Crab dip and How to make dip more appetizing!

How many times have you gone to a party and wondered what exactly was in the dip? You glance at it and try to guess, but never quite know what it is until you put it in your mouth.   
crab dip recipe
You know you have.
Well, maybe not you…
but I certainly have.
I wish that each dip had a name tag,
or at least a HINT as to what it is.

Sometimes I just wish dips weren’t just piled high in a dish.
I love dip and here is my solution to having it look a good as I think it should.
Dips can look as pretty as you want them to.

You could adapt this idea to your favorite dip recipe,

by adding clear gelatin and putting it in an appropriate mold, it just may transform your favorite dip.
And it’s easy!
Heating a portion of the recipe while adding the gelatin is the key.
Why the shape of a fish? 
To tell you the truth, when I purchased it they didn’t have a crab.
Oh, how I wanted a crab,
 I searched high and low for a crab mold.
This was over 30 years ago… 
I was so disappointed…at the time and no options were available like today with computers and online ordering.
Now you can simply order it on Amazon and have it delivered in a day or two.
CLICK HERE is you want to same fish mold I used. 
crab dip from @createdbydiane
Remember way back,
you know… in the “olden” days
when stores didn’t carry all sorts of
items, we just did without or bought what they had
So, I settled for a fish.
Close enough I thought!
Who would have known that over 30 years later, yes WOW that makes me sound so old… how did that happen…
 I would still be making this crab dip to go into these molds.
But it’s true I have had this recipe since I was 19 years old.
 I have made this crab dip so many times, I couldn’t guess the exact number. 
More than a couple of times a year in the first 10 years.
Then it’s tapered off to about twice a year from then on.
It really is my go-to dip recipe. Especially to bring to someone’s party when I’m asked to bring an appetizer.
I have thought of looking for a crab, but I have become quite attached to this fish mold
 (and the mini version I have too) It’s traveled thousands and thousands of miles with me along my moves coast to coast, multiple times in fact!

This appetizer always gets loads of attention

I decided to change it a bit and make it a healthier version of the original
and I am happy to say that the reduced-fat version has no change in taste from the original recipe that called for mayonnaise and regular cream cheese.
YIPPEE, I love surprises like that! I don’t like it when you lose flavor when trying to improve something.
I spray them with an oil spray so that it releases easily after the dip sets up.
Heat soup and add gelatin so there are no lumps-sprinkling it in slowly really helps (do not stop stirring)
then add cream cheese and blend it in until all melted and blended
remove from heat at this point (I usually switch from the whisk to spoon/spatula at this point)
stir in the diced onion, then yogurt
finally add in the crab, when it’s all blended pour it into the greased molds place wax paper on top
 (to prevent the edges from drying out and your entire refrigerator smelling of crab) refrigerate.
I often make this a day ahead as it can be un-molded just before serving the next day.
When you are ready to un-mold it have your plate ready and gently lift the edges with a smooth spatula once a small amount of air gets between the dip and the metal it releases easily and can be easily slid out.
I remember making it and worrying…

how it would travel to a party

well…  relax,
I have brought this so many times.
It travels great.
I un-mold it before I leave so that I don’t forget my special fish molds.
( you may think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I love these and fear I will forget them, they will get bent, or even lost, remember how long it took me to find them, I still think they are worth TONS to me, even though you can get them more readily…
I like mine!)
They’ve moved with me many times, and each time I unpack them they always get a special spot in the cabinet. Everyone in the house knows where I keep them. They are that special to me.
 I’m sure they are still available but these somehow are so special- I never want to misplace them.
I love that it fills both the large and small fish molds.
I typically serve the large one and keep the small one all to myself
NO—-I’m just kidding! I share ๐Ÿ™‚
But I typically keep the small one at home and enjoy it with my family.
I serve it with crackers or bread,
I’ve been known to eat on Italian Bread for a snack or lunch, nothing like having something so delicious ready to eat, especially when you forgot it was in the fridge.

crab dip @createdbydiane

flavor options for this recipe

You can use canned shrimp in this recipe instead of crab, you can use canned or freshly cooked salmon, tuna from a can as well. 
Add in some fresh dill to kick up the flavor a bit or your favorite herb to go with the item you choose (shrimp, tuna, salmon, or crab) any fish would do as well.

