Crab spinach dip is a luscious and savory appetizer that combines creamy spinach with succulent crab meat. This crowd-pleasing dish is baked until hot and bubbly. Enjoy with crisp bread or crunchy crackers.Jump to Recipe
Everyone loves a good spinach dip, but a spinach dip with crab? Yes please. If you love crab as much as we do you're going to love this creamy, cheesy dip. Don't worry about spending a lot of time cracking crab legs to get to the good stuff and don't waste your time with imitation crab.
This low carb dip is convenient because we use canned crab. If you've never used canned crab before, I recommend it. When it's mixed with spinach, cream cheese, and other flavors, everything comes together so deliciously. You and your guests won't be able to stay out of it.
Why You're Going to Love This Crab Spinach Dip
Decadent Flavor Fusion: Crab spinach dip brings together the luxurious taste of succulent crab meat with the richness of creamy spinach. The flavor fusion is both indulgent and satisfying. This reminds me of something you would get at a restaurant. The best part is that you can make it from the comfort of your own home.
A Crowd Pleaser: This is the perfect appetizer for sharing at gatherings, parties, or cozy events. All the seafood lovers in your life are not going to be able to keep their hands out of this. Be sure to serve with extra chips, veggies, or crackers. It will go quickly.
Easy to Prepare: You're not going to believe how easy this is. It's as simple as placing all the ingredients in a glass baking dish and baking until hot and bubbly. Canned crab meat is used for the convenience and it is so good. Anyone can put this together in no time at all.
Easy Cleanup: The clean up for this dip is so simple. I don't worry about gathering a large bowl and mixing the ingredients before adding to the baking dish, I recommend putting everything in the glass baking dish. At the half way mark of baking, I take it out and stir. This means my baking dish is also my mixing bowl. All that needs cleaned is one item and it can be thrown in the dish water when all the cooking is done.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Canned crab - I used white crab meat for this spinach dip recipe. I found that it added a salty crab flavor that was balanced nicely by all the other ingredient notes in the dip. Obviously fresh crab meat can be substituted if you have extra or if you prefer the quality and flavor of fresh crab. I personally love claw meat because it's sweet and
Old bay seasoning - A seasoning blend that is widely used when cooking with seafood. I find that salt isn't needed because this has so much in it already. It also bring a little bit of heat to the dip as well.
Garlic - Fresh garlic cloves are used in the dip, yes you can substitute with garlic powder but I don't recommend it. As the garlic cooks in the dip, it adds a punch of flavor that takes it to a whole new level.
Worcestershire sauce - Adds a slight tanginess and sweetness. I don't normally add this to my spinach dips but it works SO well in this one.
Frozen chopped spinach - Be sure to let this thaw completely and pat dry with a paper towel before using. I usually let it sit in a sieve and rinse with lukewarm water to thaw then I press to release excess water. I'm okay with keeping a little moisture in the spinach because it will help smooth out the dip a bit. You can use fresh spinach but I suggest sautéing the fresh baby spinach in olive oil for a couple minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
Cream cheese - The dip base that makes it nice and creamy. You may want to let it soften at room temperature for a bit so it's easier to mix. It doesn't seem like it will be enough but trust me. Most recipes use sour cream or mayonnaise but I found that it wasn't needed because I didn't want the dip to be too creamy.
Parmesan cheese - I recommend using freshly grated parmesan because it's sharp and adds so much to the dip. Quite a bit is added to the crab spinach mixture but you can also add a layer of cheese over the top, broil it until golden and bubbly for a stunning presentation everyone will want to dig into. Different kinds of cheese can be used instead such as mozzarella, and cheddar.
Lemon - The juice of one lemon is used to add tanginess. Lemon and seafood go together so well this dip wouldn't be complete without it.
How to Make This Hot Crab Dip
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
Step 2. Add all the ingredients to a glass baking dish. Mix as well as you can.
Step 3. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove from the oven and stir well. Top the dip with an extra layer of parmesan cheese. Place the baking dish back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Step 4. Turn the oven off and turn the broiler on high. Make sure the baking rack isn't too close to the top. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Tips and Tricks
Use Quality Crab Meat: Opt for high-quality lump crab meat for the best flavor and texture. Check for any shell fragments and gently fold the crab into the mixture to preserve its texture.
