Creamy, cheesy and totally delicious, this crab and spinach dip is easy to make and sure to be a go-to when you’re craving chips and dip. Make this hot crab dip once, and you’ll be asked to make it again and again!
Cream cheese dips are definitely a favourite around here, especially during the holiday season.
They’re usually so easy to whip up and are always a crowd favourite. And add seafood? Well, that just makes it extra special, especially when you’re talking about crab.
Loaded with lots of crab meat, I would call this a special occasion kinda dip. It’s not something that you’re going to make every week, but it’s definitely a treat when you do have.
Looking for a more budget-friendly seafood dip? Try this seafood dip with imitation crab.
How To Make Crab and Spinach Dip
Here is an overview of how to make this hot crab and spinach dip (full details are in the recipe card below):
- Place the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until combined.
- To the cream cheese mixture, add the remaining crab dip ingredients (cooked crab meat, spinach, green onion and some cheddar cheese).
- Use a spatula to mix the dip ingredients (rather than a hand mixer — you want to leaves some texture in the dip).
- Grease a baking dish, then transfer the dip to the dish.
- Top the dip with more cheddar cheese.
- Bake the dip until it’s heated through and the cheese has melted.
Type of Crab To Use
For this hot crab dip, use pre-cooked crab meat. I often use snow crab meat (because I love it). Alternatively, you can use lump crab meat.
Of course, the fresher the crab, the better. I’ve made this crab dip with store-bought cooked crab leg meat (that hasn’t been frozen), as well as a frozen variety. If using the frozen variety, just thaw before use and gently pat it dry of any excess moisture before using it in your dip.
You can also often find canned crab meat (typically where you would find canned tuna, salmon and the like in your supermarket). You can definitely use the canned variety in a pinch, but — as you can imagine — it’s not going to have the same freshness and flavour as fresh crab. If using the canned variety, just drain the meat of any excess moisture before using.
While fresh is best (isn’t that always the case?), this crab dip recipe is going to be delicious whether you use fresh, canned or frozen crab meat.
Type of Spinach To Use
I’ve made this crab and spinach dip with either fresh baby spinach or frozen spinach. Both are equally delicious and work well.
If using fresh baby spinach: I use a big, big package. It’s about 10 ounces (or 283 grams) and looks like a lot. However, when you cook it down, it wilts away to this itsy-bitsy bit. To cook, simply place the spinach in a large pot over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s wilted (it should only take about 5 minutes or so).
Once the spinach is cooked and cool enough to handle, place it in a clean tea towel and wring out of excess water. You really want to get that water out of there because you don’t want to water down your crab dip.
After it’s cooked and squeezed dry of excess water, give it a little chop. Then it’s ready to be used in the dip.
If using frozen spinach: Thaw the spinach and place it in a clean tea towel and wring out of excess water. Then it’s ready to be used in the crab dip. You can use either the whole leaf or chopped variety. If there are big chunks of spinach, you may want to give it a little chop before using.
- This hot crab and spinach dip is incredibly rich and decadent (which I love). However, if you want to lighten things a tad, feel free to use a light cream cheese and substitute half of the mayonnaise with sour cream.
- There is a nice-n-melty cheesy top to the dip. Depending on how cheesy you want your dip, you can sprinkle ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese over top of the dip before baking up to ½ cup or so. Just keep in mind that the melty cheese will create a layer on top of your dip, so you’ll want hearty tortilla chips or crackers for dunking.
- You can use a few dashes of hot sauce instead of the ground cayenne pepper in your dip if that’s what you have on hand or prefer.
- Want to add some crunchy texture to your dip? Sprinkle over a little bit of unseasoned panko bread crumbs when you add your shredded cheese to the top of the dip before baking.
What To Serve With Crab Dip
My favourite thing to serve with crab and spinach dip is tortilla chips. But it also pairs deliciously with pita chips, crackers, toasty bread or veggie sticks.
If using tortilla chips or crackers, pick something that is a tad sturdy. The dip is rich and thick and you want something that can stand up to that.
More Yummy Dip Recipes
If you make this crab and spinach dip, be sure to leave a comment below!
Crab and Spinach Dip
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt, use ¼ teaspoon less if you prefer or your crab meat is on the saltier side
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ pound cooked crab meat, roughly chopped (I used snow crab leg meat, but lump crab is another great option)
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed very dry and chopped (or cooked fresh baby spinach that's squeezed very dry and chopped)
- ⅓ cup sliced green onion, plus more for optional garnish
- 1 to 1.25 cups cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used marble cheddar cheese)
- Cooking spray, to grease baking dish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixture, beat the mixture together until smooth and combined (start the hand mixer on the lower speed, then increase to a medium speed).
- To the cream cheese mixture, add the cooked crab meat, spinach, green onion and ¾ cup of cheddar cheese. Use a spatula to incorporate everything together so that the ingredients are nicely distributed.
- Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray (the dish should be able to hold at least 4 cups). Transfer the crab dip to the baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar cheese (use ¼ cup or up to ½ cup for a cheesier top).Note: If you don't have a baking dish, you can use a similarly sized oven-safe skillet or pie plate.
- Bake the dip for 18 to 20 minutes until it's heated through and the cheese has melted. Garnish with green onion, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!