Spicy Seafood Dip

This spicy seafood dip makes a perfect party appetizer.  It’s cheesy, creamy, and full of spicy flavor.  

Ramekin of Spicy Seafood Dip garnished with poached shrimp and fresh thyme and served with tortilla chips.

I like to serve the dip with celery sticks, carrot sticks, tortilla chips, and buttery crackers. The dip is elegant enough for bridal and baby showers, yet hearty enough to serve to the guys on game day.

Do a buffet of dips for your next cocktail party.  Kentucky Benedictine Spread, Game Day Reuben Dip, Classic Pimento Cheese Spread, and Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip are delicious recipes to make for any occasion.

Ingredients Needed 

  • Shrimp – I used large shrimp and cleaned them myself.  Because the shrimp is chopped, any size of shrimp will work.  Buy whatever is on sale or use whatever you have in the freezer.  I would avoid the cooked shrimp in the little cans beside the canned tuna.  They have an unappealing texture and a strong, fishy flavor.  Frozen shrimp works great!
  • Crabmeat – I like the mild flavor of lump crabmeat that is sold in the cans at your seafood counter.  Claw meat has a stronger flavor but it’s also cheaper.  Imitation crab meat will work in a pinch or if you want to keep costs down, but you will sacrifice some flavor.
  • Lemon
  • Old Bay Seasoning, dry mustard, garlic powder
  • Cream cheese – room temperature.  You can use full-fat or low fat.  Please don’t use fat-free.  It makes the dip ‘gummy’.
  • Sour cream – I’ve used full fat and low fat in this recipe.  Both worked equally well.
  • Mayonnaise – I use Helmann’s, but any good quality mayo works.
  • Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce – use your favorites.  I used Lee & Perrin’s and Frank’s.
  • Shredded cheese – I used Fontina cheese, but swiss, Parmesan, cheddar, and pepper jack are all delicious.

What Is Old Bay Seasoning?

Old Bay is an iconic seafood seasoning blend that has a distinctive flavor and an almost cult-like following.

The taste is a mixture of smoky, salty, sweet, spicy but not hot, and with a hint of mustard, nutmeg, and mace.

History Of Old Bay Seasoning

The recipe of eighteen spices was developed by a Jewish concentration camp survivor named Gustav Brunn.  He fled Germany in 1939 for a new life in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gustav created the spice blend and eventually named it “Old Bay’ after a shipping line on the Chesapeake Bay. It became very popular with the locals throughout the 20th century.

In 1990, the McCormick Spice Company purchased the recipe and continue to make the spice blend in Maryland, following Gustav’s original recipe.

The Old Bay Seasoning flavor has become such a consumer favorite that McCormck Spice Company has used the spice blend in hot sauce, baking mixes, sauces, and condiments.

Not only is this stuff delicious on seafood, but also sprinkled on vegetables, in coatings for fried chicken, on Deviled Eggs, popcorn…I could go on and on.

Ramekin of Spicy Seafood Dip garnished with poached shrimp and fresh thyme and served with tortilla chips.

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1.  Cook the shrimp, remove the tails, chop the meat, and set it aside.
  2. Stir together the dip ingredients together.
  3. Fold in the chopped shrimp and crab meat.
  4. Butter a baking dish, spoon in the dip, and bake.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy.

Tips And Shortcuts

  • Buy cooked shrimp to save time in cooking the shrimp yourself.
  • Be sure to drain the crabmeat well.  Excess liquid will make your dip runny.
  • Sort through the crabmeat and remove any pieces of shell.
  • Grate the cheese yourself rather than buying the pre-shredded variety, which has an anticaking powder on it that will make the dip grainy.
  • If you like spicier food, add an ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or increase the amount of hot sauce.
  • If you can’t find Old Bay seasoning, you could substitute a Cajun or Creole seasoning, but the flavors will be different.  You could also make a copycat version of Old Bay at home.  I’ve found this blend is pretty close.
  • To keep the dip hot for an extended period of time, spoon the hot dip into a crockpot and set it on warm or low settings.
  • Leftovers can be spooned into a tightly covered container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Warm the dip in a microwave to reheat.

Ramekin of Spicy Seafood Dip garnished with poached shrimp and fresh thyme and served with tortilla chips.

More Seafood Recipes







Spicy Seafood Dip is an elegant, spicy, appetizer that is surprisingly easy to make.  It is perfect for cocktail parties, bridal or baby showers.  It’s also hearty enough for the guys on Game Day.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Starters - Appertizers
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern



½ pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lemon, quartered

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon hot sauce

½ cup shredded cheese (I used fontina)

½ pound lump crabmeat


In a large saucepan over medium-high heat,  add the quartered lemon and 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning.  Fill the pan ¾ full with water.  Bring to a full rolling boil

Add the shrimp and cook just until it is opaque.  It will be fast – 1-2 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.

Drain the shrimp and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Chop the meat and set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish with butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, hot sauce, and about 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese.

Gently fold in the chopped shrimp and crabmeat.

Spoon the mixture into the buttered dish.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Serve warm with crudites, crackers, or tortilla chips.

Keywords: spicy seafood dip, elegant dips, seafood recipes, shrimp, crab meat, lump crab meat, appetizers, game day eats, game day recipes