This Classic Cold Crap Dip is a staple appetizer at my family parties. It is made with lump crab meat, cream cheese and cocktail sauce.
Who would think that a cold crab dip with cream cheese would taste THIS good?!
Theres a distinct moment in my childhood where I went from thinking this cold crab dip recipe with cocktail sauce was disgusting, to knowing that it’s simply amazing. The simplicity of the recipe might shock you.
To make this easy crab dip recipe, spread some cream cheese on a plate, top with seasoned lump crab meat, and pour on some cocktail sauce. I used a homemade cocktail sauce recipe, but you can always use a jarred option to save time.
My family always served this party dip with triscuits, but you can serve it with any kind of crackers you like or even some tortilla chips.
You won’t need much to make this cold crab dip at home. Grab a small serving plate to make the dip on.
Then, use a spatula or spoon to spread the cream cheese on to the plate. Mix the crab meat with seasoning in a small mixing bowl and mix the cocktail sauce in a separate mixing bowl.
You will also need measuring spoons and measuring cups to measure ingredients.
Like I said, my family always serves this cold crab dip recipe around Christmas time, but it is really perfect for any holiday or gathering. Since we are using real crab, we also love to make it in the summer for the Fourth of July.
It would be a perfect addition to any holiday menus. Some of my other favorite holiday recipes include:
- Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Green Beans Almondine
- Sweet Potato Cheesecake
- Cranberry Kentucky Mule
- Cream cheese
- Lump crab meat
- Hot sauce
- Lemon for juice and zest
- Smoked paprika
I prefer to use fresh, jumbo lump crab meat for this crab dip with cream cheese. You can easily buy it in a can at any grocery store in the seafood section.
If you prefer, you can use imitation crab meat instead, but it will have a slightly different texture than the lump crabmeat.
I love making a homemade cocktail sauce for this recipe, but to make things easier, just buy any jar of pre-made cocktail sauce at the grocery store.
It is best to use a brick of softened cream cheese for this dip, but you could also use a tub of soft or whipped cream cheese instead.
How do I make a homemade cocktail sauce?
I started making cocktail sauce at home because it’s so easy to make and I am able to control which ingredients I use. To make homemade cocktail sauce I use ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish and hot sauce.
You can use the amounts that I recommend in the recipe card. Then, taste the sauce and add more of any of the ingredients to get the flavor that is perfect for you.
Feel free to add a dash of worcestershire sauce to add more tang to the sauce.
Let’s make a Classic Cold Crab Dip!
Step 1: Season crab dip
To begin, zest the lemon and squeeze the juice from the lemon. Separate juice into two servings.
Then, mix lump crab meat with lemon zest, half of the juice from the lemon, and smoked paprika.
Step 2: Prepare cocktails sauce
Prepare cocktail sauce by mixing together ketchup, the second half of the juice from the lemon, horseradish and hot sauce.
Step 3: Layer cold crab dip
Then, spread cream cheese in a circle on a serving plate. Place seasoned crab meat on cream cheese.
Finally, pour cocktail sauce over the crab meat and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with your crackers of choice!
Can I prepare this classic cold crab dip ahead of time?
This dip is best enjoyed as soon as it is made. If you want to do prep work ahead of time, mix the crab meat with the seasonings and prepare the cocktail sauce.
Then, when you are ready to eat the dip, layer the cream cheese, crab meat, and cocktail sauce.
Check out these other delicious dip recipes
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- 1.5 cups lump crab meat
- 12oz spreadable cream cheese (I use the one in the tub)
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp horseradish
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- Fresh parsley for topping
- Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice from the lemon, separate juice into two servings
- Mix lump crab meat with lemon zest, half of the juice from the lemon, and smoked paprika
- Prepare cocktail sauce by mixing together ketchup, the second half of the juice from the lemon, horseradish and hot sauce
- Spread cream cheese in a circle on a serving plate
- Place seasoned crab meat on cream cheese
- Pour cocktail sauce over the crab meat and garnish with fresh parsley