It takes just 5 minutes and 4 ingredients to create this easy cold crab dip recipe, which is creamy, tangy, and full of flavor.
If you’ve been looking for a super easy, delicious, and lightning-fast appetizer to take to your next potluck, party, or summer picnic, look no further! Move aside , because this cold crab dip recipe ticks all those boxes and then some.
All you need is 5 minutes and 4 ingredients to make this creamy crab dip. What are those 4 ingredients, I hear you ask? Imitation crab meat, cream cheese, cocktail sauce, and lemon juice. Chop up your crab meat, mix the ingredients together, and your imitation crab dip is ready.
The cream cheese ensures this is the creamiest seafood dip you’ll ever taste, while the cocktail sauce and lemon juice add the perfect amount of flavor and tanginess. A lot of use , but I’m a big fan of . After one bite, I bet y’all will be too!
When it comes to easy dip recipes, this quick and easy crab dip is definitely a winner. See our full recipe card below for more details and keep scrolling for serving suggestions.
Alright, are you ready to make the best crab dip ever in just 5 minutes? Set those timers and let’s go!
- Imitation crab meat
- Reduced-fat cream cheese (check out our easy-peasy homemade cream cheese recipe)
- Cocktail sauce
- Lemon juice
- Sturdy crackers
How to Make My Cold Crab Dip Recipe
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, cream cheese, cocktail sauce, and lemon juice.
Stir this until well combined.
Serve immediately with crackers or cover it with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat.
Chill it for 2 hours up to overnight.
Enjoy the most delicious crab dip ever!
- Store leftover dip covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- I don’t recommend freezing cold crab dip, as cream cheese doesn’t freeze well.
- Imitation crab comes in different varieties, such as flake style, leg, or stick. Any style works for this imitation crab dip since you are chopping it. You can find it packaged in the seafood section.
- You could also use . On the other hand, I don’t recommend using in this .
- I like reduced-fat cream cheese, but regular works too. I used 4 ounces for an extra creamy crab dip.
- Here are some more simple variations to make this easy crab dip your own:
- Add lime juice instead of lemon juice.
- Add 1/2 a cup of green onion, chopped red onion, or celery to this crab dip.
- For extra flavor, add lemon zest, a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, or a pinch of chili powder for some heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped chives or parsley.
- For extra heat, add a tablespoon of hot sauce.
- If you don’t like cocktail sauce, I’d substitute it for your favorite salsa and see what you think!
- Garnish with crispy bacon bits for a smoky flavor.
What is imitation crab dip made of?
Every imitation crab dip recipe is different. But most of them include imitation crab meat (of course), lemon juice, seasoning, and the creamy substance of your choice. This might be plain yogurt, sour cream, or mayo.
What can I substitute for cream cheese?
If cream cheese is scarce in your neck of the woods, I have used plain Greek yogurt and it was just as tasty. Other recipes have listed mayo or sour cream as subs too.
What can I substitute for the crab?
I have made this with little mini shrimp (normally I am not a big seafood fan) and it was divine!
What is imitation crab?
Imitation crab is usually made from something called surimi or white fish flesh. It has the bones removed and minced into a paste. Then it’s combined together with other ingredients including both natural and artificial flavors, starch, sugar, and sodium.
What is good to dip in crab dip?
Here are some serving suggestions for your cold crab dip:
- A sturdy cracker (light and flaky crackers can break when dipping), like Ritz crackers or water crackers.
- Pita chips
- Tortilla chips
- Baguette slices
- Parmesan crisps
- Bagel chips
- Potato chips
- Mini peppers (cut in half so you can use them as a scoop of sorts).
- Bell pepper slices
- Celery or carrot sticks
- Cucumber slices
How do you make hot crab dip?
To make this into a baked crab dip recipe, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the crab dip into a small oven-safe dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Then top with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese or , turn the oven to broil, and broil until the cheese is golden brown.
Warning: It’s important to remember that imitation crab is actually fish (as mentioned above). So for any fish allergies, you want to stay away from this dip. Make one of the other recommendations below instead.
Here are more delicious dips to make:
- 1 8-ounce package imitation crab meat, chopped
- 3-4 ounces softened reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2 ounces cocktail sauce
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Sturdy crackers
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, cream cheese, cocktail sauce, and lemon juice.1 8-ounce package imitation crab meat, chopped, 3-4 ounces softened reduced-fat cream cheese, 2 ounces cocktail sauce, 2 tsp lemon juice
- Stir this crab and cream cheese mixture until well combined.
- Serve immediately with sturdy crackers or cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat. You can chill it for anywhere between 2 hours up to overnight.Sturdy crackers
Love crab! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Looks like it’s an easy peasy recipe to put together – my kind of recipe. Thanks for posting this.
I’m trying this tonight!
I am allergic to all shellfish and fish. Would canned ham or chicken be a good substitute in this recipe?
I haven’t tried this with ham or chicken so if you try these and make sure the meats are cooked through, let us know how it goes.
This has to be my go to for all occasions and just because dip. The combination of the ingredients are perfect.
I read that this can be served as a heated dip, is that as good as if it’s served cold?
Really depends on your preference Winona. I say try both and then decide 🙂
My DIL made a dip like this for NYE party. She used real crab, not imitation. It was ok to me, but then I am not a big crab fan. Everyone else liked it well enough, as it was gone before the old year was!!
I am not a fan of crab, but the recipes for crab dip always sound and look so good. I am glad I found out that shrimp can be substituted for the crab. I am looking forward to trying this dip using shrimp. Love your blog and recipes!