I first made this creamy crab dip recipe for a neighborhood Christmas party last year and I’ve been meaning to get it up on the blog ever since. It doesn’t last long at our house. We just can’t get enough of it over here! Our family loves anything crab, but crab cakes are actually one of my husbands favorite foods of all time. Making crab cakes from scratch is not the hardest thing in the world, but making crab dip is even easier. Let’s just say now that I have this creamy crab dip recipe I am making more crab dip than crab cakes these days (wink).
How to Make a Creamy Crab Dip Recipe Without Dairy
Most conventional crab cake recipes call for a combination of store-bought mayonnaise and either cream cheese or Parmesan cheese (or both). I’m not a big fan of store-bought mayo (you can read why HERE) and with the exception of a small bit of real cheese that I eat here and there, I avoid dairy. But you definitely don’t need dairy to make a super creamy and delicious crab dip. If you really wanted to use cream cheese and also wanted your crab dip recipe to be clean, you could try Kite Hill brand plant-based artisan cream cheese spread. Made from cultured almonds, Kite Hill cream cheese does not have the funky not-at-all-like-cheese flavor that most dairy free cream cheese brands have. You could even use Kite Hill brand in place of the mayo called for in the recipe.
Let’s Talk About the Mayo…
As for the mayo, I don’t buy store-bought. It’s just SO easy to make your own and homemade always tastes world’s better. Homemade is also so much healthier. I make a plant-based Egg Free Mayonnaise Recipe because I’m just super nervous about using raw eggs. The recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make.
However, if you just absolutely cannot find the time to make your own mayo, I totally get it. The cleanest store-bought brand I have found is the Avocado Mayo by Primal Kitchen. Primal Kitchen does still use eggs and the product is sold not-refrigerated though. As I discuss in more detail HERE, this means the eggs are therefore processed in order to remain shelf-stable, which is not optimal in my opinion. However, if you do not want to go to the trouble of making your own mayonnaise then Primal Kitchen is your best bet if you are trying to eat clean.
Sneak in Some Vegetables
And of course as with just about all of my recipes, I couldn’t help sneaking some vegetables into the crab dip. I added roasted fennel and sundried tomatoes. Not only do the vegetables add nutrition (antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber!) they really do give the crab dip more flavor.
What to Serve with Crab Dip?
You can find lots of ideas online for what to serve with crab dip, but I think my favorite combination has to be crab dip spread on super thin rice cakes (I like Suzie’s brand whole grain brown rice cakes) along with mashed avocado and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper. Add a salad and you pretty much have a meal!
What to Drink with Your Crab Dip?
Of course you can’t go wrong with water and lemon or sparkling water (I love Pelligrino!), but I know a lot of people only make crab dip as an appetizer when entertaining. And entertaining typically involves offering guests something to drink other than water.
If you are looking for a wine that pairs well with crab dip you might want to consider a Rose. And I would definitely go for an organic natural one.
I realize not all organic wines taste good, but thanks to some sample wines sent to us by Dry Farm Wines (an organic wine club), I have been doing some serious organic wine taste-testing lately. Either the quality of organic wines is improving substantially or I am just trying better ones. But I have to say I am very impressed lately with what I have been sampling. And as far as Rose wine goes, you just can’t go wrong with Domaine Bousquet. The world’s most awarded organic wine producer, Domaine Bousquet is also sold at a very fair price point (about $15 a bottle).
Why Organic Wine?
This really needs to be a whole separate blog post. But if you have any of our books, you know we have done a lot of research on the health benefits of consuming modest amounts of wine as part of a healthy lifestyle (if you are not able to consume modest amounts then I can’t stress enough the importance of avoiding alcohol altogether), but we have never really talked much about the importance of choosing organic.
To be honest, I didn’t realize until recently that choosing organic natural wine over conventional wine really does make a difference if you are drinking wine for it’s health benefits. One of the big reasons you want to choose organic natural wine over conventional is because it contains gut-health-promoting wild native yeast as a result of the fermentation process. But more to come on this subject later. For now, just know if you are looking for something other than water to serve with your creamy crab dip recipe, an organic Rose would be just perfect!
A crowd-pleasing party food, this Creamy Crab Dip recipe is perfect for almost any occasion. Whether it’s an outdoor BBQ or an upscale cocktail party, you can’t go wrong with this one. And nobody will ever guess it’s dairy free!
- 2 cups chopped fennel stalks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
- Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- 2 pounds wild-caught blue crab meat (super lump)
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 1 cup Clean Cuisine mayonnaise recipe (see notes below for store-bought recommendation)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large baking dish, combine the fennel, olive oil, tarragon and salt to taste. Roast fennel for about 15 minutes, or until soft. Remove fennel from oven and discard the tarragon. Set fennel aside to cool.
- Once the fennel is cool enough to handle add it to a large food processor. Add in the crab, sundried tomatoes, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard and crushed red pepper. Process until all ingredients are well combined. Season with salt to taste. Serve at room temperature. (Note: Crab dip can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.)
If you don’t want to make your own mayonnaise, your best bet for a clean store-bought brand is the Avocado Mayonnaise by Primal Kitchen.