This hot crab dip is a combination of crab, cheese, mayonnaise, lemon, and spices, all done in the Instant Pot in less than 10 minutes! This super easy make-ahead creamy, and delicious appetizer will be a crowd-pleaser.
Dips are the perfect party appetizer, they’re easy to make, feed a lot of people and most can be made in advance. This effortless hot crab dip always gets raved reviews because of the star ingredient: CRAB.
Over the years, I’ve always made this recipe in the oven. Now, I'm converting this recipe for the instant pot. It's so much faster as opposed to the 30-40 minutes in the oven to make this 18-servings crab dip! When your guests arrive, pop the dip into the instant pot. You'll have a hot and delicious crab dip for your guests to enjoy in less than 10 minutes! This is perfect for any get-together like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, potluck, or game day.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST INSTANT POT HOT CRAB DIP
- Splurge on fresh crabmeat for your crab dip! Frozen crab meat won’t have the same flavor and might mess up the consistency of the dip. Whichever you decide to use, fresh, frozen, or canned, make sure to drain the excess liquid really well so that the dip doesn’t become runny.
- Use the pot-in-pot method. Don’t put the dip mixture directly in the pot, or you might get the “burn” message. (Pot in pot means that you place water inside the Instant Pot, insert a trivet, and then place an oven-safe bowl on top of the trivet. Instructions in the recipe card.)
- Cover the crab dip with foil so the water condensation doesn't drip into the crab dip.
- After it is done, you can place it on broil in the oven to brown and melt the cheese, but this is totally optional for presentation! It'll still taste amazing if you skip this step.
CAN YOU MAKE CRAB DIP AHEAD OF TIME?
Absolutely! You can assemble your crab dip up to 10 hours before you plan to serve it. If you wish to make it ahead of time, combine all the ingredients together but don't top it with cheese. Make sure the dip is covered and refrigerated. When it is time to be heated up, give it a quick stir, top it with cheese, and then place it in the instant pot. You may need an extra minute of cooking time since you’re starting with a cold dip.
Refrigerate: Crab dip contains perishable ingredients, so it should be stored in the refrigerator. Place the dip in an airtight container to prevent odors from the refrigerator affecting its taste. If the crab dip is in a dish with a lid, use it. Otherwise, cover the dip tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Avoid Freezing: Crab dip with a creamy or mayonnaise-based sauce may not freeze well. Freezing can cause the ingredients to separate, and the texture may change when thawed. It's generally recommended to consume crab dip within a few days rather than freezing it.
If the dip separates a bit upon refrigeration, give it a gentle stir before serving to reintegrate the ingredients.
Serve Chilled or Warm: Take it out of the refrigerator shortly before serving to allow it to come to a slightly cool but not room temperature. To warm it, put it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warm all the way through.
Try this reader-favorite Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast next.
The Best Instant Pot Crab Dip
- Instant Pot, 6 quart
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lemon (juice of 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound crabmeat (Jumbo or Lump)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- In a mixing bowl, stir in cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, old bay seasoning, juice of 1 lemon, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and lump crabmeat. Mix until well combined.
- Then, add the mixture into an oven-safe dish (I prefer a round ramekin so it can fit easily into the instant pot). Sprinkle ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- Lightly cover the dish with foil. (The foil is used to prevent condensed water from dripping into the dip. To prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil, you may need to spray the foil with cooking oil.)
- Place a trivet into the instant pot and fill the pot with 1 cup of water. Then, place the oven-safe bowl with crab dip on top of the trivet.
- Close the lid to the Instant Pot. Turn the knob to "sealing". Press the "pressure cook" button (newer models) or "manual" button (older models) and set the instant pot to cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes. When it is done cooking, QUICK RELEASE the pressure by turning the knob to "venting".
- Serve with crackers, baguette slices, or tortilla chips.
- Optional: Once the crab dip is done in the instant pot, you can place it in the oven on broil for 3-5 minutes to get the bubbly melty cheese look. This is just for appearance.
- Do Quick Release if you wish to serve the dip right away. Do Natural Release if you wish to keep it warm until it's ready to served.