Healthy Hot Crab Dip
This spicy creamy Hot Crab Dip is a fantastic healthier appetizer to share for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or game day! It may be lighter than a traditional crab dip made with lots of mayo, but I assure you this one will blow the doors off any hot crab dip you’ve tried before! It is packed with sweet delicious crab, spicy Sriracha, lemon zest, scallions and spices. It’s even good served cold!
I originally shared this hot crab dip on January 19th, 2019. I have updated some of the content to share it with you again today.
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Hot Crab Dip Recipe
In my first cooking job as a prep cook, one of my tasks was to make sure the restaurant was well-stocked with crab dip. The version at the pub consisted of two giant bricks of softened cream cheese, a couple packages of mock crab, Parm, scallions, Old Bay and sour cream. It made an enormous amount but we sold boat loads of it because folks loved it!
I loved the creamy texture, the sweet crab and the Old Bay seasoning all mixed together, baked and then served with crackers. It was the perfect appetizer to share with friends. Don’t worry, today’s recipe is more appropriately portioned for making in a home kitchen, and it is much healthier than the one I just described!
- Today’s version of crab dip is loaded with fresh crab, because like a good crab cake, crab dip should be more about the crab than the fillers.
- The sweet crab is perfectly seasoned with Old Bay, Sriracha and fresh lemon zest and juice.
- I have lightened it up with lower-fat cream cheese and only a few tablespoons of Parmesan. But it is still supremely delicious.
- I can attest it is even good cold!
- It can also be made ahead so it is great for entertaining!
Serve it warm with crackers and get ready for the rave reviews to start pouring in. This hot crab dip is a real crowd-pleaser. Serve it for a Thanksgiving appetizer, Christmas, New Year’s or game day.
The yogurt made this crab dip so much lighter! Perfect for a Friday night in with the husband after a long work week. I will be making this recipe again.~Diane
Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
This recipe starts with reduced-fat cream cheese also called Neufchatel. (See packaging above.) It has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese, but with all of the other ingredients, you don’t miss the extra fat.
Mayonnaise And Greek Yogurt
I only used 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (some recipes for crab dip call for a full cup!) Instead I added in 2/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt- which keeps the dip creamy but adds far fewer calories.
Here’s where we drive to flavor town with reckless abandon. Lemon zest, check! Old Bay, check! Parm, check! Sriracha, double check!
To all of the deliciousness, I just described you’ll be adding in a whole pound of crab meat. Suffice it to say- there is nothing “mock” about this Hot Crab Dip recipe. Find pasturized crab meat in the refrigerated section of the seafood department. Make sure to pick through to remove any pieces of shell or hard cartilage.
How To Make Hot Crab Dip
Step 1: Preheat Oven and Prep Baking Dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 4 cup baking dish or skillet with cooking spray.
Step 2: Mix Cream Cheese With Seasonings
Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about 15 to 30 seconds. Add Greek yogurt, a little at a time and mix until evenly incorporated. Add in mayonnaise, sriracha, old bay seasoning, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat to combine.
Step 3: Stir Crab in By Hand
Stirring by hand, add in scallions, crab meat and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
Step 4: Bake the Dip
Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake until hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions if using. Serve the dip with crackers.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Unless you buy live crabs, whether in the shell or picked, crab is cooked and ready to eat. Usually, pasteurized crab meat is sold in sealed cans or plastic jars. There are various types such as claw, fancy, lump or special. In the case of this recipe, since the crab is mixed together with the other ingredients, you do not need to spring for the fancy or lump type. I would choose the least expensive option.
No, because the crab is fully cooked and ready to eat you can eat this dip without baking it. In fact I like it just as much when it is served cold! It is great with celery sticks and veggies for a lighter option!
We always have it with crackers, but it is also great with crostini or raw vegetables.
Yes! Serve it with low-carb dippers such as cheese crisps and low carb veggies.
Prepare the dip and place it in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake covered with foil for 15 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking until hot all the way through.
More Dips To Try
If you haven’t tried my Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe, that’s another one to try!
This Spinach Dip is naturally gluten-free and has only 7 ingredients in it!
Do you love crab? Make sure to check out our Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. They’re a festive entree to serve for special occasions and a great make-ahead for entertaining.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Healthy Hot Crab Dip
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 32 1x
This spicy creamy Hot Crab Dip is a fantastic healthier appetizer to share for with friends and family! It is packed with sweet delicious crab, spicy Sriracha, lemon zest, scallions and spices. It’s even good served cold!
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (neufcatel), softened
- 2/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 16 ounces pasteurized crab meat, picked
- 4 scallions, chopped plus more for garnish if desired
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
- 15 oz Crackers, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 4 cup baking dish or skillet with cooking spray.
- Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about 15 to 30 seconds. Add Greek yogurt, a little at a time and mix until evenly incorporated. Add in mayonnaise, sriracha, old bay seasoning, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat to combine.
- Stirring by hand, add in scallions, crab meat and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions if using. Serve the dip with crackers.
To Make Ahead: prepare through step 3. Cover with foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance. Bake covered, 15 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until hot all the way through.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: appetizer
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons dip and 5 crackers
- Calories: 91
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 10 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 5 g
Keywords: Crab Dip,Healthy Crab Dip
I’m going to make this for Super Bowl – looks delish!!
I made this for a holiday party and it was a big hit!!! Can’t wait to make it again – everyone loved it. Thanks for another great recipe!
Oh yay! That’s really great Colleen! Thank you for rating and reviewing!
Thank you, Amy! So glad you enjoyed!
The yogurt made this crab dip so much lighter! Perfect for a Friday night in with the husband after a long work week. I will be making this recipe again.
What a lovely comment, Diane! Thank you!
We made this over the weekend and LOVED it! The greek yogurt in this was so good!
I am thrilled to hear that, Suzy!
I can’t stop eating this! It was so good!
Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe. I have the same problem!
Yum! I love this crab dip. It’s filling, and I love that I can eat it without the guilt.
I could not agree more, Julie!
Perfect for an in home date night too!
That’s a wonderful idea, Lisa!
I made this for our family party last weekend and it was the first appetizer gone! I love that it’s healthy!
I am so overjoyed to hear that, Lauren! So happy that you enjoyed my appetizer dish!
This looks amazing – Great for Super bowl Sunday coming up!
Absolutely agreed! Thank you for the kind words!
OMG, I wish I could dunk some crackers right into the dip right now !!! It looks so delicious n creamy and healthier makes it one of my fav.
That’s exactly what we did- dunk these crackers! It was a big hit!
This crab dip looks amazing! I have never actually cooked with crab and need to try this~
It’s not as scary as you may think, because it comes already cooked and out of the shell- so really you just need to reheat it. Just make sure to find crab that doesn’t have any additives. Some brands include yucky preservatives.
Greek Yogurt is such a clever addition! Can’t wait to try this!
I love using Greek yogurt to make creamy classic recipes more healthy. Let me know what you think when you try it Sarah.
This sounds so good! I love seafood so definitely need to try this 🙂
For sure! It’s so flavorful.
I LOVE crab dip and the fact this is a healthier version is right up my alley! I cannot wait to try this, thanks!
Crab dip is so good, and I always dig in when someone serves it. Glad you like it too Kristine.