Cheesy Crab Dip

I know I should be over this by now, but I still can’t get past the fact that the Super Bowl was a complete wash this year. From the blowout game to the not-so-great commercials, it all felt like a major letdown (minus Joe Namath’s massive fur coat and the Budweiser puppy ad, of course!). Fortunately, we had the company of some great friends—and a lot of really good food—to make up for it all.

Despite our small party’s Mexican theme—complete with fresh-made margaritas, delicious guacamole, Harrison’s homemade tortilla chips and the best turkey enchiladas I’ve ever had—I had been craving some baked crab dip and decided to make a batch myself for the big game. Before Sunday, I had never made crab dip before, so I had no idea if it would all turn out to be a huge disaster or a major hit. Fortunately, it was a hit.

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The recipe I found on Brown Eyed Baker was easier to make than I ever imagined it would be, and that’s always a win in my book. The dip was packed full of yummy, cheesy flavor, and I loved the extra crunch the Panko crumb topping added. I served my dip with homemade Parmesan crisps (made by thinly slicing a ciabatta loaf, brushing the pieces with olive oil, sprinkling them with Parmesan, and baking for 5 minutes on each side at 250 F until crisp), but I’m sure it would be just as delicious with warm pita bread, bagel chips, tortilla chips or practically anything else (I’m telling you, it’s that delicious).

This recipe was the perfect snack to whip up for a party, and I know it’s going to be one that I’ll return to over and over again, especially once the weather heats up and grilling season kicks off. Check out the recipe below, then let me know what you made and ate for the Super Bowl!

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Cheesy Crab Dip

Yield: 6-8 servings (via Brown Eyed Baker)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 ounces lump crab meat (drained, if canned)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup mayonnaise 

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease 1.5-quart casserole dish, and set aside. (Note: I used a 3-quart dish instead, and it worked just fine.)

2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add red peppers and onions, and cook until softened and moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Pour mixture into large bowl and allow to cool.

3. Add crab, cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, parsley, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce to pepper mixture. Gently stir together until combined, being careful not to shred crab meat too much. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish.

4. Toss together remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of dip.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then serve. If refrigerating, store in airtight container for up to two days.

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