Hot Maryland Crab Dip Recipe

Typically, when you imagine someone enjoying cooked crab, you probably picture them on a beach in Chesapeake Bay in Maryland in front of a roaring bonfire. However, not everyone is lucky enough to live near the ocean (or a bay) and be able to lounge whenever they want to in the sand while enjoying this seafood delight. Fortunately for you, recipe developer Jordan Zelesnick of JZ Eats has created this incredible seafood experience for home cooks — no sand and surf required (but if you have that backdrop readily available, that's an added bonus).

With just five minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time, you'll have enough warm, savory crab dip to serve a party of 10. Take note that this is not a dish that's served up cold. As Zelesnick says, while this recipe is absolutely perfect to prepare for get-togethers, this dip "needs to be served hot." And speaking of hot — Zelesnick includes in her recipe a way to really spice up your dip to as hot as your heart desires.

Gather your ingredients to prepare this hot Maryland crab dip

In order to make your hot Maryland crab dip, you'll first need to round up all of the necessary ingredients. These include: cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, green onions, and a lemon (for its juice). In addition, you'll want 1 pound of lump crab meat, as well as both shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese. While most cooking sprays are good for this recipe, Zelesnick prefers using one made from olive oil.

If you want to add a little extra heat to your crab dip, Zelesnick recommends adding hot sauce, however, this ingredient is totally optional. And, of course, no dip is complete without something tasty to enjoy with it. For this recipe, Zelesnick recommends celery and crackers for dipping. The Baltimore food blogger shares that toasted bread can be a good option to serve with the dip, too.

Prepare your oven and your mixture

To begin your recipe, preheat the oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. You'll then mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, hot sauce (optional), and lemon juice in a mixing bowl until fully combined. For the best results, you'll want to make sure you leave adequate time for the cream cheese to soften before combining it in the bowl. Also, keep in mind that not all cream cheeses are the same, and particular spreads can have additional ingredients in them. So, your best bet is to use a block of standard cream cheese.

It's time for your crab meat

It's time for the star of this recipe: the crab meat! Fold in the crab meat and half of the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a rubber tip spatula. Although any kind of cheddar cheese will work with this recipe, Zelesnick says if it's a choice between mild and sharp, you should opt for sharp.

As the official website of Maryland states, "Maryland and crabs go together like ... well, Old Bay and crabs! Visitors have always come to Maryland to get a taste of our crab culture." (In fact, the state has plenty of fun seafood festivals on their calendar throughout the warmer months — including the Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival in August — all featuring this beloved crustacean!)

Crabs versus imitation crab meat

While it's common to substitute Alaskan pollock, one of the fish usually found in imitation crab meat, for the real thing, Zelesnick recommends against doing so for your hot Maryland crab dip recipe. While normally pollock might be an acceptable stand-in for crab, in this case, the texture and flavor would not work.

She also cautions that it is important to carefully fold in the crab meat with a rubber tip spatula, because otherwise it could break and ruin the texture of the dip. Remember — you want every guest to enjoy a scoop of melt-in-your-mouth crab meat, not questioning if you used enough crab in your recipe!

Bake your crab dip

Once you've finished combining your crab and shredded cheese with the rest of your ingredients, transfer the dip mixture to the baking dish, and add the remaining shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Be careful not to overcook the dip by cooking it at too high a temperature or for too long a period of time. Keep in mind that the more you use your oven, the less accurate it may become, so check in on your dip. Otherwise, you could wind up with something at the very least dried out, and at the very worst, burned with a spoiled flavor and texture.

Don't forget the garnish

No hot Maryland crab dip is complete without a garish of green onions. Although cutting green onions is relatively easy, there are tricks to help you simplify the process further and make them look even more appealing as a garnish.  

And, of course, what would a dip be without something to dip into it? Although Zelesnick suggests celery and crackers, she also says, "Any sturdy chip or bread or toasted bread will work," adding that both carrots and cucumbers are good vegetables to serve with this recipe. So, if you want to continue to impress with your homemade goodies, you might want to whip up some easy-to-make bagel chips.

Hot Maryland Crab Dip Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
You don't have to live right next to the beach in order to prepare and enjoy this delicious hot Maryland crab dip at home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
maryland crab dip dish
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • sliced green onions, to garnish
  • celery and crackers, for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (optional), Old Bay, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl until fully combined.
  4. Carefully fold in the crab meat and half of the shredded cheese with a rubber tip spatula.
  5. Transfer the dip mixture to the baking dish, and add the remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Garnish with green onions, and serve with celery and crackers.
Calories per Serving 233
Total Fat 19.6 g
Saturated Fat 7.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 82.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 1.1 g
Sodium 480.7 mg
Protein 11.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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