Creamy Cheesy Crab Dip

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Creamy Cheesy Crab Dip is a creamy, cheesy appetizer made with sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, and crab meat, ready in only 45 minutes!

We ALWAYS serve dip at parties we throw here, so we’re always looking for fun an interesting recipes like Buffalo Chicken Dip, Ultimate Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Spicy Louisiana Shrimp Dip!

Cheesy Crab DipCreamy Cheesy CRAB DIP

Creamy Cheesy Crab Dip is one of the EASIEST appetizers I have in my repertoire, which is why I make it for almost any party I throw. This is only 5 ingredients so you can pull it out anytime you have surprise guests over.

It’s especially easy because I always have cheese and sour cream in the refrigerator, so all I need to pick up is the crab meat. I’ve been serving this crab dip recipe so often though, that I started keeping canned crab in the pantry around the holidays.

This creamy cheesy crab dip recipe only requires about 5 minutes of prep time. If you can stir together some cream cheese, cheddar, sour cream, and crab meat, you can make this hot crab dip recipe. Just pour it into a baking dish and serve with crackers or bread.

I also serve with cut up lemon slices so people can add some fresh lemon juice to the crabmeat, or a sprinkle of old bay seasoning on top. People will be asking you for this crab dip recipe, I promise!


You can make hot crab dip ahead of time by prepping all of your ingredients together, then instead of cooking cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready, place the dip in the oven and bake until golden brown, a total time of 45 minutes.


Cheesy crab dip is one of the easiest appetizers in the world to make. You just stir all of the ingredients together and bake until golden brown and bubbly. If you don’t have cheddar cheese, you can substitute other cheese varieties like gruyere or mozzarella. I’ve even made this with pepperjack cheese in the past and it’s been a fun change from the classic.

This is hot crab dip, so make sure to choose a cheese that melts well. If possible go with a block of cheese you shred yourself, because it doesn’t have any anti-caking ingredients like pre-shredded cheese does.


Crab dip will last tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Warm hot crab dip in the oven at 350 degrees for a total time of 10-15 minutes before serving to melt the cheese. At a party, try not to keep the hot crab dip on the counter for more than 3-4 hours for food safety. Keep your appetizer refrigerated until you’re ready to put it in the oven.

Truth be told though it’ll last about 15 minutes because it’ll be one of the first things people eat at your party. 😉

Creamy Cheesy Crab Dip on Crostini


  • Hollow out a round loaf of bread, leaving about 1/2-1 inch of bread on the sides and bake at 400 degrees F until the bread is toasted, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Prep your crab and pour the dip into the bread bowl, then place it back in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until dip is golden brown on top.
  • Use the bread pieces you pulled out from hallowing the loaf for dipping!


  • Tortilla chips
  • Crackers
  • Celery
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • French bread broken into pieces


  • If your dip isn’t becoming golden brown fast enough, turn the broiler on for 2-3 minutes, while watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • Stir fresh spinach leaves into the dip before baking for extra veggies and flavor.
  • Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to make combining the ingredients faster and easier.
  • Add spices for flavor variation, like paprika, garlic, fresh dill, parsley, or a small amount of horseradish. You can also add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, or old bay seasoning. Worcestershire sauce will add a strong flavor so don’t use more than 1 tablespoon.
  • If you can’t find crab, use cooked chopped lobster meat, shrimp or even imitation crab meat (krab meat).
  • If you don’t have enough sour cream, sub in half mayonnaise. If you’re only using mayonnaise, use about 1 cup instead of the 2 cups of sour cream.
  • To lighten up the recipe, swap the cream cheese for lower fat Neufchatel cheese. You won’t taste a difference!

Classic Cheesy Crab Dip

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Creamy Cheesy Crab Dip

Crab dip is a creamy, cheesy appetizer made with sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, and crab meat, ready in only 45 minutes!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 12 ounces crabmeat
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onions , sliced thinly


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and add to a baking dish, cooking for 45-55 minutes.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 243mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1065IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 0.7mg

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I made this for a family gathering and everyone loved it! This is a simple recipe with huge flavor. I’ll make this a staple of entertaining!!

  2. The 30 grams of fat per serving concerns me. How would this recipe turn out using reduced fat ingredients i.e. fat-free sour cream, low-fat mayo and light cream cheese?

    1. I haven’t tried them in this recipe so can’t give a full recommendation. However, subbing the sour cream and cream cheese should be okay. I would not substitute the cheddar (fat-free shredded cheeses don’t always melt the same). If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out!

    2. Hi there! I just made this for the first time and used reduced fat cream cheese and sour cream. Probably not as thick as if you use full fat items but I think it turned out great!!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it because of the cream cheese and sour cream. The texture will change and I’m not sure it’ll work. Sorry.

    1. You can use a 8×8 dish or something similar in size for this recipe and either fresh crab or canned crab will work, whichever is easier for you. I hope you enjoy it!

        1. Yes, you can make it up to 24 hours ahead of time. Just prep all of your ingredients and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Once ready, place the dip in the oven and bake until golden brown (around 45 minutes). Enjoy!