My Mom's Old Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

Simple and good, just minutes to make, perhaps it’s nostalgia, but I love My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip. My Mom put this out for just about every holiday party I can remember, and I know served it sometimes at bridge club, too. It seems sometimes these days that party buffets are so full of hot, ooey, gooey appetizers and lackluster crudites – this little dip fills in the gaps beautifully. Cool, luscious and flavorful, rich without being over the top. That makes this the perfect appetizer any time of the year. For most of us, anyway.

My Mom's Old Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip


Maybe not for my daughter, who way back when was a bit of a picky eater; one Thanksgiving when she was about 8 or so, she started in on this dip right before company came. She loved it, “It’s so good! What is this?” she wanted to know! I hesitated, and she knew something was up – she was a bit insistent, to say the least. When I said crab, she spit it out. Yep, cracker, dip and all! Then, years later, said “Mom, do you remember that crab dip? The one I spit out? Can I have the recipe?”

About My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip:

I was a newly single Mom and we weren’t exactly rolling in the dough if you know what I mean! I guess I hadn’t really been able to expose her to some of life’s little splurges and small luxuries. It seems as though she recovered that lost ground in adulthood! I have to say there’s something about knowing that a third generation is making this dip kind of touches my heart. I hope you’ll love this fun simple little dip and it will serve your family just as well.

Now, my Mom always made this with canned crab, which is how I make it – budget and location, after all. We don’t have a lot of great fresh crab available here in Minnesota unless you’re willing to pay through the nose at a seafood place. I see it a lot at my grocery store’s market where it sometimes seems a bit iffy. If you have access to fresh crab, though, this dip is even better.

When you’re serving anything like this, think about making several small serving dishes rather than one large one, either to sprinkle around the buffet table or for a smaller party, maybe to hold one back in the fridge to replenish as the first runs low. That’s one way you can keep everything fresh and attractive and never have any worries about food safety.

My Mom's Old Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

If You Love Crab Dip:

I do have a couple of other crabby dip recipes on my site. Another that has definitely stood the test of time, came from Aunt Lou, my 92-year-old Stepmom’s Aunt. I never had the opportunity to meet her but according to Pat, her cooking was legendary. It’s called Aunt Lou’s Hot Crab Dip and (obviously) is meant to be served warm.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more modern, even though it’s based on a classic recipe, check out my Creamy Crab Rangoon Dip. It’s served with Baked or Fried Wonton Chips. Seriously, those chips alone are reason enough to make that dip!

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Making My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip:

Make sure you have beautifully softened cream cheese so you can very gently fold the crab into the mixture; I put it out on the counter the night before but a quick save would be to microwave the cream cheese on defrost, checking every five seconds or so and stirring as needed. You don’t want it hot, just softened. The bit of mayo helps keep the cream cheese and so the dip nice and spreadable.

Whether you buy canned or fresh, even if it says it’s been picked, be sure to sort through the meat and make sure there are no bits of the shell; I just gently press with clean hands, feeling for any shell, keeping the crab as intact as possible.

Saving Money on My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip:

Sometimes when you’re buying items that are “luxury” items, it’s all about timing. At the right time, items you might think are out of your budget become a lot more affordable. And f course, in a dip like this, that crab is stretched a but which always helps

Look for crab, canned, fresh or frozen to be on a low [rior to and during the winter holiday season and consider stocking up a bit at the sale prices, especially if frozen or canned. You’ll find some of the lowest prices of the year during Lent, prior to Easter, too. In this dip, when the crab is mixed with cream cheese, there’s no sense in going too hog wild and buying the best crab. Should that be Crab wild, lol?

Cream cheese often drops to half price or less during the pre-holiday sales and keeps for weeks in the fridge. It can be frozen, too, so no need to pay full price. If you have an Aldi nearby or are a member of a buyer’s club, their prices are usually close to the grocery store sales prices.

My Mom's Old Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip


My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

  • Author: kay barlow
  • Total Time: 10 minutes plus time to soften cheeses
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: American


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (white Worcestershire is lovely)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (may increase)
  • 1 large can crabmeat (46 ounces fresh)


Mix together all ingredients except crab. Gently fold in crab. Serve cold.

Keywords: Appetizer, crab, Cream Cheese, Mayonnaise, Spreads and Dips

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I’ll be sharing this recipe at a couple of link parties! What’s a link party, you say? A Virtual Party where bloggers share a small photo of their best posts of the week and a link you can click on – it’s a great way to see a bunch of blogs if you’re a viewer and to be seen if you’re a blogger!

This week, I’ll share to Fiesta Friday 99, put on by Angie of the Novice Gardener and co-hosted by Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Linda @ La Petite Paniere.

I’ll also be sharing to Thowback Thursday #18, co-hosted by Moi!! Yes, that’s me, yours truly! And Alli, Quinn & Meaghan – you’ll see all their links on Throwback Thursday!

So stop by and see what all the fun is about!! Visit, mingle, comment and share! It’s a party, after all!

My Mom's Old Fashioned Crab Dip is a classic. Simple, creamy, luscious it's super simple to make and just right at any party! #CrabDip #EasyCrabDip #ClassicCrabDip #MomsCrabDip

15 thoughts on “My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

  1. My family has a go-to clam dip that is at every holiday and party (though nobody can give me an exact recipe!) I think we’ll have to give this crab dip a go sometime too. I know it will be a hit!

  2. Sounds delicious. I loved crab but after buying prime rib and a bunch of other stuff this year’s holiday meals budget is blown. Maybe a bottle of wine between now and Christmas. 🙂

    • It was my pleasure – I love coming to FF and look forward to it everyweek – and to Throwback Thursday (have you stopped by and posted yet? Please do!) and have a wonderful weekend yourself! 🙂

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