This Creamy Cilantro Crab Dip is a unique, refreshing version of an old favorite. It’s loaded with creamy avocado, fresh lime, and lots of yummy Crab!
Hello from Gonna Want Seconds! I’m Kathleen, and I’m excited to share one of my favorite dishes for spring, summer, or any other time the beach is calling!
Whether you live on the coast or can only dream of sandy shores and Beach Boys playlists, you know enjoying fresh seafood is required whenever you’re close enough to smell the salty air. Nothing compares to fish or shellfish harvested out of the blue only hours before it graces your table.
One of the richest and most delicate offerings from the sea is crab, whether it’s a snow, dungeness, or blue variety. Light and tender lumps lend a subtle sweetness to bisques and sauces or can steal the show inside a stuffing for fish or as a crispy crab cake. Arguably the true crab experience requires a bib and mallet, with little more than a bit of resolve and some clarified butter for lightly dressing the meat.
Don’t get me wrong – the list of tasty crab dishes is vast, each accentuating the flavors of the crab in different and unique ways, but they are all less rewarding (yes, and less messy) than retrieving the crab yourself directly from the shell.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy crab when I’m NOT in the bib-wearing mood, though, is topping toasted crostini with my Creamy Cilantro Crab Dip and wouldn’t it be so cute served in this Nautical sealife chip and dip serving bowl
The words “crab dip” may conjure images of a warm, bubbly, cheesy concoction great for chip-dipping, or maybe a chilled bowl of lump crab meat with a very light vinaigrette tossed together for spooning onto crackers.
My version is slightly creamy and served cold with carefully chosen ingredients to both highlight and complement the crab. The first not-so-surprising ingredient, based on the title, is cilantro. I know people either love or hate it, but cilantro really works well in this dish to add a welcomed citrusy/herby component, not to mention a pop of color.
Next I add a little ground cumin to create subtle heat and smokiness that deepens the flavor profile and enhances the sweetness of the crab. To develop the “creamy” element, most recipes use lots of cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, or some combination of the three. My recipe has just a few tablespoons of mayo to help bind the crab together, relying instead on a perfectly ripe chopped avocado to provide the creamy texture.
A little lime, green onion slices, and salt finish off the perfect accompaniment for the lovely nuggets of crab.
What Type of Crab is Used for Crab Dip?
A little note about the crab – When you visit your local seafood market, the purchase options will likely be either claw or lump white crab meat. Claw meat comes from, well, the claws, and the meat is usually sweeter (and less expensive) but will be in much smaller pieces.
Because crab is the main ingredient and flavorful focus in my dip, splurging on the purchase of pure lump crab meat will yield the most decadent result. Claw meat would still work well alone or combined with lump crab meat, though, and canned crab meat would do in a pinch.
This dip would be a great appetizer at a small dinner party, an extravagant nosh for a picnic by the shore, or just a special treat to enjoy while you’re watching Beach Blanket Bingo. If you close your eyes, you just might hear the waves tumbling onto the sand. If you’d like to try another of my all time favorite spring and summer recipes…………
…..check out my Copycat KFC Coleslaw recipe.
I’d love to have you visit over at my blog or on social media. Let’s be friends!
Creamy Cilantro Crab Dip
- ⅓ Cup Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
- 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Lime Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- ½ teaspoon Dried Ground Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Ripe Avocado
- 10 Ounces Fresh Crab
- 2 Ounces Crab Meat
- Lime Wedges
- 1 Tablespoon Cilantro Chopped
- In a medium bowl, stir together green onion, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Add the avocado and mash half of it into the mixture, leaving the other half in chunks. Stir to combine.
- Gently fold in crab until combined. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with as desired. Serve with crostini or slices of a fresh baquette. Enjoy 🙂