Crab Dip


Here's a delicious and EASY crab dip to serve at your next party! Just mix some lump crab meat with sour cream, mayo, shallots, and seasonings, and it's ready for the party table. Delicious crab dip with lump crab meat, sour cream, mayonnaise, shallots, dill, lemon zest, white wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

When it’s crab season and our local market gets a shipment, we’re first in line for the biggest (more than two pounds) fresh, cooked crabs, already cleaned and broken.

My father calls it “nature’s fast food.” We’ve been known to go through a couple 2-pound Dungeness crabs just for lunch!

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Freshness Is Imperative

As with all seafood, the crab’s freshness is imperative. I once had to return crab to the market because it just wasn’t edible. My bad, I forgot to check.

Although your fish monger should be checking before handing it over to you, you really do need to inspect it before paying for it and taking it home.

The best way to test is to smell. If it smells too strong or fishy, it’s not good. Fresh crab should smell like an ocean breeze and lightly sweet.

The Best Crab Dip!

What to do with leftover crab meat when your eye is hungrier than your stomach? Mix it into a fresh crab dip, refrigerate it overnight and eat it the next day.

If you are no where near a place that sells good, fresh crab, you can of course use canned crab. Trader Joe’s has a good product. That said, truly fresh crab will always be better than canned.

Other ways to use this crab dip? Try mixing with pasta for a lovely crab pasta salad. Yum!

  • Looking for a hot version of this dip? Try this recipe for Hot Crab Dip.

Best served chilled

Crab dip is better once it’s chilled and had a little time for all the flavors to marry. Let it chill for at least two hours in the fridge, or up to overnight — just cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the dip to an air-tight container.

Do try to use it up quickly though. Crab, like fish, shrimp, and other seafood, does not benefit from time. Best to make it, chill it, and eat it.

Love Crab? Try These Recipes

Crab Dip Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes a little over 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cooked crab meat (fresh is best)
  • 2 tablespoon minced shallots (or green onions or red onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper


1 Make the dip: Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, shallots, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.

Gently fold in the crab meat. Salt and pepper to taste.

2 Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

3 Serve with crackers or carrots and celery.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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14 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Roberta

    It was light and the dill and lemon was a nice added taste. However because it was watery even though I drained the canned crab well, I added two more cans of crab, but it was still too much liquidity. I would add cream cheese the next time to thicken it a but. Very tasty.

  2. Khava

    I wanted to love it but I need some heat to balance out that sweet from the crab. Maybe a vinegar based hot sauce or a fresh jalapeño finely diced. I will try it again.

  3. Ioana

    Made this today and it came out wonderful. Thanks for another great recipe.


  4. Mummyof1

    This recipe is really delicious – I’m pleased to see one that doesn’t use cream cheese or cream. I replaced the sour cream with greek yogurt and used low fat mayonnaise to make it healthier and it still tastes great. Really fresh. Thanks for your recipes!


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Marsha

    This recipe calls for “cooked crabmeat”. I usually buy fresh lump crabmeat. Would I need to just saute it in some butter/olive oil before using it in the dip?

    Thank you

    The fresh lump crab meat that you buy at the store is already cooked. You do not need to cook it further. ~Elise

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Crab Dip in bowl with veggies on the sideCrab Dip