Crab Fondue

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Tasty hot crab dip appetizer with lump crab meat, cream cheese, mayo, and seasonings.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My friend and neighbor Molly passed along her mother’s recipe for crab fondue the other day. It’s a tradition in her family to prepare this hot crab dip while everyone is gathered for the holidays. Garrett and I whipped up a batch recently, adding wine, onion greens, and more spice to the original recipe. As Molly says, it’s “totally addictive”. Good for gatherings on cold winter days.

Crab Fondue Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8.

We also peeled and chopped up bosc pears to use for dipping in this recipe. If you are avoiding wine, just use water to get to desired consistency.


  • 18 ounces (3 6-oz packages) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (yellow or Dijon)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar (or 1 Tbsp corn starch if you want to skip the sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or paprika with a little ground ginger and cayenne)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry sherry (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 lb to 1 lb of lump crab meat, fresh or canned
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion greens, chives, or parsley
  • Day old French or Italian loaf bread (best not fresh or will fall apart when dipped), cubed into 1-inch cubes


1 Slowly heat the cream cheese, mayo, powdered sugar, garlic powder, Old Bay, lemon zest, and mustard in a double boiler until the cheese is completely melted. (If you don't have a double boiler, fill a saucepan a third of the way with water and bring to a boil, place a metal bowl over the saucepan. This will work as a double boiler.)

2 Slowly stir in the wine and lemon juice (adjust quantities to taste and desired consistency). Slowly stir in the crab meat and onion greens.

To serve, transfer to a heated chafing dish or fondue pot to keep warm. Present with bread cubes and forks for dipping.

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Showing 4 of 15 Comments

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    This looks amazing!! I wonder if it’s noticeable if you don’t use the wine or sherry?

    If you don’t use the wine or sherry, I would substitute water just to get a more creamy consistency, otherwise the dish will be more like a thick dip and less like a fondue. I also would make sure I had lemon juice, because the dish does need an acid to balance it. ~Elise

  • Theresa in Bexhill

    Made this today and it was fabulous! I used a third of cream cheese, brie and a creamy Lancashire. Very tasty.

  • Gina

    I’m making it right now it looks so good!!

  • Kelli Lynn

    Wow. This recipe is fantastic – thank you, Molly & Garrett so much. I made a variation of it yesterday for an inaugural dinner party – lightened it up a smidge using 16 oz of low-fat (neufatel) cream cheese and 1/2 a cup low-fat buttermilk instead of the mayo. We also used 1 lb of roasted flaked tillapia instead of crab (because one of the guests was allergic to shellfish) and sweet onion and fresh thyme instead of green onion and fresh garlic instead of powder (because it was what was on hand, blah, blah, blah…). Even with these changes it was gorgeous. So thank you for the last minute addition to our party!

  • Marianne

    My husband made this for dinner the other night with a salad. It was very good; however, being originally from Baltimore, we used a lot more Old Bay seasoning. Why the sugar? Next time we will omit the sugar (added inappropriate sweetness and detracted from the crabmeat), and make it thinner. It’s more like a dip because of the thickness. Very good though, just omit the sugar.

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Crab Fondue