Thoroughly Drain Spinach: After thawing frozen chopped spinach, be sure to drain it thoroughly. Excess moisture can make the dip watery. You can use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to press out any remaining liquid.
Soften Cream Cheese: Ensure the cream cheese is softened at room temperature before mixing. This guarantees a smoother and lump-free consistency in the dip.
Gentle Mixing: When combining the ingredients, mix gently to avoid breaking up the lump crab meat for the best results. You want to preserve those delicious, tender chunks in the final dish.
Choose the Right Baking Dish: Use an oven-safe dish that allows for even cooking. A shallow dish promotes a golden-brown top, and a glass or ceramic dish works well for retaining heat.
Monitor Baking Time: Keep an eye on the dip as it bakes. Once the top is golden brown and the edges are bubbly, it's ready. Overbaking can lead to dryness.
Let It Rest Before Serving: Allow the dip to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps the flavors meld and allows for easier dipping.
Must Try Variations
Artichoke Crab Spinach Dip: Add a Mediterranean twist by incorporating chopped artichoke hearts to make a crab spinach artichoke dip. Their slightly tangy flavor complements the crab and spinach beautifully.
Jalapeño Crab Spinach Dip: Infuse a bit of heat to the hot crab spinach dip by adding finely diced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce. The spicy kick adds a dynamic element to the creamy dip.
Smoked Gouda Crab Spinach Dip: Introduce a smoky flavor by incorporating shredded smoked Gouda cheese. The smokiness enhances the richness of the dip.
Sun-Dried Tomato Crab Spinach Dip: Elevate the dip with the sweet and savory notes of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. They add a burst of flavor and a delightful chewiness.
Spicy Crab Spinach Dip: Take the heat up a notch in this crab dip recipe without changing the flavor by adding red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. This variation brings a bold and spicy kick to the classic dip.
Buffalo Crab Spinach Dip: Give the dip a buffalo-inspired kick by adding buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles. This variation combines creamy, spicy, and tangy elements.
Pesto Crab Spinach Dip: Incorporate the bold flavors of pesto by adding a spoonful to the dip. The basil and garlic notes add a Mediterranean touch.
Crab Avocado Spinach Dip: Enhance the creaminess with the addition of diced avocado. The avocado adds a velvety texture and a buttery taste.
Enjoy Crab Spinach Dip With:
Tortilla Chips: Classic tortilla chips are the classic choice, providing a perfect scoop for the creamy dip. Choose plain or seasoned varieties based on your preference.
Crostini or Baguette Slices: Toasted crostini or thin baguette slices add a delightful crunch to contrast with the creamy dip. They also provide a neutral base that lets the dip's flavors shine.
Pita Chips or Pita Bread Wedges: Pita chips or wedges are excellent for scooping up the dip. They have a sturdy texture that complements the creaminess of the dip.
Vegetable Sticks: Fresh vegetable sticks such as carrot, celery, cucumber, and bell pepper add a refreshing and crisp element. They provide a lighter option for those looking to balance the richness of the dip and also keep it low carb.
Crackers: Choose a variety of crackers, such as butter crackers, water crackers, or whole-grain crackers, to add a satisfying crunch. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite pairing.
Breadsticks: Crispy breadsticks offer a satisfying bite and can be used to scoop up the spinach crab dip. They add a playful and crunchy element to the snack.
Fresh Bread Cubes: Cube fresh bread, such as French bread or ciabatta, for a rustic and substantial dipping option. The chewy texture of the bread complements the creaminess of the dip.
Pretzels:Pretzels, whether traditional twists or pretzel crisps, provide a salty and crunchy element that pairs well with the rich flavors of the dip.
Storing and Reheating
Allow leftovers to cool a bit before storing then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days for optimum freshness. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350°F, and place the dip in an oven-safe dish. Cover it with foil to prevent excessive browning and heat for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
Alternatively, you can reheat individual servings in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between to ensure even heating. Before serving, give the reheated crab spinach dip a gentle stir to restore its creamy consistency, and enjoy this crowd-pleasing appetizer once again.
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Easy Warm Crab Spinach Dip
- 2 6 oz cans crab
- 3 1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon squeezed
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Add all the ingredients to a glass baking dish. Mix as well as you can.
- Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove from the oven and stir well. Top the dip with an extra layer of parmesan cheese. Place the baking dish back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and turn the broiler on high. Make sure the baking rack isn't too close to the top. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.