You can also add in some fresh lemon juice about a tablespoon would be plenty.

6 best appetizer recipes

  1. Fried Ravioli with Feta Basil Dip
  2. Texas Egg Rolls
  3. Prosciutto and Cantaloupe
  4. Crab Dip
  5. Pizza Dip
  6. Avocado Cream Cheese Wontons



I’m glad you stopped by.
I’m Diane,
let me know if you need help with a recipe.

If this is your first time here, sign up for my emails HERE you’ll also get my free ebook.

I answer the age-old question, ” what should I make” simple, with easy dinner idea, great appetizers, party food, and desserts! Something for everyone. I’ve been blogging for 10 years and have over 1200 recipes posted on my blog here. What would you like to see me make next?

If you have another creamy style dip (artichoke dip comes to mind…) and you’d like to make it into a mold. Just heat the cream portion and add the gelatin, then add the remaining ingredients and put in a prepared mold, refrigerate. Then unmold and serve.

Crab dip

a delicious and beautiful molded appetizer perfect for any party gathering or spread on bread for a great lunch
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Seafood
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 + servings


  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 package cream cheese regular or fat-free
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt regular or low fat or fat-free (or you can use mayonnaise if preferred)
  • 1 onion diced I prefer red, but use white if that's all I have
  • 2 packages plain gelatin
  • 10-12 oz canned lump crabmeat drained
  • wax paper to cover molds


  • *Have all items ready before beginning-the gelatin sets quickly
  • if you forget to chop the onion and try to do it later (believe me!)
  • In a medium saucepan, you will be constantly stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon.
  • Heat the tomato soup (do not add water)
  • add gelatin and makes sure there are no lumps
  • bring to a boil
  • add cream cheese, yogurt, and onion
  • once everything is heated,
  • remove from heat and stir in crab.
  • Place mixture in the mold sprayed with an oil spray for easy release.
  • Place wax paper to cover dip.
  • Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.



crab dip mold can be used on any dip recipe making dips more appetizing


crab dip @createdbydiane


  1. You make it look so easy. I think I;m going make your dip, but the molding may be a little over my head! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m with you, I have wondered many times, what was in the “dip” When ever I take anything to a party, I always write the ingredients down on a note card, that way, no one has to play the “What’s the green stuff in the dip” game:) Many years ago I bought these same fish molds, at a local Goodwill. I forgot I had them until now! Thanks for reminding me and I can’t wait to try your recipe~

    1. The large fish holds 4 cups and the smaller one holds about 2 cups. I purchased them over 20 years ago in the kitchen section of a department store, they are available online. I searched for copper fish molds and there were plenty to choose from if you were looking for them.

  3. Thank you Diane for the blast from the past. I made this dip all the time back in the late 80’s with shrimp, salmon, and of course crab, as you suggest. Its delicious, so much so, think I’ll make for my next gathering ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again.


    1. Hi I like to make the crab dip can you please tell me what brand of tomato soup that was used . Thank you

  4. I ve been looking for this recipe since 1980 no joke. thank you for the recipe . What brand of tomato soup do you use for the crab dip.

    1. I use campbell’s most of the time, but have used a store brand as well with good results as well. Hope it’s as good as you remember it to be ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. your crab dip appetizer calls for a can of “cream of tomato soup” – I cannot find – only can find tomato soup – is there a substitute for the cream of tomato soup? Thank you

    1. Tomato soup is I believe how they now label it, years ago it used to labeled cream of tomato soup. The soup I use, Campbells or store brand of tomato soup is smooth and not chunky.

  6. Could smoked salmon be substituted for the crab successfully? Maybe I’ll make a half recipe and play around with adding capers and dill.

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