Creamy Hot Stove-Top Crab Dip for the Oven-Less

I’m often impatient in the kitchen when it comes to having to use the oven to bake a simple dish. Just the thought of having to pre-heat the oven makes me cringe at the waste of time and energy it takes to create a simple meal. It’s a relief for me to be able to adapt a dish that is traditionally baked in the oven to be cooked on the stove. My impatience enjoys the fact that it doesn’t have to wait for the oven to warm to temperature and honestly, I just love cooking on top of fire, like the way the cavemen did it long ago.

But trust me, not all oven baked dishes can be adapted to the stove top. I’ve tried and failed on a number of occasions because the slow baked and crust inspired result of certain dishes just can’t be duplicated on the stove top, otherwise known as — Stovetop Fail. Some dishes just need to stay in the oven. And I will absolutely respect that! But it doesn’t mean that I won’t continue trying.

Aside from a few of my failed attempts, I’ve had some gratifying stove top triumphs, like my stove top macaroni and cheese recipe and stove top spinach dip. Now adding to my short and sweet list of stove top gluttony is this creamy hot crab dip.

Maybe it’s time to really duke it out between my stovetop crab dip recipe and other oven baked crab dips. I’m even willing to put my boxing gloves on and jump in the ring to take on all my *friendly* neighbors who think they have the best crab dip in town. “Now! Now!” you say. Let’s not get violent. It’s just a crab dip recipe for gawd’s sake. But when it comes to a hot crab dip contest, a little healthy dose of friendly competition certainly doesn’t hurt. That’s right….schmack!

Slowly brown onions and add crab meat. Extra touches of fresh parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice and mayo make this extra special.

Why is stove top crab dip so good? Simply said, it’s the browning of the onions and crabmeat. Slowly cooking the onions to a caramel and then adding the crab meat creates a deadly combination of flavor that can’t be duplicated in the oven. That’s it. It’s not rocket science to imagine the flavors of the browned onions and lump crab meat. Add a few pleasant dollops of mayo and fresh parmesan cheese, you’ve got yourself a quick and easy stovetop dip to feed to the hungry masses. They’ll applaud you till the last bit of  rich decadance is swiped off the bowl.

This bubbly hot stovetop crab dip is especially appreciated on those sweltering hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven, but are still craving a creamy hot and cheesy appetizer. So there’s another great reason to go oven-less.

Live love life. Eat more cheese dips.


Hot crab dip just makes life better. And oh, don’t forget the bread!

5 from 1 vote
Creamy Hot Crab Dip on the Stovetop
Total Time
20 mins
Servings: 8 Servings
  • 12 ounces lump crab meat
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened) (1 package)
  • 1 cup minced onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon worscheshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Heat frying pan on medium heat. Add grapeseed oil and onion. Slowly cook onions till they become soft, slightly brown and fragrant. Continue to caramel the onions if you like, but don't let them burn. Add crab meat, including the juices in the can.
  2. Turn heat to low and gently stir the crab in with the onions. Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add worscheshire sauce, lemon juice, cream cheese,  parmesan cheese and mayo. Gently stir in these ingredients till all the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cook for about 5 minutes or until all ingredients are melted and combined well.
  4. Finish off with fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Serve the dip hot with crackers, chips or crusty bread.
{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Molly

    I discovered this by accident, and finally made the Crab Dip today! I must say it was delicious! But, it could have used more lemon, so I added more lemon to it. Once the added lemon was to it, it was heaven!!!! Even better with tortilla chips with hint of lime! Thanks so much!!!!

  2. Nomia

    Made this dip for Labor Day… delicious!! added some red chili pepper flakes blended in as everything melted, and sprinkled fresh lemon thyme on top with the fresh cracked black pepper. Great!!

  3. Paulie

    Want to try your crab dip – what size cream cheese? Sounds yummy! Thank you!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Paulie- it’s an 8oz package of cream cheese

  4. Kelly

    I finally got around to making this (been too lazy to actually get the crab…silly me!) and omg this is ‘smack yo momma good!’ I served it with pita chips and I can’t put it down! Thank you for the recipe!

  5. rosalia

    I LOVE CRAB DIP! I will definitely try this! Also if when a recipe calls for an oven in a small vessel like the one pictured it’s possible to use a toaster oven. They heat up in less time than a flat iron, and perfect if you’re just cooking for two!

  6. Kalyn

    Oh yes, absolutely love the sound of this one. Do I dare confess I’m not entirely sure who’s playing in the Superbowl, but I do want to say “Go Crab Dip!! Definitely a touchdown!

  7. Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    Diane – the rustic appeal of the photos in this post is really lovely. Of course, now I am totally craving crab dip, with no chance of getting any for at least a day or two. Curses! 😉

    @ Michele: flickr – a photo hosting site – gives you access to picnik, which is a free photo editing site. You can make all kinds of photo collages there. Once you get to know the layout of the site it’s really easy. I am new to blogging, and if I can do it, anyone can! I used flickr/picnik to make the photo collage in my lemon tartelettes post recently. Feel free to contact me if you want help. Good luck and have fun!

  8. Marilyn Adams

    Check out Lodge Cast Iron on the internet. They have a couple of cast iron ramekins! Reasonable prices too. Cast iron rules!

