Rich, creamy and oh so gooey, this hot Dungeness crab dip is a hit at every party. We use fresh caught West coast Dungeness crab in this crab dip recipe. It’s slightly sweet and delicate meat pairs well with the other savory, cheesy and slightly spicy ingredients.
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Early summer is crabbing season around here. It’s fun to get out on the Puget Sound, drop a few crab pots and tour around. We often find a little beach to pull up to and have a picnic while the crab pots are out. It makes for a great family outing.
To prepare the fresh crab, we “half-back” the crab, clean it and boil it in salted water for several minutes. Half-backing the crab is a process by which the live crabs are flipped upside down, cut in half (from head to tail) and then the guts and gills are cleaned out prior to cooking them. Cooking the meat in this way rather than boiling a whole crab is said to taste better. The flavor is not contaminated by toxins from the guts. I set aside and freezer pack one cup portions of the cooked and cleaned crab meat for recipes like Dungeness crab cakes or Crab stuffed mushrooms.
Hot crab dip is a fun party appetizer. It can be served with assorted crackers as pictured here or with mini-toasts. Bake the crab dip mixture in the oven until it begins to bubble around the edges or turns a nice golden brown. Choose a small to medium-sized oven-safe casserole dish to bake the crab dip in. Ideally, choose a shallow stoneware vegetable gratin dish like this cherry red Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware 1-Quart Oval Au Gratin Dish.
Or this Temp-tations Old World Green Oval Baker. The pretty stoneware can be served direct from the oven to the table. I’ve been keeping my eye out for one of these at the second hand shop.
This Dungeness crab dip recipe is really creamy and tasty. It certainly isn’t “diet food.” But it is REALLY good and is a special treat when you have company around to share it with. So, don’t worry about the calories in this appetizer. Just plan on taking an extra long walk the next day. I season the crab dip with fresh scallions, Old Bay Seasoning, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. I use a mix of Pepper Jack cheddar and Parmesan cheese.
This crab dip recipe can also be made with other types of crab. So, give it a try even if you don’t have access to West coast Dungeness. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you if you use a different type of crab. Have you ever tried Dungeness crab before? Give this West coast treat a try. I think you’ll love it!
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Dungeness crab dip
Rich and creamy, this crab dip is a hit at every party. Serve with crostini or an assortment of crackers.
- Prep time 10 mins
- Cook time 30 mins
- 1 cup cooked Dungeness crab meat, chopped
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
- 3-4 tbsp scallions, diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (heaping cup)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- dash of cayenne pepper to taste
- lemon wedges for garnish
- assorted crackers or mini-toasts for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Make sure the cooked crab meat is picked through of any shells. Use a paper towel to squeeze out any excess water from the crab meat.
- Gently mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Transfer to an oven-proof small to medium-sized casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the dip is bubbly and turned golden-brown. Serve the hot dip with crackers or mini-toasts.