Best Crab Dip Ever

Best Crab Dip

There are very few foods over which I lose control. However, there is something about this crab dip that turns me into a scoop and shove maniac. scoop, shove it in my mouth, repeat, repeat, repeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeat…breath…cry out in desperation for someone to make me stop eating.

This is crab dip on steroids.

Best Crab Dip

The basis for this dip is Irish’s Crab Butter, a recipe that I first encountered in 1997 on the internet. (Yes, the internet did exist in 1997.) While the original recipe is excellent, I felt that I needed to lower the calories and fat content. The resulting recipe for Best Crab Dip Ever is just as insane in flavor as was the original recipe, but has over 50% less fat guilt! Raise your hand if you are into the less guilt thing.

Best Crab Dip

My favorite part of this recipe, and the ingredient that sets this crab dip apart from so many others, is the cocktail sauce. I love that stuff. Sometimes the only reason I eat shrimp or crab is so that I can have cocktail sauce. You may call me a food heathen, but I don’t care. Cold crab dip with cocktail sauce is a food heathen’s flavor heaven.

Best Crab Dip

There is one suggestion that I’d like to make regarding the crab meat. If possible, use pasteurized lump crab meat that is found in a can or small Mylar bag in the refrigerated meat area of various grocery stores. It is excellent. An alternative to this refrigerated lump crab meat is the shelf stable, white lump crab meat that can be found in the same area of the grocery store as the canned tuna. Just get the lump crab. Lump crab. Lump. Crab.

Best Crab Dip Ever

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: 1/3 cup


  • 11 ounces cream cheese (may use light), softened
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream (I used Kraft Simply light sour cream)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup fresh, minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauced
  • 6 ounces (weight) lump crab meat (see notes)
  • 1 cup cocktail sauce


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, butter and mayonnaise until well blended and smooth.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
  4. Fold in the crab meat until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator least 2-8 hours. When ready to serve, spread in bottom of a pie plate or other similar serving dish. Pour cocktail sauce over dip and gently spread evenly. Garnish, if desired.


Lump Crab Meat: I recommend using pasteurized lump crab meat. It requires refrigeration and can be found in cans or small Mylar bags in the meat department of many grocery stores.

Serving suggestions: Neutral crackers such as Triscuits®, Toasteds®, Premium Saltine Rounds®, or Klub® Crackers.

To store: Store covered in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Recipe inspired by “Irish’s Crab Butter“; original source unclear.

Best Crab Dip Ever

Crazy for dips? Here are some others for you to make!

Hot Crab Dip
Hot Crab Dip
Smoky Clam Dip
Smoky Clam Dip
Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Dip
Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Dip



  1. says

    I would be right there next to you shoveling this into my mouth. 🙂 Looks like a real deal delicious dip. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  2. Dalila G. says

    Holy-Moly!! What a tasty looking dip….and a “light” version to boot!
    I am one of the many who feel guilty at times when I over-indulge……which is often. 🙁
    I know this will be a hit for me this coming Sunday, fun times with less guilt while the football game is on. The men won’t care, but us gals will be in heaven!
    Thanks Terri!

  3. says

    You had me at crab – add cocktail sauce too, and wow! Love that you were able to reduce the fat and calories. Thanks for sharing your tip on which crab to buy – can’t wait to give this a try.

  4. shari nielsen says

    Teri, I love your recipes and I love you! Your kindness and brightness is very apparent in everything you write and cook. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Scott says

    Hi Terri,

    My aunt has made something very similar to this for years and it is a family favorite. She calls it “Crab Pizza” !

    The only difference is she sprinkles the crab meat on top of the cocktail sauce, then sprinkles with finely chopped parsley. Looks fantastic and tastes great.

    • says

      Hi Scott. I like the way your aunt’s version sounds with layering some of the ingredients. Her idea definitely makes for a nicer presentation. Something has been bugging me about the way this dip looks in the picture and layering it would solve the problem. Thanks for sharing! (Love this dip no matter how it looks, though!) ~Terri

  6. CindyK says

    Bought a store brand crab dip that was blah. Landed on this recipe looking for a way to spice it up. No more store brand for me. This recipe has just the right zing!

  7. Beth says

    I used your recipe for my mom’s surprise 70th, but added a lot more crabmeat as we wanted it very chunky and crab-flled. Was absolutely delicious and got rave reviews! Thanks for sharing!

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