    Cape Cod Momma

  9. Kate @ Savour Fare

    That looks delicious, and you’ve got me thinking that I should adapt my hot clam dip recipe to the stovetop. On the other hand, I usually bake it in the toaster oven — less muss and energy. I toast nuts in the toaster oven too, and bake individual cookies.

  10. deana (lostpastremembered)

    This is such a great still-life… and a wonderful recipe as well. It’s such a great site!

  11. Amy (Sing For Your Supper)

    Holy cow, this looks SO good!! I’m thinking this definitely needs to be on our Super Bowl menu! Thanks!!

  12. Sara

    Wow! That looks amazing! I need to find me some crab!

  13. Mowie @ Mowielicious

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and I love it. Gorgeous photos, especially with this post: you’ve taken a dip, something that I personally don’t this is easily photographable, and made it look extremely appetizing. Very inspiring!

  14. sheena


    LOVE your blog, your recipes, and your photos!

  15. Madalene

    This dish is inspirational and sounds delicious!!! I must try this recipe!! Love your site, it’s beautiful and inspirational, you both look so so happy.
    Thanks for the hard work.

  16. Elena

    I just discovered your blog. Absolutely loving it! Can’t wait to try all these recipes. Beautiful photos, too.

  17. Manggy

    Which Saints? Oh, those Saints. Heh heh. Carry on 😉 You can’t go wrong with crab and onions and cheese! Maybe if you let it brown a little on the bottom and then flipped it over… no? 😀

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Manggy- YES! but we couldn’t wait to dig into it, so there was nothing left to flip over. Next time!

  18. Sarka

    Oh, lovely dip recipe. But I’m not sure I can easily get a crab meat in London. I will have a look though, as this looks truly delicious!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Sarka – The dip can be made without the crab if you are unable to find canned crab meet. To keep it more of an onion dip, just use 2 cups of minced onions instead of 1 cup. Or just replace the crab with one cup of chopped artichoke hearts or thawed, frozen spinach.

  19. nikkipolani

    What a great idea! And I love it that the ingredients are typical pantry items for me (i.e., no need to wait for crab season).

  20. Dandy

    All my favorite hot dips have mayo and parm. But on the stove top?! Perfect.

  21. Cooking with Michele

    Yum – looks delicious! Quick photography question – when you pull together three photos to demonstrate a step like you’ve used in this post, are you doing that within you blog post software, or have you put them together in photoshop or something before you import them? Any tips on that would be greatly appreciated!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Michele- we put the collage together through photoshop. We’re not aware of any convenient plug-in or software that can do this. Maybe someone here knows. Any suggestions anyone?

  22. Yogi

    This is fabulous; definitely game time material.

    I use the toaster oven for all these small dishes, and only turn on the big ovens when a 1/4 sheet pan won’t fit the meal (or I need 2). Not much use for broiling unless I splurge and get the Breville ($$$), but that’s OK.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Yogi- using the toaster oven is a great idea to cook small dishes like these. Better yet, it’s very energy efficient! We don’t own an toaster oven, but maybe it’s time to get one.

  23. Ed Schenk @ Detroit Eats

    I love crab dip. Thanks for the recipe!

  24. Phoo-D

    I have been drooling over tiny cast iron ramekins for months now…with a delicious crab dip inside, you’re killing me! This sounds awesome and a perfect use for canned lump crab meat, one of the few seafood items I can actually find around here!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Phoo-D – I bought those cast iron ramekins at Ross discount stores a long time ago. I haven’t seen them since, although I did see some similar style ones at Sur La Table for about $6 each. Try checking them at SLT online?

  25. cindy espinoza

    at first i thought your cast iron dishes were full size…and thought boy, that is a lot of crab dip! ha!
    this looks delicious and a perfect thing to serve to friends!
    love your blog!

  26. Victoria

    P.S. I love your cast iron ramekins.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Vicoria- Yay, you’re drinking ltos of the sidecar fizz! and those littel cast iron ramekins are cute, aren’t they? I bought them as Ross discounts stores for only $5. Love a great deal.

  27. Victoria

    Hey, Diane,

    This sounds good. I’ll have to give it a try. After all, you are the couple that brought us the Sidecar Fizz, which has turned into a regular Saturday night cocktail at the farm.

    Upstate we have no air conditioning because it’s in the mountains and with rare exception is usually cool in the summer. When we redid the mudroom, which is right off the kitchen, I put an electric Bosch oven in. Everyone thought I was crazy, but it has turned out to be a blessing in the summer when I don’t want to heat up the kitchen, and I want to bake something in the oven. I just use the oven “around the corner.” Plus the Bosch is electric, and the kitchen oven is a gas Wolf, so I tend to bake cakes in the mudroom all the time.

    Thanks for all the great recipes and concoctions!

  28. PB&Jargon

    What lovely photos. This looks mighty worthy of those calories! Yum!

  29. Connie C

    It is so calorie deadly……if you can’t stop eating it, but sure sounds dalishus! Now to keep the recipe on file . Thanks.

  30. ravenouscouple

    great idea for the up coming game!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Ravenouscouple- yup, go Saints!

  31. Sophie

    A georgous dish & so tasty looking!!

    I am following your blog since ages , but now I will be commenting a lot because you 2 inspire me in my cooking all of the time!!

    You have a COOL foodblog!

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