If you’ve stumbled upon this crab dip pretzel recipe, I’m guessing that you’re either a Marylander yourself, or you’ve been to a restaurant in the Maryland area and had this tasty appetizer and you’re wondering how to make a crab pretzel at home.
Well, know what? These crab dip pretzels are actually super easy to make yourself and make a great little appetizer!
Watch how easy is it to make this crab dip pretzel recipe:
About Maryland Blue Crabs… from a Marylander.
Marylanders, nod along with me here. If the sight of picnic tables covered in newspaper, topped with wooden mallets, melted butter and Old Bavy seasoning makes you giddy, then you might be a Marylander.
While I no longer live in Maryland, I was born and raised there, and catching, picking and enjoying crabs together with friends and family is a favorite summer pastime. So, trust me when I tell that nothing compares to Maryland lump crab meat.
How to spot real crab like a Marylander.
See, blue crabs are something every Marylander knows about and loves to be picky about.
For example, we see “Maryland Blue Crab Cakes” on menus outside of the state of Maryland and we chuckle. We know a Maryland crab cake. And unless you’re actually IN Maryland, sorry to tell you this, but it probably ain’t the real deal. A true Maryland crab cake is a golden patty of fresh chucks of white crab meat—no breadcrumbs. No neon orange-red outer skin. This recipe is not for crab cakes but you can get my favorite crab cake recipe here.
Where does crab meat come from?
Possibly the most important part of enjoying a Maryland blue crab is appreciating where crabs come from. If you are eating blue crabs, that means someone likely woke up before the sun rose, and caught those crabs fresh.
I have many fond memories of my dad and I waking up while it was still dark, grabbing a pack of powdered donuts for breakfast, and hitting the neighborhood dock with our gear—some chicken necks, twine, a bushel, and a metal net.
We’d tie on about 6-8 strings of chicken, toss them in the Bay and over the course of a few hours, we had about a half a bushel of crabs. We’d take those home and if dad was lucky, he’d sneak a nap in before we steamed and ate them for dinner later that day. Catching the crabs yourself sure makes them taste extra good. 🙂
Where to Buy Real Crab Meat
So let’s talk about what to do when you don’t live in Maryland.
Don’t worry, you can actually buy canned lump crab meat in the seafood section of the grocery store. It will be refrigerated. If it’s not refrigerated and/or it’s next to the other fish, it’s not what you want.
You can also tell by the price. A 16oz can of lump crab meat up here in Pennsylvania costs about $20. Sometimes it goes on sale for half price though. That’s when I stock up! So keep an eye out for the sales.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Maryland, you can get fresh lump crab meat from the deli. Score!
Old Bay: Crab’s Best Friend
No crab recipe is complete without Old Bay. We keep a big container of Old Bay on hand for sprinkling on corn on the cob also. Need some?
Baked Crab Dip Pretzels. Or crab dip with a side of soft pretzels.
This recipe is two fold.
You can serve this as a dip along with soft jumbo pretzels or pretzel nuggets to dip:
Or you can serve the dip baked onto the pretzels:
Your choice. The taste is pretty much the same, just a different presentation.
Where to Buy Jumbo Soft Pretzels
I actually found a big soft pretzel in the bread aisle of my grocery store. You may be able to get one fresh from your bakery and I’ve seen soft pretzels in the frozen aisle as well. However, if not, most store also carry frozen soft pretzels that you can heat up in the microwave or oven.
More Maryland Recipes
Now that you know how to pick out good lump crab meat like a true Marylander, and where to find soft pretzels in the grocery store, you’re all set to make this yummy crab dip! But if you’re still craving more Maryland style food, then check out these other recipes…
Want more appetizer ideas?
Browse my other most popular recipes:
**A special thank you to my step mom for sharing this recipe and for making this crab dip for me over the years**
Maryland Crab Dip Pretzel
- 8 oz lump crab meat
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp mayonaise
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- 1 tbsp milk
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese
- pinch garlic salt
- Old Bay seasoning to taste
- 2 jumbo fresh soft pretzels look in the bread aisle
- Place jumbo soft pretzels on a baking sheet. (I prefer not to salt the pretzel but feel free to apply it per the directions if desired)
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and garlic salt until smooth then add milk, cheddar cheese and Old Bay.
- Fold in crab meat then spoon dip onto pretzels. Sprinkle with a little extra cheddar cheese if you want then bake at 350˚ for 15-20 minutes or until crab dip is hot all the way through.
- To make a bowl of just crab dip without the pretzel, simply spoon the dip into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350˚ for about 25 minutes, stirring as needed. Serve with a fresh bread, chips, soft pretzel nuggets or hard pretzels.