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soft pretzels topped with cheesy crab dip on a wood board

Homemade Crab Pretzels

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  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pretzels
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade chewy, super soft pretzels piled high with cheesy crab dip made with fresh jumbo lump crab. This snack is a Maryland favorite!


  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced (or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (add 1 tsp more for extra spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Homemade Soft Pretzels
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. On low speed, beat in the mayonnaise, grated parmesan, garlic, Worcestershire, fresh lemon juice, hot sauce, and Old Bay. Add the jumbo lump crab and beat for a quick 5 seconds to very slightly break up any huge lumps.
  3. Spoon the crab dip into an 8-inch or 9-inch casserole dish. I simply used a 9-inch pie dish. Top with a sprinkle of pepper, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the soft pretzels.
  4. Turn the oven up to 400°F (204°C). Make my homemade soft pretzels through step 6 (including the baking soda bath, which is step 6).
  5. Bake the boiled, salted pretzels for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon crab dip on top of each pretzel. I used about 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup of crab dip on top of each pretzel, but the amount is entirely up to you. Sprinkle each with cheddar cheese. Place crab pretzels into the oven and bake for 8 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the pretzels have slightly browned. Optional: top finished crab pretzels with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, Old Bay, or pepper.
  6. Serve crab pretzels immediately. Crab pretzels taste best immediately after they are made, though they keep well for up to 2 days stored at room temperature covered tightly. We warmed up the leftovers for about 30 seconds in the microwave before digging in.


  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | 9-inch Pie Dish (or similar 8-inch or 9-inch baking dish) | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper
  2. As Dip: You may simply make this hot crab dip and serve as it is, without baking on top of my soft pretzels. Simply bake the crab dip for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Place back into the oven for 10 more minutes and serve with veggies, pita bread, crackers, or alongside soft pretzel bites.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.