This imitation crab dip is the perfect, whip-it-up-in-no-time appetizer that will get scarfed up quickly!
With the main ingredient being imitation crab, go ahead and buy two packages since it’s WAY less expensive than real crab meat.
Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE real crab meat.
Being born and raised here in Maryland where my first solid food was blue crabs, nothing even comes close to comparing to the real thing.
However, these days buying the real thing can get downright pricey!
So I figure, why not throw in some imitation crab recipes to our ‘good eats’ rotation every once in a while? Right?
Imitation Crab Dip
What Is Imitation Crab Made Out Of?
Firstly, what is imitation crab made out of?
Obviously, this would be something you would want to know before you include it in a recipe.
Somehow, all these years I’ve been eating it, I didn’t completely know the answer to this question.
So I Googled it and found this answer on WebMD: “It is made using surimi, which is a paste made of fish and a few other ingredients. Surimi is often made with pollock, which is also used to make fish sticks and breaded fish products.”
In addition, surimi is frequently used when making sushi, particularly California rolls.
So, this confirms to me what I pretty much already knew, that it IS indeed seafood!
Clearly, if I had my druthers, I’d prefer real crab meat over imitation crab any day.
But let me tell you, this imitation crab dip is ah-mazing!!
How To Make Imitation Crab Dip
One of the beauties of this recipe is the fact that once you get all of your ingredients together, just mix them all together and it’s done!
The only part that requires a little bit of time is to chill the imitation crab dip before serving it.
- Cream Cheese – Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Amazon) is my go-to brand. Cream cheese is great for making dips, desserts, and even spreading on a piece of toast with some jelly. Mmm!
- Sour Cream – Cream cheese and sour cream seem to go hand in hand when it comes to dip recipes. This recipe is no exception. There’s just something about this combination that really works!
- Celery – Celery is such an underrated veggie isn’t it? It’s great for cutting into sticks and using as a ‘dipper’ or slicing it up and adding texture and crunch to your recipe.
- Green Onions – Green onions (or scallions) are another veggie that I love to add to my recipes. It adds a little extra spicy flavor without it being too overpowering.
- Lemon Juice – I have a confession: When I use lemon juice in my recipes, 9 times out of 10 I use the bottled ReaLemon Lemon Juice. It’s a great time saver!
- Cheddar Cheese – Cheddar cheese is the perfect cheese to add to this imitation crab dip. Go ahead and get the extra sharp variety!
- Imitation Crab – You can find imitation crab at most grocery stores.
- Hot Pepper Sauce – I like to use Franks RedHot Original Hot Sauce (Amazon)
- Old Bay Seasoning – And you cannot make a good Maryland seafood recipe without some Old Bay Seasoning (Amazon)!
How To Make Imitation Crab Dip
So, now that you have your ingredients together, the steps to making this imitation crab dip recipe are ridiculously easy!
As a matter of fact, it only requires 2 steps!
Actually, 3 steps if you include chilling the dip in the refrigerator.
Step 1: Mix Cream Cheese & Sour Cream
First, using a stand mixer, (Amazon) (believe me when I say, this will make your life so much easier and totally save your arm strength!) mix the cream cheese and sour cream until well combined.
Step 2: Mix in Remaining Ingredients
Second, add the rest of your ingredients to the mixer bowl and mix thoroughly with a large spoon.
Step 3: Chill Imitation Crab Dip in the Refrigerator
Then place your imitation crab dip in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to get it nice and chilled.
And now it is ready to dig in!
How Long Does Imitation Crab Dip Last?
Well, in my house, not very long!
Maybe 30 minutes?
BUT if you mean how long will it last in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, it will last up to 5 days.
What is the Best Imitation Crab?
Being that I typically do not eat imitation crab, I had to do a little bit of research to find out which brands are the best.
Through my research I found that imitation crab comes in 3 different forms:
- Imitation Crab Flakes – good for dips, spreads, salads, casseroles, & chowders
- Shredded Imitation Crab – good for fish tacos, salad toppings, lettuce wraps
- Imitation Crab Sticks – good as an appetizer, in sushi, and in tortilla wraps
Apparently the consensus is that the texture of crab sticks is less dense and closest to that of real crab legs.
Whereas the imitation crab flakes are tougher and chewier and not as realistic as real crab legs.
The following brands have good reviews:
- TransOcean – this is the brand I use, which I buy at my local Wegmans
- Louis Kemp
Tips, Tricks, & Substitutions
- Obviously, you can substitute real crab meat for the imitation crab.
- I used the flake style imitation crab, but next time I’m going to try the imitation crab sticks and cut them up since the texture is closer to real crab legs.
- If you prefer a less creamy dip, use less sour cream and cream cheese.
- Don’t add extra salt to the recipe if you’re using Old Bay Seasoning since this already has plenty of salt in it.
- Add or subtract the amount of hot sauce based on your personal preference.
Imitation Crab Dip Recipe
Imitation Crab Dip with Old Bay Seasoning
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 8 ounces Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup Celery, diced
- 3 Green Onions, diced
- 4 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 10 ounces Imitation Crab, flaked or sticks cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp Hot Pepper Sauce
- In a stand mixer bowl, add cream cheese and sour cream. Mix until thoroughly blended.
- Add celery, green onions, lemon juice, cheddar cheese, imitation crab and hot pepper sauce. Mix with a large spoon until well combined.
- Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill. Serve chilled.
For more crab recipes, click on over to: