Warm Maryland Crab Dip with Lemon Panko Topping

This dip highlights the crab flavor and texture without masking it and makes a light counterpoint to the Thanksgiving feast to follow.

[factoid]Marylanders love seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The meat from the famous blue crabs of those waters is made into crab cakes, bisques, dips, and spreads.[/factoid]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]


  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese,  room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter



  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, including green tops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells, well drained
  • Crostini for serving


[ingredients-list title=”
Lemon Panko Topping” serving_size=””]

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or other unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt



[cooking_tip]The crab dip, without the panko topping, can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking. The panko topping can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature. Scatter the topping over the crab dip just before baking.[/cooking_tip]

[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=””]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes until soft but not browned. Remove from the heat. Add the cream cheese, cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and lemon juice. Using a rubber spatula, stir to combine, then fold in the green onions, parsley, salt, and cayenne. Fold in the crabmeat, breaking up any large chunks with a fork. Transfer the crab dip to a shallow baking dish. Set aside.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425°F.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]To make the topping, in a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the panko and toast, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until the crumbs are golden brown and crisp. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and salt. Scatter the topping evenly over the crab dip. Bake until heated through and bubbly at the edges and the topping is golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with the crostini.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]

Excerpted from New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan. Text copyright © 2008 by Diane Morgan. Photos copyright © 2008 by Leigh Beisch.

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