Paleo Crab Spinach Artichoke Dip

The inspiration for this dish?  Cravings for crab dip!  Few dishes are more decadent than crab, spinach, and artichoke dip.  There are too many variations to count, but most involve copious amounts of mayonnaise, butter, cream, cream cheese, a variety of cheeses… you get the idea.  Delicious and rich? Yes. Good for you?  No.  Yes, I am all for moderation, and a little splurging once and a while on a dish that you will truly enjoy is okay.  However, with dishes like fattening dips, it is really hard to stop eating it, and how many people have been able to only have the two tablespoon serving size?  To those disciplined souls, I applaud you!  So how could I possibly create a crab, spinach, and artichoke dip that is delicious, healthy and Paleo?  By keeping it simple, and embracing the awesomeness of the basic ingredients.

In the assembly of this dish, I decided to comprise the dip into these four layers: 1) crab, 2) spinach and artichoke, 3) sauce, and then 4) a little almond meal/flour “crumb.”  I liked how the coconut milk mixture seeped through the layers, yet you were able to experience each individual flavor as well.  However, if you would like to mix the crab, spinach and artichoke, and coconut milk altogether before adding the topping, go ahead!  Just be careful not to mix the crab too aggressively or the beautiful lumps will become more like shreds.

Why hide the amazing lump crap meat behind a lot of cream and filler?  Artichoke hearts and steamed spinach are also amazing flavors.  Yes, they need to be enhanced, but only with a few simple ingredients.  Why the mustard?  It is not an ingredient completely out of left field.  Not only do crabs have an organ that looks like mustard when steamed, but the tangy mustard flavors pair very nicely with crab.  One of the dishes served at my wedding was crab cakes, and they had a mustard sauce that was divine!  I secretly wanted to evoke a little of that food memory through this dish as well.

As I’ve mentioned before, it takes some effort to find a mustard that is Paleo.  Sometimes, as long as a product doesn’t have corn syrup or a lot or preservatives, I allow for a little bit of sugar in the ingredients.  For this recipe I used a stone ground mustard by Inglehoffer.  One of my favorite mustards in the world is Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce, but we don’t have a Trader Joe’s in Augusta. Just be advised that if you choose a strong mustard like Dijon, you may want to start with just a teaspoon, give it a taste, and then add the second teaspoon if it isn’t prominent enough.  All the best chefs that I see on television are constantly tasting their food for quality, so make sure you like the way your dish is coming together :).  

Because there is so little filler, I gave Taylor and I slightly bigger portions :).  A lot of the coconut milk absorbs into the other ingredients so you can appreciate the flavor rather than getting the heaviness of most dips.  Yay healthy food!  I literally had this three times the day that I made it.  Honestly, it can be enjoyed with a fork or spoon, with veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, lettuce etc) or with baked chips/bread (if you really want to get the traditional crab dip experience).  Even if pairing it with bread or chips means that the whole snack/meal isn’t Paleo, you’ve still done very well in terms of nutrition!  Like I’ve said before, it is all about balance.


  • 1 container (16 oz) wild caught lump crab meat, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 16 oz organic spinach, thawed and drained/patted dry of all water
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry of all liquid
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp brown mustard (I used Inglehoffer Original Stone Ground Mustard)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder, xanthum gum or tapioca starch (if using lite coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes, if desired


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 2. Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick pan on medium/med-high heat
  • 3. Add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent
  • 4. Turn heat down to medium-low/low, then stir in garlic, mustard, and coconut milk
  • 5. Season with Old Bay, black pepper, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated
  • 6. Whisk in 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder, xanthum gum or tapioca starch, if desired (until there are no clumps)
  • 7. Turn off heat and set aside
  • 8. In a small bowl, combine almond meal/flour, parsley, garlic powder, and cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste, if desired
  • 9. In a silicone circular pan or casserole dish, place crab evenly to cover the bottom
  • 10. In a medium bowl mix spinach and artichoke together so they are evenly distributed, then spoon on top of crab layer
  • 11. Make sure the artichoke and spinach are spread evenly over the crab, then slowly pour the coconut milk mixture over the top, careful to completely cover the other ingredients
  • 12. With your fingers or a spoon, sprinkle the almond meal/flour “breading” in an even layer over the coconut milk
  • 13. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, then turn up the oven to 375 degrees and cook it another 10 minutes (or until slightly brown and bubbly on top)
  • 14. Enjoy!