Classic Creamy Crab Dip

Servings: 6 to 8

With clam chowder, there are two basic versions and which one you prefer is largely up to personal preference. Likewise, some folks go for hot and cheesy crab dip, and some go for the cold and creamy version in a retro ring mold. Whichever way you swing, this crab dip is perfect for parties — just add crackers! — but honestly it makes an incredible bagel shmear too. This updated version swaps in homemade cream of mushroom soup for the canned stuff, but feel free to use store-bought; you can leave out the gelatin and serve this in a bowl instead of gelling it into a mold.


2 tbsp unsalted butter

3 medium-size button mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tbsp finely chopped onion

2 tbsp flour

½ cup whole milk

1 tsp (or 1 cube) chicken bouillon 

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp ground pepper

1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp) unflavored gelatin

2 tbsp hot water

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

2 6-ounce cans lump crabmeat, drained and flaked 

Sprigs of parsley or celery leaves for garnish

Crackers for serving


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions until softened (8-10 minutes), stirring to prevent them from browning. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat the sautéed vegetables, then whisk in the milk until the flour is dissolved. Add the bouillon, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat. [Note: if you’re using canned cream of mushroom soup, heat it up (undiluted) but don’t bring it to a boil.]
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin into the water and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the warm cream of mushroom soup, gelatin, cream cheese, and mayonnaise, and stir until smooth. Stir in the green onions and celery, then fold in the drained crab. 
  1. Spritz cooking spray into your favorite mold — a bundt pan or bowl also works — and spoon in the crab dip. Whack the mold on the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles, then smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Turn the chilled crab dip onto a serving plate. (If it gives you any trouble, set the mold in a bowl of hot water for a minute to loosen it up.) Serve with crackers.


Recipe and photo by Heather Arndt Anderson at