Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!

We’re obsessed with this skillet baked seafood dip with crab, shrimp and veggies. It’ll be the first dish licked clean at your next party or potluck!

Hot crab dip with a twist! :: Cheesy Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!

jump ahead to the recipe

It’s extremely challenging for me to resist face-planting into my food while photographing it.

The first time I made this delicious dip, I took ten shoddy photos before clumsily diving 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.

Hot crab dip with a twist! :: Cheesy Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!

Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies

This scrumptious seafood dip is one of our all-time favorites!

Hot crab dip with a twist! :: Cheesy Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!
5 from 4 votes
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Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!

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!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Seafood
Keyword Baked Seafood Dip
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh/defrosted raw shrimp
  • 4 ounces quality* lump or claw crab meat
  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery (optional but tasty!)
  • 1 TBSP minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic minced and smashed with 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
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp chopped parsley
  • paprika to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Next chop your veggies finely, so they'll mix seamlessly into the dip.
  4. 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.
  5. Next add in the spinach, salted mashed garlic, and Old bay.
  6. Stir to combine and wilt the spinach.
  7. Next add the crab and shrimp and cook for about a minute, until shrimp just begin to turn opaque.
  8. Remove from heat. [the shrimp will continue to cook in the pan as well as in the oven]
  9. Stir in your cream cheese, Gouda, and Gruyere and a sprinkle of paprika, and pop the entire skillet in the oven
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes until bubbly and golden.
  11. Remove skillet from the oven, give it a moment to de-molten-lavafy itself, and dive on in with your favorite crusty baguette.
  12. Now would be a good time to garnish with some parsley and red pepper flakes before your eat the entire skillet!

Recipe Notes

* 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!

 

special diets and swaps

This piping hot dip is super versatile! 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.

Hot crab dip with a twist! :: Cheesy Baked Seafood Dip with Crab, Shrimp, and Veggies!

so… how was it?

This easy cheesy seafood dip is oh so tasty! Once it was cool enough I even let Mia try a little bit 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 scrumptious seafood 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…

Hot Crab Dip :: The BEST!

I’m hoping y’all adore this Baked Seafood Dip as much as we do! Let me know if you get a chance to try it!

Feeling crabby? Snag the recipe for my Crab Stuffed Mushrooms!

 

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Comments

  • Looks yummy, however it does not say the size of shrimp you used. Small, medium, large? Plan on making this for my wine tasting group.

    • Hi Dorine! So excited you’ll be making the dip! I left the measurements in weight only so everyone can use the size shrimp they prefer! I’ve used large, extra large, and medium for this recipe and it all works great. Since you’re chopping the shrimp it won’t matter so my tip is always to buy whatever size of raw shrimp is on sale! xo

  • JoAnn Snader

    Sounds delicious and like a complete meal; however, as a Marylander, I can tell you that you NEVER shred lump crabmeat–it’s sacrilegious! If you don’t want the lumps, buy claw meat (actually tastier)–getting a LUMP of crabmeat in your portion is a real treat.

    • LOVE the claw meat and that’s awesome insight JoAnn – thanks! I do find myself looking forward to a big lump of crab in crab dip! xo

  • Jane Saunders

    Oh no! I hope you didn’t do too much damage to your hand and um.. I have a similar husband. I once made a layer cake and 1 lonely cupcake. The idea was to take a snap of the cupcake along with the layer cake to show the recipe versatility. I went to pick up my kids from school and somehow the cupcake had been eaten by the time I got home. My man thought I’d made a romantic gesture by baking him his very own cupcake 🙂

    Anyway, this dip has everything going for it – especially the crab. I’ve never served up a hot dip, but you have me seriously tempted. All those ingredients sound so lovely together.

  • Jessica

    So full of seafood and cheese, what is not to love! Fabulous recipe perfect for so many occassions!

  • Mary

    I will try this soon. Look very tasty.

  • Ann Bloom

    Have you ever made & froze? I assume I would leave the shrimp out until putting it together to eat. I have a bunch of crab to preserve & looking for good ways to freeze.

    • Hey Ann! I haven’t frozen this one before mainly because cheese dips don’t typically freeze well for later. On the bright side, from what I’ve read one of the best ways to preserve crab meat for a later date is to go the crab cake route and freeze them — YUM!

