Roasted Jalapeno Crab Dip


This crab dip is bursting with extra flavor from roasted jalapeno peppers and lump crab meat! It’s an easy gluten free recipe, perfect for your next holiday party. Dairy-free dip option.

cheese dip on table with chips on side

When I think of holidays I think of two things. Football and parties! And then when I think of those two thing, the first thing that comes to mind are appetizers. There’s a rabbit trail of an intro, but it’s true. This Texas girl grew up with 3 brothers gathered around the TV to watch Sunday night football. Thanksgiving is the same. Feast then Football. Haha! So ya, warm, baked, cheesy hot dips are a must! You know, like warm spinach artichoke hummus dip and this spicy baked crab dip.

But here’s the thing, most cheesy dips are processed and kinda heavy. Wouldn’t you agree? I wanted to make a lightened up version of those hot dips. And so I did! Oh and it’s football watching folk and husband approved. 😉 

Jalapeno Crab Dip Ingredients

bowl of cheese, peppers, and crab for dip

We’ve swapped out some of the heavier ingredients (more on that below) for lighter real food ingredients. You might notice in the list below that there is no cream cheese. Gasp! But I promise, these substitutions WORK and are SUPER FLAVORFUL!

List of Ingredients you’ll need to make this amazing crab dip hot and cheesy:

  • Lump crab meat
  • Roasted jalapenos (instructions shown below)
  • Greek yogurt  
  • Feta Cheese (crumbled)
  • Gluten Free Soy sauce (Tamari)
  • Hot sauce 
  • Hummus (or chipotle paleo mayo)
  • Shredded Aged Cheddar cheese
  • Green Onion, garlic, and Cilantro

Now, let’s get crabby! I mean, let’s talk about crab meat for a second. It’s what makes this dip a meal, no seriously. Protein and veggies in a dip =  tapas meal, right?! *wink wink*

chip in dip

What kind of crab is best?

I recommend you use canned lump crab meat for this crab dip recipe. While it doesn’t taste quite the same as fresh crab meat, it is a good stand-in. Depending on where you live, fresh crab meat can be difficult to find, and when you DO find it, it’s much more expensive. 

Look for varieties that have actual chunks of crab meat and very few additives or preservatives. 

If you can find it, blue crab is considered the best and sweetest option for canned lump crab meat.

Another way to tell if canned crab meat is of good quality is to read the ingredient label. There should be no saturated fat.

However, all crab (fresh or lump varieties) is high in healthy polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, as well as rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Can I use imitation crab meat?

Stay away from imitation crab meat. It is highly processed fish paste and usually contains starches, sugars and additives like MSG. 

How to make this crab dip recipe

This quick appetizer will make enough to feed six to seven people, and it only takes a few minutes of hands-on work. 


Roasting jalapenos is SUPER easy to do. Put them on a foil lined baking sheet in a 425 F. oven for ten minutes per side.

After roasting, slip them into a zip top or paper bag and seal it up for a few minutes. The skin will loosen up, and then you just peel and slice, removing the seeds if you want the crab dip less spicy. Dinely dice or use a food processor to blend the roasted jalapenos.

CHEATERS QUICK TRICK – Don’t have time to roast the jalapenos? Use canned jalapenos or diced green chiles, canned. Yep! Totally works! 

Okay moving on the next step….


Put all ingredients in a large bowl, including the jalapenos, and stir to combine.

If you are making dip ahead of time, you can stop here and refrigerate the mixture. Then, bake it just before you are ready to serve it.


Bake the dip at 350F for 22-25 minutes, then place it under a broiler for about 60 seconds.

Lightened Up Substitutions

We are already making this dip lighter than the average crab dip recipe. I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or processed mayonnaise (although both still work if you must. 🙂 Oh, and we replaced the cream cheese with hummus. A garlicky hummus is divine! Just sayin…

The jalapenos create a smoky, spicy flavor. For less spicy dip, use less jalapenos or remove the seeds.

If you want a dairy free dip, make these easy swaps. Vegan cream cheese is available in most grocery stores. Or, in place of cream cheese and yogurt, you can use hummus and mayo. 

The cheddar cheese topping is completely optional. You can use nutritional yeast for a lactose free cheese topping. 

Phew, think that’s enough info about crab dip and cheese? LOL. Let’s just bake it already. Pairing suggestions below!

dip in pan

Lightened Up Jalapeno Crab Dip

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 22
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 8-11


This crab dip is bursting with extra flavor from roasted jalapeno peppers! It’s an easy gluten free party appetizer recipe, perfect for your next holiday gathering. With dairy-free recipe option. 


  • 23 jalapeños (to grill/roast). Use 3 if the jalapeños are on the smaller side.
  • 5 ounces plain greek yogurt (2/3 c) or light sour cream
  • 5 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c hummus or paleo mayo
  • 1 cup cheese (shredded cheddar) – divided – see notes for dairy free option.
  • 1 tbsp gluten free tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or 3 cloves
  • 1/3 c hot sauce or Frank’s sauce
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or lime
  • 6 ounces canned lump crab (drained) – other canned fish may be used.
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Chopped green onion (extra for topping )
  • Cilantro to garnish


To Roast/Grill jalapenos:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place jalapenos on baking tray (foil lined) 425F for 10 minutes then flip and roast another 8-10. You may use an indoor or outside grill if you prefer. Just make sure jalapenos are placed on foil.
  2. Once cooked, seal jalapenos in ziplock for 20 minutes. Remove and then peel skin and slice in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds if desired. Dice by hand or food processor. Set aside
  3. Don’t have time to roast the jalapenos? Use 4 ounce canned jalapenos or green chiles! 

For the Crab dip:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine yogurt, feta, mayonnaise or hummus, 2/3 c shredded cheddar cheese, soy sauce, minced garlic, hot sauce, paprika, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined.
  2. Mix in diced roasted jalapeño, 1 tbsp chopped green onion (reserve extra for garnish), and fold in lump crab meat. Canned tuna, chicken, or salmon may be used as well. Drained.
  3. Spread in a small cast iron pan or small casserole dish. Add extra  roasted jalapeño (sliced) on top and cover with 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and bubbly. Broil last minute to brown the edges. Serve with a gluten free flatbread, veggie chips, or tortilla chips.


Dairy free subs – *Note that texture and baking times will vary*  –  Vegan cream cheese may be subbed for feta and nutritional yeast maybe subbed for cheddar. The texture will not be cheesy, although the taste will be!

  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: crab dip, appetizer, gluten free, low carb, sugar free, roasted jalapenos, snack, dip

What goes with hot crab dip?

dip with chip

When serving baked crab dip to your guests, you’ll need something for them to scoop it up. Here are some ideas:

Alright my friends! Happy Monday night football. Haha or just eating in general, right?

Favorite hot appetizer? Ever tried crab dip?



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