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How much fat is in crab dip?

Crab dip is a popular appetizer or snack that is often served at parties and gatherings. It typically consists of crab meat mixed with cream cheese or mayonnaise and various seasonings and ingredients to add flavor. With its rich, creamy texture and delicious crab flavor, it’s easy to overindulge when crab dip is around. But how much fat is actually in crab dip? Here is a closer look at the nutrition facts.

The Main Ingredients in Crab Dip

There are many different recipes for crab dip with slight variations, but some of the main ingredients typically include:

  • Crab meat: Either imitation crab (made from fish) or real crab meat like lump crab or claw crab meat. Crab provides protein and relatively little fat.
  • Cream cheese: Often the base of hot crab dip, cream cheese provides a rich, creamy texture. Cream cheese contains about 10 grams of fat per ounce.
  • Mayonnaise: The base of many cold crab dip recipes. Mayonnaise contains about 11 grams of fat per tablespoon.
  • Sour cream: Added to many hot or cold crab dip recipes for extra creaminess. Sour cream has about 5 grams of fat per tablespoon.
  • Cheese: Shredded cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss are often added. Cheese contains about 7-9 grams of fat per ounce, depending on the variety.
  • Milk or cream: Often used to thin out the consistency of hot crab dip.
  • Seasonings: Ingredients like lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic, onion, parsley, dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper add flavor.

So the three main high-fat ingredients in crab dip are typically some type of cheese like cream cheese or shredded cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. The specific amounts of each ingredient depend on the recipe.

Total Fat and Calories in Crab Dip

The total fat and calorie content in crab dip can vary considerably based on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Here are some general nutrition facts for common recipes:

  • Hot crab dip: Approximately 5-12 grams of fat and 100-250 calories per 2-3 tablespoon serving.
  • Cold crab dip: Approximately 3-15 grams of fat and 50-200 calories per 2-3 tablespoon serving.

To give more specific examples, here is the nutrition data for 2-tablespoon servings of some popular crab dip recipes:

Crab Dip Recipe Total Fat Calories
Hot artichoke crab dip 5g 100
Baked crab and spinach dip 6g 118
Cold lump crab dip 3g 62
Creamy old bay crab dip 12g 249

As you can see, the fat and calorie content varies significantly based on the ingredients. Some cold crab dips made with just a bit of mayo are relatively low in fat, while hot dips and those made with lots of cream cheese and sour cream are higher in fat and calories.

Ways to Make Crab Dip Healthier

If you’re concerned about the fat content of crab dip, there are some simple ways to lighten it up:

  • Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise. Plain Greek yogurt is much lower in fat.
  • Use a light cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese.
  • Use skim or lowfat milk instead of heavy cream.
  • Use just a small amount of oil when sautéing onions or other vegetables.
  • Use mostly crab meat and minimal other high-fat ingredients.
  • Use reduced-fat cheese or small amounts of strongly flavored cheese like parmesan or goat cheese.
  • Bake or broil the dip to finish instead of adding extra creaminess.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, lemon zest, roasted red peppers, or other low-calorie ingredients.

Making these simple substitutions and limiting high-fat ingredients can create a healthier crab dip with all the flavor you love. You can enjoy crab dip while still watching your fat intake.

The Best Crab Dips for a Low-Fat Diet

If you’re closely monitoring fat grams, look for crab dip recipes that use lighter ingredients or keep the rich additions to a minimum. Some good options include:

Greek Yogurt Crab Dip

This type of recipe uses nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream as the base. With only about 4-6 grams of fat and 100 calories per serving, the nutrition stats are excellent. These dips get creamy texture from the yogurt without all the added fat.

Baked Crab Dip

Baking hot crab dip in the oven rather than making it on the stovetop means you can use very little added cream or butter. The heat from the oven helps the cheeses melt into a creamy dip. Add crab meat, vegetables, and seasonings for an easy dip with around 5 grams of fat per serving.

Crab Salad

Skip the creaminess and turn fresh crab meat into more of a salad or cold relish by mixing it with nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, minced vegetables, fresh herbs, and spices. Use it as a dip with vegetable crudités or crackers. The fat will depend on exactly what you mix in but can easily stay around 2-3 grams per serving.

Crab Cakes

For a non-dip option, baked crab cakes make an excellent appetizer for a low-fat diet. Mix lump crab meat with breadcrumbs, egg, lemon juice, and spices, then form into cakes and bake until golden brown. Crab cakes get great flavor with only around 3 grams of fat each when minimal breading is used.


Crab dip is definitely a high-fat appetizer, with some popular recipes containing over 10 grams of fat per serving. But the fat content depends greatly on the specific ingredients used. Choosing lighter dips made with Greek yogurt, baking hot dips, or minimizing creaminess can all help lower the fat content substantially. With some adjustments, you can still enjoy the delicious crab flavor while sticking to a healthy low-fat diet.