  • Juanita

    Lady’s I don’t have a cast iron skillet and the store doesn’t sell gruyere cheese!!!!! Wht can I do

    • No worries! In place of gruyere you can use your favorite melty cheese! Gouda and fontina work great but you could also use an Italian blend of mozzarella, parmesan, etc… as well. Any cheeses they get ooey gooey when you melt them will work

      In place of the cast iron skillet you can use an oven safe stainless steel pan to cook on the stove top and finish off in the oven, or just make in whatever pot or pan you have handy and pour the mixture into a casserole dish/baking dish to finish off the bubbly cheese topping.

      It’s super flexible and I’m so excited for you to try it Juanita! 🙂 xoxo

      • Juanita

        Yes!!! It all worked out good everybody loved it… it was so good I’m cookin it again now lol!!!!!!

        • Ahhh yay!!! So stoked to hear it! 🙂

  • Adrienne

    I was SO disappointed to find your recipe the day AFTER the 4th of July!! Cant wait to make & take this to our next “foodie friends b’que!” Recommendation: add cast iron skillet size(s) & other container options to instructions. (I plan to use 2 oval ceramic gratin dishes so they can be placed at both ends of a patio table that seats 8.) Have u tried this with anything besides bread…a good tortilla chip, maybe…so it’s not so filling as an appetizer?

    • Thank you Adrienne! A number of skillet sizes can be used for sure! I hope to add a few new skillets to my collection so I have more options for sure. We make this dip an ton and it’s great with so many dippers! I love it with cucumbers and halved sweet mini peppers alongside a fresh baguette and super hearty tortilla chips. My local store brand has chips that are hearty/thick enough not to break when you dive in, so look for a thicker cut chip vs. the “restaurant style” tortilla chips that are thin and frail. I like having a few different options when serving friends so they can choose their favorite dippers 🙂 Hope this helps! xo

  • Patty

    Hey. I’m planning to make this for an event Saturday but would like to make it Today, Thursday. I read a review that said I can make it ahead but up to what step do I do? I plan to use all crab. Do I make it up to step 9 and then save the baking for the day of? Thanks

    • Hi Patty! Your instinct is perfect; go through step 9 and bake before serving. Since you’ll be taking it out of the fridge, I’d take it out a little early to take the chill off and reduce the bake time, since it will need a longer bake time from the fridge. Hope y’all love this dip as much as we do! 🙂

      • Also, you can skip cooking the crab in the skillet per step 7. Just combine it all and chill until you’re ready to bake.

        • Patty

          Thanks so much

  • Basnight Angela

    Hi Jen you may or may not know of this by now but you can pick up a silicone sleeve for your iron skillet handles from Williams Sonoma or Cracker Barrel when you stopping along the highway for a nice meal or even Amazon.com. I just thought I would throw in that little tip to save your hands and your potholders. ??‍?

    • Thank you thank you!!!! Totally getting one because it’s embarrassing how often I burn myself 😉 xoxoooo

  • Carol

    Hi Jenn,
    Greetings from Calgary, Canada! I very rarely post anything on the internet, but this recipe made me do it 😉
    What a fabulous, delicious and easy meal – uh, appetizer – that I have made 4 times now and counting. I have deleted manufactured and processed carbs from my diet for the past 4 months and my hunt for good food recipes never ceases. This one is superb. I’m not a crab fan, so I just sub in all shrimp, and add a little sharp cheddar to give it a bit more colour and tang.
    I know I’m late to post lol, but I just wanted to let you know that you’re paying something forward that’s great! Thanks!

    • Carol your sweet words made my night, thank you! I’m beyond honored that you’ve made the recipe four times and the extra shrimp in place of the crab and sharp cheddar sound marvelous! 🙂 Please tell me you’ve eaten it as a meal too because I have lost count how many times we called this app dinner in all it’s snacking glory 😉 xoxo

  • Definitely pinned! You had me at the photos of the bread scooping out the cheese 🙂 Can’t wait to try!

  • B

    Can you make this is a small crock pot?

    • Cheese and seafood don’t usually agree with slow cooking. The cheese tries to curdle and the shrimp can get tough and overcook quite easily since it cooks so so fast. It would be great (after oven baking or even just cooking entirely on the stovetop) if it was put into a small slow cooker on the warming function for a party so the dip stays hot and melty but I would be nervous doing much more than that.

  • Marie

    Do you have any recommendations for other kinds of cheese that would work? Not a huge fan of Gouda or Gruyere

    • Hey Marie! You could use a store bought shredded Italian blend of cheeses with a little extra mozzarella thrown in for melt-factor. That combo is always a hit when I make my spinach dip and it would be great in this too!

  • Sue

    Hi Jenn, this morning’s post was so timely!! I am looking for some yummy appetizers and these look amazing! OMG it’s morning and I’m already starving haha!
    Thanks again, love your website so much!
    Sue

    • Thank you so much Sue! You certainly put a smile on my face this morning 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try this dip soon — it’s one of our favorites!

