This chilled crab dip recipe is perfect for your next party! So easy to make, & it’s served cold. So refreshing! You’ll love it with a glass of champagne!

Scooping crab dip from a bowl with a cracker.

It’s the last day of the month, year, and decade!

Can you believe it?

I hope you survived the Christmas and Hannukah holidays, and are ready for one last big bash. We are going to a fabulous party tonight; I can’t wait! It’s going to be a blast, and then I think we will all be ready to get back into our regular routines again.

So I’m closing out the year with another one of my favorite dip recipes.

I am what you might call a dip-aholic. Mmm, dip. I could easily make a meal out of a bowl of 7-layer dip, spinach artichoke dip, or buffalo chicken dip. And I have!

And the same goes for this cold crab dip recipe!

Overhead image of a bowl of crab dip surrounded by buttery crackers.

My family has been making this recipe for years.

It was originally given to us by a dear friend who I so loved and admired. It was scribbled on a tattered piece of paper that has grown yellow and brittle over the years. The measurements were “a pinch” of this and “a touch” of that.

I make some iteration of it every year for Christmas eve.

This year, I knuckled down and honed in on a more precise recipe. It might not be exactly the way Lois would have made it, but over the years it’s what’s evolved for my family’s tastes.

It’s creamy and seafood-y and so special to us. We only really make it for special occasions, but it’s so quick and easy.

It would be great for New Year’s Eve, Superbowl, or for a bridal or baby shower.

There’s a creamy layer on the bottom and a tangy, slightly spicy layer of cocktail sauce on top. These two elements together are like fireworks in your mouth!

I hope you’ll whip up a bowl to ring in the new year tonight! It’s the perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of bubbly!

Dipping a cracker into a bowl of cold crab dip, with a text overlay above that reads "Cold Crab Dip."


This crab dip recipe whips up in just 15 minutes. Maybe even less!

I like to start by draining and rinsing the crabmeat. Just put it in a fine-mesh strainer and run it gently under cool water, then set it aside to drain. This will remove any “fishy” taste.

Drained & rinsed canned crab meat in a fine mesh strainer.

While that sits and drains, blend up the creamy base. Lois just had us throw everything in a bowl and mix it together, but I like to do it this way because it’s a little gentler on the crabmeat. I prefer to not break up the lumps too much.

Cream cheese, mayo, & seasonings in a bowl for making crab dip.

Cream cheese, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, a little sugar to bring out the sweetness of the crab, and some freshly ground black pepper go into a mixing bowl.

Mixing crab dip cream cheese base in a bowl with an electric mixer.

It’s important that your cream cheese is very soft, so it can blend easily with the other ingredients. If it’s too stiff and cold, just pop it in the microwave for around 15 to 30 seconds.

Making cold crab dip with onion, parsley, and celery seed.

Once the base is blended, add the crabmeat, onion, parsley, and celery seed.

What kind of crabmeat goes in crab dip?

You don’t need to buy expensive crab meat for this recipe.

I just buy one of those little flat cans that’s sold in the supermarket, right by the tuna, and it’s great.

I’ve tried to get fancy and use jumbo lump crabmeat from the seafood section, but I honestly like the cheap stuff better!

Just look for “lump white crabmeat” on the label. I especially like the Crown Prince brand.

What kind of onion to use

You can use whatever kind of fresh onion you have on hand. I prefer a sweeter onion such as Vidalia or Maui, but I also really like red onion or shallot.

Just be sure to mince it up very finely, you don’t really want to bite down on a big chunk of raw onion!

Crab dip ingredients being folded together in a glass mixing bowl

Once all that’s mixed up, transfer it to your serving bowl and smooth the top of it flat.

Cold crab dip in a gray stoneware serving bowl.

Then top it with cocktail sauce.

Cold crab dip in a serving bowl with cocktail sauce on top.

I really like Kelchner’s brand of cocktail sauce. I find it in the seafood section of my grocery store.

But you could also make your own cocktail sauce. It’s as easy as stirring ketchup together with horseradish and a squeeze of lemon.

Smooth the cocktail sauce all over the top, and your crab dip is made!


To serve this yummy appetizer, just place the bowl on a platter and surround it with your dippers.

In my family, it’s always buttery crackers, pure and simple.

But this app would be fantastic with raw veggies too. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, grape tomatoes, broccoli and/or cauliflower…


There’s lots of nutritional info on this dip in the recipe card below, if you’re looking for specifics.

I can also say that it is gluten-free (without the crackers of course) and pretty low in carbs.

It might be good if you have guests that are on the keto diet, especially if you use sugar-free ketchup in your cocktail sauce!


You can eat this crab dip right away, or cover it with plastic wrap and allow the flavors to meld in the fridge for a few hours.

A lot of times, I will make this crab dip the day before I plan to serve it, and just keep it in the fridge overnight.


Since this crab dip is served cold, it’s extra easy for a party and really uncomplicated.

It’s fine to sit out at room temperature for an hour or two, but if you want some added insurance, nestle the bowl into a larger dish that’s been filled with crushed ice. If you keep it cold in this way, it should be good for the entire duration of your party.


Covered tightly with plastic wrap, this crab dip will keep for several days for in the refrigerator.

Easy crab dip recipe, prepared and served in a bowl with Ritz crackers.

A few more of my favorite party apps:

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Scooping crab dip from a bowl with a cracker.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Chilled Crab Dip

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
This chilled crab dip recipe is perfect for your next party! So easy to make, & it's served cold. So refreshing! You'll love it with a glass of champagne!



  • Empty the can of crabmeat into a fine mesh strainer, gently run cold water over it to rinse, and set it aside to drain.
  • Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and pepper together in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Add the rinsed and drained crabmeat, along with the onion, parsley, and celery seed.
  • Gently fold the mixture together until blended, then transfer it to a serving bowl, smooth the top of the dip flat, and top with cocktail sauce.
  • Serve with buttery crackers.


*I like to use prepared cocktail sauce, but you can make your own by mixing 1/4 cup of ketchup with a couple of tablespoons of horseradish and a squeeze of lemon.
Calories: 130kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 302mg, Potassium: 94mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 369IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.
Cold Crab Dip

Cold Crab Dip

Cold Crab Dip