Skip to content

Hot Imitation Crab Dip

Hot Imitation Crab Dip makes a hearty and satisfying appetizer for any occasion.  It takes only 15 minutes to prepare and tastes delicious with any assortment of crackers, breads, or veggies.

Imitation Crab dip in a bowl
Super Easy Hot Imitation Crab Dip

Hot Imitation Crab Dip

Awhile back, one of The Littles asked in his inquisitive manner: How do they make string cheese so stringy?

Huh.  Good one.  Back in the day, we would have flexed our biceps to ruffle through some heavy duty Encylopedia Brittanicas. Instead, I tapped a few fingers and discovered that string cheese is simply mozzarella that’s been heated to 140F, which is hot enough for it to develop string-like texture. No chemically-laden ingredients involved.

Which brings me to the wonders of imitation crab meat.  As a kid, I loved eating those crab sticks, pulling them apart like string cheese.  Now my boys have a party doing the same.

I hope nobody asks me how they make crab sticks stringy because…well, because Google doesn’t turn up much of an answer for that one.  Thankfully, the ingredients listed in the making of the imitation crab appears to be natural (aka real food.)

And that means we get to keep eating it.  We typically toss chunks of imitation crab into soups or stir fries.  But this time, I decided to make it into an appetizer that’s worthy of any occasion, special or casual.

imitation crab dip in bowl with crackers
Serve imitation crab dip with crackers or bread of your choice

Buying Imitation Crab Meat

My favorite brand of imitation crab meat is made from wild Alaskan pollock (a low calorie, high protein fish) along with starch, salt, crab meat, and egg white. Surprisingly, there is no artificial food coloring involved.

Many major grocery stores carry fresh imitation crab meat in airtight sealed packages, found in the refrigerated meat/seafood aisles. In some stores, you may find imitation crab in the freezer section near other frozen seafood.

You can store unopened imitation crab in the fridge until recommended “use by” date, or you can freeze it for several months.

Serving Recommendations

This Hot Imitation Crab Dip is chock full of protein, seasonings, and made creamy with the addition of real cream cheese.  You can amp up the heat with cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce, if you like more of a kick.  And definitely serve this dip warm, as it tastes best when freshly heated through.  If you make it ahead of time and chill it, just be sure to warm it through before serving.

This hot imitation crab dip goes well with an assortment of breads, crackers, or veggie sticks. Leftovers can be used in dinner rolls or your favorite bread for tasty crab salad sandwiches the next day.


Try this deliciously easy swordfish recipe, too:


Print
imitation crab dip in bowl with crackers

Hot Imitation Crab Dip

5 from 9 reviews

This Hot Imitation Crab Dip is affordable and delicious. It’s hearty, creamy, and satisfying. Be sure to serve it warm. Breads, crackers, and veggies are excellent dippers for this dip!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins

Yield: 10 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 TB whole mayo
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 TB water
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (I use Tabasco sauce)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. whole cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1 LB imitation crab meat, chopped or shredded
  • Optional: kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a microwavable bowl, combine all ingredients except for imitation crab meat. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until warmed through and smooth. Stir to combine well.
  2. Gently fold in crab meat, combining well. Cover and microwave 2 minutes or until hot. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve hot with crackers, breads, or veggies.

Notes

If dip is too thick, add a bit more water to it. Be sure to serve it hot, as dip needs to be warm in order to stay soft and creamy in texture.

Variation: add a dash of Old Bay seasoning instead of salt/pepper.

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 83
  • Sugar: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 278.9 mg
  • Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.9 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 36.3 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Hot Crab Dip, Imitation Crab Dip, Crab Salad

Amazing Appetizers:

1.  Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip.  This one’s a sure crowd pleaser everywhere you go.  Serve it at home or bring it to a party.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip 3

2.  Savory Pumpkin and Bacon Dip.  Yes, savory is the word.  This is creamy, perfectly salty, and awesome for holiday parties.

Savory Pumpkin Bacon Dip 4_edited-1

3.  This ever-popular 7-Layer Mexican Dip always results in an empty platter.  This one’s a fabulous dip for any occasion, all year round.  I could eat a heaping plateful of this for dinner.  With chips, of course.