  • SK

    I will let you know! Thanks!

  • SK

    Hello! Can I use a crockpot for this recipe? Do I need to add milk?

    • Hi SK! I’m not sure how this one work work in a slow cooker, as I sautéed a lot of the ingredients and it cooks super duper fast on it’s own! The crock-pot would be great for keeping it warm for a party though so maybe it’s worth a try? Let me know if you try it!

  • Emily

    What if I don’t have a cast iron skillet could I use something else??

    • Any baking dish or casserole pan will work great too! No worries 🙂

  • This looks absolutely amazing! Pinned.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to make this to take to an Easter Dinner on Sunday but I will not be home on Saturday. Do you think I could make it on Friday night and it would still be good on Sunday? Or what if I put it together on Friday and just baked it on Sunday morning? Will it still be good?

    • Jenn

      Hey Jennifer! It’ll be fine it you prep it all Friday and bake it Sunday! I would make it in a regular pan instead of the skillet [you won’t want to put the cast iron skillet in your fridge] and store it in your favorite bake-safe dish. Another precaution you can take is to leave cooking the shrimp until just before baking on Sunday [it only takes a few minutes to cook] to avoid that weird rubberry texture you sometimes get when you cook shrimp and reheat it. You could also simply skip the shrimp entirely and use extra crab [I’ve done this, it rocks!] When I’ve made it sans shrimp and with extra crab I was able to prep it all ahead of time and pop it into the oven before serving and it was great. I’m totally rambling so hopefully this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you adore this dip! <3 I love it so!

  • Hi Jenn –

    What size cast iron skillet do you use when you make this dip?

    Thanks!!

    • Jenn

      Hey Sara! I used my big one! I’ll go downstairs and measure it and get back to ya in a few. I want to say its 11-inches but I could be totally off in eyeballing it. Talk to you soon!

    • Jenn

      Hookay so it’s a 12-incher but I had lots of room in the skillet so I would say 10 or 11 inch will work too! Hope that helps!

  • April

    This sounds delicious, however, I have read this recipe 4 times and still haven’t seen where you add the crab meat. Just wanted to know what step do I need to add it in.

    • Jenn

      Ohmygosh my brain must be positively broken! My friends have even made this and never mocked me for leaving out the step which is totally out of character because those crazy kids LOOOOVE mocking me! Sorry April! I added the crab to the instructions [thanks for noticing by the way! phew!] and you can add it in along with the shrimp =) xo

      • April

        Thanks so much! Just wanted to know because I definitely plan on making this!!

  • Unfortunately I have not calculated this one. I think there are numerous free calculators (like myfitnessspal.com) that can be used online to pull the details if you’d like! xo

  • Cece Leskova

    These look amazing!

  • Kimberleigh

    Do you have any nutrition facts for these?

  • I keep trying to use a towel as a potholder because all of mine seem to have vanished…. in case you were wondering it doesn’t even come close to protecting hands 😉

    This sounds amazing and I can’t wait until I have a party (and an ovenproof skillet) so I can try this out!

  • That’s pretty much how it wen’t down here. Then guilt set in and I shared 😉

  • AneleatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Safe to say I’d better make this in the company of others or else I’d end up curled in a corner snarfing it down with my bare hands and hissing at potential takers.

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Stupid kitchen.

    When I win the lottery, I shall make this. Seafood in Australia costs the same amount as a small child…

    Well, Victoria Beckhams child. It’s THAT expensive.

  • jessica @ Sweat Is My Sanity

    I can honestly say those pics made my mouth water and my stomach growl.

  • This looks like I could devour the whole thing all by myself….and might bite off anyone’s hand that tries to sneak a taste. I am definitely making this (and am hoping I don’t bite anyone in the eating process! 😉

  • Jen @ ChasetheRedGrape

    Haha! I am the same, so clumsy, especially in the kitchen! I cut myself all the time and don’t get me started on my scars from burns – I just never seem to learn!

  • Yum! This looks so delicious. And yay veggies!

  • I hope it rocks your world! =)

  • Chrissy

    This looks amazing and reminds me of a favorite app at the restaurant back when I was a waitress. Can’t wait to try it!

  • The kracken is on the prowl. Batten down the hatches.
    Plus cheese. All the cheese.

  • Sprint2theTable

    I am in the same boat… one day I will learn that pot holders are there for a reason, and that walking and chewing gum at the same time is THAT hard. Today is not that day.

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