Crab meat is the underused shellfish. I think most times it’s because people know less about crab and the possibilities it has in baking.

Baked crab dip is a straightforward dish that’s rich in texture and flavor. The cheeses keep the dip light and creamy; the lemon, Worcestershire, and hot sauce seasonings add subtle zest.

Served warm, this luscious dip features crab’s delicate yet distinctive flavor. And paired with a light Sauvignon Blanc, it makes a knockout first impression.

Wine pairing by Paul Kalemkiarian, the CEO of the original Wine of the Month Club, which was founded by his father in 1972. Paul has become a foremost expert in wines and wine pairings. Join him every Tuesday from 10am to 2pm Pacific Time for live wine tastings at wineofthemonthclub.com.
Email: paul@womclub.com.

To complement this crab dip, you need something that will pick up the lemon and shellfish elements as well as cut into the mayo.

The wine should be neutral enough to leave a hint of the smoky depth of the Worcester, without accentuating it out either. For these reasons, a Sauvignon Blanc would be the perfect compliment; not an overly herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc, but a fuller bodied citrus version.

For a white wine pairing, try the Golden Kaan Sauvignon Blanc. And for the red wine, try the Davenport Pinot Noir.

Baked Crab Dip

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups crab meat
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Cream the cheese in a medium bowl. Add mayo, cheddar cheese, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the crab, basil, and green onion.
  2. Turn the dip into a 4-cup baking dish.
  3. If you’re cooking in a Breville Smart Oven: Set the wire rack in the bottom height position and turn the oven’s Function dial to BAKE. Set temperature to 375° and timer to 20 minutes. Set Convection Fan to OFF.
    If you’re cooking in a conventional oven: Set the wire rack in a middle or lower middle position, and preheat the oven to 375°. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Bake until top is golden brown.

Serve with bagel chips and an assortment of cold vegetables.

Preparation Tips

This dip can be prepared up to a day in advance before baking. Just follow step #1, place in a sealed container, and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Take the uncooked dip out of the fridge an hour before baking to take off the chill. Putting cold food into a hot oven affects the oven temperature and increases cooking time.

Variations on the Dip

This crab dip mixture makes a great filling if you’re looking for a colorful presentation of bite-sized food.

  1. Follow step #1.
  2. On the enamel baking tray, covered with parchment paper or cooking spray, line mushroom caps and hollowed-out cherry tomatoes in 5 rows of 4 vegetables.
  3. Fill caps and tomatoes with about 1 tablespoon of the uncooked crab dip.
  4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, then follow steps #3 and #4, adding 5 minutes to the original cooking time.
  5. Finish with finely chopped chives and serve on a platter.

Repeat the prep and cooking process with remaining filling and vegetables.