my favorite parts of this recipe is how the cheese on top gets crusty when baked in the oven, but could be personal preference :) I also made this the night before and I think the flavors really infused. My sister thought the leftovers would be good over some bowtie pasta – next time!

    • Cathy 25

      Hmmm, I want to say it would be fine but then there is that part of me that thinks it will be runny. The oven gives it a nice browning on the cheese and keeps it all together.

  20. Nia Jordan 26

    Where can I find the baking dish?

  21. Rodge 28

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this recipe, I wish all recipes were written like this! I’m making this tonight! :D

  22. David Robertson 29

    I tried this recipe this evening for my wife and I. Normally we try this in every restaurant that offers it. I have to say that this the best I’ve ever had. It’s super easy to make and the result is decadent. This is a keeper!

  23. nancy 30

    You do not need to buy fresh crabmeat. I am sure that it tastes better but I have always used canned and all my friends rave about this recipie. If you can’t get it don’t worry about it :)

  24. Jabber 31

    Outstanding! I only had one cup of crab meat so instead of halving the recipe, I chopped up a cup of cooked shrimp. I’ve made several different crab dips over the last while and everyone told me to stop at this one…it’s the keeper. I served it with warm naan bread.

  25. this is my second time fixing this dish with sourdough bread butter accourse, this recipe is to die for mmm….good.

  26. Bealadybug 33

    Wow! I’m from Maryland and my husband is a commercial crabber so I make crab dip pretty frequently to use up the leftover steam crabs. I have looked all over to better my recipe. Yours is great! Better than great. I agree with you that you must use the recipe ingredients as you posted. I did add a little bit of Old Bay on the top before putting on the Parmesan cheese, and cut down the salt by half (Old Bay has lots of salt in it). Thanks for posting, this will be my go to from now on.

  27. Valerie 34

    can’t wait to try this :-) love your presentation and humor!

  28. cyndi 35

    Thank you ,this recipe is a favorite in my house.i love your recipe,your personality shines in your directions. all around great experience with this site!!!

  29. Patrick 37

    I had been making my HCD by scratch. I got curious and searched for a recipe. Yours is exactly what mine is less the onions (wife can’t eat onions). Makes me feel like I was doing it right all the time.

  30. Rose 38

    Your commentary on the recipe made me laugh but now I feel like crying because ten years ago I moved from where fresh crab was plentiful to where finding fresh crab is impossible and there isn’t even refrigerated canned…just one lonely, unrefrigerated, tiny150 gram can of Russian crab that costs 20€. Why, why did I move here? I mean, I moved here to be with my husband, but at what cost….

    I’m tempted to try the can (maybe it’s decent? it’s expensive enough) , or substitute shrimp (or chicken? maybe shredded chicken would work but that also seems weird and now I’m crying over the crab).


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