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The Best Maryland Crab Dip

This Maryland Crab Dip is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s creamy and cheesy with lump crab meat that will make you go back for more!

a baking dish with baked maryland crab dip and diced parsley on top of a red napkin and wooden cutting board

Maryland Crab Dip

This Maryland Crab Dip recipe is the best dish to eat on game day, hands down. It’s so simple, but it packs a punch of flavor with all its creaminess and spice.

This hot crab dip appetizer will make your tailgate one for the books! The best part is that this recipe is easy even for home cooks.

It’s always the first crab dish I introduce my friends to if they are hesitant about crabs. It’s a warm cheesy dip that is familiar without diving right into something like crab cakes.

If you’re looking to add some more Maryland vibes to your event, be sure to add some Old Bay Steamed Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish too!

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a small white baking dish with baked crab dip

What kind of crab should I use?

Getting the right kind of crab meat if you’re not familiar with it can be a little daunting! No fear though, here’s a few things to look out for in the different types of crab meat you can find at a grocery store.

Types of Crab

  • Jumbo Lump or Lump – This is the best type of crab to look for for crab dip or cakes! It’s harder to pick from the crab so it’s more expensive, but the lumps of crab are decadent in the dip.
  • Backfin – If you’re unable to find lump, backfin crab is a good alternative. It’s found in the same areas in the crab so it’s got the same sweet flavor, but is usually more more fine. If you’re making a lot of dip, adding in some backfin to the lump crab will help bulk it up a bit.
  • Claw – Claw meat is darker, less sweet and has a stronger flavor. It’s usually less expensive and a great alternative because of the stronger flavor to stand up to the cheesiness of the dip.

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned?

  • Fresh is best if you’re able to find it! It also might be the most expensive, but it definitely has the best flavor.
  • Frozen may work, but be sure to thaw it and get as dry as possible before adding it to the dip so it doesn’t make it runny.
  • Canned crab meat is also a good option if you find it in the refrigerated section. Depending on your store, you may find something like Phillips canned crab meat. If it’s not refrigerated, I might stay away from that option as it won’t have the same fresh flavor.

TL;DR – If you’re able to, try finding fresh lump crab meat at your seafood counter. You’ll also most likely associate Maryland crab to blue crab rather than something like king crab.

a plate of sliced baguette, a bowl of diced parsley, and maryland crab dip on a red napkin

Maryland Crab Dip Ingredients

To make Maryland Crab Dip, you’ll just need a few ingredients:

  • Cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Old Bay seasoning (of course – other seafood seasonings can’t compare)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Lump crab meat
  • Chopped parsley

If you’re wondering what else to make with your Old Bay, you should definitely try out this Old Bay Trail Mix! It’s always a favorite for game day or get togethers.

a lower angle of the crab dip in a white rectangular baking dish on a circular wooden board on a red napkin with parsley in the background

Can you make crab dip ahead of time?

Definitely! I wouldn’t make it more than a day out from when you’d like to serve it, though.

You should be able to combine all the ingredients and get it into the dish you’re going to bake it in. Top that with some plastic wrap or bee’s wrap if that’s your thing and then just bake when you’re ready!

It may need a few extra minutes to bubble up, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

What should I serve with crab dip?

Most restaurants in Maryland will serve crab dip with some sliced baguettes and either Ritz or saltine crackers. I’ll never say no to bread so that’s always my go-to when making crab dip!

You can also top with extra parsley and lemon juice to brighten it up a bit as well. Some people like to top it with some green onions or even hot sauce to crank up the heat!

Enjoying an Orange Crush or a Natty Bo with the dip will make this a quintessential Maryland dish!

If you’re looking for even more variations of crab dip, check out the Baltimore Sun’s site – they’ve got tons of recipes from people all over Maryland.

a slice of baguette dipped in crab dip being held up

How to Make Maryland Crab Dip

Making Maryland style crab dip only takes a few steps before you can enjoy!

When you get started, be sure to preheat your oven to 375°F.

Mix together your cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, shredded cheese, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice in a large bowl until it’s combined.

I’d recommend using a rubber spatula or electric beater to make sure it’s all mixed together. Beating the cream cheese with the electric beater is easiest if it’s not quite at room temperature yet.

Once that’s combined, fold in the crab meat carefully so as to not break up the lumps too much. Using a spatula rather than a beater here is definitely recommended.

Transfer the dip to a small casserole or baking dish then place in your oven uncovered for about 20 to 30 minutes or until it’s bubbly.

You can top it with some diced fresh parsley if you’d like and serve with some sliced baguettes or crackers! You can decide if you’d like to share or not.

a baking dish with baked maryland crab dip and diced parsley on top of a red napkin and wooden cutting board

The Best Maryland Crab Dip

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Maryland Crab Dip is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It's creamy and cheesy with lump crab meat that will make you go back for more!


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 lb. lump crab meat
  • Chopped parsley, to top

For Serving:

  • Baguette, sliced
  • Ritz crackers
  • Garlic Crostini


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric beater or rubber spatula to mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined.
  3. Slowly add in the crab being careful to not break up the lumps too much. Transfer the mixture to a small casserole or baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Top with parsley, and serve with sliced baguettes or crackers.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 759mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g

Nutrition provided is only an estimate.

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Sam Ellis

Hey there! I'm Sam and if there are two things I love most in this world, it's food and travel... and my dog, Tucker. I'm using my little corner of the internet to explore everything I love and I'd love for you to join me!


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