This skillet-baked seafood dip is easy, cheesy, and loaded with crab, shrimp and veggies! It’ll be the first dish licked clean at your next party or potluck!
So the kraken is mobile now.
I actually encouraged this behavior, thinking it would ease her frustration if she could stumble about like a drunken pirate, coming and going as she pleases. To some degree it helped, but now we have the added bonus of my kid braining herself on everything in sight. She earned a baby black eye by falling face-first onto a toy and has subsequently managed to bump into every wall and chair in the entire house. I’m starting to think she actually enjoys headbutting things. This is all totally normal, of course, but what makes it a tad amusing is the fact that I’m equally as clumsy and covered in bruises. I run into the side of my platform bed at least once a week [bubble wrap: I need some] and have collided with more barbells and kettlebells than I care to admit. We’re quite the pair, Mia and I. To the casual observer it must look like we’re part of some elite Mommy-Baby fight club ring and I just broke rule #1.
I’m equally as clumsy in the kitchen, but have a knack for pairing my recent spill or break with something fantastically delicious. This dip resulted in multiple catastrophes and my third lesson in why you should never touch a cast iron skillet without a potholder.
As challenging as keeping my extremities in tact in the kitchen is, it’s equally as challenging for me to resist face-planting into my food while photographing it. The first time I made this, I took ten shoddy photos, all birds-eye, before I clumsily dove in with a torn piece of baguette. I made a considerable dent before deciding I had just enough left to photograph the following day. That was the plan at least. I forgot I have a husband. The kind of husband who comes home from an 11 hour day, sniffs out the newest creation to take up real estate in the fridge, and spoons it into his face like the man has never seen food before. Round two gave me maybe six or seven extra shots before it suffered the same fate as the first round.
I also bare-handed the skillet again. If you need me I’ll be posting sticky-note reminders threats to myself throughout the kitchen while I polish off the remainder of this freakishly amazing dip. Cheese cures all ails.
Say hello to my fun spin on the classic hot crab dip! This skillet-baked seafood dip is easy, cheesy, and loaded with crab, shrimp and veggies. It'll be the first dish licked clean at your next party or potluck!
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 1/2 lb fresh/defrosted raw shrimp
- 4 ounces quality* lump crab meat, shredded
- 1-2 TBSP butter
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup celery, finely diced [optional]
- 1 TBSP jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced and smashed into 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning blend
- 3-4 ounces cream cheese
- 2.5-3 cups freshly grated Gouda cheese [not smoked]
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
- a pinch of red pepper flakes [optional]
- 1/4 tsp chopped parsley
- paprika, to taste
- *I used to always make my crab dips and dishes with canned crab meat. Recently I took the leap and headed to my seafood counter and found that my local store has their own brand of jumbo lump crab and [bonus!] it goes on sale quite frequently. Using this fresher option has made a huge difference! The crab is juicy, tender, and full of flavor!
- Did I mention this entire dish is made in one pan? Let's do this!
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prep shrimp and crab as needed by defrosting, cleaning, peeling and deveining your shrimp and shredding your crab. If you need a shrimp prep guide, I have some photos and mini tutorial [here] You can also buy yours already cleaned and shelled for ease of use! Whatever you do, skip the pre-cooked stuff; the texture always seems to be off. Once prepped, chop the raw shrimp and set aside.
- Next chop your veggies finely, so they'll mix seamlessly into the dip.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on your stove-top to medium-high heat with a tablespoon or two of butter and saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno until tender.
- Next add in the spinach, salted mashed garlic, and Old bay.
- Stir to combine and wilt the spinach.
- Next add the crab and shrimp and cook for about a minute, until shrimp just begin to turn opaque.
- Remove from heat. [the shrimp will continue to cook in the pan as well as in the oven]
- Stir in your cream cheese, Gouda, and Gruyere and a sprinkle of paprika, and pop the entire skillet in the oven
- Bake for about 15 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Remove skillet from the oven, give it a moment to de-molten-lavafy itself, and dive on in with your favorite crusty baguette.
- Now would be a good time to garnish with some parsley and red pepper flakes before your eat the entire skillet!
substitution shenanigans: Feel free to skip the celery and add extra bell pepper if needed, it’s great both ways! I also tested a batch with plain 2% yogurt in place of the cream cheese and it was equally delicious! The only issue is that it wasn’t, by nature, as creamy when you dunked on into it. I have to admit, though I love using yogurt in recipes, the richness of the cream cheese batch had me swooning with each bite. No shrimp? No problem! You can make the dip entirely with crab if you’d like. As always, feel free to add extra veggies; they’re delicious!
I think it’s time to admit I have a cheese problem.
so… how was it?
Heavenly! Once it was cool enough I even let Mia try a bit of the crab and she wound up inhaling it and begging for more. Same goes for the husband, though I pretty much had no choice but to share with him, he’s my hand model after all! The recipe makes a boatload of dip so if you wind up with leftovers, no worries! They’re fabulous the next day, simply store in your fridge in an airtight container and hope your significant other doesn’t get to it first!
Oh I guess I should describe the dip for you right? HOT, CREAMY, AND OMGCHEESY! If you ‘re a fan of seafood and cheese you’ll basically want to bathe in this dip. The veggies add fantastic flavor but are diced small enough that they could easily trick your pickiest of friends. We all know that one guy who thinks green things should be illegal; those are the friends I enjoy cooking for the most. Challenge accepted!
This dip is essentially the perfect party food so make a batch for your family and another to share with friends. Ok and a third to eat alone while you curl up in bed and re-read The Fault in Our Stars. You’ll need the comfort food, trust me.
Of course I couldn’t resist a gratuitous zoom shot…
Feeling crabby? Snag the recipe for my Crab Stuffed Mushrooms!