This warm crab dip in a bread bowl is an easy and delicious treat, perfect for holiday entertaining or football watching!

crab dip in sourdough bread bowl

When it comes to easy entertaining, it’s hard to beat this easy warm crab dip in a bread bowl. Using beautiful sourdough bread and cooking it all up in a cast iron skillet, makes for a pretty presentation, too.

The easy crab dip starts with cream cheese and sour cream, that is flavoured with a bit of horseradish, mustard and green onion. And lots of crab, of course. As for the bread, I went with a lovely sourdough round. I think the slight tanginess pairs perfectly with the creamy dip. Slicing it to create fingers around the edge before baking allows the bread pieces to toast slightly and are easy to pull off and dip.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Bread – it’s hard to beat a round of sourdough bread, but any round bread will work here. I picked a round of bread that nicely filled out my skillet. My skillet is 8-inches in diameter at the bottom, so I looked for a round just slightly smaller. For a larger skillet, if your bread bowl doesn’t fill the skillet, simply fill in the edges with your extra bread cubes and/or other kinds of dippers.

Gruyere Cheese – I have used Gruyere cheese here, but you can substitute the cheese of your choice. Swiss, Emmental or even cheddar would work here.

Crab – start with canned lump crab. Drain the crab and pick though it before adding to the dip.

Recipe Tips

Buy a second sourdough round to cut into cubes to toast in the oven along with the bread bowl, to make sure you have lots to dip (depending on who is doing the dipping, there’s probably more dip than bread bits if you use just the bread bowl.) Alternately, you could also serve with a second kind of dipper, such as crackers, crostini or pita chips etc.

If using an 2nd round of bread for extra bread cubes, you can simply dice and use plain or toast/warm them by simply scattering on a baking sheet and popping in the oven (on the rack under your bread bowl) for the last few minutes of baking the bread bowl.

You don’t need a skillet to make this recipe, simply place your bread in any baking dish or on a baking sheet.

crab dip in sourdough bread bowl

Making Ahead and Storing

You can make this dip several hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake up your bread bowl. Cold dip will take slightly longer to warm through in the oven, so allow a few extra minutes in the first heating stage (before adding cheese).

Refrigerate leftovers, covered with plastic wrap. To re-warm, simply cover with aluminum foil and pop into a 350F oven until warmed.

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crab dip in a bread bowl all in a cast iron skillet

Get the Recipe: Warm Crab Dip in a Bread Bowl

Easy and delicious warm crab dip a sourdough bread bowl, baked up in a cast iron skillet. A great recipe for easy entertaining.
5 stars from 8 ratings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings



  • 8 oz block cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • Pinch Old Bay Seasoning, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (See notes below for alternate cheese ideas)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 8 oz canned lump crab meat, (two 4 oz cans) drained and picked over, if needed


  • 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • Additional diced onion, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, dry mustard and Old Bay seasoning and some salt and pepper, until well combined. Add the shredded cheese, green onion and crab, mixing on low (or with a spoon), just until combined. Set aside or spoon into a bowl, cover and refrigerate if making ahead.
  • With a serrated knife, cut a round out of the top of your Sourdough bread round, leaving 1 - 1/2 inches around the outside of the round and about 1 1/2 inches deep. Gently pull the slice out of the top of the bread and set aside. Cut slices around the outside of the bread round, slicing down in about 1 inch intervals, slicing about 2/3 of the way down the side. Place bread round into your skillet. *Cut the round that you removed from the top into cubes and toast or serve plain with your finished bowl.
  • Spoon your dip into the hollowed out center (it may sit above the top of the bread at this point but that's ok). Once filled, gently pull the slices around the outside outwards a bit. This will allow them to toast, but will also make your hollow a little bigger, so your dip should drop down into the bowl some more.
  • Loosely cover top of bread bowl with a piece of aluminum foil and place into preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes (or more if your dip was cold from the fridge). Remove from oven. Remove and discard aluminum foil. Sprinkle top of dip (and onto the tops of the bread as well), with the additional shredded cheese for topping. Return to the oven and bake a further 10 minutes, or until dip is warm and cheese is golden. *If toasting additional bread cubes, scatter on a baking sheet and place on the rack under the bread bowl for the last few minutes of baking (after the cheese has been added).
  • Garnish with additional diced green onion and serve warm in the skillet. **Wrap the hot skillet handle if sering hot from the oven, just so no one is tempted to grab a hold of it!


If you'd like to use another cheese, Swiss, Emmental or even Cheddar cheese would be good to use here.
Be sure to read the notes above this Recipe Card, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Appetizer
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 124mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 330IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 326mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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