Shrimp & Crab Dip
This easy Shrimp and Crab Dip recipe promises to be your new favorite appetizer! Served hot, this creamy, cheesy dip is loaded with chunks of sweet fresh crab and shrimp, plus cheddar, Parmesan and simple seasonings. It’s the ultimate seafood dip!
Easy Shrimp and Crab Dip Recipe
A good seafood dip is the life of the party, and this easy Shrimp and Crab Dip recipe demands your attention! In contrast to my mom’s cold and creamy shrimp dip, this baked crab shrimp dip is served hot from the oven, for the ultimate seafood + melted cheese experience. Inside the dish you’ll find fresh, sweet crab and shrimp folded into a gloriously creamy, cheesy dip that’s very simply seasoned. A bit of lemon zest gives a nod to squeezing a fresh lemon wedge over your seafood, a bright touch of flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Seafood Dip
I love seafood and I love a hot, cheesy dip. Oh, you do too?!
- Quick & easy. Once you’ve chopped the fresh crab and shrimp, you can put this dip together in just a few minutes.
- Make ahead. You can make this shrimp and crab dip a day before you plan to serve it. Just store it in the fridge, where the flavors will meld even more. Then bake it off when you’re ready to eat.
- Perfect on the party table. Shrimp and crab dip is a great addition to any appetizer spread. You can even serve it in a small crockpot to keep it warm and creamy-cheesy for a longer period of time.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a glance at the ingredients included in this seafood dip. Find the exact ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card lower down.
- Crab – I recommend using cooked fresh snow crab meat for the very best flavor and texture.
- Shrimp – You’ll want to use shrimp that’s already cooked for this recipe.
- Cream cheese – This gives rich, creamy texture and flavor.
- Mayonnaise – I add a small amount, for creamy, flavorful tang.
- Sour cream – This also adds a creamy tang, and lightens up the cream cheese texture.
- Cheddar – I use a medium cheddar, but you could use mild or sharp.
- Parmesan – Shredded Parmesan adds another layer of cheese that’s deliciously salty and melty.
- Veggies – I like the freshness that green onion, tomato, and garlic add to this cheesy crab shrimp dip.
- Old Bay seasoning – This famous seasoning adds the perfect blend of flavor to shrimp and crab recipes.
- Lemon zest – I grate a bit of fresh lemon zest into this dip, a bright citrusy nod to my love of squeezing fresh lemon over my seafood!
How to Make Hot Shrimp and Crab Dip
Here’s how to make this easy shrimp and crab dip (just fold all the ingredients together and bake!). Find detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Prep. Heat the oven. Dry the crab and shrimp, then chop.
- Combine. Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream.
- Add cheese and seasonings. Stir in the cheddar cheese, ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese, green onion, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon zest.
- Fold in the seafood. Gently fold in the crab and shrimp.
- Bake. Place in a baking dish, sprinkle with additional Parmesan, and bake until hot and bubbling.
- Serve. Let the dip sit for a few minutes, then sprinkle with green onion and tomato. Serve hot.
Tips & Variations
Seafood dips are always popular. You can make my recipe as written, or try some substitutions. I’ve outlined a few tips and variation ideas you can try below:
- Use fresh, cooked snow crab legs. I’ve tried a number of different crab products, from the cans found next to the tuna cans in the grocery store, to small tubs found at the seafood counter in our grocery store’s meat department. None compare to shelling the crab legs yourself – the crab meat has a fresher, sweeter flavor and better texture. Our local grocery stores’ seafood counters sell the snow crab clusters pre-cooked, which makes it easy.
- Use frozen shrimp. You can easily use frozen cooked shrimp for this recipe. Just defrost the shrimp thoroughly before you start.
- Thoroughly dry the seafood. Be sure to press crab and shrimp between paper towels as many times as it takes to get excess moisture out. Too much moisture will make the dip watery.
- Make it ahead. You can make this dip up to 24 hours in advance. Prepare the dip up until the point you would put it in the oven, then cover it with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the fridge. Remove it from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake it according to the recipe directions.
- Cook it in the crockpot. Rather than bake the dip in the oven, you can mix it up and put it in a small crockpot. Cook it on low for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the dip is thoroughly hot. You can serve it straight from the crockpot, making it an ideal choice for parties. Just know that the crab meat will get more evenly dispersed (less chunky) because you’ll want to stir the dip a few times to evenly heat it. Also, you won’t get that golden baked cheese over the top.
- Serve it cold. I love this dip served hot and I prefer to always serve it melty and warm. However, you could serve it as a cold dip if that sounds better to you.
- Add some heat. If you like a little kick, go ahead and add some hot sauce to your shrimp and crab dip. Or throw in some cayenne pepper or minced jalapenos!
What to Serve with Crab and Shrimp Dip
This is the best crab dip, worthy of eating with a spoon. Really! However, it’s ideally served with crackers, veggies, etc. Here are a few ways to serve this seafood dip:
- Fresh bread. Grab a loaf of crusty, fresh bread, slice it up, and either serve it toasted or plain alongside a hot bowl of seafood dip.
- Crackers. Serve simple water crackers, whole grain crackers, rye crisps, or whatever strikes your fancy. Buttery Ritz crackers or Club crackers are a favorite around here.
- Potato chips. Scoop up hot bites of crab and shrimp dip with sturdy kettle-cooked or ruffled plain potato chips. Vinegar chips are also really good!
- Vegetables. Dip fresh vegetables into your seafood dip for a fresh, crunchy contrast. Celery and carrot sticks, cucumber coins, and raw broccoli and cauliflower florets are all great.
- Other hot dips. Serve shrimp and crab dip alongside other decadent hot dips on a buffet tables. Some of my favorites include a reuben dip, cheesy spinach artichoke dip, and easy baked buffalo chicken dip.
- Drinks. Crab and shrimp dip pairs wonderfully with refreshing cocktails like a bourbon limoncello cocktail, a classic gin and tonic, or a bootleg cocktail. Check out my drinks section for a complete list of amazing cocktails!
Here’s how to store any leftover seafood dip:
- Fridge – Store cooled leftover dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing crab and shrimp dip because it can get watery when you defrost it, changing the creamy texture of the dish.
- To Reheat – Place the dip in an oven-safe dish and warm it in the oven at 350°F until the cheese is melted and the dip is heated all the way through.
More Savory Dip Recipes
Shrimp & Crab Dip
- 8 ounces cooked fresh snow crab meat* chopped into ½” pieces
- 8 ounces cooked medium shrimp with tails removed chopped into ¼” pieces
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup good quality mayonnaise
- ¼ cup regular sour cream
- 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese divided
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- sliced green onion and chopped Roma tomato for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Press crab and shrimp between paper towels as many times as it takes to get excess moisture out. Too much moisture will make the dip watery.
- In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream until smooth.
- Then stir in the cheddar cheese, ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese, green onion, garlic, Old Bay, and lemon zest.
- Add the crab and shrimp, and fold in gently.
- Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dip is bubbling and the top has browned a bit.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Then sprinkle some sliced green onion and chopped tomato over the top. Serve hot with crackers, crostini, tortilla chips, celery, and/or carrots.