7-Layer Mexican Dip 2

4.  Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Dip is perfect when you’re looking for a twist from normal.  It’s got a bit of kick and a lot of YUM.  Creamy, hearty, and delicious on crackers, breads, or with corn chips.

Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Dip 2

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

Add a comment

Recipe rating

34 comments

    • Cena

    My hubby and I tried this tonight and it was tasty!! 🙂 Made it without hot sauce and it was great.
    We are now suspicious our local pub’s secret ingredient is cream cheese in their delicious spinach and artichoke dip.

      • chewoutloud

      It’s always better made at home, right? 🙂

    • Ramona

    I love how this is a low carb recipe and overall it looks so flavourful and delicious! I can’t wait to make this interesting recipe soon, thank you for sharing!

    • Addison

    This is such a great appetizer for any holiday or party! Such a great recipe!

    • Kate

    This was amazing! Loved that it is also low carb. Great recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so happy you liked it, Kate!

    • Erin

    I had never heard of imitation crab meat until now and was horrified until I read that it was made out of actual fish. How cool is that! I wonder if we have this here in Germany. Off to google. 😉

    • Marisa F. Stewart

    We love surimi and usually just add it to our salad. This dip sounds amazing. What an inspiration for game day. Only problem is I don’t think I can wait that long. The cream cheese in the fridge is calling to me to make something good and this recipe is it. We always have surimi on hand.

      • chewoutloud

      It’s such an easy addition, right? 🙂

    • Alice | SkinnySpatula

    I never made a crab dip, but your recipe sounds intriguing. Pinning to make soon!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Alice!

    • Farrukh Aziz

    I have never tried crab in any way. But looking at this recipe and the photos, I had to make it! It was amazing! The crackers and crab dip combination is irresistible! Thanks for this, will be making it again soon!

      • chewoutloud

      SO happy you tried and enjoyed this! 🙂

    • Lauren Vavala

    Living on the easy coast in blue crab territory, my fiance and son prefer real crab, but I LOVE imitation crab and I’m totally making a bath of this for myself – looks amazing!!

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Lauren!

    • Paige

    I’ve never thought of using imitation crab, but it looks great here!

    • Melanie

    Working from home right now and this is. totally the kind of dip I would love for my break. Adding imitation crab to my grocery list to make this asap! Yum!

    • Nancy

    Delicious & yummy dish…

      • chewoutloud

      Glad you liked it, Nancy! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Hall

    Totally tried it and love it! Eating it right now with Saltines! #Deliciousness

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, so glad you liked it, Elizabeth

    • Kari

    Put in less onion powder and garlic powder. I thought 2 TB and 1 TB seemed way too much. Used 1 tsp each instead. One TB lemon made it taste really strong. I didn’t think it was edible but my husband and mom ate it.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks for sharing your ideas, Kari! Glad you came over today; Merry Christmas 🙂

    • Nadine Gibson

    Used old bay and it was perfect!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, great to hear it, Nadine! 🙂

    • bryony

    This was amazing! I made a half portion for my dinner(shh) I added some stilon to it too. And replaced the Cayenne with lemon pepper, result was a very fresh homely price of nosh. Delicious!

      • chewoutloud

      Sounds awesome; great job! Thanks for coming over to let us know you liked it 🙂 🙂 Hope you continue finding recipes you love here at COL!

    • Jackie

    Seems possibly the mayo should be 2 1/2 TB and 2 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. garlic. Mine was very strong and I love garlic!

    • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    Love crab dips! Never made one myself before though – this is definitely something I need to make, it looks seriously delicious.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, and so glad you stopped by today 🙂

        • Debbie

        Not sure if you intended to put down 2 TB or tsp for the above crab dip recipe, but I tried it and it is way to salty and too much garlic. would not recommend this recipe as it was a total waste of a pound of crab meat.

          • chewoutloud

          I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, Debbie. There’s only 1 tsp salt, not 2 TB, so I’m not sure what you may be referring to…? This is for imitation crab, which is much less salty than real crab can be. It’s generally on the “lighter” side when we make it as written. There are lots of really yummy apps on COL, so hopefully you will be able to find something you love. Thank you for trying this, and hope to see you back, Debbie 🙂

            • cryptoheart

            Omit the salt altogether. The mayonnaise has all you need.

    Get our free email series: 5 Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less

    Plus our newest recipes each week