Loaded with sharp cheddar, lump crab meat, and a zippy kick of Sriracha, Cheesy Crab Dip is a delectable appetizer for any gathering, from a casual football watching get-together to a fancy holiday party!
Happy Friday, friends! Popping in with one last recipe before Christmas, which I happen to think would be a great last-minute appetizer in case you’re looking to add to your holiday menu. But I totally get it if Christmas Eve Eve is a bit too last-minute for you. The good news is that this Cheesy Crab Dip would also be an amazing appetizer for ringing in the New Year! Or — if, like me, you’re planning on dedicating obscene amounts of time in the near future to College Bowl Game-watching — the football fans planted on the couch are guaranteed to go crazy over this dip. 😉
Cheesy Crab Dip is deceptively simple to make for being so darn delicious. If you happened to ask me my very favorite food in the whole wide world, I would tell you crab legs (insert heart eye emojis here). But let’s face it…crab legs are a rare treat. They’re expensive and they take a lot of effort to eat. So to get the fabulous flavor of lump crab meat in a rich, cheesy dip? Sign. Me. UP.
This recipe is more than just cheese and crab, though. The sharp cheddar and lump crab are actually mixed into a base of cream cheese, mayonnaise, and cracker crumbs, making for a truly decadent appetizer. Sriracha adds a bit of kick (but not too much…this dip is pretty mild) and fresh chopped herbs add some freshness. Bake until bubbly and scoop up the whole shebang with sturdy crackers, Melba toasts, or tortilla chips. This Cheesy Crab Dip will disappear in no time!
This lovely recipe actually comes from my friend, Michelle, of A Dish of Daily Life. I had the pleasure of getting to know Michelle at a food blogging conference in Austin a couple months ago, and she’s the type of person who is not only fun to hang out with, but she’s also extremely kind and generous when it comes to sharing her blogging experience and knowledge with others. One of the things I love about being a blogger is the sense of community with my “virtual co-workers,” and Michelle is someone who definitely personifies this spirit of blogger collaboration.
Michelle had major surgery at the beginning of December, and some of her blogging friends wanted to help her out while she’s recovering, in the same way that she would be quick to lend a hand to any of us. And thus was born #GetWellMichelle! While she’s unable to work over the next couple of months, we don’t want Michelle to lose traffic (or the revenue that her family relies on from said traffic), so we’ve gotten together to feature some of her best recipes and send some love her way. I had a hard time choosing which recipe to share from all of the amazing recipes on her site, but this Cheesy Crab Dip was the winner…and it really is a winner!
I followed Michelle’s recipe when putting together this dip but I did make a few slight modifications. I used all sharp cheddar for my cheese because that’s what I had on hand, and I used two cans of jumbo lump crab. The total amount ended up being a bit less than the pound called for in the recipe, but my dip was still bursting with crab. I also realized mid-way through making the recipe that the cilantro I thought I had in my fridge was actually…parsley. So I used that instead and it complemented the flavors beautifully. And since I crushed too many cracker crumbs, I sprinkled the leftovers on top of the dip along with the final crowning of cheese.
In the same way, you can easily adapt this recipe to your own liking! Swap out your favorite cheese — something tells me that Gruyere would be delicious. Use fresh lump crab if you have access to it. Toss in cilantro or parsley. Replace some of the mayo with sour cream. Tweak the amount of Sriracha…or for a different flavor altogether, replace it with a couple teaspoons of seafood seasoning (like Old Bay).
And if you have leftover dip? Well, it’s hardly likely, but just in case… 😉 You can spread it on baguette slices and broil until golden for crab bruschetta. You can stuff it inside hollowed-out jalapeños or mushrooms for fabulous finger food. You can even eat it straight out of the dish with a spoon and a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Wait…
So Google the hashtag #GetWellMichelle (or search for it on social media) to see which of Michelle’s recipes are being featured by her blogger friends! Then hop on over to A Dish of Daily Life, where you’ll find mouthwatering recipes like these…
And then? Add this Cheesy Crab Dip to your Christmas or New Year’s or football-watching menu! I just know you’ll love it as much as we did.
As a quick aside, I’m going to be taking off some time to spend with my family while they’re on holiday break, so this will likely be my last new recipe post of the year. I may pop in next week to share my Top 20 Recipes of 2016, but either way, I hope you all have a wonderful, memorable, peace-filled Christmas.♥ Thanks so much for all of your support of Five Heart Home this year I’ll see y’all in 2017! 🙂
Cheesy Crab Dip Recipe
Cheesy Crab Dip
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese, DIVIDED
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 pound canned or fresh lump crab meat, drained & picked over for shells
- 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, about 15 crackers
- Crackers, Melba toasts, baguette slices, or tortilla chips, for serving
- Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, 1 cup grated cheese, Sriracha, and cilantro until smooth. Blend in the crab meat and cracker crumbs until just combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup of grated cheese and any remaining cracker crumbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the dip is bubbly and golden brown around the edges. Serve hot with crackers, Melba toasts, baguette slices, or tortilla chips.
More Holiday-Worthy Appetizers
- Mini Cheese Ball Bites
- Cheddar Jalapeño Thumbprints
- Honey Chipotle Lime Cashews
- Fluffy Chocolate Fruit Dip