Crab dip contains crab meat, cheese, mayonnaise and various seasonings. Seasonings used in crab dip are unique to each recipe, but may include lemon zest, onions, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and red pepper. Cheeses used also vary, such as cheddar, pepper jack, cream cheese and Parmesan.
Mushrooms, shallots, artichokes and bread crumbs are less common ingredients, but are found in some crab dip recipes. Heavy cream and brie are less common dairy ingredients used in addition to or in place of cream cheese, and some recipes combine more than one type of cheese.
Crab dip can be made with either real or imitation crab meat, and is generally served hot. Cold crab dip recipes are available, but uncommonly used. In traditional hot crab dip recipes, the ingredients are mixed in an oven-safe dish and baked for 15 to 40 minutes before serving. Different recipes have different baking times. Some recipes call for broiling the dip, particularly those that use a bread crumb crust on top.
In addition to homemade crab dip, this food can be purchased from supermarkets, restaurants and some stadiums. Restaurant and stadium sales of crab dip are most common in Maryland and Washington D.C.